Medellin, The City with ESPACIO
Translated by Conrad Egusa
Medellín – the name itself conjures up a sense of story across the world.
It is no secret that not only ago, Medellin was arguably the most dangerous city on the planet. The city was home to some of the largest illegal organizations the world has ever seen.
However, the strength of good governance and the strong will of the people have changed the city. Today, Medellin has positioned itself as a center of innovation. Most recently, Medellin was selected in the Wall Street Journal contest, along with New York and Tel Aviv, as one of the most innovative cities in the world.
Innovation in the city can be perceived in a number of areas, however I wish to highlight one area in particular, the city’s culture of entrepreneurship.
Medellin is considered Colombia’s industrial heartland and that tradition is underpinned by its history in the textile industry, in addition to it’s excellence in the public and tourism sector.
Through its success, the city of Medellín has excelled in five key areas: Innovation, productivity, production chains, new markets, and government.
Medellín is innovative in many areas because of how it has embraced technological change. Examples of this include the city’s new metro and cable cars, which provide extended routes to marginalized areas.
Medellin is productive because of its investments into education and entrepreneurship. The creation of industrial and technology parks, business incubators, and technological development centers have allowed it to excel in ways few cities have.
In Medellín, production chains are built through the integration of many industries, and the textile, flower, and software industry have succeeded because of the cooperation of many parties throughout the city.
Medellin has also developed its market structure by creating new markets throughout Central America and the Caribbean, and by developing its consumers internally.
Lastly, the good governance in Medellín has clearly helped the city move past its darkest days. Today, Medellin is a city with innovative public organizations. This has all been accomplished in conjunction with the design of public policies that promote private initiative and intellectual property.
In conclusion, the best of Medellin’s days have yet to come, as new initiatives continue to arise in the city. The most recent example is ESPACIO, which is a co-working space/entrepreneurial center located in the heart of Medellin. At this space, ventures will have the opportunity to build and develop new businesses.
With Medellin, we look forward to the day when the city will be as well known for its innovations as it is for its coffee.
Jesús Perdomo teaches Business Management at the Pontifical Javerian University in Bogotá (Colombia). He specializes in innovación and how to combine management with design.