Camilo Saravia Aguayo is a Spanish National Committee scholar currently studying Physics, Economics, Design Technology, Math, French and English within the Diploma Program (DP) at the United World College of Thailand (UWCT) in Phuket. We caught up with Camilo as he shared a little more about his studies at UWCT and about his entrepreneurial venture Proton Smart Clothing, where he serves as CEO.
Students with powerful ideas, can and should, make those ideas a reality. Camilo Saravia Aguayo is a proof of concept. His start-up Proton Smart Clothing integrates wearable technology into everyday style. Their designs are more than just fashionable, they have the potential to support individuals who have visual disabilities (and anyone walking down the street with their eyes glued to a screen). So, will navigating with his technology become safer, easier and more effective in the future? Camilo responds to our Q&A below:
“I love to create and I have had this passion since I was little.”
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself?
I was raised in Barcelona where I completed primary school at the European International School of Barcelona and secondary school at Col.legi Montserrat. At the European International School of Barcelona, I became proficient in English, this opened my doors towards an international education. During my time at Col.legi Montserrat, I acquired skills such as critical and creative thinking—which I consider very valuable and essential for today and tomorrow’s economy.
The learning experience was based on real-life problems. Hence, I had the opportunity to enhance my real-life abilities which led me to become more competent.
I received a phone call from the Spanish Committee of United World College that changed my life. I was awarded a scholarship to study the IBDP at the United World College of Thailand. That summer I packed my bags and I left behind my comfort zone. I embarked upon the most challenging and breathtaking journey I’ve had yet. Independently, I moved from my comfort zone in Spain to Thailand to join the UWC movement. I was going to be 9,927 km away from home with people from all around the globe. I wasn’t scared at all; I was tremendously curious and excited. I was ready to lead change.
Here, at United World College of Thailand (UWCT) on top of having an exceptional learning community, seeks to realise our highest human potential, cultivate genuine happiness and take mindful and compassionate action. For me UWCT has served as a growth accelerator, where I’ve grown personally, athletically and academically. I’ve gotten to know myself better and I’ve become now more open-minded than ever before. My curiosity and unconditional desire to learn has further developed my passions for physics and engineering. I embarked into this journey because I’m crazy enough to believe that I can change the world.
Aside from studying at UWCT, how do you spend your time?
In my free time, I am part of the swim team and the SCUBA-Diving team here at UWCT. We collect data as a way to monitor the development of the Coral Reefs of the area, more specifically the ones surrounding Nai Yang, Phuket. Diving nourishes my curiosity and unconditional desire to learn. Additionally, I experienced the awesomeness of feeling weightless. (I feel like I’m an astronaut, I love it!).
I also spend time discussing issues of global importance with change-makers and top students. We started developing realistic yet impactful solutions, like installing solar panels in the school’s roof and implementing a food waste solution in our canteen. Here I’ve become more determined to work hard, focus and prioritize time to achieve my ambitious goals while balancing my studies and swimming.
In debating about the new privately-led space race to Mars with my Chinese colleague, I learned to believe in my ideas but not be overconfident with them as well as the ability to value different perspectives. I also run my business,, where I am the Chief Executive Officer.
Can you tell us a little more about the inspiration behind Proton Smart Clothing and how you were able to turn it into a reality?
“Growing up I understood that in our generation being an inventor meant being an entrepreneur.”
I love to create and I have had this passion since I was little. Creating things with the purpose of leaving the third planet from the sun better than how I found has always been important to me. My dream job was to be an inventor. Growing up I understood that in our generation being an inventor meant being an entrepreneur. During a summer in England, I identified an opportunity, a problem to solve. After evaluating the ideas and solutions with my closest peers, we had a concept a vision and a plan to bring that vision to life; Proton Smart Clothing was born.
During the last year of secondary school at Col.legi Montserrat we had the opportunity to work on developing the startup two hours a week. During these periods we were taught how to detect the needs of society, so we could be able to create solutions for them. I was fascinated. These quickly became my favourite hours from the entire week. I was devoted to taking Proton Smart Clothing from an idea to a functioning business.
Thanks to the opportunities that Col.legi Montserrat facilitated and a year packed with hard work and passion, we classified Proton Smart Clothing as a global finalist in the social innovation startup competition out of 14,000 startups.
That year we were nominated by MIT LaunchX Europe as the most engaging, innovative and adaptable startup and were selected to receive a partnership with the i2CAT research foundation in Barcelona. Proton Smart Clothing won as the best leaded teenage startup nationally!
Camilo Saravia Aguayo is a student at the United World College of Thailand (UWCT) in Phuket. To hear more from Diploma Programme (DP) graduates check out these IB programme stories. If you are an IB grad and want to share your story, write to us at email@example.com. We appreciate your support in sharing IB stories and invite you to connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and now Instagram!
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