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Creative(Cities): Entrepreneurial Environments & Emotional Development

Main Stage


  • Art and culture create community—a conviction shared by both Camilo Hoyos and Juan Fernando Fonseca, the Colombian artist and Founder of Fundación Gratitud. Both individuals believe art must be seen through another perspective in order to help instill collaborative work. In other words, to establish links between different people and reduce  political polarization in countries such as Colombia, one must understand that art opens a window into an emotional world, which allows people to be empathic—something that is necessary to building social and cultural entrepreneurships. According to Hoyos, what the Foundation intends to do is promote art and culture as tools of emotional and financial wellbeing, as well as social transformation. 

“I am convinced that through art and culture, we can build a peaceful society,” Camilo Hoyos.

  • Teryn Wolfe asked Hoyos about the entrepreneurial project the Foundation has been developing in the outskirts of Bogotá in the city of Soacha. According to Hoyos, Soacha represents cultural diversity in the region, but it is also a city that has a lot of work to do within the community of young creatives and entrepreneurs, on an emotional level. This understanding allowed the Foundation to acknowledge that people in Soacha can leverage their cultural richness in order to begin an emotional healing process. Hoyos is convinced that there is no technical capacity that can help heal if there is no emotional wellbeing that allows healing to actually take place. As highlighted by Hoyos, the fact that entrepreneurship has become a state policy in Colombia opens up the following question: What are we going to do so that our entrepreneurs count with the emotional wellbeing that helps them accomplish their dreams and helps develop sustainable entrepreneurshipin which competitiveness is not the only reference for success? 
  • Furthermore, Hoyos explained that this cultural center in Soacha seeks to become “the gym of emotions,” creating a space in which art and culture are understood as wealth and motors of change. He believes that art is not only a source of entertainment and entrepreneurship, but it can also help develop emotional and transversal skills that allow us to live better. Living better means avoiding conflict and living in empathy. 

“In the most vulnerable places is where there is most art,” Camilo Hoyos.

  • When Wolfe asked about the significance of this project in a Colombian context, Hoyos stated that Soacha has always been a city badly hit by violence, representing Colombia’s history as a whole. According to Hoyos, the Foundation intends to put art and culture at the forefront of emotional healing and teamwork. They are seeking to raise the arts as catalysts to help fulfill people’s goals in any career. 
  • Finally, Hoyos spoke of the story of the Foundation, which is inspired by Carlos, an 11-year old who went through extreme suffering during the 1980s. His story became an inspiration, prompting the Foundation to support between 100-120 children with emotional wellbeing and giving their parents the tools to provide a healthy upbringing.

Key takeaways & next steps:

  • Fundación Gratitud is launching a project outside of Bogotá with a cultural center in which they encourage people to see art and culture as catalysts for social change. 
  • This project aims to promote emotional wellbeing, which—accomplished through art—helps build community and change lives, as well as creating a space in which art and culture are understood as a form of wealth and motors of change. 
  • The project seeks to help promote art as not only a source of entertainment and entrepreneurship but something that can develop emotional and transversal skills that allow us to live better.


Session Speakers