Gioel Gioacchino


  • Program Year
  • 2012-13
  • Country of Current Residence
  • Colombia
  • City/Town of Current Residence
  • Medellin
  • Current Position
  • Executive Director
  • Organization
  • Recrear
  • Profession(s)
  • Social entrepreneur, Youth Advocate, Researcher

  • Sector(s)
  • Academia, Advocacy, Entrepreneurship (including social), Youth engagement
  • Language(s)
  • Italian, English, German, Spanish, French
  • Mentor
  • Steve Maguire, Professor of Strategy and Organization, Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University
  • Interest(s) / Expertise
  • project management, social entrepreneurship, sustainable development, youth empowerment
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Impact Statement

Gioel was born with a large dose of idealism, enthusiasm and creativity – which drives her work with youth. She is committed to changing the world through youth empowerment, community development, sustainable development and storytelling as a creative medium.


Gioel is the Executive Director of Recrear, a Canadian charity working with a youth-to-youth approach to collect information on young people’s perspectives utilizing participatory research projects. Gioel co-founded Recrear, a platform to support young people in launching their own initiatives, experimenting with innovative approaches to development and composed of a network of young professionals from around the world. Recrear’s projects have taken Gioel to Palestine, the Dominican Republic, Canada and Bangladesh. In 2011-12, she worked as a research associate for the International Institute for Trade and Development in Bangkok, Thailand, and for the Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar in Quito, Ecuador. As part of her research in Ecuador, she spent two months travelling around the Esmeraldas province with 100 Voices, a Recrear project aimed at exploring the participation of youth in community development.

In 2014, Gioel managed a UN-Habitat Youth Fund in partnership with the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) to carry out a participatory research project on ‘Cuban Youth Engagement in Climate Change Adaptation Work’. In June 2014, she took part in expert meetings on Youth Engagement at UNESCO in Paris and on Youth Indicators in the post-2015 agenda at the Commonwealth Foundation in London.

Gioel is a PhD Candidate at The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex, UK. Through a case study of Colombian youth organizations, Gioel’s PhD project explores how different funding models affect organizational culture as well as the quality of social organizations’ internal and external relationships. Gioel holds a BA in International Studies from the University of New Orleans and an MPhil in Development Studies from Cambridge University. 

Since June 2015, Gioel has worked as a research officer for the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), conducting research on Foresight in Development. IDS is a leading global charity for international development research, teaching and communications.

As a Fellow

Gioel believes that Recrear is an organization with the right attitude, human resources and energy to deliver increasingly sophisticated projects. She therefore devoted her Sauvé Year to developing a model to ensure Recrear’s financial sustainability while continuing to focus on the organizations’ programs and vision.

During her Sauvé Year, Gioel coordinated a strategic review of the organization and fine-tuned Recrear’s model while building an advisory board. With this new model, Recrear uses a youth-to-youth approach to collect information on young people’s perspectives through participatory research projects; through this research, it strives to deepen the connection and improve the quality of collaboration between youth and development partners. Recrear provides consulting services to support partnering organizations with the design, implementation, and monitoring of youth-friendly programs. Using creative and engaging techniques (photography, sports, development theatre, and many others), Recrear supplies a space and tools for youth to articulate their needs and build a vision for their community’s development.

On April 26th, 2013, Gioel co-hosted an event at Sauvé House with Fellow Handy Acosta Cuellar on “Making Youth Protagonists in Community Development and Climate Change Adaptation”. A highlight of the event was the presentation of the project that Gioel and Handy designed together entitled ‘Cuba All Inclusive: The Climate Change Challenge’. While in Montreal, Gioel also delivered a TedX Youth Talk on the topic of youth engagement in creating community connections.

Gioel was an indispensable in the organization of very successful Sauve Encore! 2014 and Sauvé Encore! 2015 alumni events. She then turned her organizational skills to the coordination of the launch of the Sauvé Alumni Collaboration Fund.