MEET! Lucía Gómez Charry – Department of Marketing & Int’l Business


Lucía Gómez Charry

Lucía Gómez Charry is a doctoral candidate in Economic Geography at the Department of Marketing and International Business, Turku School of Economics. She studies the operations of foreign companies in the Global South at the country and local scales and whether their activities contribute to technological advancement in these regions. The context at the local level is Medellín, Colombia, a city emerging as a hub for foreign firms in the Information and Communication Technology sector.

Medellín is also the city Lucía grew up in.  It is a long time since she lived there but the connection with the research site has been an advantage. Although she has not witnessed the new developments – such as the presence of technology firms in the city – first-hand, the important in-depth knowledge of the city and its history has enabled understanding the current changes, too. The research has also allowed her to get in contact and catch-up with former colleagues and friends. They have helped Lucía to understand the recent developments and problems better as well as reach relevant people for the research.

Photos  from Medellín by Lucía

Although Medellín is the focus of Lucía’s study, her interest in the Global South is not based solely on this one city. She has worked in development cooperation projects in Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“Especially working in Africa made me realize the shared problems in countries of the Global South and the little they know about each other’s realities and possibilities. Instead, there is such a huge emphasis in these countries to look at the North as an ideal or the origin of the best models and solutions. This is one subject of inspiration for my research. The other is to go back to development cooperation work after my dissertation – but this time much better equipped for the job.”

Lucía was thrilled when she heard about the launch of the Global South Network at the University of Turku. Besides GSN being a relevant initiative, Lucía finds it exciting to meet other researchers working on topics related to the Global South.

“I also felt that the very existence of such a network gave a context to my own work within the research carried out at the University. It brought the possibility to be part of a community with shared research interests. I say that because, in my experience, we – Global South researchers – are a disperse minority not only in the University but also in many academic events.”

In addition, Lucía was happy about the inclusion of ‘Global South’ in the name of this network. She knows it is a controversial notion for some researchers.

“I have even been told – by academics not working in Global South subjects – that it is an outdated term and no-one uses it anymore. So, the announcement of the Global South Network at the University resounded in my head as a loud and clear confirmation that it continues to be a valid and current shared notion.”

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Lucía Gómez Charry

Lucía Gómez Charry is a doctoral candidate in economic geography. She investigates trends on foreign direct investments targeting the global South.

Her research examines the factors, at country and urban scales, promoting the competitive advantage of foreign firms, explaining the emergence of some cities as important nodes for foreign investments, and the role of these investments in the technological catch-up taking place. At the local scale, the research takes place in the context of an emerging investment hub in Medellín, Colombia. There, Gómez focuses the study in information technology (IT) investments and their role in advancing local technological capabilities and economic development.

Gómez is currently involved in the research project ‘IDEAS’ (Innovation Districts in emerging and advance economies for Sustainable urban development)

Minna-Liina Ojala

Minna-Liina Ojala is a doctoral student specializing in Lefebvrian rhythms and knowledge creation processes in different contexts. Her research concerns multicultural encounters and collaboration, mobility, and the role environment has in knowledge creation. She has conducted exchange studies, research and internship in Tanzania.