Learn about this program, which is developing talents and preparing new entrepreneurial leaders to have a positive impact on the Amazon

Awakening entrepreneurship while protecting the Amazon Rainforest – this is how the Genesis Program, part of the Amazon Journey platform, run by the CERTI Foundation and supported and financed by Fundo Vale, is trying to produce more opportunities for young people over the age of 16. It is creating a legacy by developing talents, directing their gaze toward the forest and preparing new leaders for the job market. And it’s been working! To give you an idea, in the last call for applications, which ended in September (the third of this year), there were 2,012 applicants from 142 municipalities in the nine states of Brazil’s Amazon region.

Through this free program, participants spend a month immersed in activities in the community: weekly cycles of learning, interactive workshops, games, opportunities to co-create innovative solutions in the bioeconomy, group mentoring sessions, networking with influencers in the Amazon, exercises to promote self-knowledge and career purpose, and access to an online platform to connect participants directly to other people across the Amazon and the world.

At the end of these cycles, the most engaged participants are selected to become ambassadors for the program and contribute to the expansion of Genesis locally.

Why turn these young people into ambassadors?

The idea is to keep the community active, turning these people into pollinators of the innovation ecosystem. In this way, they help disseminate and strengthen initiatives that support the preservation of forests. In the two 2023 editions, 3,318 people applied: 2,186 in the first edition and 1,132 in the second. In the first, 10 ambassadors were selected for having inspired the community and promoted an entrepreneurial culture. In the second, seven more young people joined the group. Now, in August, these 17 ambassadors went to Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, to get to know the city’s innovation ecosystem.

In addition to talks and activities at the Santa Catarina Technology Association (ACATE), the CERTI Foundation and other innovation spaces, the participants also attended the Startup Summit, one of Brazil’s foremost events for entrepreneurs, investors and innovation agents. The summit brought together entrepreneurs from all over the country, including the Amazon region, making this experience even more enriching for the ambassadors.

More opportunities and motivation to develop new leaders

When Rosane Cavalcanti, a researcher and professor on the professional master’s in sustainable development program at the Vale Institute of Technology, received the invitation to be an ambassador for the program, she became even more convinced of the importance of entrepreneurship in helping protect the Amazon.

“I learned a lot from the diversity of people from all over the Amazon who took part in the project. The week-long immersion in Florianópolis gave me the opportunity to listen to entrepreneurs and investors. Deforestation in the Amazon is continuing at a rapid pace, resulting in the loss of biodiversity, alterations to the country’s rainfall patterns and emissions of climate change-causing gases, among other negative effects. We urgently need to change the way we relate to this territory in order to generate forest preservation and recovery. The challenges are huge but so are the opportunities. Programs of this kind help get more people looking for solutions to these problems, as well as providing opportunities to connect them and encourage these solutions to get off the ground and have a positive impact on the environment and society.”

Rosane Cavalcanti

Hellen Almada is a biologist from Mato Grosso with a doctorate in ecology and conservation. In the four weeks that she took part in Genesis, she was impressed by the number of products and technologies that are already being developed and discovered how exciting it is to innovate.

“Taking part in the Genesis Program was an incredible and life-changing experience! I’m a biologist, but my education didn’t cover the very important topics that I saw in the Amazon Journey Genesis Program. Learning about entrepreneurship and innovation was totally new and Genesis provided me with valuable knowledge: I learned about strategies to keep the forest standing through real bioeconomy experiences, which further increased my passion for sustainable solutions.” Hellen Almada

Tulipa Vieira is an ambassador from Icoaraci, a district of Belém. She has an undergraduate degree in social communication and an MBA in marketing. She says that taking part in the Genesis Program represented a real injection of energy, knowledge and connections.

“Through the program, I understood my purpose: to help boost brands and entrepreneurs in the Amazon through communication and marketing, making them more competitive. At the same time, I was also able to identify my role as a catalyst in the innovation ecosystem and what paths I need to take to make my purpose happen. Over the course of these four weeks, I was struck by the number of products and technologies that are already

being developed and discovered how challenging it is to innovate. Genesis is a powerful tool for impacting young people at the start of their careers and/or studying for a degree, encouraging them to become a more innovative and creative generation.” Tulipa Vieira

Fundo Vale and the Amazon Journey

By supporting initiatives such as Amazon Journey, Fundo Vale is helping boost innovation, collaboration and an entrepreneurial mindset focused on the bioeconomy in the Amazon. In addition, the training provided by the program, covering topics such as impact businesses, the bioeconomy and beneficial solutions for forests, generates concrete opportunities for these talented people in the bioeconomy.

This active participation represents a commitment to the sustainable development of the region, joining forces to promote an environmentally conscious and socially inclusive economy.