Senior Officer of the Odebrecht Foundation since May, Fábio Wanderley earned a degree in Administration and has been with the Odebrecht Group for 13 years. Having worked at both Construtora Norberto Odebrecht and Odebrecht Real Estate Developments – where he was Administrative-Financial Director in Bahia and in Pernambuco – he talks about this new challenge in his professional career, the institution's current phase, and its main challenges. “Our priority will be to maintain and strengthen the programs already developed in the Bahia Southern Lowlands," emphasized Wanderley.
Why did you accept the invitation to lead the foundation? What kinds of things do you plan to contribute to the institution?
It was extremely gratifying for me to receive this invitation. I have been with the Odebrecht Group for 13 years, always focused on the segments associated with the Businesses. I had never worked in the non-profit sector, and that is why this new phase represents a challenge. Learning about the foundation's history and becoming more familiar with the social legacy left behind by Norberto Odebrecht prompted me to accept the challenge. I believe that, based on the company's current phase, leveraging this social legacy of the foundation will be important. I feel motivated to help recover our image and reputation.
You have extensive experience with private business management. How do you believe this expertise can help leverage the results of an institution focused on social causes?
Over the past four months, we have been able to primarily improve the areas of Compliance and Governance and elaborate our indicators and results. My background in Administration, with experience in the area of audits, is a differential I can bring here initially.
What are the Odebrecht Foundation's priorities for the next three-year period? Can you give us a preview of how and where its focus will be?
We recently began a discussion with our Board of Trustees, Odebrecht Group members and companies, and the communities involved to elaborate an agenda for the future. This agenda should remain aligned with our field of activities, which focuses on education and environmental conservation. We can say that the priority will be maintaining and strengthening the programs developed in the Bahia Southern Lowlands, which are in line with our core purpose.
Having existed for more than five decades, the Odebrecht Foundation is considered a reference in sustainable development in the Bahia Southern Lowlands. In your opinion, what is the main challenge the institution faces today?
One of the main challenges I face today, whether working inside or outside the Bahia Southern Lowlands, is improving social indicators. We are looking to qualify high-impact indicators so we can have a qualified history of results and systematize all of our technology.
How does the Odebrecht Foundation want to be recognized? What has it already begun doing in this sense?
As a foundation with over 50 years of victories and achievements, our mission is to educate people for life and through work, prioritizing the development of people and recognition of human beings. An institution that generates results and effective impacts in the environments in which it is present. In this sense, we have already begun to intensify our dialogue with the Odebrecht Group Businesses, partners, and communities so we can leverage our actions objectively and transparently.
What is your view of the social legacy left by Norberto Odebrecht?
What is clear to us, what we see in the daily lives of the Southern Lowland communities, is the vision of the future that our founder Norberto Odebrecht always had. He had this vision before any other big executive, and the concern with focusing on human beings. When he thought about promoting any type of action, he always focused on four fronts: education, generation of jobs and income, citizenship, and the environment. This is what he worked to put into practice in the projects the foundation supported in the past and currently supports. Perhaps this differential allowed the institution, even with this whole image crisis we are experiencing, to maintain all of the social investors we already had. This demonstrates the trust and respect that these investors have in our work.
Speaking of this period in which we are experiencing a strong reputational crisis, how do you evaluate the foundation's role when it comes to rebuilding society's trust and respect?
It is a crucial part of this process. We are talking about one of the world's oldest corporate foundations, which has always prioritized people and defended the worth of human beings. Based on this, we have a great deal to contribute toward this process of recovering our reputation, considering our history of victories and achievements. We have to offer a social technology focused on generating opportunities that produce effective social transformations and which is inspired by the Odebrecht Entrepreneurial Technology (TEO). At all the institutions we support, we have been able to see this quite clearly: our philosophy, TEO, changing people's lives.
October marked the start of a the new Tribute to the Future Program - New Generations campaign. What will be the focus this year?
Tribute to the Future is a major mobilization that occurs both within and outside the Odebrecht Group, designed to encourage the culture of donation in our country. It has become an important source of fundraising to support educational projects that help encourage adolescents to remain in the rural regions and expand their professional perspectives. This year, the campaign is promoting the project Training Adolescents to Become Future Rural Entrepreneurs, developed by the Family Homes that are part of PDCIS (Program for Development and Growth Integrated with Sustainability), supported by the Odebrecht Foundation. Supporting this cause is crucial for keeping us on track toward promoting this legacy. Together, members, partners, and society in general can create the opportunities so that this new generation can build the future during the present.