Does Covid 19 Offer a Historic Opportunity for the Transition from a Capitalist Economy to a Solidarity Economy?

Monday, April 5, 2021 - 1:00pm
Juan Gerardo Domínguez & Emily Kawano

Do not forget: If you want to change something, do not continue doing the same thing
and do not use what you want to change to achieve it.

--Albert Einstein

The current pandemic has radically altered many of our ways of working together in our communities, regions, and internationally. It has exposed new levels vulnerability and risk, and added new dimensions to the multiple crises that human civilization already suffers. In these times of unprecedented uncertainty, would it be preposterous to think that there are favorable conditions for major paradigm shift? Actually, many prominent thinkers, in Mexico and across the globe think just that.

According to a new statement issued by GPES -- Grupo Promotor de la Economia Social/Solidarity Economy Promotion Group--in Mexico, they believe that it is both feasible and necessary to organize for a new development model--a more humanist, anti-capitalist paradigm based on sustainability and respect for all life, with self-managed cooperatives as important agents of change and alternatives to corporations. The signers of the statement submit that it is a question of multiplying successful cases of rural and urban communities that have already begun the survival struggle to transition from the current ecosocial crises to a solidarity economy.

Juan Gerardo Domínguez of the GPES and Emily Kawano of the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network will discuss how such a transition is taking shape. They will also address some of the concrete strategies for a transition to a new paradigm as well as specific actions that need to be taken.

Juan Gerardo Domínguez is closely involved in the cooperative movement in Mexico and internationally. Since 1990, he has worked with SCAAS-- Sociedad Cooperativa de Asesores para el Avance Social (Cooperative Advisors for Social Advancement)—an organization that has aided the formation of more than 100 cooperatives in 25 Mexican states in areas such health, community agriculture, recycling, handicrafts and fisheries.

Emily Kawano is a coordinator at the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network and a former board member of the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS). She is also the Co-Director of the Wellspring Cooperative Corporation in Springfield, Massachusetts. An economist by training, she is a long time member and a former Executive Director of the Center for Popular Economics, a collective of progressive economists working to demystify the economy.