Carlos' relationship with disaster response and recovery has come a long way since he first experienced the devastation of Hurricane David in his childhood, fascinated by the volunteer work of his older teenage brothers unloading sorgum and donated supplies at the docks and later traveling to remote rural villages with his father to assess the destruction and engineering challenges of recovery.
Almost 20 years later, his web page with live video and ground images of hurricane George quickly rose to the top of search engines results. But this time, he was able to serve as a volunteer himself delivering food to displaced individuals and families, experiencing for the first time the disconnect between conventional relief efforts and the needs and priorities of survivors.
His focus however turned to the Internet, where he created a network of education, literature and local culture online communities and content hubs that lead to CNN naming him one of Latin America's 20 Most Influential Latinos on the Internet in the year 2000.
A decade later, following the 2010 Haïti earthquake, he lead 12 missions to Port-au-Prince, engaging international supporters, local stakeholders and survivors, organically coordinating all operations through social media and mobile technologies.
The lessons learned from these combined experiences served as the basis for the Relief 2.0 model of efficiently running the last mile in disaster response through independent units with local stakeholders in the field supported by mobile technologies and social networks to fill the gaps created by bureaucracy and top-down hierarchies.
6 weeks after the Haïti earthquake, a wide range of real-life cases were discussed to document and define a set of best practices at a collaborative workshop he organized with the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, where he served as a Digital Vision Fellow, sponsored by Google and the Reuters Foundation.
The following year, as Social Entrepreneur in Residence at the National University of Singapore Entrepreneurship Centre, he developed the Markets of Hope model for Disaster Recovery with dignity, inclusion, generation and distribution of wealth.
Immediately after the 2011 Earthquake in Japan, he and co-founder Robin Low deployed with a small Relief 2.0 team right in the disaster area, mobilizing resources and coordinating response, once again engaging local stakeholders, survivors and international supporters through mobile technologies, social networks and direct field work.
To spread the word on local capacity, survivors engagement, disaster response and recovery with dignity and the success stories of local stakeholders supported by technology, he organized several TEDx conferences, including TEDxKRP in Singapore, TEDxEarthquake9.0 in Japan and TEDxPortauPrince in Haïti.
As interest rose on the need for more efficient practices for response and recovery, he was invited to present the Relief 2.0 and Markets of Hope models at the TEDxTokyo, TEDxSilkRoad (Istambul) and TEDxUChicago (USA) conferences.
A firm believer in direct contact with stakeholders and running the last mile, he has taken the message to the road on multiple solo bicycle rides from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince (320km) and from New York to Boston (400km), connecting stakeholders at both ends of the journey and speaking at schools and local communities along the way.
Since 2017, he is focused on building capacity, promoting entrepreneurial opportunities and integration with the innovation sectors for Eastern European and African displaced immigrants in France and Europe through our Impact Migrants program and the development of creative skills among homeless migrant children with our Young Creators Academy.