Innovation and Commitment to the Future: Presentation of the Viva Idea Schmidheiny Chair at EGADE Action Week

The aim is to innovate in action research methodologies to foster sustainable development in Latin America.


On May 15, EGADE Business School—Tecnológico de Monterrey and VIVA Idea presented the VIVA Idea Schmidheiny Chair in Sustainable Futures during the second edition of EGADE Action Week, marking a renewed commitment to sustainability and innovation in business education.

This event underscored the critical role of academia in redefining business towards a positive, lasting impact in Latin America.

Osmar Zavaleta, associate dean of Research at the Undergraduate Business School and EGADE Business School—Tecnológico de Monterrey, highlighted the importance of this strategic collaboration with VIVA Idea, which focuses on innovating action research methodologies to promote sustainable development in the region.

Zavaleta explained that the VIVA Idea Schmidheiny Chair in Sustainable Futures at EGADE Business School is aligned with the school's purpose: “To rethink the future of business to have a positive impact on the sustainable development of Latin America.”

Urs Jäger, CEO of VIVA Idea, emphasized the urgency of integrating sustainable approaches into the education of future business leaders and proposed a model that combines high-level research with practical applications.

“If we want to see the future, we need to start preparing today," he commented, inviting people to implement innovative strategies through active collaboration.

The event included an expert panel, moderated by Felipe Symmes, professor and leader of the VIVA Idea Schmidheiny Chair in Sustainable Futures at EGADE Business School, and with the participation of Alejandra Rivero, director of Sustainability and Social Responsibility at Banregio, and Gabriel Rivera, CEO of Altitude.

The panelists discussed how academia and business practices can interconnect to expand their social and environmental impact.

Symmes stressed the importance of integrating impact-oriented research into academic programs.

For her part, Rivero discussed how banks can contribute to women’s financial inclusion and to measuring the social impact of their products and services.

She also pointed out how training and methodologies developed by international organizations have been key in measuring the social impact of banking practices.

“The UN has developed specific methodologies for banks, which help us understand how to measure the impact we are having on our clients,” the director stated, emphasizing the need for greater collaboration between academia and banking.

Meanwhile, Rivera shared his background as a social entrepreneur and the challenges he has faced when integrating sustainable and social business concepts.

The entrepreneur described how a lack of familiarity with social entrepreneurship initially complicated his interactions with academia and how specialized programs have been pivotal for his development.

The presentation of the VIVA Idea Schmidheiny Chair in Sustainable Futures at EGADE Business School drew attention to the importance of collaboration between academia and the business sector to promote practical and innovative solutions that address current social and environmental challenges.

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