My research, writings and thoughts
Google Scholar (h-index = 46)
Short CV Juan Freire Apr (pdf)
EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING
I have led several multi-disciplinary teams in scientific, corporate and startup contexts focused both in rapid development and prototyping of new products, ideas or projects, and in market launch, operation and continuous improvement of products and services.
Scientific (critical, data-intensive and experimental) and design (strategic, user-centered) frameworks are the basis for all my work. A large part of my experience has been based in the development and intensive use of digital platforms and products and collaborating with or leading digital teams.
I have a background in sustainability and environmental sciences, developed mostly in universities and spin-offs. In 2011, I left the University to work in strategy and innovation consultancy and to found different entrepreneurial projects. I co-founded 10 companies and startups focused in sustainability, education, technology, innovation, and design. From 2017 to 2023 I worked for the Tecnológico de Monterrey, one of the main universities in Latin America, in different leading roles related to educational and digital innovation and the transformation of the organization.
Corporate and Academic Leadership
Research associate, Innovation Hub Europe, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey (April 2013-)
Collaborating in different research projects to create applicable knowledge and solutions for the future of higher education and lifelong learning in an experimental, interdisciplinary, open and world-class manner.
Vice-Chancellor of Innovation and Transformation, Universidad Tecmilenio (March 2021 – January 2023)
Leading the R&D lab and intrapreneurship initiative to create new solutions for learning to develop talent (especially for digital skills and profiles) and connect with professional opportunities, and transform the university according to the Strategic Plan for 2025. Focus in the design, prototyping, launching and operation of digital products.
Vice-Chancellor of Digital Education, Universidad Tecmilenio (June 2020 – February 2021)
Development of the Strategic Plan for 2025, managing and expanding the Digital Content Factory and building of a new R&D lab.
Academic and International Dean of the Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey (July 2017 – May 2020)
Leading the design and implementation of the challenge-based, active-learning Tec21 educational model (involving the definition of the academic portfolio, the complete design of programs and the student and learning experience) and managing several international initiatives.
Leader of the Strategic Initiative for Learning Platforms and Digital Acceleration, Tecnológico de Monterrey (January – July 2020)
Creation of a task force, design of the strategy for the digital acceleration of the institution (including two universities) and planning of the starting projects.
Visiting Professor of the School of Humanities and Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey (2016).
Participating as an expert in the creation of the SlowU initiative devoted to the application of citizen innovation and labs for the transformation of the university and its relationships with the society.
Chief Innovation Officer of the Barrabés group and the co-founder of Barrabés Next
Leading projects in consultancy for the transformation and innovation in organizations (especially large corporations).
Digital Economy Chair of the EOI School of Industrial Organization
Creating the strategy and action plan and managing the activities related to the Digital Economy of the main public business school in Spain.
I have co-founded and invested in 11 companies and startups:
éutika, a company that develops digital ecosystems and technological innovation for higher education and lifelong learning.
Partner and investor. Designing the strategy, partnerships and business development.
inViable, creative scientific agency working with innovative organizations, industries and communities to achieve the transition to a circular economy, driven by people- & planet-centered design and supported with Life Cycle Thinking.
CEO. Leading the strategy and part of the team of several projects (including the United Nations, European Union or European Cultural Foundation).
Teamlabs, a company that develops learning labs and is a member of the international network of entrepreneurial education Mondragon Team Academy.
Working in all aspects of product design and operation of the company (both B2B and B2C) and leading the strategy, alliances and business development.
EduCaaS, a digital platform for creative and team-based learning based on free software and microservices.
Developing the company and product strategy, and prototyping with different institutional clients.
Lonxanet (university spin-off), a digital marketplace for direct commercialization of artisanal fishing products integrating the supply chain
Development of business plan, attraction of investment, management of strategic alliances and partners (from fishing guilds to logistical operators) and launching of operations.
Fismare (university spin-off), a consultancy specialized in marine environmental and fisheries management.
CEO and strategic leadership of teams and projects.
Kartenn (university spin-off), agency developing solutions based in Geographical Information Systems and remote sensing for environmental and territorial management
CEO and strategic leadership of projects.
Laboratorio de Tendencias, consulting, research and training services about social, technological, business and political trends.
Partner with Antoni Gutiérrez-Rubí.
mmodulUS, a furniture design brand open-source and modular.
CEO, product design and management, and commercial launching.
XTribe, design of learning programs with universities, companies and civic orgs to transform education through entrepreneurship, technology and critical thinking.
Co-CEO and leader of product design and development and alliances with universities.
Scientific research in sustainability
My passion for the ocean led me to become a Marine Biologist and to get a PhD in Environmental Biology. I developed a university career in Spain from 1990 to 2011, being leader of a research group on Marine Resources and Fisheries, professor, Dean of a Science Faculty at University of A Coruña and co-founder of 3 spin-offs. As a result of my scientific activity, I have participated in 48 research projects (almost half as a principal investigator) and published more than 200 articles and books, mostly in international scientific journals (h-index = 44).
My expertise include natural resource and ecosystem management, marine animal biology for conservation and fisheries management, community-based environmental governance, earth observing systems and ecological modeling. My scientific work focused in the development of science for citizens in several areas of research, while working simultaneously on business and activist projects related to environmental conservation and management with fishers in different places around the world.
I have been an advisor in different projects of the European Cultural Foundation (2013-2018), part of the Venture Board of Ashoka España (2015-21), developed projects with the International University of Andalusia and Medialab-Prado Madrid and as curator for different cultural institutions.
I collaborated actively with several universities, among others Director of the Chair of Digital Economy of the Escuela de Organización Industrial, Director of the Master of Strategic Design of the Istituto Europeo de Design (IED) Madrid and occasional lecturer for different universities (IE University Spain, Universidad de Medio Ambiente México, Universidade de Vigo Spain …).
I was a fellow of e-Cultura, a company dedicated to cultural management for territorial development, and advisor of the companies The Beta Factor, Henkô Experience and Zemos98. I have worked as a consultant with companies, public institutions and NGOs and frequently participated in conferences, workshops and courses as an analyst and futurist of social and economic trends associated with the processes of technological and social change.
I have collaborated with the digital media Soitu.es and ADN.es, and occasionally with different Spanish media.
4. Team Mastery. Universidad de Mondragón (Spain) and Tiimiakatemia (Team Academy), University of Jyväskylä (Finland). 2012-2013
3. PhD Biology. Doctorate Extraordinary Prize (PhD in Biology, 1993-94 and 1994-95) of the University of A Coruña. University of A Coruña, Faculty of Sciences. Doctoral program: Environmental Biology. Grade: “Apto cum laude por unanimidad”. Date of defense: December 1993
2. Grade in Biological Sciences. Modality: Master of Science Thesis. University of Santiago de Compostela, Faculty of Biology. Grade: “Sobresaliente”. Date of defense: July 1989
1. Bachelor in Biological Sciences. Extraordinary Bachelor Prize of the University of Santiago de Compostela. First National Prize of Studies in Biological Sciences. University of Santiago de Compostela, Faculty of Biology. Date of completion: June 1989.
BUSINESS CREATION HISTORY
11. éutika (2023-)
10. XTribe (2016-2018)
9. EduCaaS (2016-2018)
8. inViable (2015-)
7. mmodulUS (2013-2015)
6. Teamlabs (2012-2020)
5. Barrabés Next (2012-2013)
4. Kartenn (2012-2016)
3. Laboratorio de Tendencias (2009-2016)
2. Fismare Innovación para la Sostenibilidad SL (2006-2011)
1. Lonxanet Directo SL (2001-2011)
LEADERSHIP AND EMPLOYMENT HISTORY
24. Research Fellow, Innovation Hub Europe, Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey. April 2013 –
23. Partner and investor of éutika. 2023-
22. Partner and CEO of inViable. 2015-
21. Vice Chancellor of Innovation and Transformation, Tecmilenio. March 2021 – January 2023.
20. Vice Chancellor of Digital Education, Tecmilenio. June 2020 – February 2021.
19. Leader of the Strategic Initiative for Learning Platform and Digital Acceleration of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. January July 2020.
18. Academic and International Associate Dean. Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey. July 2017 – May 2020.
17. Leader of the Master of Strategic Design of the Istituto Europeo de Design (IED) in Madrid. January 2017 – October 2018.
16. Co-leader of EduCaaS. May 2016 – July 2018.
15. Co-leader of XTribe. April 2016 – July 2018.
14. Distinguished Professor of the School of Humanities and Education of the Tecnológico de Monterrey. January 2016 – December 2016.
13. Leader of Strategy and Business Development of Teamlabs. September 2012 – February 2016.
12. Chief Innovation Officer of Barrabés Next. February 2012 – June 2013.
11. Chief Innovation Officer of Barrabés group. February 2011 – February 2012.
10. Chair of Digital Economy of the Escuela de Organización Industrial (EOI), Madrid. March 2009 – December 2010.
9. CEO of Fismare Innovación para la Sostenibilidad. May 2006 – January 2011.
8. Dean of the Faculty of Sciences, University of A Coruña. January 2004 – February 2005.
7. Leader of the Research Group “Marine Resources and Fisheries”. January 2003 – May 2011.
6. Vice Dean of Biology of the Faculty of Sciences, University of A Coruña. June 1999 – January 2004.
5. Associate Professor (“Profesor Titular”), Zoology. University of A Coruña, Faculty of Sciences. May 1997 – February 2012 (on leave from March 2012).
4. Secretary of the Department of Animal and Plant Biology and Ecology of the University of A Coruña. April 1992 – June 1996 and June 1998 to June 1999.
3. Interim Associate Professor, Animal Biology. University of A Coruña, Faculty of Sciences.
October 1994 – May 1997.
2. Assistant Professor (“Profesor Ayudante”), Animal Biology. University of A Coruña, Faculty of Sciences. March 1992 – Octber 1994.
1. Pre-doctoral fellow of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science(“Programa Sectorial de Becas de Formación de Profesorado y Personal Investigador en España y en el Extranjero”). University of A Coruña, Faculty of Sciences. January 1990 – February 1992.