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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 22, 2011

MEET Carlos “Flaco” Hincapié Current Leader of “Your Big Year” Global Competition (VIDEO)

MEET Carlos “Flaco” Hincapié Current Leader of “Your Big Year” Global Competition (VIDEO)

Photo: Carlos 'Flaco' Hincapié

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Carlos is competing to win the grand prize: a 1 year-long trip to 5 continents to volunteer and work with community and world leaders to positively impact 20M people.

Liverpool based “Smaller Earth” has a goal to positively impact 20 million people by 2020 through social action plans, environmental initiatives, cultural exchange programs, medical outreach, construction projects and a vast array of volunteer programs across the world.

For the second year in a row, some 60,000 applicants from 221 countries participated in a “Smaller Earth” competition called “Your Big Year,” to win the grand prize: a year-long trip to 5 continents to volunteer, and work alongside community and world leaders to help “Smaller Earth” positively impact as many people as possible.

On November 11, 2011, Smaller Earth announced the names of the 111 finalists that passed onto round 2, where contestants produced a video that answered the question “How will you positively impact the world?”

Below, the video currently voted #1:

HS-News spoke exclusively with Carlos ‘Flaco’ Hincapié, the video’s creator and the current vote leader and only Colombian contestant in ‘Your Big Year.’ 

Thank you for speaking with us, Carlos tell us a little bit about yourself

Hello, I am from Bogotá, Colombia. I’m an Industrial Designer and an Outdoors Educator. I am also a rock climber and a huge fan of the outdoors.

I’ve been a member of OPEPA (organization for environmental education and protection) since 2006, working in programs trying to reconnect our youth with the earth.

Is that where you do Outdoor Education? What is an Outdoor Educator?

An outdoor educator is a person that teaches or coaches…I mean educates, using nature and the outdoors as a classroom; he/she uses the experiences of outdoor sports to teach lessons and reach important pedagogic goals.

Can you tell us more about Your Big Year and these 3 tasks you’re being judged on?

Yes. The 3 tasks are part of the second round; we started with more than 66,00 people, but now we’re down to 111.

The first task of the second round was to participate in the “Global Entrepreneurship Week”, which is celebrated in more than 165 nations but curiously not in Colombia.

Seeing as there was nothing going on in Colombia, “Your Big Year” Founder Chris Arnold told me to create my own event, and so together with a group of 7 rock climbers, we created the first Global Entrepreneurship event in Colombia and streamed it live to California and Liverpool. It was a total success.

The second task was to create the video…

Yes. I was supposed to show in my video how I’m planning to help positively impact millions of people, and now it’s up to the people to vote for it, if they like it.

We love your video. Congratulations on being number 1! Are you behind the little ukelele music too?

No, I do play the ukelele incidentally, but in my video it was someone else. Thank you for voting, it’s truly an honor to participate, I’ve met and talked to so many incredible people! I mean, the third task is to interview world entrepreneurs and ask them to share their “big year.” 

Who are you talking to?

Especially for this “task” I spoke to Daniel Buriticá, the leader of Colombia’s Youth Network (Red Colombiana de Jovenes), and I also had a chat with Larry Cozy, one of the presidents of Ecopetrol.
But I want to talk to more people, as I found it interesting to hear what people say when asked what was their greatest year, you know? 

What do you plan to do if you win?

Regardless if I win or not, I want to start my own company of Outdoor Education and create better educators. There’s another program we’re trying to launch next year called Mind Seeds, to share artisan and technical knowledge online, and a few other projects here and there.

If I do win, it comes with certain responsibilities as you can imagine, I’ll have to fill in the shoes of Michael Teoh, the previous YBY who spent his big year doing incredible things and building a giant network and spreading the word about Smaller Earth around the world!

I guess if I win, I’d like to make motherland wherever I go, you know? Coming in contact with all these communities around the world, their realities, their struggles…

It always turns out to be immensely rewarding, because you’re making your motherland grow larger every time you positively impact somebody.