Author: Toni Nanni

Academic Forum for the New Constitution in Chile

The Harvard DRCLAS Regional Office in Santiago de Chile has organized an academic forum, sponsored by the Luksic Scholars Foundation, which is set to follow the constitutional process in Chile over its two years of duration and provide open, high-caliber conversations about specific and relevant issues that Chileans will face as the country moves through this process.

The initiative was launched in December 2020 and has since then held five events through which varying perspective shave been discussed regarding the current work of the Constitutional Convention, such as representativeness, the future of Chile’s economic model, and the voting of the regulation that will govern this process. Academics, professionals, and opinion leaders from across the political spectrum, and from around the world, have participated in these conversations.

The forum is chaired by Steve Levitsky, Director of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS), Marcela Rentería, Executive Director of the DRCLAS Regional Office in Chile, and Jimena Codina, Manager of the Andes & Southern Cone Program; and has an Advisory Committee composed of seven academics, six of whom have completed the Luksic Scholars Foundation’s “Harvard DRCLAS Luksic Visiting Scholars” program:

  • Cristián Rodríguez Chiffelle – Former Head of Trade and Investment Policy, World Economic Forum; Former Executive Director, InvestChile.
  • Claudio Fuentes – Professor, Universidad Diego Portales; Constitutional Laboratory Coordinator, Universidad Diego Portales.
  • Verónica Figueroa – Professor at the Institute of Public Affairs (INAP), Universidad de Chile.
  • Juan Pablo Luna – Professor, School of Government and the Institute of Political Science, Universidad Católica.
  • Sebastián Soto – Professor, Department of Public Law; Director of the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, Universidad Católica.
  • Sol Serrano – National History Award 2018; Professor of History, Universidad Católica.
  • Claudia Heiss – Professor and Head of the Political Science Department and & Institute ofPublic Affairs (INAP), Universidad de Chile.

More than 150 participants, representing over 24 countries including Chile, the United States, Peru, Spain, and Mexico, have participated in the events.

The topics that have been in each webinar are as follows:

The first event was the launch of the forum, held on December 2nd 2020, in which Claudia Heiss, Steven Levitsky, Juan Pablo Luna, and Sebastián Soto introduced the initiative and its main objective: to debate and discuss issues such as social rights, the future of Chile’s economic model, restoring legitimacy to a political system that has lost public trust, the promises and limitations of a “green” Constitution, the potential role of direct and participatory democratic institutions, and how to improve democratic representation, especially that of women, indigenous peoples, and other historically under-represented minorities.

The second event, “Constituent Elections in Chile: How to provide representation during a representation crisis?”, was held on January 29th, 2021 and discussed how the public trust in political parties has reached historic lows and how the massive protest movement of 2019 led to the process of drafting a new Constitution. Toward the end of the event, new alternatives of representation were raised, along with the kinds of consequences these could have on Chilean democracy.

On March 19th, 2021, the forum’s third webinar titled “Constitutional change and social demands: Can the gap be closed?” took place. It analyzed whether the process of drafting a new Constitution could effectively address the social demands that have shaken Chile and restore public confidence after the social outburst of 2019.

“Why should you care about the Convention’s regulation?” was the main question proposed and discussed at the forum’s fourth event which was held on May 4th, 2021. The speakers debated whether the internal procedures that will govern the operations of the Constitutional Convention will have an impact on both the way in which Chile’s new constitution is written, as well as the content of its provisions.

Lastly, the forum’s most recent event, “The new Constitution and the Chilean Economy: A break with the past?“, was held on June 16th, 2021 in which Dani Rodrik, Claudia Sanhueza, Rodrigo Valdés, and Rodrigo Vergara addressed concerns that arose regarding the future of Chile’s economic model, as well as the opportunities and constraints the Convention faces as they rewrite or adjust economic rules, especially after May 16th elections, which ended in a decisive support of independent representatives over political parties, and thus, turning politically to the left.

The organization of this academic forum is in collaboration with:

  • Faculty of Law, Universidad Católica
  • Faculty of Government, Universidad Católica
  • Institute of Political Science, Faculty of History, Geography and Political Science, Universidad Católica
  • Institute of Public Affairs, Universidad de Chile
  • Instituto Milenio Fundamentos de los Datos
  • Constitutional Laboratory, Universidad Diego Portales
  • Harvard Chilean Student Association

For more information about this forum, you can visit as well as Harvard DRCLAS’ official YouTube channel to access the previous sessions’ full recordings or their respective summarized versions. You can also check out the following podcast, supported by Harvard DRCLAS, which references topics and ideas discussed throughout this forum:

Young professionals win scholarship to study at prestigious French university

A lawyer from Antofagasta and a business professional from Santiago were accepted by the university Sciences Po, in Paris, and were awarded the Quiñenco Scholarship. One of many initiatives from the Luksic Scholars Foundation, the scholarship covers tuition and living costs for the duration of the students’ chosen academic programs.

Javiera Charpentier and Pinhas Zamorano, recipients of the “Sciences Po Quiñenco Scholarship for Chile,” will begin their studies at the end of August at the Paris campus of the prestigious Sciences Po university. This scholarship is one of many initiatives from the Luksic Scholars Foundation and will cover all costs for Chileans accepted by this academic institution during their time at the school.

The young Chileans were chosen for the scholarship by Sciences Po, following a university and scholarship application and selection process conducted exclusively by the school without any involvement from Quiñenco or the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

Javiera Charpentier, who holds a Law degree from Universidad de Chile, was accepted into the Master’s program in Economic Law. According to her, she chose Sciences Po “because of its outstanding academic reputation around the world and, above all, its curriculum and diverse student body.” She also emphasized how engaging with world-class students and scholars will contribute to her professional development.

Pinhas Zamorano, who holds a degree in Business Administration from Universidad de Chile, will be pursuing a Master of Public Policy with a specialization in Economics and Public Policy. The prestige of this French institution was one of the main motivations behind his decision to attend Sciences Po. “Having a multidisciplinary curriculum and classmates from around the world will definitely enrich the experience of working towards a Master in Public Policy. Both factors broaden one’s outlook and help you see things from different perspectives, which is extremely important when it comes to drafting and implementing public policies,” asserted Pinhas.

Francisco Pérez Mackenna, CEO of Quiñenco, noted the importance of developing Chile’s human capital. “This scholarship is a contribution to drive human capital development in our country. Building new capacities, enabling academic growth, and cultivating the intellectual and academic curiosity of young people is crucial to developing any society.”

Javiera Charpentier and Pinhas Zamorano will join Andreas Guillén, who became the first recipient of the “Sciences Po Quiñenco Scholarship for Chile” in 2020. Varying from the current recipients, Guillén is enrolled in a combined undergraduate/graduate program at the Euro-Latin American campus of Sciences Po, located in the city of Poitiers, and will be in France for five years.

About Sciences Po

Founded in 1872, Sciences Po is an international research university, both selective and open to the world, ranked among the finest institutions in the fields of humanities and social sciences. According to the prestigious QS 2021 ranking, it ranks second in the world in political science and over 40% of its student body is foreign, including undergraduate and graduate scholars.

With almost 600 Latin American students enrolled in its multiple programs, agreements with 48 universities in the region, 6 dual degrees or joint programs with Latin American universities, and a specific campus dedicated to Latin America, Sciences Po is one of the leading European universities in political science.

The university has more than 80,000 alumni, several of which have held prominent public leadership positions such as heads of state, high-ranking officials in international organizations, politicians, business owners, and writers.

Farewell letter from our Executive Director, Jeff Swiryn, and the introduction of our newest team member

“For the past 18 months, we have been forced to live with an unprecedented level of uncertainty and doubt. Uncertainty surrounding our professional commitments, doubts about our personal lives and safety, and even about the fundamental systems in our world and how we interact with our communities and the environment.

In the Luksic Scholars Foundation, we have tried to maintain a pragmatic approach to these uncertainties. As you know, we had to cancel and postpone many programs and activities, but we also added two team members and created new scholarships at Stanford, London School of Economics, MIT, and Sciences Po, in addition to launching our first Fund to provide more support to the network. 

On a personal level, I have certainly not been immune to the uncertainty and unpredictability! My first baby was born three hours before the end of 2020, I earned an MBA from MIT, and now with mixed emotions I am stepping down as Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

I am extremely proud of the work that we have done as a team, especially since the start of 2020. I have had the unforgettable opportunity and privilege to lead this organization from its organic roots to the consolidated foundation that it is now, thanks to the foresight of the Luksic family, the hard work of my team, and most importantly, thanks to the constant dedication and engagement from you – the Luksic Scholars.

One thing we are now certain of is that uncertainty is a given. But I am confident that the Luksic Scholars network and the foundation are built upon fundamental values and supported by the people that will allow this organization to thrive and continue to develop in exciting ways under new leadership. 

The time has come for a refreshed vision and direction. On that note, I am thrilled to introduce Isabella Luksic as the next Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation. Isabella has helped lead the transformation of the Luksic Foundation during the past year and has worked with us behind the scenes consistently during this difficult year. Please join me in welcoming her!

Thank you to all the members of this network for your support and contributions over the years. I look forward to keeping in touch personally and to seeing what happens next in this special community!
With gratitude,
Jeff Swiryn.”

New Luksic Scholars Fund will support 13 beneficiaries with funding for executive courses or research projects

A total fund of US $ 46,000 will be distributed among the 13 winners who have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad, and come from four countries around the globe.

The Luksic Scholars Fund (LSF) is a new funding opportunity, for up to US$ 5,000, offered by the Luksic Scholars Foundation to members of its network – A.K.A Scholars-, in line with the commitment to support the continuous training and personal development of the Scholars community.

Luksic Scholars is part of the Luksic Foundation and has been supporting men and women to continue their higher studies for more than 20 years through scholarships and educational exchanges. Since 2000, more than 20 programs have been developed and 1,600 scholarship recipients have been supported, 900 of whom are now actively part of the Scholars network.

The LSF was created in response to comments and requests for financial support made by the members of the Scholars network, thus emerging as a financing alternative specially designed so that they can take advantage of programmatic or academic opportunities presented during the current pandemic. This Fund offers two sources of funding: one to support continuing professional development, through online executive education; and the other to support innovative and small-scale academic research projects, in any of their stages.

“This initiative will allow us to continue connecting with the Scholars, and also connecting them with their peers and relevant institutions”,points out Jeff Swiryn, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

In this first edition, the initiative has 36 virtual applications, both in English and Spanish, which were first evaluated by the Luksic Scholars team through a SAFe evaluation (Suitability, Admissibility and Feasibility.)

In the case of research projects, these were also evaluated by an external Evaluation Panel. The committee, composed by Xue Jian, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University; Steve Reifenberg, Associate Professor, Chair in International Development, University of Notre Dame; Georges de Bourguignon Covarrubias, Investment Director, ASSET AGF; and Stephanie Dazin, Director of Nexo Internacional, from the Economics and Business college at University of Chile, evaluated the applications using criteria of clarity and coherence of ideas; originality and creativity of the project; demonstration of the impact of the project; and feasibility of delivery.

After the evaluations, about 30% of the applications, that is 13 out of 36, were awarded funds, thus reaching a total delivered of US$ 46,000.

“This is an opportunity to help Scholars from all over Chile and anywhere in the world, to get through this 2021, so they can expand their international networks. We look forward to a new iteration in the future, once we evaluate the real impact of this fund on the professional and academic profiles of the winner Scholars“, explains Ben Thompson, Project Coordinator at Luksic Scholars.

The winners

The 13 winners of the LSF have carried out their programs supported by Luksic Scholars between 2007 and 2019, both in Chile and abroad. The beneficiaries have participated in eight different programs and come from four countries around the globe.

Simon Smart, an English citizen residing in Chile, participant in the Babson Luksic Fellows program, in 2013, was awarded the fund to carry out the course: “Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies”, from the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School.

Ivana Marsic, Croatian, who completed the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education for Croatia program in 2007, will receive support for her professional career, which she will use to take “Disciplined Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Approach for Building Innovative Products and Ventures”, at the renowned MIT. “I am passionate about entrepreneurship and the process of creating value from scratch. My professional goal is to develop an entrepreneurial generator in Croatia: a company that creates start-ups, which will have to balance experimentation and learning with the selection and implementation of a strategy, through internal teams and scale them globally. The key is to understand what idea is worthwhile and how to maximize the effort to achieve success, “says Ivana.

The Chilean teacher, Francisco Castañeda, was part of the Babson Case Writing Teaching Workshop program in 2010, and will now join the “Business, International Relations and The Political Economy”, a course offered by The London School of Economics and Political Science. “Understanding the major trends in business at a global level allows me to acquire a more concrete vision about how countries like Chile should insert themselves in the international arena. This knowledge will be transmitted to my students,” he explained.

Another Chilean professor who benefited is Alexis Celis, who was part of Babson’s Entrepreneurship Educators Symposium 3 years ago. Celis will carry out the executive education program “Venture Capital: Investing in Early-Stage Startups”, dictated by Columbia Business School.

Belén Guede is a prominent engineer from the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Chile and, currently, Product Owner at Zippedi, an Artificial Intelligence start-up for retail. In 2019, he made an exchange to China for 6 months, as part of the Luksic Scholarship for Chile-China Undergraduate Exchange, and applied to take the “Diploma in Chinese Studies”, also from the University of Chile. “The impact of the course on my professional career will be reflected in developing applicable capacities both in the public and private, national and international world, as well as articulating and carrying out commercial activities and inter-institutional cooperation with different actors in China,” says Belén.

The Chilean teacher, Paulina Gutiérrez, who traveled to the United States in 2017 within the framework of the Babson Luksic Fellows program, will take the “Forming Directors” program, taught by the Adolfo Ibáñez University.

The Chilean Alejandra Astorquiza, participant in 2019 of the Babson Symposium in its last face-to-face edition, will carry out a course on “Digital Marketing: strategy, processes and ROI”, promoted by the IESE Business School of the University of Navarra.

Among those who will receive support for his research is Juan Cristóbal Opazo, who was awarded the fund to carry out his study “Evolution of the N-terminal region of the Golgi phosphoprotein 3 (GOLPH3) oncoprotein”. Opazo, made his Visiting Fellowship at Harvard DRCLAS, in 2016, supported by the Luksic Scholars.

Likewise, Josefa Villarroel, Director of the Entrepreneurship Policies Observatory, who deepened her research on this subject at Babson College during 2016, is developing the project “Ara o te hakake – Discovering the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in Rapa Nui”. “This research project will positively impact my professional and personal development. Additionally, it will contribute to my purpose of contributing to the development of more inclusive and diverse ecosystems, this being the engine of my move to Rapa Nui in 2020”, said Josefa.

Dr. Xiao Chen, of Chinese origin and today located in Canada, is working as Professor of Management at the University of Prince Edward Island. Dr. Chen was part of the exchange of MBA students under the Conducting Business in Chile program in 2016. Chen will use the funds for his research project “Climate change and S&P 500 Organizations’ social, environmental, and governance (ESG) performance: A socioecological exploration.” Dr. Chen notes: “This project cultivates an academic network, beyond the Luksic Scholars community, connecting truly distinctive disciplines of the natural and social sciences.”

Chilean Alejandro Cataldo, who traveled to Babson in 2013, will allocate financial support to his project “Effects of family and economic factors on techno-stress in students due to remote learning. Does inequality generate techno-stress?”

On the other hand, Chilean professor Sebastián Uriarte, who continued working in the area of ​​entrepreneurship, after participating in the Babson Chilean Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators SEE in 2015, develops an investigation called “Working with Hybrid Entrepreneurs”. “This project is significant for my academic career, as it will correspond to the final research that I must complete to receive my doctorate. This investigation began in March 2021, being in an initial stage, so the Luksic Scholars Fund will be fundamental to make its implementation viable”, said Sebastián.

Finally, Loreto Cox, PhD in Political Science from MIT, supported by Luksic Scholars during her PhD that began in 2013, is working on “More Options, but Less Willing to Vote When Already at the Ballot Box: District Magnitude and Turnout after the End of the Chilean Binomial System.”

44 Chilean teachers will participate in Babson College’s Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators

  • Between June 7 and the 17, the tenth edition of the “Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators” will take place, led by experts from Babson College, the worldwide leading institution in the entrepreneurial field.
  • The aim of the symposium is to train university professors from all over Chile, transferring the entrepreneurial spirit to them, at the same time that they are prepared through the use of pedagogical tools that they can then implement in their own courses.
  • More than 400 teachers in the country have been part of this program in the last 10 years.

The “Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators” is held in Chile by Babson College, a leading institution in teaching entrepreneurship, in alliance with the Luksic Scholars Foundation, and seeks to teach faculty from throughout the country, tools related to the entrepreneurial profile in addition to innovative educational practices, providing a unique opportunity to all regions of the country.

This program will be carried out digitally between Monday 7 and Thursday 17 of June, and will be conducted by renowned professors Andrew Corbett and Matthew Allen, from Babson, international experts in entrepreneurship and innovation and how to bring these topics to the classrooms.

This is the tenth version of the symposium in Chile, although the first to be held remotely at a national level, after nine face-to-face editions between 2011 and 2019. On this occasion, there is a cohort of 44 Chilean university professors distributed among Santiago, Valparaíso, Concepción, Talca, Coyhaique and other cities in the country.

Some of the participant faculty during this virtual edition

In May, it was held the third edition of Antofagasta version of the symposium, which is exclusively dedicated to teachers from universities located in the northern macrozone of the country.

The symposium looks for the attendees to teach classes more effectively and innovatively in their university classrooms, delivering different teaching methodologies, through effective learning, experimentation, and creativity; and a deep understanding of business, which Babson has called “Entrepreneurial Thought and Action” ®.

The proposal implies an enthusiastic and dynamic participation of the Chilean faculty, who will spend two weeks deconstructing concepts and definitions, while delving into the entrepreneurial mindset.

Professor Andrew Corbett, President of the Entrepreneurship Division, Director of the SEE-Chile Program and Distinguished Professor of Paul T. Babson says that: “Over the past decade, I have taken away so much from working with the Chilean faculty members in the Luksic Scholars-Babson College Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) program.  The entire experience is a great reminder that there are talented, creative brilliant people everywhere.  And that is true within Chile as well.  We have had the pleasure not just to engage with folks in Santiago and at the biggest and best-known schools, but we have been to many cities – La Serena, Concepción, Puerto Montt, Temuco, Antofagasta, and more. And we’ve worked with folks at all types of schools… And the creativity is amazing.  The passion of the people of Latin America is well-known across the globe and I have seen this each and every year I travel back to Chile.”

Andrew Corbett

Corbett, excited but regretting not being able to set foot on Chilean soil this time, adds: “That emotion and engagement is critical because people learn best when their emotions are tapped into. So, one of my biggest takeaways has been a reminder from my Chilean colleagues to be my true authentic self; to bring my emotions and passion into the classroom.  This year has been the same.  Even though we are engaging and working together online, the creativity and passion comes through.  It is truly fantastic! I know that students will learn best when I am my true self and I have my Chilean colleagues to thank for that.”

For nearly three decades, Babson College has been singled out as an example of developing and empowering academic excellence.

This symposium for entrepreneurship educators has already prepared nearly 4,500 educators from more than 1,100 institutions around the world, to form a growing group of innovative teachers in the field of entrepreneurship, who understand the importance of creating connections between theory and practice in education.

Chile- China Exchange program is extended for 3 new years

  • The agreement with the Facultad de Economía y Negocios of the University of Chile will allow 60 undergraduate students to access the scholarship.
  • The program is renewed for three more periods.
  • The call for the 2022 period is already open.

The Luksic Scholarship for Chile-China Undergraduate Exchange program, of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, extends for three more years, thus affirming the commitment with the Facultad de Economía y Negocios (FEN) of the University of Chile, and allowing 10 undergraduate students per semester, and for six semesters, to have the possibility of studying and living in China.

The Luksic Chile-China scholarship allows FEN students to spend a semester in the eastern country, either at the Guanghua School of Management, at Peking University (located in Beijing); or at the School of Management at Fudan University, located in Shanghai.

To date, 39 students from the three FEN careers have carried out their exchange in China on the basis of their academic and personal merit.

This year, the call is resumed for the period 2022, after a two-year hold due to the pandemic.

Regarding the impact generated by participating in this type of calls, the Director of the International Nexus of the FEN Undergraduate Schools, Stephanie Dazin, points out that “This program develops in greater depth cooperation links between leading business schools in China and the FEN, so that students can benefit and gain strength in academic and cultural research; study exchange, and study tours. In addition, it seeks to increase the intercultural, linguistic and networking approach between FEN students and students from China.”

The call is open, and will be available until July 2. More information can be found at:

Babson College will train teachers from the north of Chile in entrepreneurship and education subjects

  • Between May 3rd and the 13th, the third version of the seminar “Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators, Antofagasta” will be held by experts from this world-renowned institution.

50 teachers from Arica to La Serena will go through a very enriching pedagogical experience in the third version of the “Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators”, organized between the Universidad de Antofagasta, through its Office and Transfer and Licensing (OTL-UA) and the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

The seminar will take place online between Monday 3rd and Thursday 13th of May, and will be hosted by faculty Andrew Corbett and Matthew Allen from Babson College, two expert professors in topics related to innovation and entrepreneurship, especially taken to different areas, such as the pedagogical and the educational.
In this version of the program, teachers from the universities of Antofagasta, La Serena, Atacama, Arturo Prat, Tarapacá and Universidad Católica del Norte, previously selected, will participate to receive pedagogical content, tips and tools, for them to improve their teaching in a more effective and innovative way in the classroom.
For this, a series of sessions will be carried out, such as “Search for needs for the generation of Ideas” and “The mentality for entrepreneurial education and teaching of entrepreneurial thinking and action”, among other important topics.
The global contingency will not be absent: The “Teaching in a Pandemic: Online and other modalities” session will reinforce the pedagogical tools of teachers and their adaptation to the new teaching formats that the current Covid-19 pandemic requires.


For Alejandra Portillo, director of the Office of Transfer and Licensing (OTL-UA), developing this program generates multiple benefits for the educational community.
“In order to generate development in the educational field, it is essential to be able to provide tools to teachers and specialize in teaching entrepreneurship and new technologies. That is why we are so happy to be able to carry out a new version of this program together with world-class experts and an institution such as Babson College that ensures quality and innovation in its content.”
For the OTL-UA director it is very relevant “to be able to support our peers from other universities, thanks to the support of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, which translates into 200 scholarships in the 5 years that this program lasts.”
While Jeff Swiryn, Executive Director of the Luksic Scholars Foundation, states: “We are very happy to be able to provide a new edition of this recognized Babson program in Chile. Even going through this pandemic, we want to validate our commitment to education and professional development, and this is a great opportunity for this, for 50 teachers from the north of the country will acquire knowledge of experts in entrepreneurship, and then spread good practices to their students and their communities.”
Susana Rubilar, Deputy Director of Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship at OTL-UA, said that “this program is essential to promote and develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem within the university, since instances like these allow us to reach teachers from. The entrepreneurship perspective, which they will then share with their students, transmitting the spirit of entrepreneurship.”
The online version of this program has been able to adapt to new educational demands “and we hope that all participants can enjoy and learn new practices that they can then apply in their virtual classrooms,” she added.


Babson College is recognized as the number one university in teaching entrepreneurship worldwide, and stands out as an example of the development and empowerment of academic excellence.
The agreement signed with this entity contributes to teaching these subjects in a more effective and innovative way in the classroom, delivering case studies under different teaching methodologies, in addition to effective learning.
This program has already prepared more than 4,400 educators from more than 1,100 institutions around the world, to form a growing group of innovative teachers in the field of entrepreneurship, who understand the importance of creating connections between theory and practice in teaching.
A commitment that will undoubtedly help improve the quality of education in the northern macrozone, thanks to the joint work carried out between the Office of Transfer and Licensing of the University of Antofagasta (OTL-UA) and the Luksic Scholars Foundation.

MIT SLOAN Latin America Office shares its 2020 highlights

Even given these difficult times, the Office continues to carry out its mission of sharing MIT knowledge and research in the region, despite the challenge of being physically distanced from alumni, partners, students, and our audience in Latin America.

Installed in Santiago in 2013, MIT Sloan established then its first physical presence outside the United States in Chile. This initiative allows for the enhancement of MIT’s presence in the region and plays a key role in advancing the Institute’s strategic goals.

The mission of the MIT Sloan Latin America Office (MSLAO) reflects MIT’s commitment to improving the world through the development of principled, innovative leaders who are prepared to manage—and lead—in a complex global economy.

The MSLAO supports activities focused on energy, water, and sustainability; innovation and entrepreneurship; and growth and productivity.

Below is a snapshot of some of the activities and highlights of the past year.


In the beginning of April, the MSLAO moved its regional activities online. Since then, the MSLAO has led or been involved in more than 40 virtual events ranging in topics from the macroeconomic implications of the pandemic to energy and sustainability to artificial intelligence and cybersecurity and education and e-mobility, among many others. We have collaborated with a range of institutions from the private and public sectors as well as foundations to offer these webinars. To view recordings from some of these past events, please visit our YouTube channel. 


The MSLAO’s engagements were not limited to virtual interactions. MIT faculty and staff made use of their seed funds from last year to conduct research projects in Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. In 2020, the MSLAO received the most applications ever for seed funds and awarded six projects funds for research starting in 2021.

100K LATAM          

In 2020, the MSLAO in collaboration with the Instituto Tecnológico de Buenos Aires (ITBA) launched the third edition of the 100K LATAM. The entire competition was conducted virtually with over 3,400 entrepreneurs across 16 countries in Latin America from 1,385 startups. On November 17th, the winners of the regional competition were named:

Launch – Eco Panplas (Brazil)

Accelerate – EcoScience Lab (Mexico)

Pitch – BioSynáptica (Argentina)


In the beginning of 2020, the inaugural class of the MIT Sloan and Universidad de Chile Data Analytics Certficate ended a successful first year of the program with a two-week visit to Boston/Cambridge where they participated in a variety of data analytics-related courses taught by renowned MIT and MIT Sloan faculty. To learn more about their experience, please click here.

The second cohort of students began their classes entirely online this past July. Their two-week immersion, which would have taken place at MIT in January 2021, has been rescheduled to July in the hope that they will be able to travel to the United States and have a safe and pleasant on-campus experience in the summer.


To keep up to date on MIT’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the research being conducted to help confront the pandemic, information can be found at the following two links:

Designer, MBA, entrepreneur and mother: Luksic Scholar Catalina Hernández shows how ideas can become business

Catalina Hernández Infante, Luksic Scholar from Chile, who participated in both Conducting Business in China (CMIX) in 2009, and then in the Babson Chilean Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators (SEE) in 2017, received her Bachelor Degree in Design, followed by an MBA from Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.

She’s also an entrepreneur, known for being the founder of Kaikai, a design souvenir brand in Chile, which she has sold earlier this year.

“During my MBA, I realized that this idea I had when I was 15 years old, to make beautiful souvenirs and designs, was not only just an idea but a business opportunity.”

Catalina teaches an Entrepreneurship course at the Business School of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago.

– You’re a designer and an entrepreneur; can you tell us about your journey? What inspired you to take this path?

“When I graduated from Pontificia Universidad Católica with my Bachelor’s in Design, I had wanted to start working in museums and in cultural projects, as my interests were in these fields: art and culture, cinema, and exhibitions. So, I started working for museums at a little design studio, and I really loved my job. It was great for a designer to be able to see my projects become a reality because, as a design student, you make lots of renders and projects, but the semester ends and your project is like if it said ‘bye-bye.’ Luckily, I’ve been able to see my projects come to life. 

One day, out of the blue, my boss said, “Catalina, I’m tired and I want to close the studio” and I responded, “let’s be partners.” Mind you, at that time, I had never imagined being an entrepreneur, a consultant, or a freelancer. He said “no, no, no”, until one day he came to me and said “yes”, so we started a studio.

I was the one doing invoices, writing out checks, and learning how to look for new customers and new projects… I remember making these big spreadsheets, and it was in that moment, that I realized I was truly an entrepreneur. 

A few years later, I entered the MBA program at Pontificia Universidad Católica, because I had realized how little I knew about business and, in my 2nd year of the master, I had the opportunity to go to China [through the Conducting Business in China (CMIX) program through the Luksic Scholars Foundation]. During my MBA, I realized that this idea I had when I was 15 years old, to make beautiful souvenirs and designs, was not only just an idea -but a business opportunity.”

(…) it was great to be selected as part of that group and to go abroad, because I felt valued. I was a young woman, a designer, and still was able to be in a completely different environment.”

Throughout my MBA program, I also had a full-time job; it was a very busy time. Then I started working on Kaikai with my same partner. I quit my job at the little studio, Al Tres, and started working full-time at Kaikai to get funding and development and, ultimately, to look for sales points.

In Kaikai, I did most everything but I’m not an illustrator, even though I developed all of the prototypes. I was the main creator and, in the beginning, I was working alone. We were then 6 people. When we started 10 years ago (in 2011), there wasn’t much of a market for what we were looking to do, and also in terms of competitors. Now there’s a lot more.”

-What was the best part of your Conducting Business in China (CMIX) program experience?

“This program was an amazing opportunity to cross the world. At that time, MBA programs were mostly intended for male engineering students who were employees at big companies. That was the average profile, so it was great to be selected as part of that group and to go abroad, because I felt valued. I was a young woman, a designer, and still was able to be in a completely different environment (to go to a place so physically far from Chile and culturally different as well). To this day, more than 10 years later, we still have a WhatsApp group – we are all friends. It’s a community.”

And, what was the best part of your Babson SEE program experience?

“I’m a part-time entrepreneurship teacher and I teach from the perspective of an entrepreneur, not necessarily as an academic as I don’t write papers or such – I’m hands-on. This has been a great compliment. I still teach today in the undergrad program. I went to Viña del Mar for the Babson experience and it was a very useful experience for me because they have a different way of thinking about entrepreneurship – it was very personal. They ask you to think about yourself, it wasn’t just about methodology or case studies, but more about who you are.”

– What advice would you give to fellow Luksic Scholars, especially those who are entrepreneurs?

“It’s very important to let things flow because, ultimately, I think things will happen regardless – and sometimes, as an entrepreneur, you’re very stressed, pushing to get everything done, but sometimes you have to let things flow. It doesn’t mean that you’re not working hard, you have to work hard, but you must trust your gut and intuition. It’s a mix and balance between hard work and trying to be more zen and trusting your intuition.”

– What’s coming next?

“Well, I’m a mother of a 2-year-old, I sold my company, and I still have my part-time job as a teacher. Since my son isn’t going into school, I’ve been able to spend a lot of quality time with him. I’m enjoying this time right now. I’ve been in the working world since I graduated university – as a designer and an entrepreneur owning a business – and you always have to ‘push, push, push…‘, so this is the first time in my life where I can say ‘I know where my job ends‘, and that’s great.
Now, my two cousins and I are starting to make the first MVPs for a new fresh milk business from free and happy cows linked to our family’s dairy farm.”

Welcoming the first generation of Luksic Scholars to LSE

The new Luksic scholarship supports postgraduate students from Chile joining the School of Public Policy at LSE.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge blow that threatened my plans to study at LSE, and I wouldn’t have been able to be here today without this scholarship.” Olivia Mullins.

The first cohort of outstanding young policymakers from Chile have started their LSE studies, thanks to a new Scholarship Fund supported by the Luksic family.

Established to provide financial aid to Chilean students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) or the Master of Public Policy (MPP) at LSE, the scholarships are needs-based and support ten beneficiaries per year. The programme offers an extraordinary opportunity for talented young professionals to gain knowledge and skills they will later use to improve lives and livelihoods through policymaking.

In the midst of exceptionally challenging global circumstances created by COVID-19, the scholarships are already having a profound impact on the students whose LSE experience has just begun. We are delighted to meet members of the first cohort of Luksic Scholars, hear how they are settling in at LSE, and learn about their plans for the future.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was a huge blow that threatened my plans to study at LSE, and I wouldn’t have been able to be here today without this scholarship. The courses I am taking are both fascinating and challenging. I’ve met people from every corner of the world, and with a wide variety of experiences and outlooks.”

Olivia Mullins
(Master of Public Administration 2021)

“Coming to LSE to study this programme has always been my dream. LSE’s culture and community represent a unique mix of international backgrounds. The active student life, public lectures, and exposure to diverse political views are teaching me as much as the courses. My long-term goal is to become a Chilean Congresswoman. Deep in my heart, I think I can add tremendous value to transform Chile into a truly developed economy.”

Maria Josefina Hubner
(Master of Public Administration 2021)

“This scholarship was my only option to become part of LSE. I am very grateful for this opportunity, and I am determined to make the most out of this experience. After my graduation, I will work to translate the knowledge received into efficient public reforms to ensure equality of opportunities in Chile and drive social change.”

Maria Ignacia Pinto Retamal
(Master of Public Administration  2021)

“I started my studies only a month ago, and I am deeply impressed by how much I have learned so far. LSE is a modern and global university where you learn from great professors and brilliant classmates from all around the world. I am thrilled with my decision to come here; I feel challenged and motivated.”

Ignacio Loeser
(Master of Public Administration 2022)

“My LSE experience will allow me to grow as an individual and academic. After I graduate, I plan to return to my country and be an agent of public policy change. The critical situation in Chile will require professionals capable of rethinking economic policy from all spectrums: from the creation and implementation of public policies to structural reforms in terms of citizen participation, education, health, and social security.”

Camila Arroyo
(Master of Public Administration 2022)