Welcome back to “Let’s discover the Project Consortium”, a blog series where we present the experts and researchers working on the ToBe Project.
This time around we reached out to Escuela Politécnica Nacional, one of the most important public universities in Ecuador. During its almost 155 years of existence, it has been an institution committed to improving the living conditions of Ecuadorian society through the generation of scientific and technological knowledge that contributes to the resolution of local problems.
Javier Cuestas, researched by EPN, states that “as representatives of the Global South, our objective is to contribute with a complementary perspective to the generation of new indicators that go beyond economic growth. From our territories we can contribute with different worldviews in the generation of innovative policies that redefine the idea of welfare and sustainability.” The Ecuadorian team will be supporting ethnographic work in indigenous communities in order to identify relevant cases of alternative economic and socio-ecological initiatives aligned to the paradigm of Buen Vivir, as well as their drivers and barriers.
The main expectation of Javier and his team is to be part of a set of outcomes that will have a major impact on the direction of decisions on sustainable well-being, first in Europe and then in the world. “Through our participation we want to reposition the thought and struggles of the South, of the native peoples, in an exercise of epistemic justice. We are excited to work with highly recognized professionals in different fields at the international level and we want to demonstrate the potential and quality of Ecuadorian researchers. The biggest challenge is to live up to what the Consortium expects from us, and we are analyzing and taking actions every day to improve our competencies and communication and research skills”, they say.
As per their interests, other than ToBe, they are interested in different perspectives on the use of technologies and how they can contribute to the sustainable well-being of societies. They consider it fruitful to exchange and learn from the experiences of the transformative Global North. “For example, it would be interesting to think about how degrowth can also be present in Latin America, as well as to deepen the design of innovative long-term policies”, they suggest.
The EPN Ecuadorian team is happy with the role they cover in ToBe as they have the opportunity to learn from those who have more experience in this type of project. They hope that “in the medium term, EPN will be able to lead a project of this magnitude and importance and then try the difficult task of being coordinator”.
Therefore, join us in wishing Javier and his team the best time during their work!