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Thinking outside the box

The business model that fights for a new economic system!

By @nayquinte

I think that inequality and the violation of human rights is one of the most frustrating and urgent situations, but at the same time the most distant and difficult to resolve, in all parts of the world there are children, women, men, communities and countries suffering from not having access to the opportunities and rights that as people we should all have as a guarantee.

Vital access to education, health, shelter, food and adequate living conditions, as well as the care of this house called planet Earth, should be the mission of the rulers and leaders of all countries; Sadly, this epiphany and ideal thinking is increasingly limited in the face of overwhelming evidence of countries with corrupt rulers, unconcerned about climate change and, most seriously, still at war! Nowadays it is more common to hear rulers and civil citizens who want to close borders and oppose opening the doors to people in disgrace, people who fail to see that we are first humans and residents of this planet, before being born in any organized country. so for ourselves. Of what help are technology, laws, regulations and the complex systems that we have created if not to guarantee justice and harmony among those of us who belong to this earth. We see the mission of joining efforts for a respectful and egalitarian coexistence as increasingly complex.

Many NGOs work hard to achieve a change in the populations that are currently being affected and that unfortunately are not to blame for having been part of an unjust system, which only offers the best living conditions for those who can have access with money to pay. For these. Definitely, without them there would only be more chaos, however now let's think, how is it possible to achieve real change if we do not find a way in which these affected populations or people not only receive bread but also learn to do it! How do we solve the serious problem of climate change and wars?! How do we create an egalitarian system that gives each individual access to self-improvement, to receive opportunities that allow them to have a fair and democratic quality of life.

I confess that sometimes I feel in a huge circle with no way out, helpless most of the time, with a big question haunting my thoughts: what can I do to solve these big global problems? I confess that very crazy ideas come to mind as possible solutions to the problems that I see every day, but for now I am slowly bringing a promising one to reality.

Three years ago when I co-founded @santecutarras we had the opportunity to present to a large audience at the City of Knowledge during Entrepreneurship Week in Panama, we talked about our cultural innovation project of revitalizing the traditional shoe of our country, La Cutarra, We share the great passion that moves us to carry out this idea for having been born in the land that makes the cutarra and for loving our folklore and identity. Among several other challenges, we explained that one of the problems to be solved would be to be able to produce in volume, in order to meet demand and shorten delivery times. At the end of this presentation we had two types of feedback and I will tell you why we decided to only follow one. The first was a listener concerned about the volume of production who approached my partner Jony and me and said “but have you thought about producing in China?” and then the second comment came more along these lines, “ Hey, it's good that you want to evolve Cutarra, surely this idea will have a great impact on the economy of Los Santos” (our town).

Panama is not an industrialized country like China or other neighboring countries that have years of experience and knowledge in the footwear industry. In fact, in our country there is little or almost no access to technology and raw materials, as well as little knowledge in manufacturing. However, Jony and I are convinced that the impossible can be achieved and that because something has never been done doesn't mean it can't be done! We prefer to follow the second advice because the idea of ​​respecting the evolution of the Cutarra resonates much more with us, as well as the great opportunity to bring economic prosperity to the land in which we were born.

Along the way we have found great satisfaction, awards, thanks and opportunities, and these are immensely more valued because what we do and envision in the future is costing us effort, work and dedication. One of these opportunities was having been selected, among more than 3,000 applications throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, by the Young Leaders of the Americas program, this great program led by the US Department of State helped us envision the Santé project as a tool of great power to transform the lives of artisans and those who wish to become artisans in our country.

In this program we work together with the brand @thebygracefoundation, a foundation that employs, educates and elevates women in Ghana and then sells their beautiful dresses, handbags and other clothing in the USA. Meeting Emily and her mission inspired us and made us feel that We are not alone in the mission of giving access to people with fewer opportunities to improve themselves and achieve a dignified life for themselves and their families.

This is the new economic system that truly transforms societies, enterprises and businesses with conscience that seek to eliminate the gap between the poor and the rich, because it is only through work and education that this current problem can be healed. People in need gain absolutely nothing from donations, they cannot and will never improve themselves through them; on the contrary, they are condemned to dependent and paternalistic thinking that does not generate progress for them or for societies.

Now is the time to raise awareness about this new way of doing business, people around the world should care more about buying fair trade, because it is just one way to make this world a better place to live, with more equality.