Brigitte Baptiste, Rector of Universidad EAN in Colombia

From hypothetical solutions to innovation proposals


What is your organization’s mission?

To lead the transformation of the university towards sustainability and its promotion, linked to entrepreneurship.


How do you engage with the IAI? 

I am a member of the Science-Policy Advisory Committee since 2014 and its leader since 2017.


How do you use IAI-supported science or networks in your work? 

I use IAI’s science as an example of interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary articulation, a mechanism to form teams to solve knowledge and applied knowledge issues aimed at problem solving through policy making. Hence, at the University we are working hard on IAI’s vision of transdisciplinary education for the understanding of, and adaptation to, the climate crisis. 


In your experience, what is the most promising strategy/approach to bring science to inform decision making? Where are the bottlenecks? Any promising examples?

secret lies in the mediation of knowledge, that is, in the ability that we have to structure consistent, quality, robust messages, with traceability, that come from the scientific community and that reach decision makers and policy makers in a clear way, which also allows them to design implementation mechanisms or propose the approaches to and the treatment of problems without having to enter into a very complex theoretical or methodological sphere of discussion. We must always remember that decisions must be made with the information available or with the level of knowledge available and in terms of the time frame and urgency in which they are required, because we will never have perfect knowledge and we will never be able to avoid making decisions without risks. 


Any updates from your work or organization related to global environmental change?  

We are betting on a form of education that allows all people to understand very well what it means to inhabit the climate crisis, what it means to build solutions to face the climate crisis or to adapt to it, what it means to address the issues that intersect climate change, such as resource management, governance, open and comprehensive information for everyone. The university is by nature the place most interested in providing people with knowledge regarding the climate crisis, or rather in building with different actors the knowledge that is required to face the climate crisis. So, at EAN University we are very attentive to all the results of the IAI's work and to transforming the data, the inferences and the results of the different projects to educate in sustainability and even more so in sustainable entrepreneurship, because the urgent challenge is how hypothetical solutions become social experiments and innovation proposals. I believe that the experience accrued by IAI provides many ideas about the connection between relevant knowledge and capacity for innovation in entrepreneurship. 


What do you consider are the implications or importance of IAI’s new gender policy for global environmental change?

At this time, gender policies are essential to understand the diversity of conditions that people experience in the face of the climate crisis. Gender is possibly one of the most debated categories and where inequities associated with effective participation, in the construction of knowledge, in the experimentation of solutions and, in entrepreneurship, are concentrated. So, trying to understand how gender identities are established in different cultures, in different countries, is related to knowledge about global change and is a fundamental aspect of research investments and the construction of public or private policy in the world. 


We are near the end of the interview… Which is your favorite word?

My favorite word is regeneration, of the natural world. 
Which is your natural world favorite (plant, tree, animal or else)?
I love the opossum because it is a very American animal; it is a resourceful animal, a cunning animal, a peaceful animal despite showing its teeth a lot at times, and an extremely industrious animal. 


Which is your favorite sound?

The sound of bells.


How would you describe yourself to our readers in three words?

Nurturing and queer inspiration.