1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Rethinking the Social and Solidarity Economy in Light of Community Practice (Draft)



Building social alternatives is necessary to resist captialism’s destructive impacts on quality of life, social organization and the planet. This paper offers an analysis of the ways in which people are mobilizing to build organizations and define social movements to move beyond current crises. Constructing an ecologically sound, social and solidarity economy requires mechanisms for mutual cooperation based on alternative systems of decision making, as well as for doing work and for assuring the well-being of every member of the community. These mechanisms depend on forging a sense of solidarity among the members of a society, and building alliances among communities; satisfying basic needs while also attending to the most pressing requirements for physical, social and environmental infrastructure; and assuring the conservation and rehabilitation of ecosystems.

David Barkin is Distinguished Professor at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. He works on problems of local initiatives to build post-capitalist societies; his latest articles are in Natural Resources Forum, Sustainability, Polis, Problemas del Desarrollo, Desacatos, and Revista Iberoamericana de Economía Ecológica.

Blanca Lemus is Researcher at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and writes on work environment, community health and development. She is a medical doctor and has a doctorate in community and occupational health from the University of Massachusetts.