#PensarConOtros 2023: Grupo SURA and the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation promote initiatives for strengthening citizenship and democracy in Colombia

  • The two entities announced this alliance in which, in addition to recognizing the selected projects with COP 800 million, they will provide them with a team of staff that will accompany the execution of their initiatives. 
  • In this third call for proposals, an external panel will evaluate and select projects that promote training, mobilization, content and research regarding democracy. Terms and conditions can be consulted at gruposura,com
  • Currently, Grupo SURA is providing its support to 7 projects that are being implemented in different regions of the country, these having been selected in the 2022 call for proposals. 

The third edition of the call for proposals on the part of #PensarConOtros for the purpose of building citizenship and democracy in Colombia was opened last Monday and shall close on August 28, 2023. This initiative is a broad invitation to organizations and individuals linked to social, cultural, artistic, academic and journalistic sectors, among others, to present creative proposals to help strengthen civic culture and democracy, on the part of diverse actors and with a multiplicity of voices and positions.

This year, the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation has joined up with this annual call that was first started by Grupo SURA in 2021. This alliance is based on the shared goals of both organizations to create public value and promote initiatives and projects around issues that are relevant to society.

"At Grupo SURA we seek to promote the harmonious development of society through actions that help strengthen our social fabric and, in so doing, citizenship and democracy. We are aware of this responsibility and of the role that private actors can play, which is why we are pleased that the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation has become our partner in promoting different ways of assuming and experiencing citizenship and democracy in Colombia," stated María Mercedes Barrera, Corporate Citizenship Manager of Grupo SURA.

This call for proposals consists of the following four modalities: Training in civic culture; The voice of civil society, expressions and mobilization; Journalism that builds democracy in Colombia; and Research on democracy in Latin America. Funds of up to COP 200 million per initiative shall be allocated, for a total of COP 800 million.

"For us at the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation it is a source of pride to be part of the Pensar Con Otros initiative in alliance with Grupo SURA, in which we are encouraging democratic values, the rights and duties of citizens and the Social Rule of Law, and, in this way, we are strengthening the social fabric of our communities, through projects that promote dialogue, consensus building and the common good of citizens, as is the purpose of our Foundation," concluded Fernando Cortés McAllister, Executive Director of the Bolivar Davivienda Foundation.

In addition to providing economic resources, the #PensarConOtros initiative is providing support with executing the chosen projects through a joint team of staff from Grupo SURA and the Bolívar Davivienda Foundation. This model allows for sharing experiences, knowledge and ideas in order to achieve a greater impact based on a collective, pluralistic and collaborative vision. 

 #PensarConOtros Projects Being Executed 

In addition to the call for proposals, the seven projects previously selected for last year´s call are currently being monitored. 

"This has been an extremely constructive experience. There are very few opportunities to carry out projects of this type, so it has been very helpful to have this support for a project with a creative profile and a social function," stated Nicolás Vallejo, Director of the Villa Armonía project, which uses digital content to promote conversations regarding peaceful coexistence.

Javier Cuéllar Fontecha, coordinator of the project of the Corporación Diálogos Improbables (the Corporation for Improbable Dialogue), commented that "the process has been very gratifying, because based on the  #PensarConOtros  initiative we have been able to continue promoting a dialogue with young people in Meta, Cesar and Caquetá, all of these from different political, social and cultural backgrounds, who have met to discuss important issues for the future of their territories".

The Transparentes project, an audiovisual initiative that narrates the reality of Colombian citizens in exile, was also selected in last year´s call for proposals. "I think it is essential that projects that have to do with culture, community and creativity get a boost. The fact that the call is not circumscribed in the form of formats and that it allows a wide range of possibilities is very important. In addition, the existence of this type of initiative on the part of the private sector seems to me to be fundamental and must continue", concluded Carlos Smith, Director of Transparentes.

Laura Colmenares, coordinator of the Jóvenes Tejido project, said that "through this type of initiative it is possible not only to gather creative, innovative and transformative ideas, but also to materialize them in the form of tangible change and options so as to continue cultivating projects that achieve greater sustainability, scalability and the participation of the communities, leaders and population groups that we want to impact”. Jóvenes Tejido is a project that mobilizes young people from diverse backgrounds in Cúcuta, Bogotá and Medellín around citizen participation.

After several months of implementation, the selected applicants have been able to see their projects materialize and have learned a number of lessons. "We have understood the importance of empathetic and effective communication in promoting social change, networking and giving a voice to our communities, recognizing that their participation is essential for achieving significant results," commented Erick Leudo, from Corporación La Voz del Pacífico, which was selected with the project Cultura Sinérgica, which trains people in citizenship skills and social leadership in several municipalities in Chocó.

Grupo SURA and the Bolívar Davivienda Foundation invite you to participate in this edition of the #PensarConOtros call for proposals, by filling in the official registration form available at gruposura.com.