And now, as anticipated, I am ready to officially welcome the new name for this project. Cumbia. Cumbia people.

We don’t organize dancing lessons or parties (…for now, in the future, who knows?) but we live and we conceive work as a moving experience, where fun is a must and music is always present (soon available our playlist 😊).

What’s the link between a consulting project that has as a mission to contribute to the workplace revolution, and cumbia?

There is no link, and plenty of links at the same time. Cumbia, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is a southamerican music that I used to dance (and I still dance) in the parties in Uruguay, that I brought with me or better, inside me, during my nomad life (not very digital but very relational).

Cumbia makes me think about how important is celebrating, being together, partying together (also, and specially in the workplace!), because it brings us closer to eachother and because it helps letting judgments behind us. It helps us expressing our real self and open up to our pairs. This transparence is one of the fondamental pillars to create strong relationships and engage a sustainable change. Tell the truth and be yourself. Cheers to #cumbiapeople.

Then, Cumbia also reminds me that if we want to face and solve the diverse and complex challenges that we have in front of us, we have to break the established rules, rethink our creativity and learn how to welcome diversity to turn it into a growth levy. We can begin by accepting that a consulting company is called “Cumbia” and supports us in learning how to dance together. Let #cumbiapeople be born.

Because in the workplace, just as in a cumbia dancefloor, even if each one of us is autonomous and shall be free to express its own style, if we want to succeed together, we must follow a rythm that we choose together and that is clear for everybody. Go #cumbiapeople!

Besides, I smile when thinking about how little chance there is to call a consulting company Cumbia … and I realized that this chance is quite the same as the one for an uruguayan girl, with a diploma in chemistry, to work in the renewable energy sector in Paris for 15 years; meet a sicilian guy and decide to move with him to the sicilian countryside to launch her project... while cultivating their permaculture garden. Chances are close to zero, but still possible! And if it’s possible, it’s worth to try ! Try #cumbiapeople


Finally, Cumbia, as I said, is a southamerican music. It represents my roots, my story, it defines me and it is a part of the things I have always with me and I share with others in my everyday life.

By the way, what’s your Cumbia? Let’s talk about it!


In these times where changing identity, gender or colour are such a tabou....Radical changes its name!
It remains obviously loyal to its roots, and to its radical soul. Never compromise on what really counts!

Naming change: How it comes ?
Answer : it’s not a crisis of meaning, you can be reassured.
Purpose, mission, values, skills, experience and the vast and strong network behind remain. And it’s already a lot.

Change arrives after a group of colleagues contacted me asking to change the name of my project considering both names were much alike and theirs has been recently registered as a trademark. It is an unlikely coïncidence : of timing, ideas and situations. No matter the details, but after research and reflection around the true sense of this project and the way I want to behave, having as compass my values, among which I have integrity, I have decided to transform this request into an opportunity.

First of all, I would not be coherent if I behaved in another way, feeding a conflict with people with whom I share a vision and good intentions. It’s obvious, I like Radical, but its value is not in the name it has or it will have. I’d better spend my time revolutioning the workplace.

Then, because looking for a name that represents the identity of the projects is a nice challenge that enables me to reconnect to its essence.

Also, because I asked for support to a lot of friends (old and new ones) and since the beggining it has been a beautiful experience. Hurra to collaboration ! Boom ! Yes, I’m changing name to my company.

Finally, I realize, with a lot of pleasure, that we are always more people willing to have a positive impact in our society, contributing to the workplace transformation.
So, long life to Radicals! No matter how they are called!

From today we start looking for a new name! Keep tuned!

Cumbia has not always been Cumbia, at its beginning its name was Radical.

In this article I explain the story behind Radical. In the next articles you will read the reasons behind this change and the example of how a challenge can become an opportunity!

Choosing Radical as a name for my project was mandatory after a series of meetings with my friends from Zero comunicazione integrata ( that helped me finding it. We had several options on the table but there was one that kept coming back: Radical.

Every time I think about Radical, it makes me smile; because my boss when I worked in France, used to say – when we were discussing sensitive subjects, complex matters, tough decisions to be made or risks to take – « Iamena, you are too radical… » and I always laughed as I knew he has right.

Yes, Radical is a name that puts me in a good mood. It makes me smile and brings me back to some good old times : memories of a professional experience with people that trusted me, that gave me freedom, helped me growing and then, not without difficulty, let me go to find my own way.
And then, Radical summarizes some concepts that are key for me and that represent my approach and my values.

First of all, change must be radical. We need a paradigm change. It means rethinking everything we take for granted and those things that have always been part of our life. We cannot approach such a change by only modifying the surface, it must be done deeply and with the courage of putting ourselves at risk and question all (or some, at least) of our certainties. This change can only begin if we raise our level of awareness of who we really are, if we find our own purpose, our road, if we choose the proper values that will guide us in the journey, if we listen to ourselves and harness our own history and our roots to make the most of it. We shall be ready to write a new story and build new and stronger roots, being aware of our choices with the intention of building a better future for our kids.

Radical talks also about our contact with the ground: about the need of being always linked to the concrete, the material. Radical implies a pragmatic vision of change that starts from reality, facts, people, everyday challenges, in order to find a way of doing so that’s more sustainable and that aligns everybodies needs.

Radical talks about small steps every day: big speeches, full of good intentions that share an utopic and dogmatic vision of change are not my cup of tea. For sure they are inspiring, but they are usually not constructive. I believe that it is this gap between ideology and pragmatism, that generates closure among people that think the same way and that judge the rest from a self referential wisdom and a often too mediatized spirituality. I am convinced that this posture is not the good one if we want to achieve deep change. I say Radical, because I believe in a concrete and sustainable long term change, that starts from the ground, with many baby steps, but with strong and non negotiable purpose and values. Radical.

Radical is, of course, also about roots. About the importance of having roots, being aware of them and value them. If one has strong roots, it means one is connected with its own origins, regardless of where one is at a given time. Having roots, is having a place where you can always return to, a safe place where the network is strong, solid and always ready to welcome us back. Having strong roots allows us, first of all, to stand up and look forward and, then, to make the right choices to grow and walk through a space that we could only imagine. Having strong roots allows us to fly high and take risks because if we fall, it doesn’t matter, we have our safety net. Radical.

Finally, when I think about trees and plants, and how they communicate by their underground network of roots, I feel inspired, and think we should apply these principles to way we build companies and community. It means putting at the center collaboration instead of competition -between companies that operate in the same business for example. Because the crisis that we are going through -which is cultural, climatic, economic, energetic- is so deep and complex that no individual can solve it alone. Radical is also this, building networks, getting together, sharing knowledge, time, energy, is about being truly open to others. Yes : let’s take trees as an example and let’s connect our roots, let’s share feelings, experiences, skills : maybe we will find a way to create new woods !

Now it’s time for Radical. Because we are living an era where we need new and strong visions. Concrete values. Willingness and energy to do something, step by step, together. We need to leave behind us excuses and make no compromise on what really matters. Change is progressive, deep and rooted in the ground. And most of all, urgent, we cannot wait.

Be Radical with me ! Jump !


Mi chiamo Iamena Crolla, sono nata e cresciuta a Montevideo, in Uruguay, dove i miei nonni italiani hanno scelto di emigrare dopo la seconda guerra mondiale.

Sono sposata con un siciliano (di Modica, la città dove vivo, perla del tardo barocco siciliano), abbiamo due figli di 6 e 8 anni, nati in Francia, e pure un cane di 10.

Mi piacciono le persone, le feste, viaggiare, cucinare, condividere, fare rete. Potrei anche definirmi agnostica ma ho tanta fiducia nell’uomo e nella nostra capacita di essere resilienti e di risolvere, insieme, problemi complessi come quelli che siamo chiamati ad affrontare oggi.

Credo nel futuro ma credo che il futuro non possa compiersi se non saremo capaci di anticiparlo, di cambiare, di evolvere; se non cominciamo a renderci conto che siamo responsabili di ciò che capita e che capiterà a noi e agli altri.

benvenuti cumbia

Dopo i miei studi in chimica in Uruguay, ho iniziato la mia carriera professionale a Parigi, in Akuo Energy, che nel 2007 era una startup con due collaboratori e oggi è un big player internazionale delle rinnovabili con 500 dipendenti e un fatturato annuo di circa 300 milioni di euro.

Per Akuo ho fatto un po’ di tutto: all’inizio gestivo progetti e investimenti in Spagna e in Italia; successivamente mi sono progressivamente specializzata nel "Procurement&Contracting", quindi in acquisti e contrattualizzazione per realizzare i progetti; negli ultimi anni della mia esperienza sono stata responsabile del team - di circa 60 professionalità, sparse per il mondo - dedicato alla "Strutturazione ed Esecuzione" ossia all’insieme dei processi che trasformano un progetto cantierabile in un progetto vendibile. Quella parigina è stata davvero la mia palestra emozionale e lavorativa: ho preso parte alla trasformazione di una piccola startup in una multinazionale, con tutte le gioie e tutte le difficoltà di un gruppo di 4 o 5 persone che diventa una grande azienda, in poco più di 10 anni.

Ed è sempre grazie al percorso dentro Akuo che mi sono avvicinata al mondo delle «progressive organizations». Ero, e sono, convinta che lavorare, fare le cose, prendere decisioni... si possa fare in un altro modo, diverso da quello standardizzato; che non servano i capi-controllori, che si possa essere molto più flessibili, veloci e soprattutto che ognuno di noi possa dare il meglio esprimendo i propri talenti e attingendo alle proprie conoscenze. Qual era il mio ruolo nell'azienda parigina? Assicurarmi che ogni mio collega fosse messo nelle condizioni di esprimere al meglio le proprie potenzialità.

Non avendo, non potendo avere, tutte le risposte per raggiungere quest'obiettivo, mi sono messa a studiare, a fare ricerca e, soprattutto, a esperimentare. E l’esperimento è stato un successo: grazie a una squadra coinvolta, performante, solidale, divertente e felice di lavorare con me. Ecco, è stato lì che ho capito quanto sia importante il ruolo del leader e di quanto conti darsi una struttura co-costruita, di avere una cultura lavorativa condivisa, di riconoscersi in valori e simboli forti, per avere una squadra forte e unita.

A conclusione di questi tre anni intensi e pieni (di lavoro e soddisfazioni), ho sentito di avere una decisione da prendere: continuare nella mia carriera o fermarmi e mettermi (finalmente) in ascolto di quella "vocina" interna che mi diceva che non ero allineata con me stessa e che per andare avanti avrei avuto bisogno di un cambio.

Un cambio di passo, di ambiente, di scopo, di mission. E alla fine ho deciso: all'inizio del 2020 (qualche mese prima che la pandemia precipitasse il mondo nel caos, quasi una conferma indiretta della bontà della mia scelta) ho lasciato il mio posto, la mia scrivania, il mio ruolo, i miei colleghi parigini, per traslocare nella campagna siciliana e ri-cominciare qui, da capo, a progettare. A immaginare, a pensare, a studiare a come contribuire da un posto diverso (from a different place?) - come consulente, formatrice, mamma e donna - al cambiamento di paradigma necessario per affrontare le sfide del mondo attuale e futuro.

Cosi ho iniziato a collaborare con Change Makers Factory, una comunità internazionale di persone di tutti i colori, sesso, età e provenienza che danno vita a nuove abitudini di pensare, lavorare e vivere e qualche mese fa ho creato Cumbia, free & performing people, il mio nuovo percorso lavorativo.

Entrambi sono due progetti in cui ripongo grandi speranze: hanno con uno scopo molto simile e una mission complementare.

Anche per questo sto sviluppando con la mia famiglia (mio marito Mario, Nina e Kalani, i miei figli, e Volcan, il mio cane) un posto nuovo, di vita e di condivisione, eco sostenibile, dove la bioedilizia, la permacultura, l’arte, il pensiero positivo e senza chiusure, il buon vino e il buon cibo, possano far incontrare le persone nella magia del sud est siciliano.

Mirando sempre alla coerenza e all’integrità, restando convintamente attaccata ai miei valori e tenendo sempre i piedi piantati a terra, sta prendendo vita, anche da queste pagine digitali, la mia mia nuova scelta "Cumbia". Sta prendendo il via una nuova, intrigante e coinvolgente avventura.

Ti va di fare un po' di strada insieme?