Interview: Cesar Coletti of the History Channel Highlights Ruta N’s Collaboration in Its ‘Una Idea’ Latin American Honors
The History Channel is in the midst of its “Una Idea” project to celebrate Latin Americans who are making history today. Its goal is to highlight some of the region’s top entrepreneurs and difference makers, honoring the very best with recognition and tens of thousands of dollars in prizes.
Cesar Coletti, senior vice president of marketing for A&E Networks and the History Channel in Latin America, was recently in Medellín, Colombia, to meet with officials at Ruta N, one of the channel’s strategic partners in the initiative.
Photo: Former “Una Idea” honoree Wiesner Alfonso Osorio (L), Ruta N Executive Director Alejandro Franco (C), and Cesar Coletti of the History Channel recently gathered in Medellín to talk about the channel’s initiative and innovation. (Credit: Loren Moss)
Ruta N Executive Director Alejandro Franco is one of the judges for this year’s contest, which will be announced in December in Mexico City. But the Colombia connections don’t end there.
Wiesner Alfonso Osorio of Cali, Colombia, was among the top honorees at last year’s event for his work in advancing solar energy in the country. He joined Coletti and Franco on stage recently at Ruta N to talk more about his experience with Una Idea, alternative energy concepts, and innovation in Colombia.
During the event, Coletti also took the time to talk more about the initiative in an exclusive interview with Finance Colombia Executive Editor Loren Moss.
Finance Colombia: History’s ‘Una Idea’ project sounds very interesting, and now you’re here collaborating with Ruta N. What’s the idea behind that initiative?
Cesar Coletti: The initial idea was always to look for a project that was very much in line with the DNA of History Channel. And the idea of making history — our philosophy is that history is made by people. All of us can make history.
So from that starting point, we generated a project like this one, which seeks to finance projects that can make changes in society at an important level and that can change someone’s history.
Finance Colombia: What participation does Ruta N have in the project?
Cesar Coletti: Ruta N is a key partner when it comes to helping us with broadcasting and giving us guidelines on how everything that has to do with innovation works here in Colombia. Within Latin America, we see this city as one of the main focal points of innovation.
You can see it all over the city, and through Ruta N we have found that this is really the place where we want to be to promote the project and to accompany what this city is doing, which is something really quite interesting from the regional point of view.
Finance Colombia: When did you start this?
Cesar Coletti: This initiative is in its third edition, so we’ve already been working on this for three years. The process is quite a long one. There’s a registration period. After that registration period, there’s a group of judges, and as you mentioned this year one of them is Alejandro Franco of Ruta N.
They choose the ideas, the best ones. Then, later, History makes a sort of recorded “capsule” of each one of them. Once that is over, the capsules are sent out and the people begin to vote.
Everybody can vote. Eventually we get down to just the best five, and the ones that get the most votes are announced as the winners. The first place wins $60,000 USD. The second place wins $40,000 USD. The third place wins $20,000 USD, and the fourth and fifth places win $10,000 USD each.
Finance Colombia: Who can apply? Who can take part?
Cesar Coletti: Everybody who is over 18 years old. Everybody who has a very good idea that has social impact can take part and can win. There’s a total of $140,000 USD available for those who have cutting-edge ideas that can really make a change in society.
Finance Colomia: When will we know who won?
Cesar Coletti: In December at a gala that is held in Mexico City. There the winners will be announced in a special event that we normally transmit live.