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SEI25 Series: Pato Bichara (MBA 2015), CEO, Collective Academy

By: Pato Bichara 20 Jun 2019

This post is part of our Social Enterprise Initiative 25th anniversary blog series, which highlights some of the faculty, staff, students, and alumni who have been a part of SEI throughout the years. In this post, Pato Bichara (MBA 2015) shares his insights on leading an innovative social enterprise and working to transform the economic development of a region. Pato is the CEO of Collective Academy, an education platform that is forging the next generation of leaders in Latin America.

How would you describe the social impact you seek to have in the world? I want every kid in Latin America to have the opportunity to reach his or her potential through high quality, relevant, and accessible education, igniting the economic development of the region.

What motivated you to pursue a career path in the social sector? Since middle school, I have had a natural tendency to help others, and during college I did my Senior Design Project (Thesis) redesigning the supply chain of the UN Refugee Agency. After realizing that I could use my knowledge and professional skills to have an incredible impact in the world, I realized I wouldn’t pursue my career any other way. Since I started my career at Bain (where I launched Impacta, an inside volunteer consulting group to support Mexican nonprofits) until today, I have always focused my career in the social sector.

How is the organization in which you’re involved pursuing social change? Collective Academy is transforming Latin America’s talent landscape by: 1) accelerating the career of young professionals and middle managers, increasing their productivity and developing them into lifelong learners and 2) helping their organizations become a place where these professionals want to thrive.

Our Master in Business & Technology (MBT) provides practical business and technological skills to students through blended learning and real-world projects. In addition, executive education programs support multinationals and top Mexican companies in transforming their talent’s mindset for the digital era. All programs are facilitated by Mexico’s top business leaders, sourcing content from the best universities around the world, while fostering a growing lifelong-learning digital community of professionals across various industries.

What advice would you give to other alumni or students interested in pursuing a career in the social sector? Find a problem you’re passionate about and go all-in. If there’s someone already solving it in your region join them; if not start a social enterprise to figure out how to solve it.

What is one interesting/exciting trend or issue that our readers should be aware of? I’m fascinated by all the conversations happening around the future of work and future of education. When I started Collective Academy four years ago, I was the weird one thinking about these issues and now every manager and CEO realizes that if the world is changing exponentially, they have to adapt their organizations as fast as possible, starting with the people.