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LIFE Academy looks at Latin America and the need of environmental technology

On the evening of September 18, 20 Latin Americans living in Värmland, Sweden, was invited to LIFE Academy. The purpose of the meeting was to develop LIFE’s global network and create new nodes in Latin America.

Patricia Edvardsson, who works for the LIFE Foundation, is from Peru herself and has a great network of Latin Americans in Värmland. A few from her network were invited to learn more about LIFE Academy and the Sustainable Business Cleantech project.

LIFE Academy organizes development programs for decision-makers in emerging countries who implement various projects in their home countries. Examples of programs that has been done are wind power, energy efficiency, ICT and renewable energy. Now, 24 years since LIFE Academys was founded, they have a global network in 80 countries with approximately 1500 contacts.

Now, LIFE Academy is in a position where they are ready to broaden the business, where this particular activity is part a of it. 

– Development of networks has become more important and we want to do more to contribute to a sustainable world. We do this by developing different nodes consisting of a collection of active “change agents” which consists of LIFE-alumni. We want to open up for new projects where they have the opportunity to do more in their home countries, says Bo Gillgren, Senior Advisor at LIFE Academy.

Raise awareness and invest in more green technology

There was a great interest and enthusiasm among the participants as the mingle continued into the late evening. There was a knowledge exchange about the purpose of LIFE Academy but also about how climate works in different countries in Latin America. One purpose was to raise thoughts about the need for environmental technical solutions needed there.

– We should invest more in green energy in Chile. For example, we have a lot of volcanoes that can generate energy. We also have a desert where the sun shines 24 hours a day and recently they have actually installed solar panels in the desert, which is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time so I’m happy about. Awareness of green technology can definitely be better, says Veronica Arriaza, from Chile.

– I think we need to spread the knowledge about simpler everyday things, e.g. how to be more environmentally friendly when we transport ourselves or how to recycle better. Today, only 7% is recycled in Colombia as there is no concept to recycle. We need to invest a lot in educating children and young adults. There is a lot to do, this seems to be a good organization with good contacts to make things happen, says Karen Santana, from Colombia.