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On Tuesday, the 18th of October, C Minds by PIDES carried out the Mexico Chapter of the “Finding Legitimacy – A Global Conversation” initiative . The global project led by the Centre for Public Impact (CPI), a BCG Foundation, aims to gather insights on the meaning and feel of government legitimacy for different nations across the world into a set of global guidelines. You can read more about this initiative in a previous blogpost.

Selected to be the Mexico CPI Champions, C Minds by PIDES had the privilege of gathering a diversity of amazing and insightful minds around a cup of coffee during a two hour-long conversation to discuss and understand Mexico’s perspective on the topic. To ensure an adequate representation of the country’s myriad of angles, the roundtable was made up of representatives from the government, academia, the industry, civil society and regional and international NGOs and institutions. Various views were brought to the table, including the following:

indigenous communities, citizenship, social innovation, energy, restauration, entrepreneurship, technology, youth, students, social media, the digital economy, social businesses, the health sector, public innovation, the legislative power, governance, citizen participation, democracy, culture, gender, law, the judiciary power and human rights.

The conversation was brilliantly moderated by Miguel Pulido who asked provocative questions and had the participants reflect on whether or not we were experiencing a legitimacy crisis. You can find out more about all participants at the bottom of this post.

“Trust” was one of the words that came up most in people’s answers. One of the participants commented “As much as I try to trust the delegates that represent my area, the deputies of my constituency, the supreme court, and all levels of government, I don’t succeed in doing so as there is always something that comes and destroys the little trust I have built”. Another interesting insight that came up was the government’s perceived over-reliance of laws: “the government uses legality and the drafting of laws as if it were an instrument for legitimacy”. Most participants agreed that increasing citizen participation in law drafting and in decision-making would increase trust levels, but noted that the country’s severe disparity, including economic and digital gaps, poses a barrier to achieving truly representative societal participation.

The elephant in the room was not spared. The issue of corruption was pointed to numerous times as one of the main perpetrators of distrust in the government. All participants agreed “society is too accepting” and “something needs to be done”.

So what seemed to be the consensus regarding the thought-provoking questions? Most people in Mexico do not trust in their institutions, regardless of the level of government, but would not refer to this reality as a legitimacy crisis.

At C Minds by PIDES, we have been taking actions to encourage the evolution of government towards inclusivity through various initiatives, relying strongly on the element of trust to encourage citizen/government collaborations. We have been a local advocate for open government and civic innovation since our inception 10 years ago and feel honored to have had the opportunity to contribute Mexico’s unique perspective on the topic of government legitimacy to such an ambitious global initiative.

Don’t forget to read about our incredible participants below and to take a look at our photos! And stay tuned for the publication of the Global Report on Finding Legitimacy in 2018.


Alejandro Solís, Director General of Grupo Dival Grupo Dival is a restaurant holding group that includes large chain brands such as Hooters. Alejandro is in charge of leading the development and execution of the company’s long-term strategy with the aim of creating sustainable, long-term value for all stakeholders. In the past, he worked in investment banking at Morgan Stanley.

Ariana Peña, Specialist in citizenship building and vulnerable groups at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Ariana works as the liaison between the UNDP and Mexican Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. Ariana is contributing to the international institution’s work with the national government to bring about effective and responsible citizen participation in the planning, execution and monitoring of environmental policies and the management and conservation of natural resources.

Bruno Nellen, Political Science student at the Iberoamerican University in Mexico City Bruno has looked into topics such as ethics and the relation between citizens and governments with a keen interest. As part of his degree, he is currently interning at Espacio Progresista, a civil society organization, contributing to the design and implementation of citizen-led efforts on a variety of topics, including the reduction of food waste in cities.

Daniela Escalante, former television presenter and current social media influencer Daniela became a very popular Mexican figure during her 7 years at Primero Noticias, a national news station where she was in charge of the futuristic trends and technology area. She currently has an influential presence on social media, with over 40.3K followers on twitter. She is passionate about communication strategies and tweets about a broad variety of topics, including the news, social causes, future trends and the arts.

Eduardo Clark, Director of Data for Development, Coordination of the National Digital Strategy The CEDN is a Federal Government plan created by the Presidency of Mexico as an official policy with the aim of “adopting and developing ICTs” in Mexico during the 2014-2018 period. They are in charge of Mexico’s open data and civic innovation policies. Eduardo used to work at IMCO, the Mexican Institute for Competition, a think-tank dedicated to creating public policy proposals to move towards a prosperous and inclusive Mexico.

Elena Mariscal, Google Impact Challenge, Google México Elena was recognized as a Global Shaper by the World Economic Forum. She helps lead the Impact Challenge (with various prizes that sum up to 5.75 million USD) asks local non-for-profit innovators how they would make their community—and beyond—an even better place. The public and a panel of local judges vote for the ideas with the most potential, and pairs each winner with a package of support including funding and mentorship.

Erick Ochoa, Director of Health Policies at the Inter-American Heart Foundation (IAHF) The IAHF was created in 1992 under the auspice of the World Heart Federation with the support of a number of heart foundations and societies throughout the American continents to combat heart and blood vessel diseases, which is the number one cause of death in most regional countries. Erick is also one of the main coordinators of the Mexican Coalition for Non-Chronic Diseases (Mexico Saludhable), which includes over 100 NGOs.

Fernando Dworak, Ex-Congressman and current political figure and professor During the LVI Legislature of the Chamber of Deputies, Fernando was the Technical Secretary for the Commission on Citizen Participation. Later on, as the Study Commission was working on the State Reform, he was the Technical Secretary of the roundtable regarding “System of Governance and Public Authorities Organization”. As of 2009, he is currently the Academic Coordinator of the Certification in Legislative Planning and Operation at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM).

Humberto Fuentes, Main Advisor to the Speaker of the House of the Chamber of Deputies Humberto is currently the main advisor to the Speaker of the House in the Chamber of Deputies and is the founding partner of a consultancy that designs solutions to public problems. In 2016, he was one of the Mexico Representatives of the Organization of American States in the Open Government Program.

Jorge Carbajal, Specialist in Participative Processes and Government Schemes at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Jorge is in charge of a program with the Mexican Ministry of Environment regarding the National and Local Advisory Boards of Sustainable Development. UNDP is the UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life.

Keila Gonzalez, Resident Director for Mexico at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) The NDI is a non-for-profit, nonpartisan organization working to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide through citizen participation, openness and accountability in government. Keila’s work during the past few years has involved strengthening public policy related to public safety, human rights and access to justice, as well as projects to promote legislative transparency.

Lucía Melgar, Renowned Academic and author on topics ranging from gender to literature and culture Lucía is currently the Coordinator for Research and Academic Projects in the UNAM’s Gender Studies University Program, where she is also leading research in the field of “Boundaries: violence, justice and culture”. She co-authored the book “boundaries, violence and justice: new narratives”. In the past, she taught at the Colegio de México and Princeton University.

Miguel Gallardo, Executive Director, and Oliver Castañeda, Director General of Innovation, Evaluation of the Government’s Performance and Strategic Use of Information at the General Coordination of Administrative Modernization of the Government of Mexico City (CGMA in Spanish) The CGMA is in charge of designing, leading and coordinating all strategies and agendas to innovate and modernize the government, the knowledge administration and the evaluation of the government’s performance in the Public Administration of the State of Mexico City, as well as the governance model. The government entity was awarded the top prize in the regional contest for “Development Results Management” in 2017 by the Community of Professionals and Experts in Latin-America and the Caribbean for Development Results of the Inter-American Development Bank.


Miguel Pulido, Director of Critical Thinking Advocates Miguel used to be the director of Fundar, a research and analysis center on human rights. He is now the Director CREATURA (Critical Thinking Advocates), an international consultancy focused on social transformation and change. He is also very involved in the academic world and has a number of publications on human rights.


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