This two-part feature by Julia Sagebien and Eric Leenson seeks to answer an important, yet often-overlooked question: How can Cuba achieve an optimum balance between business competitiveness, economic well-being, and the preservation of long-held social values, while also building Cuban sustainability? [Part 1] [Part 2]
Featured Article: Cuban_Remix
“In measured but far-reaching ways, a state-controlled economy is opening a space for socially responsible enterprise. Cuba is now undergoing a fundamental process of change”. By Julia Sagebien & Eric Leenson. Published in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2015.
Conferences in Cuba
In June 2015, nearly one hundred people participated in the first ever Int’l Conference on Social and Solidarity Economy held at the University of Pinar del Rio, Cuba. In October, with many U.S. citizens now able to travel to Cuba, a Forum on Sustainable and Responsible Tourism took place at Parque LaGuira, Los Palacios, Pinar del Rio.
Mini-Guide: “Doing Business in Cuba“
Since the December 17, 2014 joint announcement by Cuba and the United States that the two nations intended to re-establish diplomatic relations, there has been an upsurge in interest among Americans regarding business relations with the island nation. Social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and NGOs will surely find this primer of great use.
New Economy – U.S.A.
SOL Economics is also helping to build social and solidarity economies across the United States, supporting and promoting cooperatives, Benefit Corporations (B Corps), and Corporate Social Responsibility, among other efforts to advance the country’s social economy.
Social Economy International
SOL Economics is currently supporting efforts promoted by the United Nations (UN) and International Labor Organization (ILO), as well as initiatives in Cuba, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Spain and Costa Rica.
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.
News on U.S.-Cuba Relations
Changes in bilateral relations between the U.S. and Cuba represent a unique opportunity for social and solidarity economies in both countries. Organizations such as Engage Cuba, the Center for Democracy in the Americas, and others have permanent updates on these important changes.
Videos to Watch
The changes being made in the Cuban economy today are discussed in detail in both Social Entrepreneurship in Cuba and a recent panel discussion at American University by the US Cuba Cooperative Working Group (May 2015).