Jonathan Alba and Dr. Greg Pogue spent the last week of September in an immersive experience in the community of Cuenca, Ecuador. They were invited by community, industry, and university leadership to help the community understand its core identity and assets while creating a plan to build an ecosystem to support innovation and new business. In 4 days, the IC2 team conducted 30+ interviews, presented findings to the mayor and industry leaders, taught a 25-person class at the University of Cuenca and hosted a workshop where citizens envisioned their future.
From the baristas to the mayor, university rectors to students, city leaders to parish/province leadership, local restaurants to established industry – the team broadly explored the rich traditions, community challenges, and familial culture that makes Cuenca unique. This project is an extension of the IC2 Institute mission to understand community identity and help communities build a sustainable future. By understanding their core identities, communities can then develop more effective strategies to attract talent, create new business and build a sustainable economy through engaged collaboration. The IC2 Institute at The University of Texas at Austin is excited to partner with the Cuenca community as it realizes its vision and acts to create its future.