By Laura Rentas
Special to News is my Business
Puerto Rican entrepreneur Antonio Sosa-Pascual has been recognized as a “civic innovator” in the summer 2013 issue of “Americas Quarterly,” a policy analysis and debate magazine published by the Americas Society and Council of the Americas, based in New York City.
The recognition stems from his involvement with Parranda.org, a social media and content platform he co-founded to map the global Puerto Rican diaspora with the aspiration to rebuild a safer, healthier, and more prosperous Puerto Rico.
“To be recognized by such as prestigious and influential publication is both humbling and encouraging,” said Sosa-Pascual, who is also the managing director of REOF Capital, a financial advisory firm in San Juan with clients in Chicago, Atlanta and Barcelona.
Parranda.org, launched on New Year’s Day 2013, uses Google Maps technology to identify where Puerto Ricans live all over the world. With over 2,000 users in six continents, Parranda aims to channel resources from the Puerto Rican diaspora toward the improvement of economic and social conditions on the island.
“Throughout my professional career I have tried to bring together people and resources that contribute to the creation of economic opportunities for individuals and communities. Maybe because I’ve approached these subjects from unusual angles, they consider me an innovator,” he said.
Through Parranda.org, Sosa-Pascual and his co-founders (Giovanni Rodríguez, Natascha Otero, Marcos Polanco, Ricardo Burgos and Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, among others) have brought together leaders of the Puerto Rican diaspora to identify, discuss, and try to use technology and social media to solve challenges in such crucial areas as economic development and education.
“Puerto Rico and its diaspora certainly need many innovative leaders to take our society to the next level. Being considered an innovator by a leading policy journal is an honor for Puerto Rico and great validation that the work we are doing in Parranda.org is the right one. I am very pleased with this recognition” he added.
During Parranda.org’s first Global Summit, held earlier this year at the University of Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras campus, Puerto Rico and mainland leaders pledged to create partnerships to provide mentorship opportunities for young Puerto Rican entrepreneurs, provide them with job opportunities and connect them with potential investors, regardless of geographical location.
According to the Americas Quarterly story, Sosa-Pascual “is himself an example of how far the Puerto Rican diaspora has reached.”
He earned his MBA at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he founded the MIT-Harvard Puerto Rican Caucus, and has held posts in the public and private sectors around the world, including serving as deputy secretary of the Economic Development and Commerce Department.