#38: Valentina Velandia on Being An Accidental Entrepreneur

My guest today is Valentina Velandia. Valentina is co-founder of Capacity, a Swiss-based organisation founded in 2015 with the objective of achieving radical inclusion in Zurich and beyond.

Born in Colombia, Valentina is a specialist in gender policy and has studied and worked in the US, Singapore and Europe. Capacity serves as a tool for pursuing her deepest interests in migration and social inclusion.

I spoke to Valentina face-to-face at the United Nations in Geneva, where we were both speaking at a conference on social innovation.

We talk about being born in a boat in the middle of the Amazon river and spending her first 3 years living in the jungle, about her name Valentina meaning ‘the brave’ – named after (and has tattoo of) astronaut Valentina Tereshkova. We talk about her mother and grandmother as strong female role models, and of her turning point for wanting to focus on feminist theory at university whilst doing communication studies. We talk about her background as an elite volleyball player being responsible for her goal-setting behaviour and her ambition, and about her becoming an accidental entrepreneur out of commitment to the gender agenda and a lack of work.

Tony Cooke

Tony Cooke is an internationally-recognised sustainability leader with over 25 years spent at the nexus of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship, developing and executing strategies for business, governments and not-for-profit organisations across a wide variety of sectors. He now manages a portfolio of interests including; senior corporate counsel, executive coaching, non-executive roles and thought leadership through a combination of research, writing and podcasting. Visit my personal blog at http://tonycooke.wordpress.com

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