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  • Writer's pictureXimena Matus

How do you challenge convention?

Being a Chevening scholar, not only has given me the opportunity to study in the UK, but it has given us, scholars, a platform where we can benefit from each other and generate an impact in our countries. With that in mind, and with the support of the British Embassy in Guatemala, we were able to establish the Chevening Guatemala Alumni Association.

It was obvious to say that we were beyond excited, not only it was going to be an opportunity for us to meet other scholars in our country but to share those memories that we lived in the UK, and even better, all the plans we had ideated over some after-office beers to share our passion and experiences.

A couple of months after we launched, we received an email from the UK Embassy, where we were given the opportunity to meet Byron López from The Learning Group and Ketan Makwana from Enterprise Lab. Ketan Makwana is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. He is also an advisor to UK Government on youth and enterprise policies, works with International Governments & Ministries  and sits on many advisory boards and panels across the globe. Byron López, is Ketan´s partner based in Guatemala, and he is also working in supporting the Business development ecosystem in the country.

When we reached out to them, we were able to discuss some interesting points, ideas, activities, etc. We were excited, we didn't´t knew where to start...we thought we were ready. But that´s when the learning begun.

While having a conversation with Ketan, he asked us what were our values? Instantly we start giving details on what we wanted to do, how we planned to accomplish those ideas, we had everything ready. And he again asked about our values, and that´s when the aha-moment came. We didn't had any. 

Guess we were not ready after all.

Any organisation, regardless the size, purpose and industry should have values, as these are the compass that guide our mission and vision and therefore all those activities, ideas and things we wanted to execute. All those ideas we had, they were valid, but we weren't speaking the same language among each other.

Ketan and Byron offered to host a brainstorming workshop for us, where we as an Association, would come together and design our values. 

I guess, being a designer, I had an idea of what disruption means. We always talk about disruptive innovations, disruptive thinking, disruptive mindset, and the list could go forever. But it was until I met Ketan that I was able to digest fully what disruption meant, and not only its definition, but the close relationship that disruption has with what we want to accomplish as an Alumni Association.


The workshop was inspiring, as we were able to question ourselves in how we wanted to create an imbalance in order to generate disruption from the Association.


To finish my post I want to thank Ketan Makwana and Byron López for opening their doors to our Association. We had an amazing time, not only working but getting to know each other, and we are sure that we are foreseeing many opportunities for us to collaborate!

If you want to learn more about what they do click here:

  • Enterprise Lab

  • The Learning Group Guatemala


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