Altos de Ochomogo, Costa Rica


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After my Presidency

Trabajo Internacional de José María FigueresAt the end of my term as president, I made the decision to continue expanding my knowledge about the world. In the year 2000 I accepted an invitation to join the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland as a managing Director. Four years later, I was named the first ever CEO of the organization. After that, I joined the ABU-GHAZALEH Group as its Managing Director and I shows the Sultanate, Oman as my based for working throughout the Middle East. Shortly afterwards my very good friend Diego Hidalgo, founder of the Club of Madrid and other organizations invited to come back to Europe and work with him in Spain where I stay until 2009 supporting the organizations he has established which promoted democratic values around the world. Today, I continue to serve as the chairman of DARA and as a founding member of the Club of Madrid.

Towards to end of 2009, the global entrepreneur Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, established the Carbon War Room. The mission of this organization was to identify sectors for the global economy in which carbon emissions could be reduced at the Gigatone level through the creation of new business models. I became the president of this organization. Together with Richard in a fantastic team, we set out to turn the table on the way the fight against climate change was being presented. Instead of looking at it as a cost, we successful argue it was really the most important economic opportunity of our lives thanks to the possibility of re-inventing everything along the lines of a low carbon economy. In 2014, seeking to maximize the impact of our work, we successfully merged the Carbon War Room and the Rocky Mountain Institute (https://rmi.org/). Today I serve on the board of this organization.

Towards the end of 2011 I choose to relocate to Costa Rica. This enable me to be closer to my family:  my wife Cinthia, my children José María and Eugenia, my grandson José María the fourth, my mother, brothers, sisters and nephews. From there, I continue to travel constantly and fulfill my international responsibilities.

Alongside my work, I wanted to establish in my country a medium and long term vision of what could become a nation in a very changing world. This is how Vía Costarricense Proyecto País was born, which became a civil society platform through which country sustainable development proposals were made.

In 2013, along with David Miliband and Trevor Manuel I co-chaired the Global Ocean Commission (https://www.some.ox.ac.uk/research/global-ocean-commission/). We worked to raise awareness about the importance of the oceans in our lives and in 2014 we publish a comprehensive report based on scientific evidence which we call “From Decline to Recovery a Rescue Package for the Global Ocean”. In 2015 again with Richard Branson and other global citizens, we formed an organization called Ocean Unite (https://www.oceanunite.org/). As its chairman, I worked with our team in advancing understanding with respect to the importance of conserving 30% of the ocean as a marine protective (MPA) by the year 2030. This is also one of the objectives of SDG14 of the United Nations.

As part of our work in Ocean Unite, we have actively contributed to the formation of a group called Antarctica 2020. Our objective is to highlight 200 years of the discovery of Antarctica in 2020 and to call for the international celebration of this important event by declaring the entire ocean that sorrounds this beautiful continent a marine protective area.

José María Figueres Olsen Ocean Unite

José María Figueres Olsen Global Ocean Comission