Orlando Rincón Bonilla – ParqueSoft – hero?

the man

As much as I preach empathy and sharing of yourself – I believe the more you share, the more opportunuitys you provide others to see themselves in you and thus say, “hey, if s/he can do it, so can I.” – I’ve never been able to say “that person is my hero.” So, I’m not saying this guy is my hero just yet because I’ve never met him, but based on who ever wrote this wikipedia article, Orlando Rincón is a helluva guy. I love his commitment to country, the power entrepreneurship, youth, and technology.

Here are some excerpts that really motivated me.

Orlando Rincón Bonilla is a firm believer in the creative capacity and commitment of his compatriots.

In 1984, he founded Open Systems Ltd, which became one of the leading examples of Colombia’s emerging Software industry. As head of the company, he accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge on running and managing a software company. But he was troubled by the tension between profit maximization and the importance of social development, which remained of paramount importance to him. He realized he had to foster entrepreneurs with a different mindset that would understand that markets could provide a way to achieve equity and justice, and decided to pursue that vision. Bonilla sold all of his stock in Open Systems and founded ParqueSoft in 1999 as a non-profit enterprise.

…he visited several Asian and European countries that were being touted as “economic miracles” thanks to their ability to create a niche in the Information Technology industry. He observed with disappointment that behind that miracle were managers—not self-starting entrepreneurs—who had been hired by global companies located in Los Angeles or London, justifying the low wages paid by reasoning that the workers were earning much more than they would if contracted by a local company. That was not good enough for Bonilla.

ParqueSoft is fundamentally focused on creating social value, not software companies. Its mission is to stimulate democracy and justice through the inclusion of previously marginalized young people living in low-income communities. ParqueSoft seeks to transform them into protagonists of their enterprises, not employees.

To foster an entrepreneurial culture, ParqueSoft has a programme whereby every two months it integrates 150 young people for 8 weeks into the different enterprises according to their interests. The youth participate in the activities of the enterprise and learn what it is like to be wrapped up in the world of technology and science from a venture perspective. The objective is to teach these young participants about technology and business, and help them to envisage themselves as agents of change rather than as future employees.

A while back I started putting together a list of billionaires that are worth something. I need to revisit that list.

Juan, thanks so much for your email about ParqueSoft. You rock dude; and you were right on that I would dig all this.

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