‘Inspiring Boards’, regional event promoted by ISA to think about the future of business decisions and their impact on regional transformation

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  • On September 2 and 3, all the independent members of the ISA Group’s boards of directors attended the first Inspiring Boards event for new competencies, personal skills, and ESG knowledge at a board level.
  • Attendants analyzed and undertook commitments at an individual, organizational, and corporate level regarding decisions made by companies about the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues, which are key in the post-pandemic economic revival process.
  • Work-class experts such as Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, and Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO of Competent Board, attended these talks.

New competencies, knowledge, and skills that the boards of directors need, as well as their importance regarding corporate sustainability were the starting point for the development of ISA’s Inspiring Boards, an unprecedented event in the company’s corporate history that brought together independent board members of the various ISA Group companies in the region in order to share insights, deliver valuable knowledge, and exchange perspectives that will lead to the sustainable transformation of Latin America.

The conversation focused on challenges faced today by the companies as they adapt to new governance policies, including the transcendent, urgent need to permanently incorporate Social, Environmental and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues in conversations and decisions as the only way to maintain corporate validity and achieve the reconstruction of the social fabric and the stabilization of the economy in post-pandemic times.

Inspiring the change we dream of is what we do. We are here because we are aware that our decisions and actions exert a significant influence on the future of our companies, the communities we impact, and the territories where we operate. We want to lead the change so that more and more companies go beyond the search for profitability and commit with firm actions to the sustainable, inclusive recovery that the new generations of our region and the world deserve,” Bernardo Vargas Gibsone, ISA Group’s CEO, said.

In this academic event, attended by world-class experts such as Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, Helle Bank Jorgensen, CEO of Competent Board, and Andrés Bernal, partner at Governance Consultants, the competencies that board members should have or develop in today’s world were also reviewed:

  • Capabilities to challenge the status quo, establish priorities, understand the expectations of stakeholders, and recognize innovation as a strategic factor, always maintaining an entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Personality traits: brave, persuasive, ethical and honest, adaptable, open and willing to learn, empathetic and emotionally intelligent, enthusiastic, creative, pragmatic, clear, persuasive, humble, independent and transparent.
  • With new key insights on environmental variables, organizational culture, information technology and security, supply chain resilience, and Sustainable Development Goals.
  • And oriented towards good corporate governance and institutional practices, interconnecting macro and micro variables to understand things, and strategies to create and protect long-term value.

“Companies should be focused on management with long-term metrics such as ESG. Governments should do the same, as this is extremely important in Latin America when it comes to equality and climate change mitigation,” Mariana Mazzucato, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose at University College London, said.

In the same vein, Santiago Montenegro, Chairman of ISA’s Board of Directors, said: “to build the boards of directors of the future, we must take into account gender and knowledge diversity, and there must be great sensitivity to the changes that are taking place in the world in the technological and political spheres. Likewise, reactivation in post-pandemic times implies a special sensitivity to the challenges of the new normal.”

At the end of the event, “Inspiring Future” was signed. This is an agreement where ISA’s Board of Directors and all the members of the attending boards reiterated their individual, organizational, and corporate commitment to continue incorporating social, environmental and corporate governance (ESG) criteria into the corporate Sustainable Value strategy. Felipe Bayón and the management team of Ecopetrol, ISA’s new majority shareholder, also attended this event, which was the first joint step to advance in the process of positive transformation of the sector through the proper management of global agenda issues.


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