Publicado em 17 de março de 2008
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Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy

Manila, october 17-20th, 2007

Close to 700 delegates from 26 countries attended the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy at the Bahay ng Alumni inside the campus of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City of the Philippines on 17-20 October 2007. It was organized by the Coalition of Socially Responsible SMEs in Asia (CSR SME Asia) with the support of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The first of its kind in Asia, the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy was an unprecedented event where various stakeholders met to:-articulate a uniquely Asian solidarity economy as a people- and eco-centered way of governance over the production, financing
- deepen reflections on solidarity economy in Asian countries;
- initiate a mapping of solidarity economy stakeholders in Asia in order to establish a base from which to build both knowledge and best practices; and
- build an advocacy and resource network of various organizations and networks involved in the dynamics of solidarity economy in Asia, and facilitate exchange of knowledge and best practices among them, and between them and their counterparts in other continents.

‘Bayanihan' painting Francisco BotongThe Asian Forum came at a time when interest is growing for alternatives to the current global economic system that has only deepened the wedge between the haves and the have-nots, and further alienated those who are already marginalized. The socially responsible stakeholders constitute a value chain bound together by the values of Bayanihan. Bayanihan is the Filipino term approximating the word solidarity. The Forum taught participants that solidarity economy is doable when there are servant leaders in the entire value chain who practice socially responsible governance. Servant leaders build socially responsible relationships among themselves. The glue that binds them together in solidarity economy is the spirit of Bayanihan and the belief that those who have more (i.e. power, information, education, knowledge, resources, etc.) have greater social responsibility.

The Opening Program was held at the Bahay ng Alumni, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines last October 17, 2007, with main resource persons Gustavo Marin, Program Director of the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation for Human Progress and Cielito Habito, Dean of Economics of the Ateneo de Manila University and concurrently Chairperson of the Asian Forum.

The key conference themes were:
- Socially Responsible Governance (SRG)
- Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)
- Socially Responsible Enterprises (SRE)
- Socially Responsible Financing (Microfinance)

At the end of the conference, the Forum resolved to take the following concrete steps:

- Continue and sustain the learning journey in our respective countries, and in the process, establish and agree on core principles for socially respon­sible finance, investment and enterprise on an individual country basis, inasmuch as certain differing circumstances among countries may require slight differences in these core principles.
- Even as we seek core principles for each country, work towards achieving a set of working principles common to Asia as a whole.
- Produce country papers – one per country – to share experiences on what SE means in each sector in each country
- Engage professionals (economists, social scientists) to write an authorita­tive book on SE to serve both as intellectual guide and inspiration for propagating the concept of SE.


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