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Two Latin American initiatives

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Ecuador and FLOK

“The traditional capitalist value model is of course well known, but the emergence of a knowledge society has already changed these dynamics to a fundamental extent.”

Ecuador calls for a open commons-based knowledge society. Here are two extracts from a description of the project:

“The FLOK Society is a joint research effort by the Coordinating Ministry of Knowledge and Human Talent, the SENESCYT (Secretaría Nacional de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación) and the IAEN (Instituto de Altos Estudios del Estado) to develop transition and policy proposals to achieve such an open commons-based knowledge society.

FLOK refers to:

  • Free, meaning freedom to use, distribute and modify knowledge in universally available common pools;
  • Libre stresses that it concerns free as in freedom, not as in ‘gratis’;
  • Open refers to the ability of all citizens to access, contribute to and use this common resource.

A free, libre and open knowledge society therefore essentially means organizing every sector of society, to the maximum degree possible, into open knowledge commons, i.e. the availability of common pools of knowledge, code and design that are acceptable to all citizens and market entities, to create dynamic and innovative societies and economies, where knowledge is available without discrimination to all who need it to develop their civic and economic activities.”


“…we distinguish three different models, which includes the post-capitalist model of the social knowledge economy. We define cognitive capitalism generically as that model of capitalism where the ownership and control of information flows is the key factor for the extraction of value. [The three models are:]

‘Classic’ Cognitive Capitalism based on IP extraction…

Netarchical Capitalism based on the control of networked platforms…

a mature ‘civic’ peer-to-peer economy”

You can read the source document here.

For further reading:

“Transitioning to a Commons-Based Society”:

Brazil’s Bolsa Família Program / Family Grant Program (PBF)

Brazil has been implementing its Bolas Familia Program for more than a decade. It has generated international interest, as described here. Hence:

“as Brazil tackles second-generation questions about how to continue improving the performance of social assistance programs and expand opportunities for the poor, experiences from both local government innovation and programs in other countries can be an important guide.
With a view to support systematic learning and innovation regarding implementation challenges in such programs, the Government of Brazil, IPC-IG and the World Bank have agreed to establish a joint initiative focused on learning from the implementation of and innovations in poverty reduction programs in Brazil and sharing lessons from Brazil’s experience with the rest of the world. Thus was born the Brazil Learning Initiative for a World without Poverty (WWP).”

The Bolsa Familia Program is described in a document at:

In particular:

“The Bolsa Família Program operates in three dimensions, which contribute pivotally to achieving its main goal: overcoming the reproductive cycle of poverty in Brazilian families. For each dimension, there is a coordinated action:

1st: Promote immediate poverty relief through direct cash transfers to families;

2nd: Strengthen the exercise of basic social rights in the areas of healthcare, education and social assistance, through the fulfillment of conditionalities, which helps families overcome the inter-generational poverty cycle;

3rd: Promote opportunities for the development of families, through actions that promote the overcoming of vulnerability and poverty by PBF beneficiaries.”

At the end of last year Jonathan Watts of the Guardian wrote:

“It has been 10 years since Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva made bolsa familia a central pillar of the country’s social welfare strategy. In the years since, similar poverty relief projects have spread across the globe. The pioneering programme is now arguably Brazil’s most successful export, though the pros and cons of such a targeted and conditional approach remain fiercely debated.”

From: p.9 of World Economics Association Newsletter 4(3), June 2014

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