Solidary, Creative Economy, for Communities and With Communities!
Thousands of other initiatives around the world!
(Ana Luíza Farage Silva)
At some point people realized that they needed each other to do something other than "subsist". From there, they decided to organize themselves in something called communities in order to improve their lives and practice a good "survival". Over time, they realized that the law of the strongest could hurt and decided to affirm social contracts to live together and in harmony.
Some people understood that they should give up some freedoms for this, others did not. Over time, these communities have been forming their stories, generating their identities and dynamizing their cultures. When communities became organized, they started to be called societies.
How many societies do we know? How many societies do we live in? Within these social contracts, many have little and few have a lot. Much what? Wealth? Yes, few have access! Access to quality education, decent health, respectful housing, nutritious food and so on.
How many can do what they want and how many cannot do what they need? It is in this concern that I perceive (as several others have already noted) that everything tends to come together. The better structured places attract bigger investments that generate bigger chains that attract even more investments and keep developing (or just growing) more and more. The point is that where there is little, little remains.
Does it have to be this way? If you were a government official and were going to choose to develop a state, would you give growth incentives to regions that are already more advanced or encourage the development of those that still have almost nothing? The prudent answer may be: "it depends" ... if you just want to develop faster, it may be easier to encourage the growth of the wealthiest regions.
After all, their chain is greater and they can “pull” other cities in the process of growth. But if you think about it on the other hand, you can see that there is no certainty that the poorest cities will be fostered by the richest. Will the access ever get there? With this in mind, several concepts and practices have been developed. Have you ever heard of Creative Economy? Basically, knowledge, creativity and intellectual capital are the production factors of this economy.
In this process, cultural production is used as a historical factor in the formation of identity and income generation in that community. In other words, a new look at the solution of the structural problems of society, the economy and culture are sought from the identity of that population.
In other words, development is sought from the convergence and respect for the roots of that people's history with cultural, social and economic objectives. Discussions, initiatives and studies have been taking place throughout Brazil with the aim of expanding this concept: the first International Forum of Creative Cities in Rio Quente took place in September 2013 http://rioquente.go.gov.br/cidades-criativas/, the IV Minas Gerais Meeting of Public Administration, Solidarity Economy and Social Management (IV EMAPEGS) addressed this theme in Viçosa this year http://www.emapegs.ufv.br/ and so on.
In addition, another concept has been addressed, created and practiced. Have you heard of Solidarity Economy? The concept of solidarity started to be guided at the end of the 18th century, but it has not yet been completely assimilated to the market. In this context, solidarity economy means interdependence and is based on the principles of cooperation, self-management and brings an economic dimension to society. In other words, we think of a market geared towards people, not people geared towards the market.
Despite the various difficulties faced by the Solidarity Economy, such as mapping, production flow, obtaining credit, advice and collective work, many advances and initiatives have taken place in Brazil. Have you heard of the Center for Solidarity Economy of Tocantis? UFT's NESOL? They have been working hard on this process: http://www.fapto.uft.edu.br/conhecimento/index.php/uft/14-nucleo-de-economia-solidaria-da-uft-nesol. Many communities have also realized that they live on the job, but remain in poverty. So they decided to challenge all the pre-established and create social currencies. That is, they realized that they had to develop some way to encourage the money to circulate more within the community itself, with the possibility of exchanging it for the real. Some initiatives have been implemented in Brazil. The first was Banco Palmas, at the Palmeiras complex in Fortaleza (CE). http://www.bancopalmas.org.br/oktiva.net/1235/nota/12291. Today there are more than 110 community banks, a chain, across Brazil. Several other initiatives in the world have been taken, but it is clear that challenges abound.