Bogota, Colombia’s economy is largely fueled by tourism. Carolina Duran discusses the ways she supported businesses in Bogota as they adapted their business models to the COVID-19 pandemic. Duran would meet every week with bars, restaurants, and hotels who were among the first to close and last to open to discuss tactics. These businesses account for 42% of Colombia’s GDP. 80% of the employees in Bogota are women.
Open air dining was not allowed prior to the pandemic and is now a thriving part of the social economy. Over a hundred streets were opened for outdoor experiences. As Bogota reopened it had to rethink ventilation, sanitization, and capacity of interior social spaces. Businesses at capacity would use QR codes to share businesses not at capacity, demonstrating how businesses can cooperatively integrate technology. Duran shares the work she is doing to uplift female workers in Bogota and adapt in the face of a global pandemic.
Carolina Duran is currently the Secretary for Economic Development for Bogota, Colombia. She has 20 years of experience in the public and private sector; largely in the financial sector, including periods with Citicorp Information Technologies (India), Standard Chartered Bank (Colombia), and Asobancaria (Colombia) where she served as Assistant President. Duran is Fulbright Scholar and Colfuturo Scholar. In 2009 she completed her Masters in International Relations at Columbia University in New York City (USA).