Viejo/Nuevo (V/N) is a “citizen diplomacy” initiative, designed to link the social innovation ecosystems of Santa Fe, New Mexico and Oaxaca, México. These two cities, bound by deep geographic and cultural history as well as future goals and aspirations, have much to learn from and offer each other.

The initiative will amplify the impact of these two innovation ecosystems, through deeply integrated collaborations, joint projects and programs, and various types of exchanges. These interactions will serve to grow the effectiveness of each ecosystem for its community, as well as the combined potential for addressing large-scale social challenges worldwide. V/N’s emphasis is on empowering all individuals, along with their institutions, to become social innovators.


Oaxaca and Santa Fe have striking parallels, including a strong cultural, artistic, culinary, and agricultural flavor; significant indigenous populations and archeological resources; a legacy of Spanish colonization; a thriving tourism economy as global cultural centers; capital cities of their respective states, with a strong government presence; and established efforts to grow both a creative/artisinal economy and a social impact ecosystem. These parallels suggest that collaborations between the two cities could be exceptionally fruitful, as each shares ideas and progress, and joins with the other in creating new ideas and solutions to shared challenges.


V/N will operate through a series of on-going projects, programs, and efforts, including:

  • Events: Festivals, Forums, Retreats, etc.
  • Knowledge Exchanges: Between individuals, organizations, and institutions; field trips, research, student exchanges, etc.
  • Projects + Collaborations: Connected to the shared “Core Areas” of the ecosystems (see below)

The initiative will kick off with the 2015 CATAPULTA Social Innovation Festival in Oaxaca, in which several SFIP affiliates will participate, and thereby lay the groundwork for future developments.

Core Areas of Exchange & Collaboration

Within the broad context of the cities’ respective social innovation ecosystems, V/N collaborations will focus on the primary areas of shared interest, significant resources, and institutional participation. These initial “Core Areas” are defined as:

  • Arts + Culture: Leveraging artistic, artisinal, and cultural resources to address social challenges
  • Learning + Research: Incorporating educational assets and scientific research, and cross-disciplinary approaches to problem solving and community capacity development
  • Entrepreneurship + Economic Development: Place-based economic development and entrepreneurial activity as a driver of self-sustaining solutions

Key Collaborators

The V/N initiative will be led by an Anchor Partner in each city – CATAPULTA in Oaxaca and SFIP in Santa Fe. The organizations currently involved in active projects serve as examples of key collaborators, and more will be added. You can listen to an archived radio interview with V/N’s Co-Director David Breecker and collaborator Monte del Sol’s Robert Jessen on Santa Fe’s RadioCafe.

Extended Network of Participants

In addition to the Anchor Partners and Key Collaborators, each city offers an extended network of potential participants with interests in the Core Areas, and potential relationships between them, which will be developed as the initiative evolves.

By fostering these relationships and collaborations, V/N will catalyze the emergence of new approaches to critical social issues, while engaging its partner cities’ citizenry directly in the social innovation process. Ultimately, other complementary cities will be invited to join what will become a global network for collaborative innovation.


Please Help Us Continue this Project: Sponsor/Donor Opportunities Available

As a ground-breaking effort, Viejo/Nuevo falls outside the guidelines of most established funding sources. Please help support this work by making a donation, or consider a sponsorship opportunity for your organization. Your tax-deductable gift can be made directly at the New Mexico Community Foundation (from the “designation” pull-down menu, choose “Santa Fe Innovation Park-Viejo Nuevo”), and can be directed to any of the individual projects (indicate them in the “dedication” field). Or contact the Project Director. Muchas gracias!


We are very grateful to our Viejo/Nuevo sponsors: