Co-Founder & CEO, FastTrack Institute
Rodrigo Arboleda is a senior executive with 50 years of experience in the fields of Architecture, International Business Development, Education and Technology, Civic and Philanthropic endeavors. After graduating from MIT as an architect in 1965, he became an award‐winning architect in his native Medellin, Colombia, as well as the president of the Colombian Society of Architects in that city. Rodrigo was later honored as the only honorary living member due to his work in fostering the teaching and practice of architecture.
As an entrepreneur he entered into several different businesses both in Colombia and later in the U.S., ranging from developing one of the largest fresh‐cut flowers farm for export and later in the transportation and distribution of flowers and other perishables and regular cargo both in
ocean vessels and airplanes. In addition to these businesses, for more than a decade, Rodrigo managed for Latin America, Spain and Portugal the
expansion of Ogden Corporation, a large US
multinational in the service industry in the
fields of airport management, development of venues in which entertainment and sport events took place, and the production of energy by burning municipal solid waste, known as Waste‐to‐Energy. As part of that effort he was the first president of the Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 consortium, managing 33 airports. He also managed the construction of the largest Fair and Exhibit grounds in Buenos Aires, and the Isla Mágica theme park in Seville, Spain.
For more than 33 years, he contributed to the advocacy of the use of technology in education with his friend and classmate Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the renowned Media Lab at MIT, first in Colombia and later as the worldwide CEO of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project. He managed the logistics, implementation, training and deployment of the latest versions of the emblematic XO Laptop, and managed the delivery of most of the three million laptops in developing nations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. For several years he was in the BOD of Save the Children Foundation and is currently in the board of several other philanthropic institutions.
In addition to his expertise in international business development, his current areas of endeavor are related to advocating global digital learning ideas, especially as they apply to developing nations. Of particular interest, he concentrates on the impact on education of cheap mobile devices, the promotion of free internet access for children in remote areas of the world and the idea of coding‐to‐learn, areas of endeavor acquired while at the helm of OLPC.
Currently, Arboleda is the CEO of Fastrack Institute (FTI) , a non‐profit foundation co‐founded with Salim Ismail PhD (Singularity University co‐founder) and with Dr. Maurice R. Ferré MD, (co‐founder and ex CEO of Mako Surgical and current CEO of Insightec of Israel. FTI’s Massive Transformative Purpose (MTP) is to help accelerate viral, exponential and disruptive technologies into societies, minimizing in the process most of the negative impacts on those segments of societies that will be transformed by those technologies.
A new literacy is needed if small children of today are to become effective wealth creators of the XXI Century; to the traditional skills of reading writing and math, a new skill is needed, that of coding, essential to promote creativity, innovation, inventiveness. Mastering of the digital language is essential to be able to then tackle the language of biotechnology, nanotechnology and genetics, where future inventions and patents will create a better future and wealth for generations to come. The development of the profile of this future citizen is of primary concern and an expertise of Arboleda. Combining these educational objectives but with the entrepreneurial skills needed to implement ideas until they become reality, is an area in which Arboleda has experience and in which he is keen to participate and leave a legacy. Combined with his international exposure, Arboleda can help implement a diverse set of ideas into several regions of the world.
Societies need to better understand and adapt to the nature and complexity of Exponential Technologies of today, those that are disruptive and spread virally. We are living in the dawn of a new technological and social order, and a new Social Contract needs to be drafted. It has been triggered by the sudden realization that technologies of the information age finally are reaching the point in which the exponential curve becomes more vertical than horizontal, thus becoming disruptive of the status quo and forcing drastic changes in many aspects of life in the planet. What Arboleda is trying to do is the culmination of a varied life dedicated to help societies adopt those technologies and those transformative ideas, if they want to become players in this potential age of Abundance and prosperity and social equality.
Arboleda lives in Miami with his wife of 49 years, Cecilia. He has a son, Pedro, and two granddaughters Sofia and Julia, who live in Boston.