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Forum Empresa Network promotes CSR in Cuba

Posted: Tuesday 26 July 11, 8.22am GMT

Source: By Eric Leenson, Senior Advisor Forum Empresa. July 2011

Forum Empresa, AVINA Foundation and Cuban trade associations, organized a historic Socially Responsible Enterprise, Cooperativism, and Local Development Conference, held between 20 and 24 June in Havana.

The event was organized by The Center for the Study of the Cuban Economy, Universidad de Havana – CEEC; The Cuban National Association of Economists and Accountants – ANEC; Forum Empresa & AVINA Foundation.

During five days of intense interchange, twenty five foreign visitors from 11 countries met with over two and fifty Cubans from a variety of leading Cuban institutions involved with helping plan the new direction of the Cuban economy in accordance with the recent national “alineamientos” (updates. guidelines). Delegates came from Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay, United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela

In an unprecedented plenary session attended by 140 Cubans, 15 foreigners made brief presentations describing the evolution of socially responsible enterprise in the Americas ranging from CSR to social enterprise. The goal of providing such an overview was achieved amidst high levels of interest from the Cubans on topics such as enterprise incubation, fair trade, supply chain strategies, social finance, the role of government in stimulating the solidarity economy, inclusive business strategies and others. There was a complete openness of discussion on the broad range of subjects, some being addressed for the first time in Cuba.

The plenary was followed by 3 days of meetings with selected organizations on mutually defined topics of interest. Key groupings included, the Ministry of Foreign Commerce and Trade (MINCEX), the Ministry of Economic Planning (MEP) the Cuban National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP), the Center of Investigation on Innovation, Technology, and Environment (CITMA), the Center for Local Development (CEDEL), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) the Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation, and CARE CANADA. In addition, several members of the delegation met with the Canadian and Norwegian ambassadors, and with the head of the European Union delegation to discuss the benefits of socially responsible enterprise.

All in all everyone was very pleased with the outcome of the initial discussions. Clearly groundwork had been laid for future collaborations and ongoing exchanges. The Cuban counterparts, CEEC and ANEC, announced their intentions of holding a similar, even larger conference of this nature next July. In the shorter term, a delegation of 12 Cubans will attend the “Instituto Ethos” annual meeting in Sao Paulo August 7-9 followed by an “Encuentro on the Solidarity Economy”. The ANEC invited Forum Empresa and AVINA to organize a panel on socially responsible enterprise for the April 2012 globalization conference.

Posted by
Jennifer Todd

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