Little known in the United States is the extent to which social/solidarity economy policies have proliferated around the world. The expression popularized at the World Social Forum, “Another World is Possible”, is more than a slogan in nations where social economy activities now represent 5-10% of gross domestic product. In these countries national and regional government ministries have been formed to promote growth strategies for this sector of their growing economies.
It is imperative that international experiences be shared and adapted for local conditions. No nation or region should make the mistake of only looking inward at this important moment of structural experimentation and change. Work at different United Nations’ agencies provides a universal umbrella for viewing the thinking and practices currently taking place worldwide.
Our mission is to strengthen cooperation between socially responsible enterprises throughout the Americas and help create new ones where possible. Our firm was founded upon the principle that socially responsible companies can and do provide good, sustainable business solutions while reducing marginalization for those with limited opportunities to achieve their full potential.
Eric Leenson is founder and president of SOL Economics. Together with Cuba’s Rafael Betancourt, consultant of SOL Economics, the two have spent years coordinating the international project, “Socially Responsible Enterprise and Local Development in Cuba”. Both are experts in the field of social and solidarity economies.
Massive income inequality, high unemployment, and devastating environmental degradation demonstrate today, more than ever, that old economic approaches no longer work, if they ever did. Traditional capitalism is broken, and pain is the order of the day for the young, for minorities, women and the undereducated. While national political and business leaders appear to be missing in action, fortunately, others are stepping up.
SOL2 Economics recognizes a rich and diverse set of multiple terms that describe and define social economy experimentation throughout the hemisphere and worldwide. Over the years, SOL2 Economics has worked with organizations in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.