Lina Ascencio

Project Coordinator, Yanama Origen y Palabra

Big Bet: Ensure continental renewable energy developments center indigenous input.

Project: Develop a scalable model for energy transition rooted in intercultural dialogues between indigenous peoples, state, and private actors. Currently piloted in the historically marginalized region of La Guajira, Colombia, it combines capacity building, intercultural dialogues, and advocacy to encourage governments to reaffirm their commitment to indigenous rights. This project centers the Wayuu people as strategic and financial partners in the area’s energy transition, and can serve as a model for other communities working toward energy transitions.

Lina M. Ascencio is an advocate for climate justice, interculturalism, and Indigenous rights. Through her work on intercultural dialogue for energy transition, she has facilitated the positioning of the Wayuu people of Colombia’s La Guajira department as leading actors in the 2030 Agenda, achieving unlikely alliances between the business sector, civil society, and the national government. In 2016, as a peace activist in Colombia, she co-founded a movement called Sendá, which established a network of allies and advocates across the country seeking to tackle inequality, a cause for which she has worked ever since.

She has also contributed to the improvement of the transitional justice system in Colombia by advocating for the inclusion of ethnic leadership and perspectives, and led the creation of the first Artificial Intelligence tool to be used within the Colombian Constitutional Court. Today, Lina is working across the Amazon basin to advance Indigenous participation in forest governance in the eight countries that make up the region.

Lina has two undergraduate degrees (Philosophy and Political Science) from Universidad del Rosario (Colombia) and a Masters in Economics, Law and Politics from Science Po Bordeaux (France). She is also a facilitator at the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology-MIT (USA) since 2020. She is passionate about creative writing, climbing, and languages.