What is Economics of Common Interest? When will the implementation start?
In 2010, Austrian economist Christian Felber proposed this new economic, social and political model based on the essential values of solidarity and social justice, human dignity, environmental sustainability and transparency and democratic participation. This new paradigm provides a series of tools, such as the common good equilibrium or common good matrix, so that companies or any other type of organization can be evaluated and audited to determine their social, economic and environmental benefits. This movement proposes that the purpose of business activities should be above all the public good. Since its inception, it has been proposed as a business management model, which over time has been applied to the management of other types of organizations such as municipalities, universities or educational centers. In this field of education, we develop our activity to promote the principles and values of EBC among the youth.
In Castellon, what is the incidence of EBC? Which companies use it or tips?
Thanks to the work of many people, at present, more than 30 institutions in the province have carried out welfare balancing and are working to improve the aspects highlighted in the development plan of each of them. As we saw last Tuesday, October 3 at the meeting of EBC companies in the province of Castellón, a series of pioneering and integrated companies that started their journey in the movement in 2015, among others, Grupo La Plana; Cuinatur, sustainable school ambassadors; Hotel Voramar and Espai Pou de Beca. In addition to those added over the years, we also saw many more directly, such as Ecopostural, Cooperativa de Viver, Quantica Renovables or Mar de Fulles.
Add to that the direct link to my work at the Novessendes Foundation, EBC is also gaining strength in education centers. At the moment, this number is increasing, and there are over a dozen academic centers that are committed to CBE in various ESO, High School and FP courses. We are talking about teachers, students, management teams and families, who are aware of this model, especially students who work under this approach to implement youth social entrepreneurship programs, ESO and high schools and business creation programs. In training. professional.
“The province has more than 30 institutions as part of it”
How can companies promote it?
From my point of view, companies have various tools and methods to work on Common Good Matrix and implement BPC (Common Good Balance). Many factors are analyzed here from a holistic approach, a method that involves as many employees as possible is participatory and always has an external audit. Organizations have a management system to maximize their contribution to the public good, and through this they try to serve the market to the people and not to private benefit from the economic logic that truly exists. Positive incentives are always sought so that companies freely join the movement and take on the public interest, all without losing sight of the fact that the most important thing is the true assumption of the EBC’s principles and values. These actually affect organizations and their impact on the social and environmental environment. Ultimately, it is to highlight the potential of organizations as agents of change through the contribution of positive value.
Which sectors are most likely to bet on EPC? And which departments should put more effort into implementing it?
EBC provides a method of adjustment for all sectors of economic activity without exception. I note that even the Valencian Association of the EBC, together with the University of Valencia and the Unión de Laradores, has adopted a balance of common good for Valencian agricultural farms. A firm will from the ownership of the company is indeed necessary to tread this path of corporate social responsibility. If the necessary values are present at the management level of the company, the management of the EBC will strengthen it, because it is about entering the process of continuous improvement and, among other things, facilitating people’s commitment to the company. On the other hand, it is clear that there are functional sectors that are more favorable to this model, which, due to the type of product they produce or market, may value more or less the lives of people and the planet in general.
Companies, municipalities and universities are EBC’s main activities today. Based on my experience as an educator, CBE represents a new paradigm to help address major global challenges by focusing on people and the environment. It connects us all because we all feel vulnerable to the global crises that affect us. It is true that the business world has been involved with CBE since its inception, however, the model has particularly attracted the academic sector.
In the Valencian community, the introduction of the economy for the common good in educational centers is carried out with the ‘#FuturSostenible’ project promoted by the Novessendes Foundation, which has been very popular since its creation in 2017.
How can public administrations contribute? Do you think they do that at the level of the Valencian community and the province of Castellón?
I think the role of public administrations is decisive in changing the economic model. We saw how different measures have been taken to promote a sustainable economy in Valencian society, such as public assistance to carry out social balances and financial measures to promote awareness of a sustainable economy and an economy for the common good.
At EBC, we propose public assistance in global and comprehensive measures aimed at changing the business model based on sustainability, such as: tax benefits, public calls to encourage the implementation of sustainability measures and the introduction of social and environmental provisions in public procurement contracts with sustainable companies. This can also be done at the municipal level. 8 municipalities in the Valencian Community have already carried out the BBC.
“The model provides a method applicable to all sectors”
And the community, how can they promote EBC?
The EBC proposes to make the change from the bottom up, which means deepening the relationships of all the social and economic agents of the territory. EBC proposes innovative solutions to key economic, social and environmental challenges based on participatory and governance structures that include deepening democratic governance.
If our purchasing decisions are responsible and in line with our values, if we can discriminate between the products we buy based on their socio-environmental impact and the company that owns them, consumers have real power to promote the common good. , will push the economy towards the transformation we all want to see to help address the challenges of our current model. The community includes the Valencian Association for the Promotion of the Economy for the Common Good (AVEBC), born from a local group in Valencia created in 2012. Currently there are 5 local task forces in 3 provinces. are interested.
How do you assess the role of the ceramic industry in this type of economy?
For the record, I don’t know of any company in the ceramic industry that has hosted a PBC in the community, but we think it’s only a matter of time before the various industries come together and the tools provided to them. They value their good practices.
Being the main driving force of our province, the EBC movement will be interested in integrating the ceramic industry among our collaborating institutions to spread the model.