Luis Javier Castro

Luis Javier Castro defines himself as an entrepreneur and activist. He is the Founder and CEO of Mesoamérica Investments, a Private Equity Firm from where he has led investments across Latin America for the last 25 years in fields such as Renewable Energy, Telecommunications, Restaurants, Dairy Industry among others, with world-class partners such as OTPP, ACTIS, Bain Capital and large business groups in the region.

Luis Javier is a member of the Board of Directors of Grupo de Energía de Bogotá and Codensa, as well as of different companies in Mesoamerica’s portfolio. He is the Founder of Yo Emprendedor, an NGO dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship in Central America, and President Emeritus of AED (Alianza Empresarial para el Desarrollo), an organization that he presided for 10 years and brings together more than 150 companies in search of a more prosperous, inclusive and respectful environment.

He is a fellow of the Aspen Institute, a member of YPO, a member of the acquisition committee of Tate Modern and participates in multiple boards of development organizations. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the largest NGO in the world, with a budget of 5 billion dollars a year, United Way Worldwide, and a member of the G50 group.

Due to his business career, El Financiero, a Costa Rican newspaper, has twice named him Businessman of the Year, a title he currently holds.

The role of teachers in educational innovation

Juan Manuel Lopera, born and raised in Medellin for 23 years, tells us how despite the fact that the violence in his neighborhood took the lives of several relatives during his childhood and was about to deviate him from the path of peace several times, it also gave him the perspective that today makes him the leader of a project that transforms education in the world with technology. Together with his team of more than 250 people and direct presence in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Argentina, and India, Juan Manuel has decided to believe that he can leave a mark on education even though for economic reasons he had to drop out of university when he just finished it. He began to be later recognized as Illustrious Bellanita during the 100 years of the municipality, a model businessman, Medellín Chamber of Commerce, declared the most outstanding young businessman in Antioquia, TOYP International Junior Chamber, an award for the most innovative company in the country two consecutive years, recognized with the order of knight of the congress of the Republic, TR35 of the MIT University as an innovator of the year and other important international recognitions for innovation and education.