Santiago earned a Bachelor’s of Institutional Communication and Advertising from Argentinian´s Catholic University and has almost three years of experience in the social sector. While working for the Government of the City of Buenos Aires he received training in public management and supported the communication of the various programs carried out by the government in health, education, public works and transport matters. He travelled to Africa as part of AIESEC´s Global Community Development Program and volunteered for one year in a boarding school for kids with disabilities in rural Kenya. This experience opened his eyes to a more inclusive community approach by integrating vulnerable communities into society. He used his storytelling and photography skills to fundraise and install solar water pumps to bring water to the school in a sustainable way. He holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management from the Amani Institute in Nairobi, Kenya, and utilized new skills to design, prototype and implement his first social innovation venture as Co-Founder and Managing Director of Drums in the Dark, an initiative to change the existing paradigms & mental models around blind people in Kenya´s society. In acknowledgment for his work towards the prevention of blindness, rehabilitation, training and education of the blind, he was given an Appreciation Certificate issued by Kenya Society for the Blind and awarded a recognition diploma as East Africa`s Emerging Social Innovators issued by Ashoka and American Express Foundation. As an apprentice at Ashoka East Africa he was exposed to different social entrepreneurs and systems change theory models that helped him comprehend the value of sustainable solutions to address social issues. He coordinated and supported Africa Yoga Projects (an Ashoka Fellow) Disability Team in writing funding proposal, budget planning and communications best practices in order to scale their impact. His passion for long lasting and positive change, his communication skills and his empathetic personality to connect with a wide range of people from various social sectors made him quickly find a job as Communications Officer & Social Entrepreneurs Coordinator in Socialab´s headquarters in Argentina. Interested in exploring new ways for innovation he joined Neelus, a consultancy that leverages creativity and innovation in both private companies and public institutions.
Host Organization: American Red Cross
Role at Host Organization: Santiago will serve as a Disaster Preparedness Associate for the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) within ARC’s International Services Department (ISD). GDPC offers support services to the global Red Cross/Red Crescent network in areas related to disaster preparedness and innovative solutions for national societies for knowledge management, research and technical assistance.