Raimon Puigjaner, IBEI alumni 2006-07
Name and Last Name: Raimon Puigjaner
Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Relations
Current working company, position and city: Co-founder & Partner at Roots for Sustainability, Barcelona; and President at B Lab Spain, Barcelona
1. Why did you choose the IBEI Master’s?
Back in 2006, when I decided to quit my job and look for inspiration to re-define my professional profile, I had the feeling I needed to better understand the world we live in. Particularly, I needed to gain knowledge about how the different stakeholders of our economic system operate in order to find ways to increase their social value, particularly the private sector ones. That reflection made me discover the IBEI Master’s in International Relations and bet on it. Even though it was a young program offered by a young institution, the fact that the most important Catalan public universities were behind gave me confidence enough to take the decision
2. What is your experience at IBEI?
My experience was excellent. Basically because of two main reasons: 1) I had amazing, kind and brilliant classmates; as well as inspiring professors and contents; and 2) I found what I was looking for: information, tools and reflection elements to start shaping the kind of professional I am now, aligning my personal beliefs and interests with bringing value to society in an economic system and context with clear and great transformational challenges.
3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI
After graduating from IBEI, I joined the Sector Policies Department at COPCA (Catalonia’s Commercial Promotion Consortium) as its Environmental Sector’s internationalization consultant. Later on, COPCA merged with CIDEM (Innovation and Corporate Development Centre) and ACCIÓ was created (the Catalan Competitiveness Agency), and I joined its Washington, D.C. office as its project manager to keep on internationalizing the activities of the Catalan Environment Sector’s agents, but focusing on the value they could provide to Multilateral Organizations like the World Bank (WB) or the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB). After 2 years in D.C., I received an offer from the IDB’s Water and Sanitation Division to join its AquaRating initiative – a rating system for water and sanitation utilities -, as its project manager. And, in parallel, and during my free time, I founded with my two partners Roots for Sustainability (R4S), a social impact agency that designs, implements and evaluates transformation projects for companies, NGOs and governments in the fields of sustainability, social impact and inclusive businesses. After 8 years in D.C. I decided to move back to Barcelona at the end of 2016 and solely focus on R4S and B Lab Spain (a foundation founded by R4S to boost the B Corp movement in Spain).
4. What is your professional experience (your current position, your main functions)?
I currently am co-founder and partner at R4S, focusing on developing social impact measurement and sustainability integration projects for corporations and non-for-profit organizations. In addition, I am president at B Lab Spain, representing at an institutional level the B Corp movement in the country.
5. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?
The programme didn’t specifically prepare me for the work I do now, but gave me some ingredients I lacked of to create it: as said before, I needed to gain knowledge about how the different stakeholders of our economic system operate in order to find ways to increase their social value, particularly the private sector ones. R4S was designed from scratch as a result of using that knowledge - and the professional experiences gained after the programme - to define its purpose and create services the market would be prepared for demanding.
6. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?
Well, not really. During the programme, I didn’t have a particular idea about the type of job I wanted to have once I finished it. What I did have was the expectation of being able to align my personal values and beliefs with a purposeful professional project. This I must say I have achieved it.
7. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?
I assume that all IBEI students have an interest and are motivated to address global challenges. Thus, I would encourage them to think out of the box and use the knowledge they gain in unconventional manners. Because we are experiencing a systemic change, and the world needs innovative responses for challenging uncertainties.
8. What do you miss most about IBEI?
Time. I had the opportunity and privilege to totally focus on studying for one year. No other distractions or goals. Although having a considerable study workload, I had time to cultivate my interests and reflect on them – with my classmates or alone. And to connect those reflections with my personal development – also projecting them in the professional sphere. This time is much more complicated to find now.