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Entries tagged with ‘Latin America’


The STEPS Centre ran a special session at the 9th Globelics Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 17 November, entitled Innovation for Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development.

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Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) in Chile

The Center for Scientific Studies (CECS) was founded in 1984 as the first independent scientific research organization in the history of Chile, and has become an important centre for science in Chile and Latin America. CECS was founded by Chilean theoretical physicists and biologists who had established careers abroad but chose to return to Chile to contribute their skills to the development of their country.

Investigations in the field of Glaciology and Climate Change at the CECS are notably innovative as well as their scientific expeditions to the Antarctic territory. To some extent the Center has arguably reshaped thinking about the role of science in development in Chile and Latin America. The CECS has incorporated the military force as a support to science research, while also holding a democratic view of society. The Center has contributed to the decentralization of the country due to the decision to move and settle down in Valdivia, a small city 800 km (to the south) from the capital city Santiago.

The Center is led by the physicist Claudio Bunster, who, together with his team have helped develop private-public partnerships in order to obtain financing for the institution. Scientists from Latin America and all around the world visit the Centre for their research. The Center has an internal organization based in horizontal relations and mutual support between researchers.

It has been an excellent example of an institution demonstrating that from the South of the world it is possible to produce science of a very first level. In recent years the Center has been involved in a new challenge of greater support and development of applied sciences, beyond their traditional strength in basic sciences. CECS research is funded by competitive funding from the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FONDECYT – Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Científico y Tecnológico) and other national and international agencies.

Timeline entry contributed by Juan Manuel Fernández Urcelay

Source: CECS website

Ethos founded in Brazil

Ethos is a not-for-profit organization, founded in Brazil in 1998 by a group of businessmen and executives from the private sector. Ethos clusters knowledge management, exchange of experiences and tools development to support firms to analyze their management practices and set commitments toward social responsibility and sustainability.

Ethos became a reference in Brazil for CSR and sustainability, building awareness and being a key player in making sustainability a mainstream topic in the news media and closer to individuals.

The mission of Ethos is to ‘mobilise, sensitise, and support firms to manage their businesses in a socially-responsible way, towards the construction of a more just and sustainable society’. The Ethos Institute ‘develops, organises, and adapts materials on Tools for Business Management to keep them up to date and relevant to issues of global and national Corporate Social Responsibility.’ Tools include instruments for self-evaluation and learning, developed to meet the needs of firms at different stages of management, but primarily for internal use in diagnosis, planning and implementation, as well as benchmarking for the evaluation process.

The basic tools include Best Practices Bank, Social Accountability Guide, Compatibility Guide, Ethos Indicators, Contextualising tools, Matrix of Essential Criteria, Evidence Matrix, Sustainability Reporting.

Timeline entry contributed by Carolina de Andrade

Special Climate Change Program 2009-2012 Mexico (PECC)

Elaborated by the Mexican Federal Government this document establishes quantitative mitigation and adaptation goals for the period 2009-2012 and long term goals for 2020 and 2050. It is important because it incorporates actions to be taken by different ministries and goes beyond short term presidential periods. The objectives are specific and provide detail of the type of projects required in each sector. As a result it triggers clean technology innovation and deployment in Mexico. Currently the World Bank has provided US$500 million loan to increase scientific knowledge and technologies in relation to carbon sinks and strategies outlined in PECC.

Timeline entry contributed by Gabriela Moya Toledo

National Innovation Council for Competitiveness, Chile

The National Innovation Council for Competitiveness is a public-private partnership that acts as permanent adviser to the President of the Republic.

The National Innovation Council for Competitiviness proposal is based on three strategic pillars:
1. The establishment of a system of lifelong learning, accessible and quality that allows the country to have the human capital demand of the Knowledge Economy.
2. Strengthening platform generation, dissemination and application of knowledge which is based on continuous efforts and strong scientific and technological research consistent with the productive and social problems of the country.
3. The consolidation of an innovative business focused on value creation as a strategy of competition in global markets, with companies that are willing to take the leading role that they bear in the research and development and innovation.

Timeline entry contributed by Níckolas Laport

Furtado ‘Development and Underdevelopment’

Furtado, C. (1964) ‘Development and Underdevelopment’, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press

Furtado was one of the ‘structuralist’ dependency theorists, along with Osvaldo Sunkel and Pedro Paz.  Francisco Sagasti summarises these authors’ argument that “underdevelopment, particularly in Latin America, was a consequence of the historical process of industrialisation in Europe and later in North America, and that development and underdevelopment were actually two facets of the same process of expansion of western capitalism beginning in the nineteenth century.”  (Sagasti, 1973:48) 

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