Conference: “Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology”



“Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology,” a free conference featuring more than 30 nationally and internationally recognized authorities on economy, ecology, community health, cooperatives, women’s rights, indigenous rights and spiritual wisdom will take place from July 7 to 9 in Sala 1 of Parque Central, Caracas.

The conference theme highlights the need to transition from global capitalism to a more sustainable and holistic society through economically self-reliant local economies, food sovereignty, and global economic democracy. The conference offers positive and constructive proposals with the goal to raise consciousness among the public, academia and the media about the importance of cooperatives, environmental protection and ethical leadership for Venezuela’s future.

The speakers include President of the Women’s Bank Nora Castañeda, national cooperative experts Luis Delgado, Dr. Benito Diaz and Dr. Carlos Molina Camacho, former Brazilian cabinet minister Claudio Nascimento, Camila Piñeiro Harnecker of Cuba, Brazilian psychiatrist Adalberto Barrato, Warao indigenous leader Maya Shita, Roy Madron of UK, Victor Vyasa Landa of Peru, Director of Women’s Studies at UCV Alba Carosio, ecologist Frank Bracho, columnist Leopoldo Cook, and psychologist Juan Sarmiento, among others.

Each presenter will offer his or her vision and answer questions in morning panels, and then meet with interested participants in 90-minute afternoon workshops to share how to bring about the change we want. Participants will have the chance to work with cutting-edge thinkers from Venezuela, Latin America and the world. Simultaneous English translation will be available for each talk.

The conference is organized by the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela, an independent, not-for-profit educational foundation that was registered in 2007. Its purpose is to raise consciousness, strengthen cooperatives and promote economic democracy in order to transform lives and empower communities for the welfare of all. While its main activities are research, education and publishing, its mission is to empower everyone to improve their quality of life and create a more just society by fostering the development of worker cooperatives, self-reliant communities, environmental protection, universal ethics and spiritual values.

Prout is an acronym for Progressive Utilization Theory, a socio-economic model based on the maximum utilization and rational distribution of the resources of our planet, guaranteeing the basic necessities of life to everyone, and promoting grassroots community development for the good and happiness of all living beings. It is an alternative to both global capitalism and communism. The founder of Prout was Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar (1921-1990), an Indian philosopher, author of more than 400 books, composer and spiritual master.

The other sponsors of the conference include Centro Simón Bolívar, CECOSESOLA, Cooperativa Gestión Participativa, Anima Naturalis, Centro Madre, Fundación La Tortuga, Fun-Redi, Visión Cósmica, Eco Activa, La Red de Arte Planetaria y Centro de Estudios de la Mujer de la UCV. The sponsoring organizations will staff stands with displays and literature explaining their work.

There will be live Internet radio streaming of the conference talks in both Spanish and English.  Though the conference is free to the public, the auditorium accommodates only 650 people. For more information, and to guarantee your space during the three days of the Conference, please preregister online at

From the conference website: 

The Prout Research Institute of Venezuela is hosting the first Global Prout Conference to be held in Venezuela. The Conference theme is “Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology”. The previous global Prout convention was held in 2009 in Copenhagen,Denmark,and brought together representatives of over 35 countries to discuss this alternative socioeconomic model and its impact on such areas as education,economics,health,ecology,human potential and the eradication of poverty. The Prout Global Conference in Venezuela will share perspectives on how to articulate a new paradigm,change the pattern of economic development and identify channels of action for transformation and social transition from global capitalism to Prout’s vision for a better world:for the good and happiness of all living beings.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Nora Castañeda,president of Banmujer,the Women’s Bank
  • Claudio Nascimento (Brazil) Historian, activist,popular educator, author of several essays on self-management and the Solidarity Economy. Cabinet member of President Lula da Silva, member of the National Secretariat for Solidarity Economy of President Dilma Rousseff.
  • Luis Delgado Bello, former National Superintendent of Cooperatives and former project director of UNDP and ILO: “Diagnosis and Perspectives of the Social and Solidarity Economy of Venezuela:Where are we and where are we going?”
  • Frank Bracho, former Ambassador of Venezuela in India, ecologist and author: “Environment, Health and Happiness”
  • Prof. Carlos Molina Camacho, former National Superintendent of Cooperatives and Savings Banks, professor of cooperative law at UCV: “Simón Bolívar and Cooperativism”
  • Camila Piñeiro Harnecker (Chile-Cuba), researcher and professor at the Center of Studies on the Cuban Economy, University of Havana: “Potentials and Risks of Cooperatives in Socialist Construction”.
  • Lizeth Vargas and Dario Gonzalez, CECOSESOLA –Lara State Central Cooperative: “Building Here and Now the World that We Want”
  • Dr. Benito Diaz, Editor of CAYAPA (Venezuelan Journal of Social Economy), Venezuela Board of CIRIEC, Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes –Trujillo: “Innovation in Organizations of the Social Economy”
  • Leopoldo Cook, former telecommunications chief of PDVSA, author: “The Awakening of Consciousness: Prout and Socialism, Face-to-face”
  • Dr. Adalberto Barreto (Brazil), psychiatrist, anthropologist, theologian: “Community Therapy: Social Solidarity Networks for Life”
  • Jody Wright (Acharya Devanistha) (USA), Prout activist for 35 years, studied under P.R. Sarkar: “Sadvipra:Prout’s vision of enlightened leaders”
  • Víctor “Vyasa”Landa (Peru), founder of the School of Life, Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony in Bethesda, Maryland, USA: “Aparigraha:A New Economic Paradigm for a Culture of Peace”
  • Chelo Nogueira, architect, founder of the Turtle Foundation: “Objective Earth”
  • Nelsy Julieta Lizarazo Castro (Colombia-Ecuador), author: “Connect with the Depth of Each One:Experience the Sacred.”
  • Juan Sarmiento, psychologist, lecturer, business consultant, founder of the Will of Excellence Foundation: “The Importance of Ethics in Social Transformation”.
  • Manuel Barroso, author of 10 books, business consultant in planning and strategic management and transformation of organizational cultures and change processes.
  • Simón Rondón, Coordinator of the ecological movement “Bolívar en Martí”: “The Struggle Against Pesticides and the Construction of the Experimental Ecovillage Augusto Cesar Sandino”
  • Dada Jinanananda (Congo-Brazil) Yoga monk: “Spirituality and Social Change”
  • Didi Ananda Sadhana (Netherlands-Venezuela) Director, Centro Madre, Barlovento, Venezuela: “The Importance of Cultural Identity to Empower People: The Example of Barlovento”
  • Belkys Urbina, Ecologist, Masters in Tecnology Management and Risk Control, and Masters in Industrial Maintenance: “The Planet and Consciousness”
  • Sandra Castillo Castro Delegada UCV to the Organization of American States, and member of the Economic Advisory Committee of AnimaNaturalis Internacional, and Luís Verdú Brito president of the Student Center of Economic Faculty of UCV: “Economic Tendencies Towards the Ethical Treatment of Animals”.

Who can participate? General public,grassroot organizations,researchers,cooperatives,social production companies,community councils,consultants,researchers,academics,government officials,national and international students.

How to participate? To ensure participation during the three days of the Conference,one must preregister on the online form. Once verification,you will be sent a confirmation email. Registration includes:
Certificate of Attendance;
Access to all conferences and workshops;
Welcome Firm;
Lunch,coffee and snacks;
Artistic and cultural events;
Final Report.