Category: News and Press Releases

Environmental Conservation and Ecological Restoration – A Business For Our Future

Leslie Cooper, Managing Partner InterSearch Chile, interviews Magdalena Valdés, Founder and Executive Director of Bosko

Today, candidates are increasingly interested in finding companies that offer meaningful jobs. Such positions not only provide a sense of purpose, motivation, and well-being but also encompass opportunities for social impact and personal growth. As society progresses and perspectives on work and life’s purpose undergo a transformation, a significant number of young individuals are actively seeking employment that transcends mere monetary compensation. They yearn to experience a profound sense of contribution, knowing that their work is making a positive difference in the world. This profound sense of purpose empowers them to work with unwavering passion, wholeheartedly commit to goals, and unleash their creativity in the realm of their profession.

Furthermore, the emerging generations demonstrate an ever-increasing concern for social and environmental issues. They possess a deep longing to make a positive impact on the world and tackle these challenges head-on. Through active engagement in meaningful projects, individuals are presented with a unique opportunity to not only acquire new skills and relevant knowledge but also to fully develop their potential.

In this context, it is especially interesting to engage in a conversation with Magdalena Valdés, founder and director of Bosko, a company dedicated to planting fast-growing native forests using the ecological restoration method devised by Akira Miyawaki. The passion and conviction with which Magdalena talks about her work is truly inspiring. In Magdalena’s own words, “I firmly believed that I had to dedicate myself to leading this project, spreading awareness about it, and thereby making a meaningful contribution to the intricate challenges faced by humanity today.”

Magdalena recalls her childhood, where she would embark on adventures to the Pirque Hills, which felt like an extension of her own backyard. These hills were once teeming with lush vegetation and a thriving ecosystem. However, as the years went by and Magdalena continued these excursions with her children, she became an eyewitness to the devastating environmental degradation that had taken place. This profound realization ignited within her a fundamental concern and an innate discomfort with the state of our environment, prompting her desire to contribute to something of greater significance.

Since Bosko’s creation in 2020, she has discovered a profound sense of inner peace. Driven by her deep connection with nature and fueled by an unwavering passion, she has found her calling. Her conviction lies in the restoration of life to the soil, with a steadfast focus on forests and regeneration. Magdalena’s dedication to her mission is unwavering, as she strives to breathe new life into the land and make a positive impact on the environment.

“There is no reason to believe that more and more opportunities to work for nature will not continue to open up” – Magdalena Valdés

What drives someone like you to make a drastic change in your profession to get involved in this issue?

Conviction and passion, probably. Although I come from the world of Social Sciences, all my life I have been in contact with nature. I have lived in Pirque since I was a girl, closely linked to the rural world and life in the open air and, therefore, I have witnessed the transformation that nature has undergone in recent years. From birds and insects that are hardly seen anymore, to the essential vegetation of the ecosystem that no longer resists the current climatic conditions. It is painful to see how the native forest of a place, which has lived in harmony for hundreds of thousands of years, collapses in a matter of years.

It was in this context that when I found out about the existence of a system that allows native forests to grow quickly, I was immediately enthusiastic about trying it to see if it would also work with our Mediterranean climate. The trial’s ultimate success served as a catalyst for me to redirect my professional path toward something that not only convinces me but also fills me with excitement.

What is Bosko? What motivated you to found Bosko? How did the idea of planting fast-growing native forests come about?

Bosko is a company dedicated to ecological restoration, in general, and with a particular “spearhead” that is precisely the Miyawaki native forests, which have the virtue of rapidly recovering small, degraded spaces, returning them to their original or reference ecosystem.

My initial motivation responded to the dream of filling the soil with native forests that also grow fast. After carrying out that first Miyawaki forest trial and seeing its impressive results, I was certain that I should dedicate myself to leading this project, disseminating it and thus contributing to the complex scenario in which we find ourselves today as humanity.

Could you explain what the ecological restoration method devised by Akira Miyawaki consists of? How do you apply it at Bosko? How well-known is it in other parts of the world?

The Miyawaki Method, as it is known, is an intensive system of ecological restoration. This means that, with the objective of reconstituting a certain reference ecosystem, it tries to imitate the conditions of that ecosystem in its mature version. For example, if the ecosystem corresponds to a type of temperate forest, the soil conditions and plant species that would exist in that place if there had been no human intervention are observed.

Thus, the soil is worked looking for its oxygenation and enrichment with organic matter, until reaching certain characteristics that are similar to the soil of a mature temperate forest. Likewise, the possible species are chosen, from all the strata of that ecosystem and they are planted in high density, that is, three to five plants per square meter. In this way, collaboration between those species that have coexisted for hundreds of thousands of years is fostered and, in turn, their competition for nutrients and light is stimulated, just as in any forest.

Finally, the soil is covered with a layer of mulching, in order to protect it from solar radiation and thus promote the multiplication of microbiological life in it, which facilitates the interactions of the forest, making it increasingly complex.

Technically speaking, at Bosko we apply it in the most reliable way possible, trying to get it done in urban or peri-urban spaces, because this methodology is quite intensive in its work per square meter, which means that these types of forests tend to occupy smaller spaces. The parks, streets, sidewalks, public areas, etc.,.are perfect spaces for a Miyawaki forest. Likewise, gardens and plots of pleasure have been spaces where we have carried out many projects.

It has been interesting to realize that, although the methodology has existed for more than 50 years (the first forest made by Akira Miyawaki, creator of the system, was in 1971), we were the first to spread it more systematically in Latin America through our work in Chile. Before arriving here, these forests began to replicate intensely in different cities in Europe, including Paris, London, and Brussels, for example.

In this start-up, what have been the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?

The greatest challenge is to do it right. Technically, Miyawaki forests require rigor in the process and monitoring. Furthermore, each forest responds differently because conditions always vary. Therefore, we must be conscientious of those conditions. Our approach to addressing these challenges is by being responsible from a technical standpoint and sensible in terms of where and how we execute each forest.

What impact has Bosko’s work had on ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation?

Early on, we set out to broaden our perspective by incorporating different methodologies associated with ecological restoration. With the purpose that “every soil dreams of being a forest” or that every soil desires to respond to its reference ecosystem, and that our job is to make it a reality, we are already working, for example, on a pilot restoration project in Cerro Renca, which we know is a very challenging space due to its degraded conditions. In that project, we have set goals that are aligned with the degree of degradation of the area, focusing more on the erosion control and restoring the soil’s capacity to support life through physical soil remediation work, and subsequently introducing certain pioneer plants that are resistant to the extreme conditions of the location.

Therefore, we have developed the ability to address both populated spaces within the city through Miyawaki forests, as well as wild areas using other techniques more suitable for the environment. As a result, we are pleased to realize that the impact is strongly ecological but also deeply social because our projects are also exposed to people. Human beings ARE nature and cannot and should not disconnect from it. That is why we will continue to work strongly on bringing native forests to people and cities, promoting green infrastructure that is both ecological, functional, and aesthetic.

How do you involve local communities in your projects and what role do they play in ecological restoration?

When it comes to interventions in public spaces, we have involved the community at least in the planting process. This is very motivating because you can see firsthand what we intuit: that in order to promote an ethic of care, we must first and foremost foster knowledge and attachment to what we are getting to know. When there is no community connection, the conservation of the space becomes more challenging because there is precisely a lack of knowledge, attachment, and therefore, less care.

What has been the response from companies to your value proposition? What are you doing to involve more companies in the restoration or planting of native forests for different communities?

The response from both the public and private sectors has been incredibly positive and remarkable. There is curiosity, and that’s already a good sign. It’s exactly how I started myself, out of curiosity. And from curiosity comes the desire, and that’s how it has been. We are seeing increasing demand, even from real estate companies that are daring to incorporate ecological restoration and Miyawaki forests into their landscaping.

We are also on the verge of establishing a foundation branch so that companies can support projects dedicated to vulnerable public spaces, for example, which are also the areas where green spaces are most needed.

What is your dream for Bosko? What are your plans for the future of Bosko and the expansion of your ecological restoration projects?

Our dream is to gradually establish ourselves. We are striving to refine the application of the Miyawaki system, where we still have room for improvement. However, we are determined to make a strong impact on ecological restoration or rehabilitation projects.

In terms of coverage, we are currently working in the central region and the Los Lagos region in the southern part of the country, but we aim to build capabilities throughout Chile. Lastly, we believe that looking towards Latin America is also an interesting option, possibly through our foundation and alliances with local stakeholders. I see this as a highly feasible goal in the medium term.

You have just been in the Galapagos Islands receiving a significant award. Can you tell us about that?

Absolutely! It was a wonderful experience because we indeed won in our category of Resilient Architecture Design at the “Premios Verdes”, which are like the “Oscars” of Sustainability for Latin America. There were over 3,000 projects submitted, and we managed to become one of the three finalists in this category. It was a delightful surprise when they announced us as the winners of the Galapagos Islands. It is a stimulus and a reinforcement that we believe we are doing things right and that there is room to continue doing our work in the best possible way.

What is your message to those who wish to get involved in environmental conservation and ecological restoration?

I believe there is every reason to believe that more and more opportunities will continue to arise for working towards nature. Our company exists because we are structurally facing an unparalleled climate and ecological crisis since the existence of our species. And although it may be late, we are now witnessing growing awareness and action from international organizations, governments, and businesses. The forms that these actions take are diverse, and if carried out appropriately, this crisis can gradually be mitigated for the sake of the planet and humanity as a whole.


Click here to see more articles from the InterSearch Energy & Sustainability experts.

Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person

Article of Jyorden Misra, Managing Director at Spearhead InterSearchInterSearch India.

As one of the inspirations of the executive search industry, Edwin Booz, Co-founder of Booz Allen Hamilton famously said in 1914.

The pandemic has forced CEOs across the globe to think dynamically in tandem with the rapidly changing business environment. Business leaders are now placing digital transformation, innovative cultures, and the development of a new generation of leaders at the top of their agendas. Making such critical talent decisions requires exquisite knowledge of the swift market currents and foresight into an acrobatic future. This brings the need for a well-equipped and trusted partner who understands the organization at a foundational level and provides future-ready talent solutions to help the client.

Search Is A Dynamic Concept – Closely Cradled With Culture

Traditional command structures are increasingly giving way to a more collaborative and consensus-led co-authorship style of management. Teams and markets have both moved away from an ‘all under one roof’ formula. Employees in most instances can be based anywhere and customers too can access products and services virtually from anywhere. This means a big change in the way organizations are being structured and operating, triggering a transformational shift in its cultural paradigm.

How do you keep the spirit of camaraderie, team connections, and motivation high with just sounds and sights of virtuality but no touch and feel of reality? A functionary with more conventional conditioning would struggle in such scenarios. Similarly, it becomes critically important for Search Firms to accurately assess culture to determine a secure and more complete fitment. It is an established fact that 70% of people who fail in any organization globally do so because of a cultural mismatch. Breaking the code and reading the cultural contours, both existing and intended is key.

The erstwhile image of being just ‘Headhunters’ is fast fading. Today’s needs require counsel on a broader basis, for instance, talent assessment of the client’s competition in the market, talent audit of the client’s own company (benchmarked against industry standards), advising boards on efficiency and effectiveness, planning for leadership succession and assessment of culture and more.

Leadership Talent – The Critical Differentiator (Search)

Executive Search in its true form is a highly holistic and sophisticated service offering. It has a deep capacity to absorb, proven characteristics to discern, the capability to deploy organic tools, and the conscientiousness to connect at a human level. This combination in its final analysis is the most potent and valuable asset that search as a human software, successfully provides.

There is an inestimable value in insight, judgment, discernment, and appreciation of human nuances that an algorithm cannot replace. From resume screening to background research, technology can provide a huge boost. When it comes to helping choose the best option from great candidates, technology enables well but soon reaches its limits. There are too many immeasurable details straddling the conscious, sub-conscious, and sublime that requires a human being in that process. The catalyst and the bridge in this case is the search consultant.

These are the issues that the leaders of today will have to plan and factor for in the days to follow. The pandemic has been a propellant to test and re-align the mettle and metrics of leadership.

A knife of the keenest steel requires the whetstone, and the wisest man needs advice

These ancient and insightful words of Zoroaster capture the essence of where the leadership talent search profession stands today and the direction it’s headed towards.


About the author

Jyorden Misra is a founding member and Managing Director of Spearhead InterSearch, a specialized Executive Search Consulting Firm, focused on senior executive and Board level hiring. Incorporated in 1997 with its headquarters in New Delhi, the Firm represents InterSearch Worldwide in India through its presence in 4 metro cities across the country.

In his current role, Jyorden is responsible for driving the Firm’s strategic direction, business growth and managing key client relationships. He leads critical assignments for Board of Directors and CEO searches as well as mandates impacting any corporate governance arena. He also serves in the 5 member Global Management Board of InterSearch Worldwide.

The key to running a successful onsite interview

Article of the US member of InterSearch WorldwideCharles Aris.

As interviews return to the office, it’s important to make candidates feel comfortable during their first visit to your workplace. Candidates begin evaluating your organization from the moment they enter your building, so making a stellar first impression is crucial.

What we’ve learned from over half a century in executive search is that assigning candidates a “buddy” — a team member who is not part of the official interview panel — to guide them through on-site interviews will help you stand out dramatically from other organizations vying for the same person. Here’s why:

First impressions: For many candidates, receiving a warm welcome early in the process is an indicator of strong company culture. Prior to the interview, the buddy should reach out to the candidate to introduce themselves and share a bit about their role in your organization. This is also a great time for this team member to answer any initial questions the candidate may have.

Interview logistics: Your assigned team member should also lay out the specifics of the interview process for the candidate, as well as the plan for the day of the interview. This summary should include the following:

  • Information about parking, building access and other logistical details.
  • Approximately how long the interview will last and what to expect.
  • The exact location in which the interview will take place.

On the day of the interview, the buddy should give the candidate a tour of the office and guide them to all interview locations. Throughout the day, they should regularly check in with the candidate and ensure they have ample time to use the restroom, eat lunch and decompress.

One-on-one debrief: At the end of the day, the buddy should debrief with the candidate and ensure there are no outstanding questions. This team member can also provide their best contact information to answer any further questions should they come up.

The takeaway:

Virtual and on-site interviews are both critical components of the hiring process, but in-person interviews allow candidates to evaluate your organization based on a wider variety of factors. During an in-person visit, the way a candidate is greeted at the door is just as important as the quality of questions you ask during the formal interview.

If you’re selling your opportunity to an A-player, assigning a member of your team to guide the candidate through the interview process will help your organization leave a positive impression and increase your chances of receiving a signed offer letter.

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InterSearch Worldwide’ s first in-person Industrial Practice Group convention in Paris

In late April, the industrial segment experts of InterSearch Ww convened in the beautiful city of Paris, France for a two-day knowledge exchange.

This gathering provided an opportunity to share best practices in executive search, ensuring the delivery of the highest quality service to InterSearch Ww’s clients across the globe through international assignments.

Hosted by Godefroy De La Bourdonnaye, Head of Industrial Practice Group of InterSearch Ww, the event also featured a round table discussion with representatives of clients of Grant Alexander -InterSearch Member of France: Charlotte Delmas, HR Director at Datawords and Alain Everbecq, Senior Executive at Poclain.

In the course of the discussion, InterSearch delegates from 10 countries across Europe, Middle East & Africa provided market intelligence while the guests present also shared their perspectives, current challenges and expectations resulting in a dynamic exchange of insights and ideas.

Be sure not to miss out on the upcoming article that participants of the Paris Industrial Practice Group meeting are preparing based the key learning of the event by following InterSearch Ww on social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter).

About Intersearch

InterSearch Worldwide is a global organization of executive search firms consistently ranked amongst the largest retained executive search practices in the world. InterSearch is currently operating with over 90 offices in more than 50 countries, able to operate in 70+. Established in 1989 in the UK, InterSearch carefully selects the best executive search firms to partner with as a member of a global entity with high integrity, transparency, and depth of experience. InterSearch prides itself on having a global reach with local impact.


About Grant Alexander

For over 30 years, Grant Alexander has been a partner in the performance of organizations and their leaders, providing them with comprehensive support for all their skills management and development needs, always with a tailor-made response. A multi-specialist HR consulting and services group, with 4 activities (Executive Search, Executive Interim, Leadership Development, HR & Organization Transformation), it operates in all sectors, on all functions (managers/experts /rare profiles), throughout the world. It has several offices in France (Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Toulouse), an office in Abidjan for Africa, and is an active member of InterSearch, of which it is the exclusive partner in France. A socially committed player, Grant Alexander is Lucie 26000 certified.

Solutions on corporate challenges after the peak of the pandemic

Companies have had to foster not only their attractiveness and positioning as an “employer brand”, but also build a safe, healthy, and trustworthy work culture and work environment. For their part, recruitment and selection firms had to enhance and refine the use of technological tools for the search, evaluation, and selection of people, to achieve the best fit between the motivations, needs, expectations, and interests of people with what the organization and the position offers.

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