Cristina Mendonca

Managing Director & Founding Partner at Techni Inclusive Sustainability - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Cristina Mendonca

Instead of flying, what if we “travelled” within ourselves to explore how we are part of the climate crisis?

It is not because I am devoted to this grave planetary crisis we find ourselves in, that I can have a “privileged” status or “special” license to over-consume and have unsustainable life style and work practices.

I remember, as if it was today, how embarrassed I was when hearing a friend proudly sharing that he had flown for neither work nor vacation in 15 years. A couple of months later I’d be in Mexico City for work, and before heading back to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I live, I would make a stop-over in Costa Rica for vacation.

After this incident in Dec 2016, I began deepening my reflection on my own contribution to flight emissions. The following year I prevented emissions caused by an international long-distance work trip by attending the workshop remotely – which worked pretty well. I also went on a local trip for the holidays using public transportation. But still, I travelled significantly that year.

Since then, however, I have committed not to fly. And it’s been fun! The enhanced quality of video conferencing has been helping my transition to the world of virtual meetings. In 2018, I declined invitations to speak at events that did not accept my participation via call/video and in one particular event, instead of flying, I took a bus.

Change strategist in the context of climate change, cities, and development initiatives that have global impact, with 20+ years leadership experience in the private and non-governmental sectors, mobilizing human and financial resources, leading, facilitating, and engaging multiple stakeholders toward action in change processes.

MSc, urban and environmental engineering; Executive MBA, administration; BS, chemical engineering