CLACDS: Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development

History of the Center

On October 25, 1995, the Swiss businessman and industrialist Stephan Schmidheiny participated as an observer in a summit meeting of the presidents of the Central American countries held at the Business School of Harvard University. After this event, INCAE Business School, INCAE, proposed the creation of a new organization in the Central American region: a center for research, dissemination of knowledge and promotion of key ideas on competitiveness and sustainability. From the beginning it accepted the proposal and in mid-1996, the initiative evolved into the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development, CLACDS. Thus, Dr. Schmidheiny became an important ally for INCAE and for the new entity, with which he was linked initially in a personal capacity and later through his newly created AVINA Foundation.

Mission

Its mission is to promote sustainable development in the region through applied research, capacity building and dialogue. It works closely with government agencies, international organizations, organizations and private sector companies.

Our team

  • Octavio Martinez

    Director

    Director of CLACDS at INCAE Business School. Professor of business strategy. Consultant in strategy formulation and implementation. He has a Ph.D. in business strategy from the University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management. He has an MBA with high distinction from INCAE and a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering (Cum Laude) from the American University.

  • Adriana umaña

    Financial Administrative Director - Research and Development Center

    Financial Administrative Director of CLACDS and the Faculty Research and Development Center. In charge of the Administration of CLACDS, the Center for Research and Development, the René Morales Chair, the Strachan Chair, the Steve Aronson Chair and the Entrepreneurs Center. She is an Honor graduate from the University of Costa Rica with a Master's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on International Business, and a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Banking and Finance.

  • Ronald Maple

    Researcher

    Master in Economics from the University of Costa Rica, he works as a researcher at INCAE's CLACDS on issues related to international trade, foreign direct investment, regional integration, competitiveness and economic development. Previously, he worked as an economic analyst for the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promoter (PROCOMER). He works as a researcher at the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development of INCAE on issues of competitiveness, international trade, foreign direct investment, among others.

  • Jaime Garcia

    Senior Researcher and Director of IPS Projects

    Senior Researcher and Director of IPS Projects of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) of INCAE Business School, and expert in methodology of The Social Progress Imperative, where he participates in the design and implementation of sub-national projects of the Social Progress Network. Teacher in the methodological trainings for the measurement of Social Progress carried out at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), INCAE and the conference What Works in Social Progress 2017 in Iceland. Economist from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM), with two master's degrees from the London School of Economics (LSE), in Social Policy, and Population and Development.

  • Luis Figueroa

    Researcher

    Luis Figueroa is a researcher, teacher and facilitator at the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) of INCAE Business School in Costa Rica, with extensive experience leading projects and consultancies for international cooperation, business chambers and public sector entities in several countries. His main topics of interest include business strategy and competitiveness; and the design, evaluation and launch of new projects and companies. His work has focused on key value chains in Latin America, such as agribusiness, tourism, textiles / clothing, and health services, among others. Luis is an Economist, with a PhD in Entrepreneurship from the Essex Business School of the University of Essex in the UK and an MBA from INCAE Business School.

  • Juan Pablo Lopez Chaverri

    Master in International Agribusiness and Rural Development from the University of Göttingen in Germany. He works as a Researcher at the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development of INCAE. In addition, he is an Agronomist from the University of Costa Rica where he obtained a Bachelor's degree with honors in Plant Science.

    He has participated in the design and implementation of evaluation and monitoring systems in a series of projects within the agri-food sector with an emphasis on coffee, such as: sustainability performance analysis, impact studies, quantitative and qualitative analysis, competitiveness and strategy. He has led research projects with rural populations in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Costa Rica. Key research partners include Anacafé, ECOM, Lavazza, International Coffee Partners, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, IICO Cooperation, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Technoserve, Enveritas, World Banana Forum, IICA and Nestlé Nespresso. Currently, it is collaborating in other transparency and corruption projects, as well as in projects that implement the Social Progress Index.

  • Andy Pearson

    Researcher

    Academic researcher at the René Morales Chair of Entrepreneurship. In charge of the development of academic documents and teaching cases. Over the course of 3 years, he supported more than 80 projects on health issues as the person in charge of monitoring the projects of the participants of the CAHI Fellows Program. He is Master in International Trade and Markets from LEAD University with Distinction; and Bachelor of International Relations from the National University (Costa Rica), being the Best Average of the Baccalaureate in 2013.

  • Moving away Roblero

    Of Counsel

    Alejandro has dedicated his career to consulting and applied research on various topics of sustainability and involvement of the private sector; such as the development of impact logic / theories of change, monitoring, evaluation and learning systems for development projects and public-private partnerships, climate change, risk analysis and creation of shared value in systems based on small agri-food producers.

    In recent years, Alejandro has been recognized as a regional expert on how impact measurement systems generate value for strategic decision-making in agri-food value chains. He has been invited by different regional entities to share his experience as a presenter or panelist at symposia and congresses on development and the private sector.

    He has worked for organizations in both the private sector (Nestlé-Nespresso, Lavazza, Ecom, BASF, Syngenta, Multi-Inversiones, Grupo Nutresa) and organizations such as ECLAC, UNDP, Neumann Foundation, World Bank, IDB, CABEI, GIZ, among others.

  • Andrew Elizondo

    Of Counsel

    His interest lies in understanding the transition to an interconnected society and the implications for emerging countries, as well as the disruption processes generated by Internet-based digital media. Master in International Business from the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey with a double degree from ESCP, and a Computer Engineer from the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies at the University of Edinburgh. His doctoral research focuses on understanding the impact of the implementation of large-scale information infrastructures in complex sociotechnical contexts.

  • Beatriz miranda

    Consultora

    Researcher focused on implementation projects of the Social Progress Index, with an emphasis on data visualization methods. Additionally, she is the Coordinator of the Mesoamerican Social Progress Network. She obtained her Master's degree (MSc) in International Development and Management from Lund University (Sweden) and her Bachelor of Social Work from Mercyhurst University (USA). Previously, she worked as a consultant at Oxfam GB (Thailand) in the first program with a focus on urban development, addressing issues of urban resilience, gender inclusion and sustainable development.

  • Edwin vega

    Of Counsel

    Master in Economics with a specialty in Socioeconomic Evaluation of Projects and in Natural Resources and Environment, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (PUC). Bachelor's and Bachelor's Degree in Economics, emphasis in Business Administration from the University of Costa Rica, and graduated from INCAE-InWent's Sustainable Management Program (SMP). Consultant on economics and ecology issues such as evaluation of environmental damage, disasters and externalities; socioeconomic analysis; environmental services, CSR productive experiences, public policy advocacy and the like. He has served clients in the public sector (MINAET, SINAC, Judicial Power, etc.), private sector (ESPH-SA, CNFL), academia (INCAE, UCR, UCI); and non-governmental organizations (UNDP, IPS, CIECO, CCT, etc.).

  • Francisco Pérez

    Director Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs

    Francisco is an international expert and trainer in innovation and entrepreneurship. Graduated from INCAE Business School's EMBA with studies in Management, Entrepreneurship and Global Leadership at the London School of Economics (LSE) and a postgraduate degree in Innovation from the Universität Leipzig.  

  • Grace Barahona

    Executive Director of the Ecobanking Project

    Executive Director of the CLACDS Ecobanking Project. In charge of several initiatives such as the Green Housing Financing Course and the Green Retrofit Marketplace platform. She is a graduate of INCAE Business School with a Master's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in sustainable development and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the National Autonomous University of Honduras. In March 2020, she concluded the “Leadership and Diversity for Innovation” Program of the Women's World Banking and Aresty Institute of Executive Education, Wharton University of Pennsylvania, in order to deepen her knowledge of the design of credit products focused on women.

  • Irene Issa El Khoury

    Consultora

    Industrial Design Engineer from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica (TEC) and Master in Communication and Marketing. She is a visual communication designer and has worked on e-learning and blended learning, design thinking, and information architecture projects, among others.

  • Jorge Vinivio Murillo

    Of Counsel

    Researcher in Entrepreneurship and Strategy issues. Currently he focuses on the study of entrepreneurial programs and processes in incubators, accelerators and innovation centers. Jorge Vinicio earned a Master's Degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida, where he attended as a Fulbright Scholar. Previously, he had a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Concentration in Sustainable Development from INCAE Business School. In addition, he received training in the area of ​​Business Research at Harvard University. He is currently pursuing his doctoral studies in Entrepreneurship at ESADE Business School, Barcelona, ​​Spain. Jorge Vinicio was Executive Director of the Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs of INCAE, Senior Researcher at CLACDS and member of the visiting faculty of EARTH University where he has taught Entrepreneurship and Strategy courses for graduate and undergraduate students.

  • Juan Manuel Ortega placeholder image

    Of Counsel

    Professional with experience in renewable energy projects and energy efficiency, working in engineering and financial analysis. He has participated in several wind farm projects in Central America. Juan worked for INCAE Business School on its Carbon Neutrality project on the Costa Rica and Nicaragua campuses. He has also worked for the ECOS Private Capital Fund (http://www.grupoecos.com/) as a Renewable Energy Investment Analyst for solar, wind and hydroelectric energy projects in Latin America working with multiple energy developers, investors, banks, engineers and other institutions in the region. Juan is an Electromechanical Engineer from the Technological Institute of Costa Rica and has an MBA from INCAE Business School with a specialization in Economics and Finance and in Sustainable Development.

  • Luis Alonso-Sancho

    Of Counsel

    Economist with experience in research on issues of Foreign Direct Investment, International Trade, Regulation of Public Services and regulation of investment in public health. Consultant in Economics.

  • Luis Rivera

    Of Counsel

    Luis Rivera is an economist with experience working in international economics, project evaluation, sustainable development, and business economics in several countries in the region. He has been a consultant for INCAE Business School, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and other national and international organizations. He has publications on topics such as international trade, agricultural policies, climate change, and international competitiveness.

  • Marilyn fonseca

    Consultant - Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs

    Director of Communication of the Entrepreneurship Center of INCAE (LACE), graduated from the career of Collective Communication Sciences with an emphasis on Advertising and candidate for the Master in Digital Marketing at Cenfotec University. Throughout his professional career he has developed strategies for brands in the Nestlé portfolio, Davivienda, Claro, Coca-Cola, Mercedes-Benz and currently for the Entrepreneurship Center of INCAE.

  • Melania Chaverri

    Consultora

    His interest lies in understanding the role of organizations in the social and economic development of communities. He is an MBA from INCAE Business School, with a postgraduate degree in Health and Development Cooperation from the Complutense University of Madrid. She has a Bachelor's degree in Nursing from UCR.

  • porfirio guevara

    Of Counsel

    Porfirio Guevara, Ph.D. He is an associate researcher at the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), INCAE Business School of Costa Rica. He was previously an assistant professor at the Institute for Systems Sciences, Innovation and Sustainability (ISIS), University of Graz, Austria. He obtained a PhD in Sustainability Management from the University of Graz, Austria; M.Ph. in Systems Dynamics from the University of Bergen, Norway; MSc. in Economics from the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona; and B.Ph. in Economics, University of Costa Rica. During 1998-2010 he worked at INCAE Business School in Costa Rica. During this time he also collaborated with institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and InWEnt (International Training and Development, Germany). Main lines of research: Housing Economics, Modeling and Simulation of Complex Dynamic Systems; Technological Change and Education.

  • Wendy Alfaro

    Consultora

    Focused on research, master's degree in Human Nutrition for Health Promotion, and Food Science and Technology. He has conducted research for various national and international organizations in LEDS, sustainable development, CSR, energy efficiency, green jobs, organic products and Fair Trade.

  • Ana Otarola

    administrative coordinator

    Administrative Coordinator of CLACDS. Previously, he served as assistant to the Rectory and the Board of Directors of INCAE. She is a candidate for a Bachelor of Administration with an emphasis on Marketing.

  • Cristhian Alberto Soto Diaz

    Financial coordinator

    Financial Coordinator of the CLACDS department at INCAE. He is a graduate of the Universidad Latina de Costa Rica with a Bachelor's degree in Public Accounting.

  • Ingrid Quiros

    Project Coordinator

    Project coordinator of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS), graduated in Business Administration with an emphasis in the Hospitality area at the Universidad Latina. Experience in project coordination, inventory platform development, budget management and service design. In the hotel area, experience in preparing events, managing MICE groups, customer service, food and beverages, room division and quality control in standards and service.

  • Isabel Solís

    Event coordinator

    She is the coordinator of events in the CLACDS of INCAE, collaborating in the organization of activities in different countries of the region. 

  • Mauren Esquivel Calderon

    Communications Coordinator

    He has a Diploma in Secretarial Sciences, Modality: Bilingual Secretariat of the Parauniversity “American Business Academy”. He worked for a year in the Association of Entrepreneurs for Development and since June 2004 he has been working at INCAE Business School. During her first year, she supported the coordination of events at CLACDS / INCAE and then she was assistant to the Communications Department of INCAE and is currently the Communications Coordinator of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development (CLACDS) of INCAE.

  • Patricia brenes

    Secretary

    CLACDS Bilingual Secretary. Previously, she worked as Executive Assistant to the General Management of Coca-Cola Femsa / Latincentro SA

  • Octavio Martinez
  • Adriana umaña
  • Ronald Maple
  • Jaime Garcia
  • Luis Figueroa
  • Juan Pablo Lopez Chaverri
  • Andy Pearson
  • Moving away Roblero
  • Andrew Elizondo
  • Beatriz miranda
  • Edwin vega
  • Francisco Pérez
  • Grace Barahona
  • Irene Issa El Khoury
  • Jorge Vinivio Murillo
  • Juan Manuel Ortega placeholder image
  • Luis Alonso-Sancho
  • Luis Rivera
  • Marilyn fonseca
  • Melania Chaverri
  • porfirio guevara
  • Wendy Alfaro
  • Ana Otarola
  • Cristhian Alberto Soto Diaz
  • Ingrid Quiros
  • Isabel Solís
  • Mauren Esquivel Calderon
  • Patricia brenes

Our work axes

Our work axes

  • Competitiveness

    CLACDS promotes the efficient use of resources and innovation as a way to stimulate the productivity of a country, region or groups of companies. It also requires a business environment where policies, institutions and factors of production are developed in a coordinated manner to create the conditions that promote sustainable economic growth.
  • Social Progress

    Social Progress is the ability of a society to satisfy the fundamental human needs of its citizens, to establish the foundations that allow it to improve and maintain the quality of life of its citizens, and to create the conditions for all individuals to reach their full potential. .
  • Environmental Performance

    Environmental resources are a source of wealth for humanity, yet they have long been exploited extractively. CLACDS encourages the use of natural wealth by people and the productive sector so that this heritage is available to be used by future generations.
  • Governance

    Since its foundation, CLACDS has fostered spaces for dialogue that allow the generation of agreements to seek sustainable development. These spaces are increasingly important to ensure governance due to the trend towards the formation of interest groups with opposing interests.

Members