Creative Economy: Guatemala and Panama Are Co-Creating SDG Project Prototypes Using an Agile Methodology

By March 19, 2024 March 19, 2024 News

February 29, 2024 – Led by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Guatemala, Mr. Miguel Barreto, and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Panama, Ms. Ana Patricia Graça, experts from Panama and Guatemala are demonstrating how cultural and creative industries can kindle sustainable development through a new agile approach to prototyping projects.

“The creative economy transcends borders as exemplified by Guatemala and Panama,” said Ms. Dima Al-Khatib, Director of the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation. “Setting the stage for a future where cultural expressions fuel economic growth and social inclusion, driving us towards the Sustainable Development Goals with the spirit of solidarity and shared prosperity.”

The seeds of the prototyping collaboration originated with the Guatemalan team’s co-creation experiments in 2021, during the international year of the creative economy for sustainable development. A rich tapestry of agencies interlinked their comparative advantages to propose three new project ideas, with modest but concrete results, and small yet impactful joint action plans.

Three prototypes, led by UNFPA, UNESCO, and UNWTO, and co-created by UNCTAD, UNEP, UNDP, and UNIDO were launched in 2022. In 2023, they were presented to the members of the international development community and the private sector.

The co-production process used the Agile Methodology of the United Nations Office in Geneva, which trained the Resident Coordinator’s Office and the interagency teams of Operations and Programme Management, inspired by the NewWork movement of the United Nations in New York. The co-creation methodology also benefited strongly from the UN Country Team’s training in the U-Theory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A half-day training was attended by over one hundred participants from government, academia, private sector, civil society, and various country- and regional-level UN System agencies in Latin America and the Caribbean region.

The next steps include for Panama to co-create its own SDG prototypes based on the agile methodology, and a second round of exchanges with Guatemala before May 2024.

For all materials related to the South-South exchange of creative economy between Guatemala and Panama, click here. For photos, click here.