In an interview with Colunga, Magdalena Aninat, Director and founder of Center for Philanthropy and Social Investment (CEFIS) of the Adolfo Ibañez University refers to the role of civil society organizations, the construction of social capital, and their capacity to generate social innovation.
How is civil society linked to the public?
We visualize that the public is not the exclusive task of the State, especially in democratic societies, it requires the participation of the private in public goods. And in that sense, one understands that in the construction of public goods we all participate.
Civil society is not only efficient in providing goods and services because it knows the needs of the beneficiaries who are most neglected by public policies by the State and also because they are not interesting for the market; or because it is efficient in terms of highlighting issues that society or the State is very slow to address or that the market is not interested in serving and that are important for the common good. These are effects in which civil society is very important, but there is a slightly greater perspective that is to build social capital and to build collaborative spaces where social trust is built, which is an axis that makes democracy remain.
And how is Colunga, from your point of view, linked to the public?
I think it is very interesting Colunga's contribution on several issues. One, to generate a space where civil society collaborates. ColungaHUB has fulfilled a relevant space in that sense, in facilitating the meeting for collaboration. Also in relieving the role of these organizations in their capacity for innovation.
Colunga has put in value this ability to innovate, to think new models for problems that are now complex. And through this innovation it has a great potential to influence public policies, because innovation in models of social intervention is very difficult for other actors to take. That ability and that role can have foundations like Colunga, and has already demonstrated a capacity to think differently, to think outside the box, to propose new and different models.
Is there any reference that you know similar to Colunga in its commitment to development and poverty through the strengthening of civil society?
In terms of gathering them in a space, I do not think that they have such a clear reference in combining different organizations. What there are hubs more specific, for certain topics, much more limited, of entrepreneurship, innovation or social innovation or scientific development. I would say that Colunga is a little more open, the issues he addresses are great.
Which areas have worked together?
With Colunga we have cooperated a lot in strengthening philanthropy. We have a good collaboration in terms of encouraging family initiatives that are innovative, that understand the value they have is to strengthen civil society. It has been very interesting, in terms of summoning them to share their experience with other families or foundations that are beginning their development, and that are feeding a little or helping to plant these seeds that we are generating.
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