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Alfonso Avila is a Diplo tutor and works as a scientific officer for United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) based in Italy since 2006. Alfonso also lectures at Sussex University on ICT Policy and Strategy for Masters students.

His job requires lots of travelling and organising activities in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. His initial responsibilities included developing projects in the ICT area where he had the chance to invite another Diplo tutor, Ulemu Nyasulu in Nairobi, Kenya.


>> Alfonso, what are you doing today?

Currently, I develop projects, workshops, expert group meetings and training courses on nanotechnology in developing countries. There is a lot to do in this new field and it provides me lots of new insights into the future of mankind. More specifically, when we refer to ¨developing countries¨ we mainly mean Brazil, India, China, Mexico, Argentina and South Africa.

Next year I will be working with a key officer from the ITU on ICT issues and her portfolio of projects being developing seems very interesting. I expect to be able to involve more Diplo team members in them, especially in Africa. I will be still working for UNIDO.


>>What was interesting about being a tutor for IGCBP 2008?

Developing and sharing ideas and projects from many individuals of different parts of the world using a technology platform, which is great.

Several persons are really doing something for improving mankind in several ways. I'd like that the number would be higher but it will require more efforts from us.


>>How does working remotely for Diplo feel like?

It feels all right, because, when you are committed, distance is reduced with technology to some extent.

The Diplo spirit is high and constant efforts to improve it are one of the most important tasks at the organisation. My view is that the best type of fulfilment and motivation is internal and not based on external rewards.


>> If you could look back now when you were a participant in IGCBP 2006 and today, what are the differences?

Career-wise there are many differences, as I was a lecturer in a developed country and now my current projects are targeted to benefit people with fewer resources. This makes me happier and more satisfied with myself.

The students keep being with the good spirit to work but it is key to remain in the search of higher moral values that orient the acquired knowledge in order to achieve better world. This sounds utopia but I have big dreams and hope I can keep that spirit for my whole life.


>> What are the next steps?

I'd like to work at the headquarters of UNIDO in Vienna because this is where the key decisions are taken. It is very difficult to get in there but I will keep trying. Holding a key position provides a good advantage point to be able to make a difference within the UN system.

I am preparing for the final level of German language and will start a course in Chinese, to experience a non-European language challenge! I strive to keep a good set of skills that will allow me to move ahead and achieve what I think is important. In this sense I would like to take a Diplo course on diplomacy. Also, I will start another degree with the Open University in England on genetics. Wish me luck!!! 2009 will be one of the toughest and more challenging year in my life, so far!!!

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