Meet the MPP graduate who’s implementing innovation initiatives to promote civic engagement and freedom of speech in Mexico.
When Gloria Guerrero earned her Master of Public Policy degree in 2017, she knew her interests lay in technology and governance. Since walking the halls of the Hertie School, she has been using digital innovation to promote freedom of speech and citizen engagement – especially among young people – in both her home country of Mexico and in Latin America. Currently, Gloria works at the sustainable development non-profit Fundación Avina as a Program Coordinator for Technology for Social Change. You can meet Gloria during our coffee chat on Monday, 26 October, 5-6 pm CET Berlin time.
What have you been doing since you graduated from the Hertie School?
Right after graduating from the MPP program in 2017, I traveled to Brazil to do a fellowship at the Institute of Technology and Society (ITS) where I expanded my knowledge and understanding of how the Global South is responding creatively and appropriately to the opportunities provided by technology in the digital age.
After that, I came back to Mexico and led the strategy and development of Ligue Politico, a collaborative digital platform which aimed to offer verified information in a friendly and dynamic format about the candidates running in the 2018 elections in Mexico. This project opened up the opportunity to reconnect with the civic technology and open data ecosystems not only in Mexico but also in Latin America.
Since 2019 I have been working at Fundación Avina, first at the Latin American Alliance for Civic Technology. Now I coordinate projects to promote active citizenry and upscale digital and democratic innovations.
Why did you choose the MPP programme?
Because I wanted to merge my experience in government and my interest in internet governance. I looked for a program that could give me the academic knowledge and the practical understanding of governance and public policy development around technology. Hertie's curriculum allowed me to focus on digitalization and to see the bigger picture.
What was your favourite course and why?
Public Management I and II, with Gerhard Hammerschmid and Salvador Parrado. These courses allowed me to have a broader understanding of government processes and the challenges of promoting new ways and ideas within old structures. When implementing innovation initiatives, you deal with people, not only institutions. This applies to all sectors. Another great class was my project course, the Digital Innovation Lab, with Yasmin Fodil, an expert on strategic design, technology, and engagement in the social sector. This class was an inspiration and it is very connected to what I do today.
You are now working in Mexico at Fundación Avina as Program Coordinator (Latin America) for Technology for Social Change. Could you please tell us more about how you integrated what you learned at the Hertie School into your work for the region?
Even if I didn´t take any courses related to Latin America at Hertie, all that I learned changed my perspective about the world, the challenges we face in society, and the need to involve all sectors of society when designing the solutions to the world's most pressing issues. At my job, I advise and support projects and reports related to engagement strategies, public policy, digital government, and technology service design. Hertie gave me an expanded view of these topics and the importance of governance models. Multistakeholder collaboration is at the core of what I do every day at Avina.
What is your fondest Hertie School memory?
Attending great events, with amazing speakers like Jürgen Habermas, Anthony Giddens, and Samantha Power (#fangirl), and the great and eye-opening discussions with my friends and professors, the amazing community.
Could you sum up your Hertie School experience for us in one word?
More than one word: friends and Club Mate :)
Register for the coffee chat on 26 October and meet Gloria online!
Check out Gloria’s presentation on technology for civic engagement at the 2018 Alumni Reunion.