Robert Larruina studied Social Communication Sciences at the Universidad de la Republica (UdelaR) in Montevideo, Uruguay. After a few years working in multinational financial services in Ireland, he embarked on a masters in Organizational Sciences at VU Amsterdam. During his postgraduate studies, he got acquainted with questions regarding structures of power within and between organizations and how they are influenced by the social and political contexts in which they are embedded. Since 2011, he is particularly interested in refugee reception and integration in the Netherlands and the role that (emergent and established) civil society, governmental, and refugee-led organizations play in these processes. He completed his PhD in the Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, under the supervision of Prof. dr. ir. Kees Boersma (Organization Sciences) and Prof. Dr. Halleh Ghorashi (Sociology). Currently, his research was focusing on multi-stakeholder collaboration and co-creation processes in refugee-related policymaking and social entrepreneurship. Currently, he is a postdoc in the Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences. Within the Refugee Academy, he is mainly occupied with doing research, organizing and facilitating meetings, networking and collaborating in writing research proposals.
What is your scientific background and expertise?
I studied Social Communication Studies (Critical Communication and Cultural Studies). Later during my masters in Organization Sciences, I got acquainted with questions regarding structures of power within and between organizations and how they are influenced by the social context in which they are embedded. Since 2011, I am interested in understanding the interplay between individuals in civil society and governmental organizations that are part of migrant-refugee reception and integration. Currently, I am paying particular attention to newcomer entrepreneurship and different forms of refugee-self-organized initiatives.
What role do you have within the Refugee Academy, and what keeps you busy in this role?
Doing research, organizing and facilitating meetings, networking and collaborating in writing research proposals.
What do you feel is the most important about/central to the Refugee Academy, and why?
Provide a space for different stakeholders to come together, discuss and share their challenges, experiences, expertise and resources. These are the bases to create the right environment to facilitate inclusion and participation in society.
What is your personal ambition within the Refugee Academy, and how would you connect this to your work and/or life outside the Refugee Academy?
To create a critical mass of people, knowledge and data that would be instrumental to develop changes at policy and best practice level, while taking into account the individual stories of all the actors involved.