The Kellogg Foundation demonstrated that it considers the Experiences in Social Innovation Project to be a key part of its strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean by sending a sizable delegation to Porto Alegre. In addition to the directors Francisco Tancredi and Andrés A. Thompson, and Susana Shoaie and Rui Mesquita Cordeiro, program associates, who are responsible for the work being done in the region, the ceremony was attended by two Trustees from the Board of Directors: Wenda Moore and Ramón Murguía (in the picture, wearing glasses).
“It was a privilege for us to share in the enthusiasm of the projects during the days we spent in Brazil,” said Murguía. “We got to know some truly remarkable projects that really make a difference in people’s lives. When Mr. Kellogg set up the Foundation nearly 80 years ago, saying he wanted to help people help themselves, he definitely had in mind the kinds of initiatives that we are seeing here. You have all demonstrated that you are capable of going beyond a simple desire to participate, since you also know how to plan and execute.”
“This innovative project is already a success. I am convinced that it will last many more years”, said Francisco Tancredi.
Social Innovation Fair Held in Public Square, Among the People
Of all the 26 Brazilian state capitals, Porto Alegre is the city that today can rightly claim the title of Brazil’s social capital. The city, which acquired an international reputation as the host of the first meetings of the World Social Forum, was also the birthplace of the so-called participative budget – a system that involves the community in decision-making on how to spend municipal funds. Accordingly, when Brazil was chosen as the venue for the final stage of the third cycle of the Experiences in Social Innovation Project, the Rio Grande do Sul state capital emerged as the natural candidate to serve as the backdrop for the presentation of the finalist social projects to the panel of jurors and also for the now traditional Social Innovation Fair.
While in the project’s first year the fair was held in the offices of ECLAC in the Chilean capital of Santiago and last year it took place on the campus of Mexico’s National Autonomous University, in Mexico City, this time it went right to the people: a public square. “This is yet another innovative aspect of the fair,” said Francisco Tancredi, Kellogg Foundation regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “It was wonderful to see everyday people talking directly with the projects to find out more about the work they do.” The venue chosen to stage the Innovation Fair is well known to local residents. It has for more than 50 years been the site of the city’s Book Fair, which brings together thousands of people each year.