The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Alessandra Gerson Saltiel Schmidt

Alessandra Gerson Saltiel Schmidt
My current Position is EU Projects Coordinator at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia: https://iaac.net/dt_team/alessandra-schmidt/ 

I am a Brazilian social entrepreneur and former Chevening scholar at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the United Kingdom. I work as a consultant in social development initiatives, primarily supporting local communities to identify pathways for social innovation. Apart from my role as EU Projects Coordinator at the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, I am AGS Invest managing director, a social enterprise that assist governments, businesses, and communities efforts to put forward social change through a combination of strategy, consulting services, powerful ideas and learning techniques. I am also one of the core members of the Social Innovation Network for Entrepreneurs (SINE), an initiative that connects entrepreneurs worldwide who are willing to promote common good through their businesses with Social Development gurus. 
I love my job because I can contribute in building new pathways for sustainability in diversity and social justice. I hope to keep engaging with civic leaders, makers, social innovators.

Some of the challenges of working on changing ‘paradigms’ are related to a shift from the current economy to a spiral innovation ecosystem in which materials flow inside cities and information on how things are made circulates globally, empowering individuals as 'prosumers' (consumers and producers), contributing with learning for emerging future, and incorporating a stronger emphasis on learning-by-doing in education systems and curricula, and engaging all levels of education in finding solutions for local needs through new technologies, and sharing them with global networks
My academic background is in Business, having graduated from the Federal University of Parana State, and then specialising in Social Entrepreneurship at INSEAD Business School. Before coming to the United Kingdom, I had entered the academic world as a visiting lecturer in impact investing at FAE Business School in Curitiba – Brazil.
I decided to undertake the MSc Social Development Practice offered by the The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) because of my willines to better understand the root causes of poverty, inequalities and how to approach these from a social diversity and inclusivity perspective. More importantly, how to improve my work as a social development practitioner in the Global South and worldwide.
Studying SDP was a life changing experience. The fieldwork in London and in Salvador, supporting urban groups to claim their right to the city, made it an incredibly meaningful experience to me as a Brazilian. The programme has enhanced my critical thinking around the pathways to end poverty and address structural inequalities from a social diversity perspective. Without doubts, my work as a Brazilian practitioner and lecturer is fortified for the next 10, 20, 30 years in the field. Besides, I have now a bunch of good friends around the globe, with whom I share a vision and commitment for a more socially fair and inclusive world.