Ana Cecilia Flores is a 2019 finalist in the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge and a pioneer in the tech industry. WE Empower Intern Jacqueline Blisse elaborates on how innovation has empowered Flores’s company, Webee, to tackle some of the toughest sustainability problems.
Ana Cecilia Flores is the co-founder of Webee, an innovative Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence company. Webee supports sustainable development goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure through the use of intuitive technology to combat some of our world’s most complicated issues such as food waste and air quality. At Webee, they recognize that technology can balance economic, social and environmental growth in order to move towards a sustainable future.
Question: How has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you see the future of your business?
Answer: The application process helped me understand the impact of our business differently, reinforcing our vision and giving us an absolute sense of purpose for the future. It is clear to me now how the technology we are creating plays a key role in achieving sustainable growth through inclusive innovation at a larger scale.
Q: What is your main goal within your community?
A: Emerging technologies guarantee access to data and they play a key role in developing sustainable operations. My goal is to educate about the impact of these technologies and help smaller businesses and communities adapt them to remain competitive and build a sustainable future.
Q: As a woman, how do you ensure gender equality is part of your company's culture?
A: Gender equality is at the core of our efforts to build a workplace that embraces diversity and makes it part of our DNA. We have very strong policies that guarantee equality in any practice, and educational activities to help uncover the hidden biases that affect our decision making. Our goal is to provide our team with tools that help them have an impact beyond our organization and become agents of change.
Q: How do you see your company progressing in the next ten years?
A: We see our company creating solutions to tackle the world's most urgent needs. We see ourselves playing a key role in achieving visibility across the supply chain in the food industry, helping to reduce inefficiencies from food waste to health-related issues and the inefficient use of natural resources.
Q: Has the WE Empower Challenge changed how you view the world's progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
A: It helped me understand more in-depth how important it is for every organization to get involved and obtain a broader vision of our individual impact in the world from its inception. I also feel there is a lot being done in different regions and so many opportunities to leverage each other and collaborate to achieve these goals more efficiently.
A sustainable future cannot be achieved without building a solid infrastructure, encouraging sustainable industrialization, and nurturing innovation. Only by working towards these goals will we be able to achieve a sustainable world for our future generations.