This week, Sea Change Co-Host Bill Baue speaks with Benito Diaz of the University of the Andes in Venezuela. Diaz edits the journal Cayapa, an indigenous term for mutual benefit — a notion that encapsulates the philosophy of the social economy. And later in the show, Baue provides the Sea Change ViewPoint commenting on the new Walmart Sustainable Product Index.
In March of this year, the Center for Popular Economics hosted the first-ever Forum on the Solidarity Economy here at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, home of Sea Change Radio. The day after the forum ended, Diaz joined Baue for a chat in the studio.
To start out, Baue asked Diaz to distinguish between social economy and solidarity economy. Diaz then notes that article 70 of the Venezuelan Constitution secures the right of “participation and involvement of people in the exercise of their sovereignty” through political participation and social/economic participation. Diaz draws an analogy between measures to address the current financial crisis and a car skidding on ice, where it takes time for reforms to take hold. In order for change to gain traction, it needs to be just and democratic, he maintains — and it needs to protect our planetary ecology.