This week we are proud to introduce you to Julian Ugarte who is part of our 9 to Watch series – a set of interviews that highlights 9 incredible innovators from around the world.

Photo courtesy of Julian Ugarte
Photo courtesy of Julian Ugarte

Julian Ugarte’s enthusiasm about the future is absolutely infectious.

He’s a true leader, deeply passionate about his principles, and does whatever it takes to drive great ideas forward. When Julian founded Socialab, he was interested in being the space where social entrepreneurs could turn well before they were ready to court investors. Socialab, operating out of Santiago, Chile, now works to transform ideas and solutions into sustainable business plans and then, eventually, companies that can deliver social change through an innovative offering.

Julian has a lot going on right now. Socialab is a co-collaborator with UNICEF Innovation on the First 72 Hours challenge; the winning submissions will all be prototyped with their support. He’s also driving FIIS (Festival Internacional de Innovación Social) into its second year after a wildly successful kick-off. Yet his work ethic and genuine humility pervade everything he does. He says of FIIS: “It was a start-up last year with a lot of great partners – B-Lab, Ashoka, MakerSpace, Docs 4 Change. And now we have a huge international festival and, well, we have more work.”

There may be lots of work but, clearly, he’s not about to stop. Not until Socialab, FIIS and everything else he touches have done their part in accelerating how society responds to the unacceptable condition that is global poverty. “Because we don’t like poverty,” he puts it simply. “We don’t like it, so we have to move things quicker so there can be an end in sight.”

WATCH Julian as he reaches new milestones in global ideation (15,836 ideas to date!) and builds a music festival that’s not just paying lip service to social innovation.

Check out the full 9 to Watch series here

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