This impact-driven young Peruvian legal scholar studies and advocates for the redesign of Corporate Law internationally through innovation for sustainable development.
What does that mean exactly? After graduating from Harvard Law School (LL.M.’19), Juan Diego Mujica Filippi has been working as academic coordinator of an international research project on purpose-driven companies and the regulation of the fourth sector sponsored by the Ibero-American General Secretariat (SEGIB, based in Spain), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).
He contributes to the study of public policy frameworks for “purpose-driven companies”, to understand “how these businesses can thrive, having a solid economic return and positive social and environnemental impact, in line with the SDGs”. The project covers 12 Ibero-American countries, 5 international jurisdictions and key topics such as model legislation, impact measurement, tax incentives, sustainable public procurement, and gender equality.
Alongside his international role, Juan Diego leads the corporate responsibility area at Universidad de Lima’s Sustainability Center, where he also teaches Corporate Law.
At this stage, the main difficulty for him, is that the “purpose-driven business ecosystem is mostly unknown by the general population, and is studied only by a part of academia and public policy research, with not much data and many, many definitions”.
But he is determined. After all, at the age of 24, he authored a draft bill for a Peruvian benefit corporation legislation, which was passed as law three years later by the Peruvian Congress in October 2020. “This is one of the most important achievements for me so far, as I drafted the bill at law school” he explains. “ Today through my role at the Sustainability Center, Universidad de Lima is still advising the Peruvian government on that matter and working so students and faculty know about purpose-driven companies as an option to do business and entrepreneurship”.
Born in Lima, he is a dual citizen both from Peru and Argentina, his mother’s country. His aspiration has always been to “find the tools to propose change in a positive way”. This way, for him, happens to be academia: “It is really a powerful thing to delve into a topic and do something about it, become an actor in it”.
Juan Diego insists on “believing deeply” what he does, and is building a community of friends around his passion for SDG’s and sustainability. His sense of debate and taste for contrasting opinions is what led him to the ADEL program. “I loved the idea of the Policy Center for the New South build bridges between, Latin America and Africa, our two beautiful continents, as the decisive actors for the future”.
He says the ADEL Program in 2019 has been a life-changing experience, as he discovered “people from all over the Atlantic with so much in common, in terms of challenges an opportunities, willing to work for a better future and move forward. Everytime I find myself in a deep conversation with friends I made in Marrakesh, it feels like I am back in Morocco!”
The future, in his perspective, is all about “changing the rules of the game for the better. The rules I studied, corporate law, deal with the private sector, an within it there is an immense power to solve social and environmental problems in an efficient way”.
Besides his work, Juan Diego loves to travel, something he has done extensively throughout his studies, going from the Czech Republic to Canada for law exchange programs, then to Harvard in the USA. His favorite thing is to “connect with people, get tea or coffee - always with a pastry - with my friends, as this really lifts my spirit”. During the spare time the COVID-19 crisis has offered, he has read again one of his favorite writers, the Peruvian Nobel Prize for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa. “A way to connect to my country and culture”, he concludes, with a broad smile.
You can consult Juan Diego’s portrait along with others on the ADEL Alumni Portrait page.