Our first mountain award

Linterna Verde was born in 2018 with the goal of solving questions about the digital public debate in Latin America. Five years have passed and there is one question we still get asked by many allied organizations and acquaintances: what exactly is it that we do? Explaining it in a tweet or a short presentation is an extreme sport. 

We look like an Internet think tank, but we provide services to civil society. We work with data, but we do not rule out qualitative research. We are not a communications agency, but we interpret public opinion based on narratives, actors and influence. We are far from being an academic institution, but we do trainings. And although we are not a media outlet, we produce information and analysis on social networks and democracy in the region.

Linterna Verde was always conceived as an interdisciplinary organization that could observe the digital ecosystem from different disciplines. Technology, the Internet and social networks are a human phenomenon, not the exclusive domain of a handful of specialists.

This vision is reflected in our work team. During this time, more than 45 people with diverse professions and trades have passed through Linterna Verde : lawyers, political scientists, internationalists, economists, journalists, anthropologists, philosophers, physicists, mathematicians, designers and administrators. Today we thank all these people who believed in the project and who made an invaluable contribution to what is today Linterna Verde. 

This multiplicity of knowledge has always challenged our work and enriched our methodologies, but it has also allowed us to understand that there are no magic formulas or single recipes for analyzing public debate.

Like the film, throughout this half decade we have done everything, everywhere and at the same time. The results and the recognition of the organization in Colombia and Latin America are proof of a successful project: in five years we have worked with more than 97 partners in the region, whom we thank today for their trust in the work and strengthening of Linterna Verde. 

Linterna Verde also arose with the purpose of offering a dose of practical reflection to the social sector. We have always been aware of the importance of mobilization and activism for the strengthening of democracy and the defense of human rights. However, the success of this work depends on having actors who can distance themselves from the causes and are always willing to offer critical and independent feedback. During this period we understood the tensions and difficulties that this implies, which only confirms the relevance of the role we seek to play. 

We reach this fifth anniversary full of pride and gratitude: for the commitment of all the people who have been part of this adventure; for the support of national and international organizations, and for the work done hand in hand with allied groups in Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Spain, Peru and Guatemala. 

It fills our hearts to know that the work of these five years has been worthwhile; that beyond the growth of the organization, we have promoted an impact on civil society from a different place, with rigor and professionalism, with successes and mistakes.

This small mountain award coincides with the process we are undergoing to adjust our compass and revalidate our purpose. Beyond the breadth of approaches and disciplines that feed our vision, we want an organization that is oriented, expert and empowering to civil society. We also want a Linterna Verde that integrates the challenges of digital public debate with physical spaces, communities and territories.

In another five years, when we complete our first decade, we hope to be here, with the same drive and the same conviction. Our allies may still not fully understand what Linterna Verde is all about. However, we will be clear, as we are today, that we want to continue doing what is sometimes difficult to define.

Carlos Cortés

Co-director Linterna Verde

Tatiana Restrepo

Co-director Linterna Verde