"What value can the social economy bring to the new challenges of the economy and society?" Maravillas Rojo, the president of the Observatory of Social Economy 21 presented on November 27 in the Library Auditorium of the Faculty of Communication and International Relations Blanquerna-URL. Established this year 2018, the OES21 has been promoted by the Blanquerna Foundation and the Clade Business Group of the Social Economy, with the mission of generating knowledge about the social economy and improving its positioning. With this purpose, their research will aim to deepen the relevance of the social economy model to the challenges posed by the evolution of the economy and society.
The event was inaugurated by Josep M. Carbonell, dean of the Faculty and secretary of the Governing Board of the OES21, who has argued for the need to "humanize the economy and replace the idea of fierce and permanent competition for an economy that is comparative and cooperative". This must be "the paradigm shift that promotes the social economy," he assured, basing itself on its own values such as "the search for good consumption, access to universal goods and decent work."
An Observatory for the 21st Century
The Observatory will analyze how the paradigms of our time are incorporated into the model of the social economy to expand its positioning and relevance. For Maravillas Rojo, it is worth asking "how should we respond to new paradigms such as the growth of inequalities or the digital revolution, which has been growing for years, but has more and more speed, scope and impact?". Rojo has reflected on how globalization affects the social economy and warned that this model "is stronger to contribute to social and economic cohesion", taking into account that "the social economy is already an emerging model because it is not based only to compete but to complement each other, and it does so from the collective interest, sharing the property and having an impact on the benefits".
In this sense, the president of the OES21 has advanced that "we can not fail the new generations that believe that the social economy is an engine of change" and that is why we must put at the same level the economic value and the social value, " that’s the only way change is generated here and in the world." Indeed, Rojo referred to the common denominator of all experiences of social economy that can be found anywhere, that share the values of "putting people in the centrality of activity against capital, equity and democratic management and the commitment to the territory and sustainability ".
"We estimate the present, but our challenge is the future," said Rojo, who highlighted the Observatory’s will to "add the will of all" to find the specific value that the social economy can bring to the challenges of society and the economy.
Research, dissemination, teaching and training
The Observatory will pursue the objectives of doing research, dissemination and teaching, contributing to promote the social economy in the context of new paradigms, to project and promote social and economic transformation from the social economy.
Jordi Sierra del Pino, the academic director of the Observatory, has advanced that "working on the relevance of the social economy" will inevitably have the capacity to respond to the challenges of the present, such as "the challenges posed by climate change, automation and disruptive technologies, such as the mobile phone we all carry in our pocket."
A decided bet
The Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Families, Chakir El Homrani, affirmed that the social and cooperative economy "is a model in which we believe", because "it offers a different form of employment relationship and because it generates wealth and stable and quality employment", and stressed that "the best distribution tool is decent work, key to talking about social cohesion." An objective that has not been achieved and "has chronicized social inequalities."
El Homrani has applauded the initiatives, such as the creation of this Observatory, which has as its objective "the intention of knowledge transfer and the dissemination of research". "The OES21 will deepen the values of the social economy and promote social and economic transformation," and recalled that "public policies require knowledge."
Finally, the counselor has put in context the impact of the social economy in our country so that it employs more than 10% of the active population, contributes 8% of GDP and groups more than 60,000 entities, which associate and pay attention to about 5 million people. Finally, El Homrani has also reaffirmed the commitment of the Department of Labor, Social Affairs and Families with cooperatives and social and solidarity economy companies because they generate wealth and stable and quality employment based on values and principles, betting on people, creating forms of participation, fostering diversity, local development and rootedness in the territory.
PHOTOS: Marc Castellet