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Boletin abril 2013

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    Boletin abril 2013 Boletin abril 2013 Document Transcript

    • Número 1. Abril 2013   CENTRO  DE  ESTUDIOS   ESTRATEGICOS  Y  POLITICOS       C.E.E.P.   BOLETIN INFORMATIVO ABRIL 2013 1  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013   2  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013     Editorial    Iniciamos este proyecto por amor al Perú y por la Finalmente, como bisagra entre la esfera peruananecesidad de transformarlo en el país que todos y global, brindamos nuestro análisis sobre elqueremos: justo, prospero y pacífico. El C.E.E.P. gobierno electrónico y los desafíos tecnológicoses un esfuerzo multidisciplinario promovido por un que el Perú y Latinoamérica deben enfrentar paragrupo de jóvenes profesionales que busca cerrar sus brechas de desarrollo y continuar suarticular, junto a otras fuerzas existentes, sean marcha hacia el crecimiento con inclusión social.privadas o publicas, nacionales o internacionales, Estaremos deseosos de recibir sus comentarios yun compromiso de cambio en la gestión pública del sugerencias para establecer un diálogo serio conPerú y una apuesta por el mejoramiento de la vida nuestros lectores y así poder mejorar y, con elde todos los peruanos. tiempo, aumentar el alcance de nuestro boletín.En este primer Boletín, incluimos cinco artículos de Gracias por buscarnos y leernos.nuestros miembros sobre temas de actualidadnacional y mundial. Además, junto a nuestrostextos, incluiremos artículos de renombradosacadémicos mundiales que intersequen connuestras áreas de investigación.Bajo el acápite de temas nacionales, encontramosuna reseña sobre el recién puesto en vigencia TLCPerú-Unión Europea y las perspectivas sobre laefectiva cooperación Sur-Sur entre el Perú y lospaíses africanos en temas de salud. Por el lado delámbito internacional no pudimos eludir laresponsabilidad de enfocarnos en los tambores deguerra que suenan en la Península Coreana, nitampoco el renacer de un posible proceso denegociación entre los kurdos del PKK y el gobiernoturco liderado por el Primer Ministro Erdoğan.   3  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013   Tabla  de  Contenidos     Editorial 3 Tratado de Libre Comercio Perú – Unión Europea. 5 Por qué tener una relación Sur-Sur con los países africanos? 6 Perú y Norcorea: dos retóricas sobre una misma Guerra 7 Kurdistán: es mejor negociar 8 América Latina en la sociedad de la información (eLAC 2015) 9 Fostering “Why not?” social initiatives –beyond business and governments 11       4  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013Tratado de Libre Comercio Perú – Unión Europea  Victor Guardia Fiestas. La conferencia “Tratado de Libre Comercio Perú – Unión Europea: oportunidades y desafíos”,presidida por el congresista Segundo Tapia Bernal, se llevó acabo el viernes 5 de abril en el Hemiciclo RaúlPorras Barrenechea del Congreso de la Republica del Perú, con el afán de dar a conocer a los asistentes losbeneficios que el acuerdo generará para el conjunto de la economía nacional, producto de esta estrategiacompartida de apertura comercial.El acuerdo, en vigor desde el 1 de marzo del corriente, busca la apertura progresiva de los mercados ydinamizar el aparato comercial a través de la estimulación de la demanda, la oferta y la competencia,incidiendo en el crecimiento económico, en la creación de empleo y en la inclusión social, así como tambiénasegurar el cumplimiento de los compromisos internacionales establecidos por la Organización Mundial delComercio y la Organización Internacional del Trabajo, a través de mecanismos como el Sistema General dePreferencias y su ampliación: SGP PLUS.El mercado europeo, aunque sumergido en la actual crisis, sigue siendo el bloque económico más importantea nivel mundial y uno de los socios principales denuestro país. La apertura comercial y los incentivosarancelarios que se establecen en el TLC beneficianampliamente al Perú al otorgarle acceso preferencial yseguridad jurídica, al 99,3% de los productos agrícolasnacionales, con un plazo de 10 años de integración paralos productos sensibles, y para el 100% de losproductos industriales, según indicó la embajadoraMarcela López Bravo, Directora Ejecutiva de la OficinaEjecutiva de Promoción Económica del Ministerio deRelaciones Exteriores. Estimándose un aumento del10% de las exportaciones en el primer año, que podríaañadir un par de puntos en la variación porcentual del PBI.Sin embargo, el TLC no solo se centra en materia arancelaria y mercantil, sino que se establece una redoperativa conjunta con compromisos en Derechos Humanos, Estado de Derecho, desarme y no proliferación, medio ambiente, propiedad intelectual y transparencia, entre otros. Para el embajador Hans Allden, jefe de la Delegación de la Unión Europea en Perú, este acuerdo es el más extenso y ambicioso que haya negociado la U.E. gracias al capítulo referido a la participación de la sociedad civil en el ámbito de desarrollo sostenible. Precisamente este título ha sido el más controversial y criticado por las organizaciones civiles durante todo el proceso de negociación,ya que no incluye una cláusula de seguimiento en materia de Derechos Humanos y Desarrollo Sosteniblelo suficientemente vinculante. No obstante, se integra un mecanismo institucional y de monitoreoencargado del seguimiento, evaluación e impacto de la aplicación del acuerdo en materia laboral y   5  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013ambiental, al mismo tiempo de trabajar con transparencia e integrar la participación civil, aparte de unmecanismo de solución de controversias similar al de la OMC.Lo cierto es que el TLC representa una nueva gran oportunidad para el crecimiento económico del país ydependerá de la capacidad en la implementación y del uso correcto de los ingresos con ánimos deincentivar no solo el crecimiento económico del país, sino también el desarrollo económico. El TLC con laUnión Europea se convierte en el 17mo acuerdo comercial en vigencia para el país, y en uno de los masimportantes, por referirse a la primera fuente y destino de inversiones directas, y por se la aglomeraciónde muchas de las economías mas grandes del mundo.Por qué tener una relación Sur-Sur con países africanos?Julio Ricardo Moscoso Cuaresma. El Perú, en el escenario sudamericano, y algunos países africanos están pasando por uno de losmejores momentos económicos de su historia, muy a pesar de la gran crisis económica mundial. El panoramade una construcción multilateral en el futuro es prometedor. Actualmente nuestro país mantiene relacionesdiplomáticas con treinta y cuatro países de África y está acreditado como observador ante la Unión Africana yla Liga de Estados Árabes. Nuestra nación cuenta con socios estratégicos de peso comercial. Países comoArgelia, Nigeria, Marruecos y Sudáfrica comparten indicadores con Perú en las áreas de fortalecimientodemocrático, crecimiento económico y de lucha contra la desigualdad, asimismo, políticas gubernamentalesen materia de inclusión social.La relación del Perú con los países del África ha recibido un renovado interés a partir de la creación delmecanismo de Cumbres América del Sur-África que se ha convertido en un motor de propuestas para acercara ambas regiones a través de agendas de cooperación. Por ello, hoy se abre un abanico de posibilidades yoportunidades en torno a los temas de energía, medio ambiente, educación y cultura, ciencia y tecnología,turismo y transporte, y salud (materia que más nos importa mejorar).El interés del Ministerio de Salud radica en la cooperación técnica de Políticas de Salud de prevención quebeneficien a ambas regiones. El área de Promoción de la Salud cuenta con el rol fundamental de establecerlazos técnicos y normativos que beneficien a nuestra comunidad, utilizando todos los medios técnico-normativos para prevenir enfermedades pandémicas como el SIDA.La iniciativa radicaría en desarrollar actividadespreventivas y de promoción de la salud en eltratamiento temprano de enfermedadescontagiosas utilizando estrategias y acciones departicipación comunitaria entre las naciones conquienes pretendemos estrechar lazos decooperación. Nuestra intención es de aprovechartambién los beneficios que poseen los hermanospaíses africanos, que de hecho, cuentan con laAsociación Internacional contra el SIDA en África,una red de cooperación Sur-Sur, que es, además,la más amplia a nivel mundial enfocada en un tema   6  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013de especialidad. Nuestra iniciativa debería estar ligada a la necesidad de poner atención al Plan de Acción dela Unión Africana para la operatividad del Marco Político sobre Salud Sexual y Reproductiva y Derechos,adoptado por los Ministros de Salud africanos en Maputo en 2006.Pero no solo el VIH sería el término rector de cooperación. Existen también variables endémicas en común,tal como lo establece la Declaración de Abuja en la cooperación de prevención contra la malaria, latuberculosis y otras epidemias.Por último, la misión de establecer una cooperación Sur-Sur con estas hermanas repúblicas es la deidentificar fragilidades estructurales y otros determinantes sociales que nos ayuden a prevenir los altosíndices de muerte infantil, materna y de desnutrición, así como a mejorar las condiciones de vida saludable, acombatir la transmisión de VIH/SIDA y las ETS y sus impactos en la población, y otras enfermedadesrelacionadas con la pobreza como la tuberculosis, malaria y demás epidemias que coexisten conenfermedades no trasmisibles.Esto se puede lograr a través de iniciativas nacionales e internacionales dirigidas a producir y distribuirequitativamente nuevos programas de prevención, utilizando políticas públicas de promoción de la salud enmiras de garantizar la salud como derecho inalienable de nuestros pueblos y alcanzar las Metas deDesarrollo del Milenio.Perú y Norcorea: Dos retóricas sobre una misma guerra    Luis Ponce Ruiz. Debido al intenso incremento de las amenazas de guerra por parte de Corea del Norte hacia Coreadel Sur y su principal aliado militar, Estados Unidos, el Perú ha hecho bien en ver con preocupación esteescalamiento verbal y llamar a la cordura y a la paz en la región. Muchos en el país consideraron elcomunicado de Cancillería como fuera de lugar debido a que el Perú es un estado de poder mediano, alejadode la zona de conflicto y sin proyección alguna de fuerza en el teatro coreano. Inclusive, en las redes socialesalgunos usuarios se burlaron de la acertada postura peruana.¿Por qué acertada? Por la economía, estúpido. Perú ha negociado sendos TLC con tres de los principalesactores del conflicto, incluyendo a sus dos socios comerciales más grandes, China y Estados Unidos, y conSeúl. Una guerra nuclear en las Coreas decididamente afectaría el crecimiento económico que vive Perú ysería un retroceso a los despuntes macroeconómicos que viene experimentado Estados Unidos con el segundo gobierno de Barack Obama. Además, el creciente poder económico peruano en la región sudamericana le obliga a involucrarse más en los asuntos de la política internacional. Como suplidor no solo de materias primas, sino ahora de servicios, como socio estratégico cada más importante entre el comercio de Asia-Pacífico, Brasil y el Atlántico, y como destino de los desempleados de Europa y de otros países, el Perú está respondiendo adecuadamente a sus nuevas responsabilidades económicas y, ante una amenaza de una   7  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013conflagración mayor como la de Corea, está en todo su derecho y deber de defender sus intereses a travésde su mejor baluarte, la diplomacia.La pregunta de fondo, sin embargo, es si verdaderamente habrá guerra. La respuesta es no. Norcorea estállevando a cabo una política exterior de supervivencia, por más absurdo que lo parezca ante el tonobeligerante de todo comunicado que emite la KCNA. El objetivo de Pyongyang es proteger la continuidad delrégimen interno; es lo que siempre ha hecho. Este cálculo estratégico lo ha traducido en el desarrollo yutilización de armamento nuclear. China y EE.UU., como hegemones asiáticos, controlan la geopolítica de laregión basada en sus respectivas alianzas con ambas Coreas. La existente entre China y Norcorea se puedeencontrar en su punto más bajo, pero laintervención de los chinos será total para evitarla caída del régimen de los Kim, no porcercanía ideológica ni amor fraternal, más bienpor razones económicas (esta es, además dela presencia de armas nucleares, otra de lasrazones por la que Washington no ha invadidoa Corea del Norte, como sí lo hizo conAfganistán e Irak). Si con la desaparición deNorcorea el cálculo económico fuera favorable,hacía rato acababan con Pyongyang, pero elescenario de una unificación es increíblementeoneroso, no solo para China, sino para Coreadel Sur. Al final, todo el escalamiento verbal quedará en retórica porque de Pyongyang concretar susamenazas estaría firmando su carta de suicidio y, como he señalado, ellos lo que buscan es continuidad,reconocimiento y concesiones internacionales, y controlar a su gente mediante el aparato militar. La llamadalocura e inestabilidad con que a veces califican a Norcorea es solo en apariencia. Todo está calculado. Laúnica forma en que todo esto cambie sería si en realidad dejan a Kim Jong-Un formar su propia fiesta perotodo parece indicar que la cadena que tiene al cuello es muy corta. No habrá guerra y la retórica del Perúhabrá contribuido a su imagen de país respetuoso del derecho y paz internacionales.Kurdistán: Es mejor negociar  Katerina Tarrillo Feria. Hace unas semanas el líder del partido de los Trabajadores del Kurdistán (PKK), Abdullah Ocalán,quien cumple cadena perpetua por el delito de separatismo en la cárcel de Imrali (Turquía), sorprendió a lacomunidad internacional al pedir a sus seguidores un alto al fuego, inmediato y definitivo: abandonar lasarmas y optar por la negociación fue lo que comunico a los kurdos en Diyarbakir, capital no oficial delKurdistán turco, el pasado 21 de marzo mientras se celebraba el año nuevo kurdo (Nevruz).Esta es la quinta vez, desde 1984 (año que se creó el PKK), que Ocalán pide a los insurgentes apostar pormedios democráticos y negociar con Turquía, lo que coincide con la mentalidad del primer ministro turco,Tayyid Erdogan, quien busca llegar a un acuerdo a través de la negociación.Los kurdos son una nación sin estado, a pesar de contar con una población calculada de 40 millones en unterritorio de aproximadamente 520.000 km2 ubicado en varios países de Asia Menor y Medio Oriente comoIrak, Irán, Siria, Turquía, Azerbaiyán y Armenia. Los kurdos reclaman el Kurdistán, una zona de gran   8  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013importancia geoestratégica ubicada en el Cáucaso, entre los montes Taurus, Zagros y el Ararat, área rica enpetróleo y agua, así como también grandes extensiones de roble, zonas de pastoreo y una gran zona para elcultivo de cereales. Es, además, zona de encuentro de las rutas comerciales que unen a tres continentes.Su lengua es el kurdo, pero sólo tiene estatus oficial, juntoal árabe, en la Región Autónoma Kurda de Irak. Tiene ciertoreconocimiento en las áreas kurdas de Irán y Armenia, donde laslenguas oficiales son, respectivamente, el persa y el armenio y nocuenta con reconocimiento en Turquía y Siria. La mayoríaprofesan el Islam. Sin embargo, existen diferentesminorías cristianas.Por casi tres décadas, ellos han peleado por el reconocimientodel territorio que habitan como propio. El Tratado de Sèvres, del10 de agosto de 1920, inicialmente reconoció su sincretismo decreencias zoroastrianas, judías, maniqueas, nestorianas eislámicas pero, el posterior Tratado de Laussane (1923) dividió alos kurdos bajo diferentes jurisdicciones nacionales.Las ansias de reconocimiento y una gloriosa historia en común(no hay que olvidar al gran general de los ejércitos islámicos, Salah Al-Din) impulsó el nacionalismo de loskurdos quienes, dirigidos por el líder Ocalán, se levantaron para obtener su soberanía nacional, ocasionandoun sinnúmero de muertes durante 30 años. Pero finalmente Ocalán ha cambiado su estrategia y ahora pide alos insurgentes kurdos que dejen las armas y negocien.En todo proceso de negociación hay que tener en cuenta que el objetivo ulterior es obtener el éxito, el cualdepende no sólo de las capacidades del negociador, sino también de las estrategias a seguir. Siempre lanegociación más exitosa será aquella en la que ambas partes ceden. Ojalá que el proceso que vaya a abrirseen el caso del Kurdistán esté a la altura de sus exigencias históricas, en armonía con los principios delderecho internacional y respetando los derechos humanos de los pueblos involucrados.América Latina en la sociedad de la información(eLAC 2015)      Cristian Mesa Torre. La IV Conferencia Ministerial de Sociedad de la Información de América Latina y el Caribe tuvo citaesta semana en la ciudad de Montevideo, Uruguay, y congregó a funcionarios públicos, empresarios,académicos y miembros de la sociedad civil. Se discutió el rol de las nuevas tecnologías para la innovación yel desarrollo digital, la infraestructura para un ecosistema digital, el papel de la regulación en el desarrollodigital, ciber-seguridad, el futuro del gobierno abierto, medio ambiente y residuos electrónicos, la inclusiónsocial en la economía digital, la medición de los avances y el examen mundial a la sociedad de lainformación.Existen pocas experiencias y espacios de diálogo tan fructíferos como el propiciado por las cumbres desociedad de la información. Éstas buscan potenciar el desarrollo de los países en materia de sociedad de la   9  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013información con una mirada del uso de la tecnología para el desarrollo y no desde un enfoque de desarrollode tecnología.De esta manera las cumbres de sociedad de la información son: • Un espacio para el diálogo entre los distintos actores de la sociedad (multi stakeholders) de manera horizontal. • Un espacio de evaluación y aprendizaje para los países de América Latina en cuanto a la sociedad de la información. • Un instrumento de planificación a futuro como es la estrategia de América Latina y el Caribe de Sociedad de la Información eLAC 2015, que sirve de guía a los países de la región tomando como norte el 2015 en el contexto de la fecha estipulada para la evaluación de las Metas del Milenio.En estos últimos años América Latina ha dado muestras de poder enfrentar crisis muy graves, pero paraconcretar un desarrollo sustancial requiere apropiarse de manera intensiva de la tecnología y hacer uso deella para la promoción del desarrollo humano y la generación de capacidades. Lo que hace grandes a lasnaciones es su gente y su cultura, pero actualmente la región aún tiene la tarea pendiente de cerrar muchasbrechas. En lo que al campo digital se refiere, hay brechas de acceso y de inclusión, que una vez resultasservirán para acabar con las lagunas estructurales presentes en cada uno de los países de la región.La reunión concluyó con la aprobación de la Declaración de Montevideo y el Plan de Trabajo 2013-2015. Seacordó a que Perú asuma la presidencia del marco normativo de sociedad de la información y desechostecnológicos, y la vicepresidencia en contenidos tecnológicos y desarrollo digital para la educación.Somos conscientes que existe mucho por hacer en la materia y este tema no está dentro de los temasprioritarios de la agenda pública nacional seguramente por cegarse a ver la tecnología como un motor dedesarrollo y no ver las buenas prácticas de los países como Corea del Sur, el primero a nivel mundial, oUruguay, con un plan exitoso de educación a través del uso de la tecnología. Finalmente veremos el 2015como un año para evaluar las potencialidades de las tecnologías para el desarrollo y tomaremos lección deello.   10  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013Fostering “Why not?” social initiatives -beyond business andgovernments    Development in Practice, 22:7, 895-908Henry Mintzberg and Guilherme AzevedoAlentar iniciativas sociales, ¿por qué no?, más allá del ámbito empresarial y gubernamental.En este ensayo los autores cuestionan la idea de que los problemas complejos y de larga duración –como elcalentamiento global, y la pobreza– los resolverán los gobiernos o corporaciones responsables. Sin embargo,los autores apuestan por la fuerza de iniciativas sociales promovidas por comunidades de personasorganizadas. Muchas experiencias en todo el mundo, en especial en Brasil con el temperamento “¿por qué´no?” de los brasileños, revelan algunas características del origen, el desarrollo y la difusión de estasiniciativas.Los autores concluyen que las iniciativas sociales que responden a los problemas locales de alcance mundialy que utilizan las redes para enlazar a varias comunidades, pueden ser la mayor esperanza para esteconvulsionado mundo.Introduction be required to deal with the difficult problems facing the world.That there are many difficult problems in this world isclear – global warming, poverty and starvation, a so- Social gridlock in governmentcalled recession that is probably more serious thananyone cares to admit, and much else. That we know In his book The Bubble of American Supremacy:how to resolve them is not. Correcting the Misuse of American Power, financier and philanthropist George Soros (2004) criticized the GeorgeWe begin by challenging the two ways that have been W. Bush administration, and then proceeded to claimmost vigorously promoted: first, governments in general that the only hope for this world is an America come toand the American government in particular, acting nobly its senses –a noble America, we might say, in place ofon behalf of everyone else, and second, business, either nasty America. “To regain the identity it enjoyed duringindirectly, in the belief that economic development the Cold War, the United States ought to become theresults in social development, or directly, through so- leader of a community of democracies ... [It] would stillcalled ‘CSR’ (corporate social responsibility). Instead we need to retain its military might, but this strength wouldargue for the potency of social initiatives, promoted by serve to protect a just world order” (Soros 2004: 167–communities of engaged people, networked across the 68). But will the American government in particular orworld, sometimes in cooperation with businesses and governments in general, be the ones to deal with thegovernments. We are all aware of some of these, but do most pressing problems in the world? Their record of latewe appreciate how much more effective they can be than is not good.solutions promoted by governments and businesses? Since the enactment of the Monroe Doctrine, theWe discuss several initiatives that are rendering major American record on such justice has been mixed, andsocial change, to give a sense of their power, variety, while the rest of the world has come a long way since theand pervasiveness. Then we consider the initiatives from Marshall Plan, so too, unfortunately, has the Unitedthe one country that stands out in this regard, answering States. Moreover, this country now appears to be inthe question ‘Why Brazil?’ with ‘Why not Brazilians?’ social gridlock, unable to resolve most of its own social problems.The characteristics of these efforts enable us tospeculate on the origin, development, and diffusion of Who, then, if not America? What other countries mightsocial initiatives. We conclude that such initiatives may have the influence, the insight, and the inclination to address global problems? The UK? France? Japan?   11  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013Hardly. The emerging BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, forces will somehow correct these problems seems to beIndia, China)? The courage of some of them to challenge a fanciful idea at best. Thomas Friedman wrote in theagricultural subsidies and pharmaceutical patents has New York Times on 19 December 2009 that “The onlybeen encouraging, but can we expect them to make engine big enough to impact Mother Nature is Fathermajor movement on, for example, global warming? Then Greed: the market.” It has Mr. Friedman, but not as youhow about some of the apparently sensible smaller wish.countries – for example Sweden or Costa Rica (withouteven an army)? Who will listen? The record on CSR has hardly kept up with the rhetoric. Noble business, if not noble America, is supposed toWe believe that this is the wrong approach. take us out of our messes. In their press releases,Governments everywhere appear to be increasingly corporations look quite responsible; on the news pages,restricted, thanks to a steady shift in power toward forces about oil spills and subprime mortgages and executivefor the status quo: powerful corporations, pervasive bonuses, many look rather different. Nonetheless, therelobbying, political advertising. For better or for worse, are many responsible corporations, and we need more.many governments have also reduced their margin of But that their decent acts will resolve problems createdmaneuver by becoming tied to multilateral trade by irresponsible others, or simply caused by theagreements, economic blocks, and common currencies. ubiquitousness of legal ‘externalities’, is difficult toIf influential feathers cannot be ruffled, then how are believe.governments to deal with other than marginal problems?Hence the more serious the problem, the less we might Witness the ‘clean coal’ advertising campaign in theexpect it to be resolved by governments, at least taking United States, and ask yourself (a) how clean is that coalthe lead. Moreover, with power now rather evenly split and, (b) how many dirty and “clean” coal plants werebetween left and right in so many countries, they face built around the world during that campaign. Massedsocial gridlocks of their own. against CSR, in any event, is the prevailing dogma that business exists solely to serve its shareholders (leavingWitness the conference on global warming held in aside the message of its bonuses that it seems really toCopenhagen in 2009, much like those that followed. In serve its executives.) The agenda of business is tothe face of resistance from the established forces that serve itself, not the world. This is as it should be; at leasthave much to gain from the status quo, all that energy of so long as the world has ways to protect itself from thethe greater and lesser nations of the world massed externalities of such activities. Unfortunately it does not:against what may be the greatest threat to humankind many corporations as well as other large institutions,came up with virtually nothing. The British minister for including not-for-profits and governments, have becomeclimate and energy (note the title) claimed that the too large, too bureaucratic, too powerful, too exploitative,process “put numbers on the table” Kanter (2009); China and too intertwined to be able to take the lead in dealingpromised to reduce the rate of increase in its with our most serious social problems.environmental contamination; and all parties agreed toreview the empty accord in five years. A movement of social initiativesBusiness for the sake of business If all of this is the bad news, then the good news is that there is another effort afoot, with many successes but farIf not government, then who or what? Economists have greater potential – as soon as it is fully recognized. Welong had a ready answer: business. Let business refer to social initiatives all around the world, many indevelop economically, and the rest of society will follow unexpected places, carried out by significant numbers ofby developing socially. If this is true, then of course there ordinary people extraordinarily engaged. Consider, foris no need to restrict the growing power of the example, Médicins sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctorscorporations. And so, even in the face of the worst without Borders), founded in 1971 by a few Frencheconomic conditions since the great depression, caused doctors, known for its quick response to emergencies allin large part by the misbehavior of many international over the world. Multiply this example by so many others:corporations, globalization proceeds largely without Alcoholics Anonymous, Greenpeace, open sourcerestrictions. software of various kinds, and so on.There is no doubt that we have to afford social A number of recent books have recognized these socialdevelopment economically. But we also require movements. In Blessed Unrest, Paul Hawken wrote ofeconomic development that does not undermine social perhaps a million or more organizations around the worlddevelopment. On the issues we noted at the outset – working toward ecological sustainability and socialglobal warming, poverty and starvation, the recession – justice: “dispersed, inchoate, and fiercely independent”,arguably two and possibly the third are the not “liberal or conservative” but “a massive enterpriseconsequences of economic development. That market undertaken by involving citizens everywhere, not by self-   12  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013appointed governments or hierarchy” (Hawken 2007: 2 – From southern Asia has come the micro-financing5). David Bornstein’s (2007) book, How to Change the revolution started by Muhammad Yunus. In the mid-World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New 1970s, Bangladesh was in the grip of a famine, andIdeas, offers a revealing glimpse of dozens of such Yunus, then head of the economics department atinitiatives, for example child protection in India, rural Chittagong University, started his own crusade againstelectrification in Brazil, and assistance to the disabled in poverty.Hungary. Alan Fowler and Kees Biekart, in Civic DrivenChange: Citizen’s Imagination in Action (2008), have He realized that many families in poverty could attain aedited a notable collection of essays on what they call decent life if they had access to reasonable credit.civic-driven narratives, told by seriously engaged Traditional banking was not an option because theseacademics and practitioners. And in Getting to Maybe: people lacked the minimal qualifications (e.g., collateral,How the World is Changed (2007), Westley, steady employment, formal credit history), and in anyZimmerman, and Patton probe into the core of some event the loans were usually too small for these banks tosocial initiatives, and the minds of social activists, to take on. People struggling to survive, especially womenunderstand this process from the inside out. culturally perceived as incapable or worthless were often trapped in a vicious cycle of debt repayment to localSocial initiatives around the world middlemen, whose interest rates keep them in poverty.What do we mean by social initiatives? These are other Yunus was surprised to find that in many cases, a steadyways of dealing with social problems, usually as but tiny credit line could make a major difference.collective actions intended to improve social conditions, Learning from an initial loan of US$27 to a group of 42even when executed in the economic or political spheres women – less than a dollar per person – he created the(e.g., to increase employment or clean up political Grameen Bank (‘Bank of the Villages’, in Bengali), whichcorruption). offered small loans to groups, mainly of women, which provided their members with local support as well as theThey usually begin in a single community, championed peer control needed to make good use of the money.by one or several ‘social entrepreneurs’, and experimentwith social changes that challenge what their members As a social initiative, the Grameen Bank did not justsee as a dysfunctional status quo. Sometimes these solve the immediate needs of many Bangladesh families;people do so aggressively, but perhaps more commonly it changed their social structure. The idea spread. Today,they working benign, collaborative, and even initially the Grameen Foundation (www.grameenfoundation.org)unnoticed ways. supports more than 200 microfinance institutions operating in 38 countries.Much of this takes place, and especially is initiated, inthe social sector. By this we mean in organizations and The sustainable energy wind initiative in Denmarkinformal associations that are neither public (state-owned) nor conventionally private (whether closely or Denmark is the world leader in both the production ofwidely held by shareholders). Some are cooperatively wind turbines and the percentage of wind basedowned and organized (one-member, one-vote, which electricity. During the last 30 years, the Danes havecannot be sold or source software). But they do tend to been able to grow their economy steadily whilebe rooted in communities, especially when starting up. simultaneously reducing carbon and greenhouse gases emissions.With this in mind, all kinds of famous initiatives canbecome apparent: from some seminal initiatives of last When the 1972 oil crisis hit Denmark, 90 per cent of itscentury, for example Mahatma Gandhi’s civil energy came from petroleum, most of it imported. Thedisobedience movement and the ecological wake to save reaction to the crisis became a tipping point. The Danesthe whales from extinction, to the more recent electronic began an energy conservation effort that did not stopinitiatives of Wikipedia and its many offshoots, and of the when the energy crisis abated, not even whenuse of various forms of social media to catalyze and Denmark’s North Sea oil and gas production made thecoordinate pro-democratic or alter-globalization country a net exporter. The government started lookingmanifestations around the globe. We describe below for alternatives to fossil fuel, as the public pressured forthree contemporary social initiatives, one each in Asia, diversification and rallied against nuclear energy, in favorEurope, and Africa, that have rendered significant social of wind power, solar energy, and conservation. Thechanges in their own worlds and exhibit the potential to Danish parliament raised taxes on the use of fossil-fueldiffuse beyond these worlds. energy, passed laws that subsidized technological development and production from alternative sources,The micro-financing initiative in Bangladesh and created long-term guarantees of viable prices for wind electricity.   13  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013 of a 60-storey building in Uhuru Park in Nairobi that leadThis started the ‘wind revolution’. Communities, families, to the preservation of the park, the liberation of politicaland individuals actively participated by forming and prisoners, and ultimately to the democraticbuying shares in wind turbine cooperatives. This did not transformation of the country.stop at wind. This initiative has also led to the Green Belt MovementIn Denmark, the development of green technologies for International and inspired a number of otherhousing, industry, and transportation became almost a programmes, including the United Nations ‘Billion Treenational sport. Danish cities and rural communities Campaign’ (www.unep.org/billiontreecampaign) that hassurprised the world (and even themselves) by their resulted in the planting more than 10 billion trees aroundinnovation and commitment. The rational use of wind, the world.sun, biomass, wave power, and even some moreunconventional sources (e.g., photovoltaic hydrogen Social initiatives in Brazilplants and pork blubber-based industrial heating)allowed districts, islands, and small cities to become net As we travel around the world of social initiatives, thereexporters of clean energy and, in some cases, recover is one place that hosts a particularly fascinating array oftheir investments in less than a decade. them, perhaps more than any other country, at least in their novelty: Brazil. We discuss several of theseThe impetus for the Grameen Bank came from a single initiatives, in order to ask the question: Why Brazil, or atchampion, in the social sector, while the wind power least why Brazilians? And how can this happenmovement in Denmark, again rooted largely in the social elsewhere? We begin with description of two particularlysector in Nordic-style, saw both government and interesting Brazilian initiatives, followed by mention ofbusiness playing key roles as well. The state-owned Riso several others.National Laboratory, for example, initially created as anuclear energy research center, eventually became a The HIV/AIDS initiativecenter for wind power development: the world leader incertification and testing of wind turbines and an active In 1990, Brazil had almost twice as many cases ofplayer in hydrogen fuel-cell research. In the private HIV/AIDS as South Africa. The World Bank predictedsector, Vestas, Denmark’s leading wind turbine that 1,200,000 Brazilians would be infected by 2000. Themanufacturer, came to export about 90 per cent of its international experts recommended that the Brazilianproduction. government focus on prevention and be prepared to lose a share of its population, because treatment would beThe green belt initiative in Kenya too expensive and ineffective. Brazilians saw it differently and decided to both treat and prevent.The third initiative comes from Africa, with a championwho mobilized extensive support from the social sector The World Bank catastrophic forecasts proved to beand helped transform her country. Wangari Maathai, an accurate for South Africa – in 2000, one quarter of itsenvironmentalist and political activist, was the first population was infected – but not for Brazil: in ten years,African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, in the infection rate actually declined, to 0.6 per cent and,2004, thanks to her courageous stand for environmental by the early 2000s, the country achieved universalprotection, democracy, and women’s rights. Maathai was treatment coverage. Indeed, about 40 per cent of thealso the first woman to both earn a PhD and head a free drug treatments in the world at that time wereuniversity department in Kenya. As chair of the National provided in Brazil.Council of Women of Kenya, she was approached byWilhelm Elsrud, the executive director of the Norwegian Containing and curbing the pandemic involved the healthForestry Society, who was looking for a partner to start care community, various levels of government, localwhat would become the Green Belt Movement. Since industry, the artistic community, the media, many local1977, this movement has planted more than 40 million community movements (including catholic parishes, civictrees in twelve African countries and has become crucial centers, samba associations, etc.), as well asin reversing degradation and protecting the soil. associations advocating for a wide variety of minorities groups (homosexuals, prostitutes, drug users,In Maathai’s words, although the movement was hemophiliacs, captive-populations, Amerindians, etc.)presented to the authorities as just an initiative to plant Missing, however, were an identifiable leader, a generaltrees, in reality it was about planting ideas and giving blueprint, and central coordination. In their place was apeople reasons to fight for citizenship, environment, and great deal of creative cooperation.women rights. She has been charming enough toconvince soldiers to take care of tree nurseries and plant On the prevention side, humor was emphasized insteadtrees. And she initiated protests against the construction of fear, helped by a culture of open sexuality. The   14  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013message of using condoms and living with HIV was – than an emergent social initiative, at least in its initialincluded in the plots of popular soap operas and in the incarnation.preaching of Catholic churches (despite the Vaticanpressuring against it). Millions of condoms were This energy shift also began after the 1972 oil crisis. Thedistributed all year around, but especially during Brazilian government (then a military dictatorship) wascarnivals. The effort also included the recruitment of concerned about external dependence on oil. In 1975, itvolunteers in high-risk groups (prostitutes, homosexuals, created Pró-Álcool, a bold, large-scale ethanolintravenous drug addicts, and prisoners), some with the programme to produce biofuel from sugarcane, distributevirus, to adapt and spread the main messages it to all gas stations in the country, and use it in carsconcerning transmission, prevention, and solidarity equipped with a technology that was not yet established.toward those under treatment. The government offered tax incentives to sugarcane farmers and ethanol plants, while it imposed a new taxOn the treatment side, health care specialists together on gasoline to subsidy bioethanol. Surprisingly, itwith volunteers developed local solutions to distribute worked, and in less than ten years about 95 per cent ofand, very importantly, make sure that those under new cars in Brazil were ethanol vehicles.treatment, including people who were illiterate or livingalone, were able to follow the complex medication In the late 1980s, however, the programme lost forceschedule. due to a combination of factors: the national economy was under the grip of hyperinflation, the internationalOnce public opinion had pushed the government to price of oil was low, Petrobras’ development of deep-make treatment universal, Brazilians took bold moves on water production reduced Brazil’s dependence on foreignmany fronts. Unable to convince pharmaceutical oil, and the international price of sugar had increasedmultinationals to reduce the price of antiretroviral drugs, rapidly. Many denounced the bio-ethanol programme asand facing American threats of economic sanctions and too expensive. Consumers, experiencing shortages atpunitive tariffs, the ministry of health, supported by a the pump, stopped buying bioethanol cars and evenclause in Brazilian industrial property law that limited started converting their existing cars to run on gasoline.rights in cases of ‘national emergency’, ordered federalresearch laboratories to develop the necessary In the late 1990s, the programme regained force, thistechnology and granted compulsory licenses to produce time fuelled by rising ecological concerns among thethe medications locally. Eventually, surprised by the public, and helped by renewed economic stability and alaboratories’ success in synthesizing the drugs, major technological innovation: the ‘flexfuel’ car, provided bymultinational pharmaceutical companies agreed to automobile companies that could run on gas alone,negotiate royalty rights. When, in 2001, the United States ethanol, or any mix of the two. Now more than 90 perchallenged Brazil’s compulsory licensing at the World cent of the cars sold in Brazil are flexfuel.Trade Organization, Brazil responded in the UnitedNations Human Rights Commission, pushing for a vote The consumer makes the choice every time they stop aton AIDS treatment as a human right. This vote passed the pump (but all automobile gasoline sold in Brazilwith a 52-0 majority, the US being the only country to contains 20– 25 per cent of ethanol).abstain. Sugarcane ethanol represents a serious alternative forIn this initiative, we see a strong interplay among many countries with tropical agriculture potential and, so far,layers of government, the public, industry, and a myriad Brazil has begun official collaborative efforts with Ghana,of organizations in the social sector. Of special note is Mozambique, Angola, and Kenya.how the Brazilian government, pushed by its ownpopulation to take courageous positions internationally, This second initiative in Brazil saw a strong role bywas able to challenge the established forces of industry government in getting it started; yet an eventual stall dueand WTO. This, together with determined, imaginative, to changed conditions as well as, perhaps, theand cooperative efforts within the country, helped insufficient rooting of the initiative in community. Andchange the discourse and practice of the fight against when it did get going again, community and industryHIV/AIDS in many other countries around the world. played a greater role.The bioethanol initiative To consider this initiative together with that in Denmark, while the word’s elite fiddled in the halls of Copenhagen,Our second example from Brazil is different in some in the rest of Denmark and throughout Brazil peoplerespects, involving more interaction between government were making machines and growing crops and pumpingand businesses, and looking more like a case of fuel that were changing their world. This has muchdirigisme – borrowing the concept from the French further to go, but imagine the human energy that couldtradition of government directing industrial development be unleashed by opening up the spirit of such initiatives.   15  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013 feeling no shame in trying and failing – they just moveOther initiatives in Brazil on. (When French President Charles de Gaulle allegedly declared that Brazil was not a serious country, ratherMany other initiatives have come out of Brazil. The than being insulted, most Brazilians were amused, evenexperiments in participatory municipal budgeting in Porte proud.)Alegre, started in 1989, have been adapted in more than200 municipalities in Latin America and around the Brazilian vocabulary is indicative of this spirit. Popularworld. Since the late 1980s, Brazil has tested and expressions are dar um jeitinho, meaning to find a wayimplemented a collection of measures for combating around; quebrar um galho, literally to break a branch andpoverty, including the bolsa-familia, a programme that so create a way through, and sem medo de ser feliz,grants mothers a monthly allowance if their children literally “with no fear of being happy”, meaning to goattend school and keep a required schedule of medical ahead without the fear of failing and despite risks andvisits and vaccinations. This has not only reinforced difficulties. These reflect the large repertoire of practiceseducation and alleviated poverty, but it has also brought to negotiate alternative ways to circumvent rules,enhanced women empowerment, the economic revival of maintain optimism, and overcome difficulties. And this, ofisolated communities, and a reduction in rural exodus. course, encourages social activism, which inevitably challenges if not breaks the established rules. In Brazil, ifStarted elsewhere but with major impetus in Brazil, the you are working for a good cause, why not?so-called ‘Liberation Theology’ –local parish activismwith precepts of Marxism that has brought it into conflict Why this “Why not?” attitude in Brazil? It may bewith the Vatican – has helped form what some consider interesting to speculate on this in order to appreciateto be the most powerful social movement in Brazil, the how it can be fostered elsewhere.‘Landless Workers’ Movement’ (or MST: Movimento dosTrabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra). With some 1.5 million Peaceful pridemembers and under the assumption, arguably supportedby the Brazilian constitution, that unproductive land Brazil is a vast country, the fifth largest in the world, withshould be confiscated and redistributed, this a language that isolates it from its neighbours, let alonecontroversial social movement promotes a sort of from almost all the rest of the world. That, coupled withbottom-up land reform based on beliefs in social the absence of any serious war or border dispute for ainclusion (adult education, cooperative farming, political century and a half, and a past of having ‘colonised itself’representation, etc.). in a sense (following a colonial history, Brazil gained its independence in 1822, just after being the capital of the“Why not?” Brazilians Portuguese empire for some 13 years), has helped to breed a certain independence, confidence, and pride,We should ask: as a particularly fertile soil for social manifested in a go-it-alone mentality. Brazil is ainitiatives, “Why Brazil?”, or more accurately “Why civilization-under-construction, full of freshness andBrazilians?” Appreciation of the answers may help to brashness, much like the United States of earlier times.encourage more of this kind of venturing elsewhere inthe world. A colleague of ours, Rennie Nilsson, described the Brazilian response to the HIV/AIDS challenge as aWestley, Patton, and Zimmerman (2007) point out that confidence of intentions and humility of means, exactlythe tipping point for the embarkation of a social initiative the opposite, he said, of what had been coming out ofis “getting to maybe”, meaning that a decisive part of the the World Bank.process is in the minds of the social entrepreneurs, toget to the point of believing that the change is possible. Unified eclecticismIn a similar vein, perhaps the most important answer to“Why Brazil?” is that Brazilians are a “Why not?” people. Brazil is a land of contrasts: black/white/indigenous;In other words, they seem to be predisposed to this kind north/south; coast/inland; rich/poor, etc. Yet, on the racialof maybe. front at least, this is a country in which the races have mixed rather extensively. The Brazilian sociologistAs opposed to the mentality that has to ask “Why?” each Gilberto Freyre, in the 1930s formulated the thesis oftime something new is proposed, the “Why not?” “Luso tropicalism”, which claimed that the Portuguesementality says, “Sure, let’s try it. If it fails, we’ll try colonization was characterized by the absence of pridesomething else”. Since each social initiative is novel for any specific race and therefore created a morewhen it is first developed – a venture into unchartered equalitarian society. This may be a difficult thesis toterritory – it has to be worked out as the protagonists defend – there is racism in Brazil, and the sinisterproceed: their strategy, if you like, has to emerge through shadow of past slavery – but miscegenation did becomea learning process. The Brazilians’ advantage may be in celebrated as a defining element of the Brazilian identity.   16  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013 in community (as did that in Denmark). Social initiativesToday there is a particular sort of eclecticism in Brazil, thus seem to be essentially indigenous: they work fromwith broad acceptance of a unified national identity. the ‘inside up’, and out, by people collectively engaged.There are no hyphenated Brazilians, as in ‘French- They are not solving the world’s problems so much asCanadians’ or ‘Afro-Americans’ (although the African their own, later to discover that their own problems areinfluence on Brazilian cultural has been particularly the world’s problems.significant, as we discuss next). This may help to explain a difference between Brazil andConnected humanism the United States. There is no shortage of social initiatives in the United States – de Toqueville pointed toBrazilians´ culture is more African than Iberian when it them two centuries ago – and what better recentcomes to joy, movement, and color. Being in touch with example than the first Obama presidential campaign, somovement, dance, and sound, Brazilians become in embedded in communities. But proportionally, Braziltouch with each other: they communicate intensely in seems now to be more active in this regard, perhapsverbal and non-verbal ways. And so there is a marked because of the intense focus in the United States ontendency in the country to emphasize human relations entrepreneurship of an individual and commercial nature.and caring, as is evident in the telenovelas (soap This may make for an energetic economy of businessoperas), Brazil’s gift to much of the world. Moreover, enterprises, but not a correspondingly energetic culturenetworking and negotiating comes naturally to Brazilians, of social initiatives. (Would de Toqueville be aseven among those with highly opposed beliefs. This impressed with American non-commercial associationsfosters the kind of creative solutions so necessary for today?)successful initiatives of a social nature. The spirit ofthese points was captured wonderfully well by Chico Development through entrepreneurship andMendes, the Brazilian environmentalist martyr: “At first, I learning, in the social sector and beyondthought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thoughtI was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I Social initiatives require leadership, but not asrealize I am fighting for humanity.” conventionally conceived in business and government. There may be a prime mover, such as a Yunus inThe characteristics of successful social initiatives Bangladesh or a Maathai in Kenya, but that leadership is deeply embedded in ‘communityship’: these are not loneDrawing this discussion of Brazilians together with our wolves issuing calls to arms, let alone conventionalearlier examples of social initiatives, we can begin to see entrepreneurs building their private empires, but socialwhat appears to make social initiatives successful. We entrepreneurs. Indeed, often several of them work indiscuss this in three steps: their origins, their concert, and sometimes so many, as in the case ofdevelopment, and their diffusion. Danish wind power or the Brazilian fight against HIV/AIDS, that none is easily identifiable as the leader.Origins in confidence, courage, and community Whether or not there is an individual with a vision,The Brazilian experiences, and the others discussed development is above all a learning process, involvingearlier, point to a deep confidence in being able to tackle experimentation, adaptability, and spontaneity. How elsecomplex issues, and the courage to break away from the to break new ground, challenge an existing status quo?status quo, often initially independently of the established Development therefore has to be worked out, very muchforces of government and business, sometimes in in the Brazilian spirit of finding the way around.opposition to them. This was the case when Yunus learntthat microfinance could emancipate poor Bangladeshis Strategy in much of the West is perceived as developedand when Maathai discovered that she could plant trees in a process of deliberate planning: the head ‘formulates’and ideas at the same time. In other words, the origins of so that the rest of the body can ‘implement’. But where issuch initiatives appear to be not usually in the the learning when the body cannot feed back itsmainstream so much as in what our colleague Margaret experiences to the head? In contrast, scratch almost anyGraham has called “the active periphery”. interesting strategy, in business and out, and you will find a process of emergent learning.The bioethanol initiative in Brazil might seem like anexception to this, having been started by a government IKEA’s famous strategy of selling unassembled furniturein power. But it also happened in a country that could be came about because a worker had to take the legs off todescribed as on the active periphery. And the fact that get a table into his car. “If us, why not our customersthis initiative could not sustain itself the first time around too?!”suggests our final characteristic of initiation, namely thatsocial initiatives seem to take root best when embedded   17  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013That is why the conventional bureaucracies of business the periphery, at least for a while. And that requires theand government have so much trouble with social confidence and courage discussed earlier, as well asinitiatives, even to accept them. Their predisposition to communities to protect them.top-down, leaderled planning and analyzing andmeasuring – essentially “Why?” processes – are not Diffusion through networks across communitiesconducive to open-ended and creative learning incommunity. Where such efforts do take root in Combing these last two points, while businesses andbusinesses or governments, they may well be in obscure governments can be involved in development,corners, so-called ‘skunkworks’, with their own social sometimes the learning has to be more or less completechampion(s). before they can play what is perhaps their key role: in helping to diffuse the initiatives, from its originalMake no mistake about it: such learning can be a long community to others, sometimes around the world. Inand difficult process, requiring extensive dedication on other words, development can require incubation; onlythe part of many people working together. That is why when the initiative is reasonably well defined cancommunity is so important, and doggedness too. Many businesses and governments join in a major way, forsocial initiatives do fail, and even those that succeed diffusion.typically require great patience to overcome asuccession of obstacles. In this third stage, of diffusion, the planning and the analyzing and the measuring of governments andAs suggested, we see the social sector, beyond the businesses may be more necessary (although not to thepublic and private sectors, comprising all sorts of so- point of stifling the initiative), because of the limitedcalled NGOs, not-for-profits, cooperatives, etc. – perhaps informal resources of the social sector institutionswe should call it the ‘plural sector’ – as key to the championing the initiative. Put differently after the formaldevelopment of social initiatives (see Cheng and “Why nots?” have proved themselves, comes the time forMohamed [2010] who describe social initiatives as part some of the “Whys?” to render the initiative moreof a larger – and diverse – ‘social ecosystem’). operational.It does not mean that all initiatives coming from this Modern technologies are now providing an enormoussector are positive. Without getting into the merits of impetus in helping to diffuse social activities beyond theirdifferent moralities, social initiatives are not inherently original communities, as events throughout the Middlegood, and some may create more problems than East in early 2011 made clear. Indeed we believe thatsolutions, when, for instance, they are marked by the basic thesis of this article is supportable because ofcorruption, bad intentions, and prejudice. If the public these technologies: they are changing the world of socialsector can be crude, and the private sector crass, then development, alongside political activism.the plural sector can be closed – at the limit xenophobic.But the best of its social initiatives are exactly the Perhaps the world first became aware of this during theopposite: they throw major opportunities wide open, to protests at the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999, wheneveryone. contemporary forms of communication were used to rally groups into collaborative action. If anyone missed that,The examples that we have presented also include the the first Obama presidential campaign made clear theinvolvement of businesses and governments in many power of electronic communication across networks, withsocial initiatives: eventually these key institutions of Obama himself on that ubiquitous Blackberry.society cannot be excluded. Networks are not communities: their relationships areSo collaboration across all three sectors is often critical thinner, more superficial (try asking your 500 Facebookfor success. We have, of course, seen examples of friends to help you move to a new apartment). Butthese institutions taking the lead, but rarely without the networks do link communities, and electronic networksdeep involvement of the plural sector. So-called PPPs – have enormous potential to inform and synchronizepublic-private-partnerships – can be appropriate, but with communities all over the world about the processes andtwo qualifications: first, these should often be PPPPs – potentials of new social initiatives. It allowed, forplural-public-private-partnerships; and second neither instance, a few people in Sydney to start a movement inbusiness nor government can dominate, bearing in mind 2007 that encouraged some 2.2 million others to turn outthat the greatest PPP the world has seen is the the lights for an hour, in order to draw attention to energyAmerican military-industrial-complex. use.But to get established initially, many social initiatives A year later, 50 million people across 35 countries joinedneed to keep their distance from the forces of the this ‘Earth Hour’. The microfinance banks inspired by theestablishment: they need to maintain their activities on Grameen Bank spread across Asia in the early 1980s in   18  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013less than a decade; that would have been unimaginable alone its 97 million members and volunteers.) But “within the 1880s, yet would it even take six years today? encouragement from the state [,] social entrepreneurs’ best ideas can be spread faster and wider”. Does thisPeople everywhere are looking for solutions to their describe the development of the Red Cross, or of micro-difficult social problem. While each culture is different, a financing?great deal can be learned from the solutions worked outsomewhere else. Windmills developed in Denmark can This article discussed society as being “on the thresholdturn in Dakar; micro-financing conceived in Dhaka has of the fourth stage of how it addresses its thorniestcreated investments in Queens, New York (where, as problems” (the first three being families and charities, theMuhammad Yunis reported in a speech in São Paulo in welfare state, and public-private-partnerships throughNovember 2008, there were people in the shadow of competitive outsourcing). In this fourth stage,Wall Street who couldn’t even open a bank account); and “government will tap the ability of the private sector, for-Africans have been learning from Brazilians about profit and non-profit”, to deliver “disruptive,dealing with the crisis of HIV/AIDS. Modern forms of transformative innovation”.communication, as well as of transportation, can provideenormous help in diffusion, with the world today To do this, government can host competitions, offerexperiencing its own minstrels on the internet, who sing “cash prizes”, “measure the social impact of publicthe songs that carry the stories of social initiatives from spending”, and find ways to involve “private capital [...] toone community to another. bring rigor” to all this. By taking “a businesslike approach” that this magazine has dubbedYou don’t have to be a “Why not?” society to learn from “philanthrocapitalism” – an oxymoronic mouthful –one. Once an initiative has been worked out in one investors can “take a close interest in the growth of [non-place, with established credibility, it can be applied profit] groups and measure their performanceelsewhere. Of course, it will need adapting to local obsessively”.conditions, and the world will in fact work better if eachnew adaptor improves the initiative and diffuses that new Needless to say, we believe that the world has hadlearning back. But just crossing borders is plenty. As enough of this dysfunctional obsessiveness. “If wePaul Farmer, the American anthropologist and physician, always do as we always did, we will always get what wehas commented: “Many political borders serve as always got”. This is the case in this article, with many ofsemipermeable membranes, often quite open to its prescriptions sounding like the failed practices of thediseases and yet closed to the free movement of cures” private and public sectors, while it seeks to maintain the(Farmer 1999: 55). This no longer need be the case. marginalization of the social sector – ensuring its dependence on the public sector while continuing to apeImpeding and proceeding the private sector.“Somebody ought to do something about that”. How The somebody who will do something about ouroften have we heard this refrain? We have generally problems has to be you, and us. Once we all get past thetaken it to mean somebody in government (in places like belief that business or government will do it, to anCanada and France) or in business (in places like the understanding that in today’s world, all too often both areUnited States). the problem more than the solution, then we will be able to arrive at the realization that the solutions lie in us.In its 12 August 2010 issue, The Economist (2010) ran along article on ‘social innovation’. It is worth reading as a In a New York Times column in February 2009, Thomasprimer on how to discourage significant social innovation. Freidman wrote that “Somewhere in the back of their minds, a lot of people seem to be realizing that theThe article acknowledged the social sector, but defined it alternative to a United States-dominated world [...] is arather strangely (“public services plus charity”, at best leaderless world”. No, we have had more than enough ofwith “businesslike ideas”), and then described it as this kind of leadership, thank you, for centuries, evendependent on the initiatives and support of the public before the United States was founded.sector as well as the heroic leadership and top-downstrategies and financial incentives so commonly favored In today’s world, this attitude fosters hubris, not learning,in the private sector. imposition, not problem solving. In the front of all our minds has to be the understanding that if our world is toThe article also claimed that “social entrepreneurship deal with its escalating problems, all of us who caredoes not yet have a Microsoft or a Google”. (The editors about these problems more than we care about our ownmight wish to check the employment of the Red Cross cozy arrangements will have to take the lead, asand Red Crescent Movement [www.redcross.int], let communities networked together. Why not?   19  
    • Número 1. Abril 2013  ReferencesBornstein, D. (2007) How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas, Oxford,UK: Oxford University Press.Cheng, W. and S. Mohamed (2010) The World That Changes the World: How Philanthropy, Innovation andEntrepreneurship are Transforming the Social Ecosystem, San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass.Farmer, P. (1999) Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, Berkeley: University of California Press.Fowler, A. and K. Biekart (eds.) (2008) Civic Driven Change: Citizen’s Imagination in Action, The Hague,Netherlands: Institute of Social Studies.Friedman, T. (2009) ‘Off to the races’, New York Times, 19 December 2009.Hawken, P. (2007) Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being, and Why NoOne Saw it Coming, New York, NY, USA: Viking.Kanter, J.(2009) ‘An Air of Frustration for Europe at Climate Talks’, The New York Times, 19 December 2009.Soros, G. (2004) The Bubble of American Supremacy: Correcting the Misuse of American Power, New York,NY, USA: Public Affairs.The Economist (2010) ‘Social innovation: let’s hear those ideas’, The Economist, 12 August 2010.Westley, F., B. Zimmerman, and M. Q. Patton. (2007) Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed, Toronto,Canada: Vintage Canada.The authorsHenry Mintzberg is Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies and Faculty Director of the InternationalMasters for Health Leadership (IMHL.info) at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University inMontreal.Guilherme Azevedo (corresponding author) recently completed his PhD in Strategy and Organization at theDesautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Montreal. He is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT SloanSchool of Management. gui@sloan.mit.edu. 20  
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