» Archive for: June, 2013

On April 18, 2013, ISS staff and students had the opportunity to meet and discuss with Lucas Benitez and colleague Joe Parker from the Student/Farmworker Alliance and Peter Sabonis from National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI). They represent the Coalition of Immokalee workers (CIW), a community-based organization of mainly Latino, Mayan Indian and Haitian immigrants working in low-wage jobs throughout the state of Florida, USA. The CIW is campaigning against labour and human rights abuses in the fields where food crops are grown for multinational entreprises. They visited the Netherlands for two days for the Ahold (owner of Albert Heijn retail chain) shareholders’ meeting. Via its US-american subsidiaries Giant and Stop & Shop, Ahold is involved in the exploitation of seasonal agricultural workers in Florida. Read more about CIW’s Ahold campaign here.


2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems (CCS) has started!

CIRI is organizing the bilingual conference (English and Spanish), with sessions organized in either language. It offers space to academics, local government officials and practitioners alike to organize panels, workshops, and other session formats that participants see fit to stimulate the exchange of ideas and experiences.

When: 19 – 23 June 2013
Where: The conference will be hosted by the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of the Erasmus University, The Hague, The Netherlands.

The conference offers space to academics, local government officials and practitioners alike to organize panels, workshops, and other session formats to stimulate the exchange of ideas and experiences related to Complementary Currency Systems. It follows from the previous International Conference on Complementary and Community Currencies organised in Lyon in February 2011.

Community and complementary currency systems include initiatives like the LETS, time banks, the Argentine Redes de Trueque, the Ithaca Hours in the USA, the German Regiogeld, the Brasilian community banks with surrogate currencies, the SOL currency in France, the ‘Transition Towns’ in the UK, the RES in Belgium and the Wir in Switzerland, mobile-phone payment systems in Uganda and Kenya, and for digital remittances in El Salvador.

The concept of development has a variety of meanings to different social groups, including economic and environmental sustainability, community resilience after shocks, political autonomy, and culturally embedded economic systems. Moreover, the conference seeks to consolidate the practice of meeting every two years to share and discuss research in the area of CCS, the ontology of money and alternative economic systems with own means of payment. The conference seeks to advance knowledge on three aspects of CCS: 1) Their innovativeness; 2) Their viability, and 3) Their Impact. Papers will be arranged around these three aspects. The academic closing will summarize the collective learning achieved in them, which will later be reflected in the conference publications.

More information about 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems (CCS) in English or in Spanish.

ISS Working Paper ‘Critical learning episodes in the evolution of Brazilian business start-ups. A theoretical and analytical tool’ by Ariane Agnes Corradi, PhD researcher of CIRI, was released.

Ariane_CorradiAriane Agnes Corradi is a PhD researcher on local economic development at the International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Her current research is on critical learning episodes in the evolution of business start-ups in Brazilian business incubators. She is an organizational and work psychologist, lecturer in entrepreneurship, business incubation programmes and research methods. She worked as analyst of science and technology at the Brazilian Council for Scientific and Technological Development, in NGOs and children and youth rights in Brazil.

Her working paper investigates critical learning episodes as landmarks in the evolution of business start-ups. A framework that combines individual learning processes with the Penrosian resource-based theory of the firm, and the concepts of search and routines from evolutionary economics provides the theoretical ground on which this study is developed.

Multilevel factors, ranging from entrepreneurial agency to the institutional setting of business development services, represent different levels of analysis. These levels are connected through critical learning episodes, which are triggered by endogenous or exogenous factors and culminate in the creation of new or in the change of current organizational routines. These episodes were narrated by 43 entrepreneurs-founders through semi-structured interviews. Their business start-ups were operating for an average of 4 years (s.d.=1,9) and were linked to business incubation programmes in the two most resource-rich regions in Brazil. These start-ups were in three sectors: a) manufacturing, b) information and communication, and c) professional, scientific and technical activities. The analysis of these narratives combined qualitative (i.e., grounded theory principles) and quantitative (i.e., social networks analysis) techniques.

This paper focusses on the most common type of critical learning episode: entry and survival in the market (n=36 start-ups). Results show how micro-processes of learning influence access and creation of resources at the firm level. A temporal analysis of networks configurations shows how processes of embeddedness in market relations influence intra- and inter-organizational dynamics. It is argued that critical learning episodes, for combining multiple factors and levels of analysis, are a useful theoretical and analytical tool to better understand the evolution of these businesses. In addition to this, issues of path-breaking and innovation are discussed in light of institutionalized practices of business development services.

More information and the Working Paper to download here.

Costa Rica will host, from the 10th until the 14th of June 2013, the High-level Conference of Middle-Income Countries – Networks for Prosperity. This conference will result from a series of preparatory events, started in early February 2013. Three main issues are tackled in these events:

  • inclusive growth and prosperity,
  • environmental sustainability and green industry,
  • financing for sustainable economic development.

Middle-income countries are the fastest economically growing group of countries. Nevertheless, they account for more than 70 % of the world’s poorest people. Hence, this conference discusses the need to include multiple actors to the development path of these countries, such as civil society, private sector, and academia, in addition to governments at all levels. There is strong emphasis on networks for knowledge sharing, transfer, and creation to reduce inequality between MICs and bolster cooperation for development. One of the assumptions of the conference is that “Limited access to knowledge hampers progress towards inclusive growth and employment creation, as well as technological progress for sustainable development, and for food, nutrition and energy security.” (Concept Note, available here). An overview of the preparatory events with links to the main documents can be found here.

Information about the conference itself is available at http://micconference.org/.

International Institute of Social Studies

CIRI aims to scale up and identify synergies between existing research at ISS on civic agency and change agents, as drivers of societal change and development. This blog is a forum on which to share and discuss themes and issues which fall within the broad framework of the programme.

  • Paula Sánchez: I will be very happy to bring to the discussion also the current movement nuit debout that is spread [...]
  • Sanne Taekema: It is also helpful to consider some historical examples of mobilizing law for social purposes. It i [...]
  • 4 April 2016: prof. Taekema speaks at ISS – INFAR: […] Read the whole abstract of prof. Taekema on the blog of ISS, by clicking here. […] [...]
  • Jeff: Here is a more concrete example: If you are discussing THE ROLE OF LAW IN PROTECTING THE ENVIRONM [...]
  • Jeff: Legal mobilization is a crucial topic to discuss, particularly among those in the legal field who te [...]