SABF 2010 started its second day of activities. On saturday morning, participants attended the first round of workshops. In this case, the main topic of them was Synergy, its meaning and implications according to different points of view. The speakers of these workshops were Cecilia Smoglie, Physicist of Instituto Balseiro, Nuclear Engineer (University of London) and Engineering Ph D., University of Karlsruhe; Gastón Mascias, President of Mujeres 2000; Jakarin Srimoon, Executive Director of the SEA-LAC Trade Center; Guillermina Lazzaro, Director of South Cone Region of Ashoka; Agustín Algorta, Social Director of Un Techo para Mi Pais, and Jorge Tersoglio, Ph D. Agricultural Economics and Professor at ITBA and Rifat Lelic, Director of Economics, Finances and Law of ITBA.
In Smoglie’s workshop, the axis of the speech was how participants can change the world by studying. Enlightened by her own experiencies, she made clear the fact that participants, if graduated, will be part of the 1 per thousand part of the population privileged by this condition. In fact, she invited participants to get involved and take action, no matter where, in order to generate change. According to Smoglie, the key factor is not to establish unachievable goals, but to look for closer objectives to make them real, step by step.
Meanwhile, Gastón Mascias presented the case of his ONG, Mujeres 2000. According to his speech, it was founded as the result of synergy between students who wanted to volunteer, following the example of Muhammad Yunnus with Grameen’s Bank. After three years of work, Mujeres 2000 has now four different programmes to help people from lower areas, and lends between 500 and 2500 pesos to each family. After answer the questions participants had, Mascias concluded: “We have been extremely vulnerable, but now we are going through changes that had made us stronger. Those are the changes that keep us motivated”.
Jakarin Srimoon started by asking participants what they thought about Asia. After some answers including “Asian tigers”, he told his experience travelling abroad and he confessed that doing it was a way to know better about his own country, Thailand. He incourages participants to go for their dreams, because he would have never thought he would be in Argentina when he was a young farmer boy. But according to him, today’s biggest blind spot is communication. He concluded that, through values like acceptance and integrity, we can improve our impact on society.
On the other hand, Guillermina Lazzaro introduced a video to start her presentation. The main idea was to point out that synergy is more important than what results from the sum of parts. According to her, the key factors to synergy are trust, assessment of differences and communication. She also recalled her experience in Ashoka, the organisation in which she works with social entrepreneurs. As a conclusion, she affirms that it is important to count on the synergetic work from different sectors to approach problems with holistic solutions.
When it comes to synergy related to social projects, Agustín Algorta also talked about Un Techo para Mi Pais, the ONG he works for as social director. According to him, UTPMP works in order to accomplish equity of opportunities, which are given by hazard at first. He concluded that, after covering urgent basic needs of lower income population, we need to develop the person. “The important thing is not to give fish, but also to teach how to get it” he affirmed, as Guillermina Lazzaro did in her workshop too.
Finally, Jorge Tersoglio and Rifat Lelic debated with participants about the Triple Bottom Line result. They took into account three main points that identify it: a beneficial practice for the community in which business is developed (Human Capital), a positive impact in the environment (Natural Capital) and profit generated for the community by the company but taking into account the costs of human and natural capital, as also the social and environmental benefits to the context. Moreover, they explained that consumers should have a more conscious and ethical attitude. As a final idea during the workshop was to subsidize products made with sustainable practices.