I personally knew Leonardo Martins Dias when he first joined our Global Projects Unit at Telefonica’s Headquarters in Madrid in 2000 as part of a selected group of young high-potential employees from Telefonica’s companies around the world. I was Head Director of this Unit at that time.
After a few months of professional development within our Unit, I decided to offer him a permanent position in our Department. His application was largely backed by two major reasons:
- His outstanding professional achievements and commitment to his tasks during that period.
- His background experience and competencies in high-complex business processes optimization projects as a senior change manager that was required in our Unit at that time. Additionally he has excellent abilities to engage multifunctional and multicultural teams demonstrated in international, complex projects within the Telefonica’s Group.
Alfonso Urquiza Echavarren, Head Director of Global Projects, Telefónica S.A.
International Master in Sustainable Development & Corporate Responsibility (IMSD), EOI Business School, Madrid
"Leonardo Martins Dias co-facilitated a powerful workshop on community empowerment for students on the IMSD course at EOI. Drawing upon his work in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Léo reinforced the importance of community leadership in promoting sustainable change. His open and straight-forward approach is both refreshing and inspiring. He "tells it like it is" and, in doing so, transmits a passion for his work which is infectious."
Leda Stott, Academic Director, International Master in Sustainable Development & Corporate Responsibility (IMSD), EOI Business School, Madrid
"Léo Dias is an architect of complex bridges. He designs projects that connect people who would never meet: Organic and natural leaders from Rio's favelas and private companies with a social agenda. Leonardo's innovative bridges sustain the dialogue in the diveded city of Rio de Janeiro."
Leonardo's ability to create a real impact on the environments in which he operates sets him apart. His humanist sensitivity is practical, not rhetoric. In a world where the growing inequality challenges democratic institutions and the migration flow breaks national identities we need more people like Leonardo Dias.
- Renato Pereira, City Government of Rio de Janeiro, Head of Policy and Public Affairs
"Leonardo Martins Dias initiative to support young grassroots leaders from communities is key, it's a unique chance to integrate favelas' inhabitants in society. Léo Dias brought Spanish TV to record a documentary about our Community and the work we do inside it, giving us international visibility, amplifying our opportunities. That is very important to us. In addition, Léo gave us voice in the documentary and we could express ourselves and share our thoughts with the whole world. This way of empowering grassroots leaders, in which we are the protagonists of our own change is fundamental to our development and enhances community inhabitant's self esteem, and in addition we enhance our networks."
Charles Siqueira, Morro dos Prazeres Community Leader reponsible for Galera NGO - Brazil
"Leonardo was selected in a worldwide program to accelerate high potential professionals carreers I was coordinating from Human Resources area in Telefónica. I admire Leonardo's courage to leave the comfort of a stable position at Global Projects Direction in Telefónica Headquarter to develop a career that brought him to this point. He is totally committed to building a better world and throws all his energies into this dream!"
Françoise Trapenard, President, Fundação Telefónica Vivo - Brazil / Spain
"I had the pleasure of delivering workshops with Léo in RIO+20 and work with him in a program he developed in favela Vila Cruzeiro. I am astounded by Leo's ability to co-design and find solutions for communities in a way that builds capacity, grows relationships and creates unique partnerships. He works tirelessly to establish win-win situations for local communities, organizations and businesses - often in ways that are totally unique. Because of his important work, communities are seeing benefits today, but are also establishing a foundation to thrive in the future."
John Lewis, President, LEAD Canada and President, Intelligent Futures - Canada
"We had the honour of working with Leonardo in Great Minds. He has made his work his life's cause and this is evident in how engaging his presentation is and the passion he transmits when talking about his subject. What is best about his projects is that they are oriented to people (people-centered), to help people and he works for them to have a better future. Léo is outstanding in professional excellence, as a conference speaker and, above all, as a magnificent person. I sincerely recommend his work and urge you to get in touch with him to obtain details about all his social inclusion projects."
José María Robisco , CEO, leadership expert, founder of Great Minds - Spain / UK
"Part Maven, and part Connector, Leonardo could be a character in a book by Malcolm Gladwell or Dan Pink. He loves to build partnerships with people living in favelas. Everything Leonardo does, takes him closer to his cherished goal of bringing communities, business and government together, to build a better future for all. Léo is also a lot fun to be around. His genuine curiosity about people, and his ability to see the funny side, are impossible to resist."
Edward Kellow, Head of Training Programes, LEAD International - UK
"Knowing that a new generation of leaders from the developing world and emerging markets are promoting sustainable development, helped by LEAD, gives me real hope for the future."
Bjorn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development - Switzerland