This December, the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network will gather in Mérida, Mexico, for the 6th World Responsible Leaders Forum entitled “Connecting our Community.” In this series leading towards the Forum, Responsible Leaders from Mexico will present their diverse perspectives on their home country – their inspirations, challenges, and opportunities to work towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and just future. Jorge Carpio is one of them.
Jorge, what are you known for?
Jorge Carpio: I am known for being a proactive person trying to create synergies between academia and industry that will result in a positive impact for the community and the environment.
How do you inspire Responsible Leadership?
Jorge Carpio: I think that one of the most special ways to inspire Responsible Leadership is by creating an awareness of environmental protection in the people I am surrounded by, especially my students. In a classroom of some thirty students, my main goal is that every single student is aware of what is happening in our world and that the size of the action does not matter – everything contributes!
Jorge CarpioJorge Carpio was born in Mexico State and has been living in Mexico City since 2014. He is currently a Sustainability Manager at Walmart Mexico and a Professor in Sustainability at Tec de Monterrey. Jorge participated in the Responsible Leaders Forum Latin America in Merida and is a member of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network.
What is the essential leadership lesson from Mexico?
Jorge Carpio: There are many leadership lessons from Mexico and it also depends on the perspective. Small and medium-sized businesses represent the largest type of businesses in Mexico, which shows that Mexicans are very productive and proactive people, and we are open to learning more about how to lead the market in a more sustainable way.
Who is your most famous relative?
Jorge Carpio: My most famous relative is Manuel Carpio, a much recognized nineteenth-century Mexican intellectual. As a poet, doctor, philosopher, teacher, and politician, he wanted to create an impact in society and he definitely did. By 1828, he was the president of the National Congress, he was selected as one of the three members of the jury that chose the Mexican national anthem, and he is still considered the father of Mexican Romanticism.
6th World Responsible Leaders Forum in MexicoThe World Responsible Leaders Forum in Mexico (Dec 5–8, 2019) will offer a space where members of the global BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network can strengthen connections, using their skills, knowledge, and empathy to reflect on Responsible Leadership and how they can contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda. As venue, we have chosen Mérida in the Yucatan Peninsula, the center of the Americas. Formerly inhabited by the Mayans, the region offers a rich and complex history but, more importantly, is home to a thriving, diverse society facing today’s challenges and forging creative solutions. We are confident that this environment will inspire a powerful exchange among our Responsible Leaders from all over the world.
Is your work related to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda?
Jorge Carpio: Definitely, and I am glad to say that I am working from both my responsibilities to create awareness about the UN 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. At Walmart I am specifically working in terms of applying SDG 12, about responsible consumption and production, and one of my personal priorities is to support the company’s efforts to achieve the target 12.3: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”
In what ways does your work contribute to the improvement of the country?
Jorge Carpio: There are so many needs in Mexico right now and any effort from anyone anywhere is more than welcome. As a Sustainability Manager I consider myself a facilitator aiming to link different actors to amplify the positive impact with, e.g., recycling, donations, and composting.
What is the worst cliché about Mexico, and why does it survive?
Jorge Carpio: The worst cliché is about Mexicans being lazy and not productive. But I would have to say that I am proud to know many Mexicans who fight for their culture, environment, ideals, and common goals, and this is really making a difference for our country.
“I am proud to know many Mexicans who fight for their culture, environment, ideals, and common goals, and this is really making a difference for our country.”
What is the most urgent challenge in Mexico? Who can solve it?
Jorge Carpio: The most urgent challenge to solve in my country is the lack of trust. I am part of the segment of the population that is very disappointed with the actions of the government and some companies that have being abusing our resources and communities. On the other hand, I am also a witness that there are Responsible Leaders and companies that are very committed, and it requires a lot of effort just to get the trust and support from the different actors involved. Who can solve this? It will require something from everyone in Mexico. We need to trust and communicate all those good intentions and good actions that are already in place, we need to create a trustful and transparent environment!
How do you envision Mexico in 2030?
Jorge Carpio: This is a tough question. I never want to sound very pessimistic, but I want to be realistic in order to keep the relevance of everyone’s involvement. I believe that it is only with the participation of everyone that, as a society, we will be able to minimize the consequences of our actions during the last centuries. In 2030, Mexico will be a more developed country, because there will be more responsible leadership and people aiming to have social and environmental impact.
“It is only with the participation of everyone that, as a society, we will be able to minimize the consequences of our actions.”
How can a global community like the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network bring about positive change, specifically with regard to Mexico?
Jorge Carpio: As a developing country, there are some decisions that need to be taken as soon as possible so that we can preserve our natural resources. Plus, as mentioned before, we need to rebuild a trusting environment. With the support and involvement of the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network, we can show to the communities that there are very good intentions, initiatives, and projects out there, and we can invite more leaders into our network to create a bigger and faster impact.
A penguin walks through the door wearing a sombrero. What does it say and why is it there?
Jorge Carpio: Haha! As an engineer I would say that penguins cannot talk, but assuming they do, the penguin would say: Hey, what are you thinking! Be cool and keep my habitat cold as it should be! Penguins are just one of the species in danger because of climate change, and this penguin is taking the lead in calling for action from humankind.
What is your favorite Mexican dish that participants of the World Responsible Leaders Forum can look forward to?
Jorge Carpio: Tacos was my first thought, but wait - Yucatecan food is amazing! I have to say that it is one of the most diverse and tasty foods from Mexico. Cochinita pibil in any form is great to try! After you try Yucatecan food for the first time, nothing will ever be the same.