First Global Prout Conference in Venezuela

"Invitation poster for 2011 Prout global conference in Caracas, Venezuela"

“Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology”

7 – 9 July 2011

La Sala I del Centro Simón Bolívar de Parque Central, Caracas, Venezuela

Economy, ecology, community health, indigenous rights, cooperatives, women’s rights, and spiritual wisdom were presented by nationally and internationally recognized authorities at the “Building a Solidarity Economy based on Ethics and Ecology” conference in downtown Caracas. Approximately 400 people attended the three-day conference on July 7-9, 2011 organized by the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela. Twenty-nine speakers presented, representing 15 progressive non-government organizations, a government-owned bank, two large cooperatives, and four university professors.

MORNING PANEL PRESENTATIONS: Click on a title to see the translated transcript. Listen to the audio recordings of the English translations or original Spanish here.

Panel 1: “Solidarity Economy in Latin America: Lessons and Possibilities from Venezuela, Brazil and Cuba”.

Facilitator: Leopoldo Cook

1. Nora Castañeda, president of Banmujer,the Women’s Bank: “The Bank of Development of Women:A Grassroots Tool for the Construction of a Feminist Solidarity Economy.”

2. Claudio Nascimento, (Brazil) Historian, activist, popular educator, author of several essays on self-management and the Solidarity Economy. Cabinet member of President Lula da Silva, member of the National Secretariat for Solidarity Economy of President Dilma Rousseff: “The Solidarity Economy and Self-Management: Principle of Communal Power.”

3. Camila Piñeiro Harnecker: (Chile-Cuba) researcher and professor at the Center of Studies on the Cuban Economy, University of Havana: “Potentials and Risks of Cooperatives in Socialist Construction”.

4. Elvy Monzant, Dean of the School of Communication at the University Cecilio Acosta de Maracaibo, member of Gestión Participativa Cooperative: “Diagnosis and Perspectives of the Social and Solidarity Economy of Venezuela: Where are we and where are we going?”

5. Dada Maheshvarananda, monk, author, activist, director of the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela: “What is Prout?”

Panel 1 questions and answers.

Panel 2: “Consciousness, leadership and will: preserving our environment”

Facilitator: Leopoldo Cook

1. Belkys Urbina, Ecologist, Masters in Tecnology Management and Risk Control, and Masters in Industrial Maintenance: “The Planet and Consciousness”.

2. Chelo Nogueira, architect, founder of the Turtle Foundation: “Objective Earth”.

3. Frank Bracho, former Ambassador of Venezuela in India, ecologist and author: “Environment, Health and Happiness.”

4. Jody Wright (Acharya Devanistha) (USA), Prout activist for 35 years, studied under P.R. Sarkar: “Sadvipras: Prout’s vision of enlightened leaders.”

Panel 2 questions and answers

Panel 3: “Cooperatives: Diagnosis and Solutions in Building Economic Democracy”

Facilitator: Gustavo Fonseca

1. Prof. Carlos Molina Camacho, former National Superintendent of Cooperatives and Savings Banks, professor of cooperative law at UCV: “Simón Bolívar and Cooperativism” and “Prout and the creation of a socioeconomic system that reconciles justice with freedom”

2. Lizeth Vargas and Dario Gonzalez, CECOSESOLA–Lara State Central Cooperative: “Building Here and Now the World that we Want.”

3. Prof. Benito Díaz, Editor of CAYAPA (Venezuelan Journal of Social Economy), Venezuela Board of CIRIEC, Professor at the Universidad de Los Andes – Trujillo: “Innovation in Organizations of the Social Economy.”

4. Dada Jinanananda, (Congo-Brasil) Yoga monk: “Spirituality and Social Change”

Panel 3 questions and answers

Panel 4: “Ethics for Personal and Social Transformation”

Facilitator: Nieves Pino, economist, social worker

1. Sandra Castillo Castro Delegada UCV to the Organization of American States, and member of the Economic Advisory Committee of AnimaNaturalis Internacional, and Luís Verdú Brito president of the Student Center of Economic Faculty of UCV: “Economic Trends Towards the Ethical Treatment of Animals”

2. Víctor “Vyasa” Landa, (Peru) founder of the School of Life, Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony in Bethesda, Maryland, USA: “Aparigraha: A New Economic Paradigm for a Culture of Peace.”

3. Juan Sarmiento, (Philippines-Venezuela) psychologist, lecturer, business consultant, founder of the Will of Excellence Foundation: “Human Excellence: Seven Keys to Success and Happiness.”

Panel 4 questions and answers.

Panel 5: “The Creative Force of Community: Women, Identity, Health and Consciousness.”

Facilitator: Lelia Delgado, anthropologist, author

1. Didi Ananda Sadhana, (Netherlands-Venezuela) Director, Centro Madre, Barlovento, Venezuela: “The Importance of Cultural Identity to Empower People: The Example of Barlovento.”

2. Dr. Alba Carosio, Director of Womens Studies Center of UCV, author: “Feminist Contributions to the Good Life.”

3. Maya Shita, General Coordinator of the Warao Tribe, leader of the El Moriche indigenous community: “Living Together in One World.”

4. Dr. Adalberto Barreto, (Brazil) psychiatrist, anthropologist, theologian: “Community Therapy: supportive social networks to promote Life”

5. Leopoldo Cook, former telecommunications chief of PDVSA, columnist, author, member of Board of Director of PRIV: “The Awakening of Consciousness: Prout and Socialism, Face-to-face.”

José Albarrán of the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela: “Closing Remarks”.

Panel 5 questions and answers

Listen to the audio files of the conference in Spanish here. The Spanish version of the morning presentations was broadcast live on and

The media campaign for the conference resulted in articles published in ten different newspapers: Primicias 24, Correio del Orinoco, El Informador, Noticiero Industrial, El Mundo: Economia y Negocios, Encontrarte, Entorno Inteligente.

Two television interviews were done, on TELESUR for 30 minutes which is broadcast in all the countries of Latin America, and on Venezuelan National Television VTV for 15 minutes. Five radio stations interviewed the Venezuelan Prout Institute: Radio Nacional de Venezuela (twice for one hour each), Radio Fe y Alegria (1 hour), Radio de Ateneo (10 min.) and Barquisimeto community radio (20 min.)

An electronic newsletter for all of Latin America, Prensa Cooperativa, wrote about the conference, and five progressive webpages wrote about it:,,

"Organizers of Venezuela 2011 Prout Conference"
"Organizers of Venezuela 2011 Prout Conference"

Before the conference a total of 1,400 large, full color Prout posters were hung in the cities of Caracas, Guarenas, Guatire, Merida, Maracay and Barquisimeto, and viewed by thousands of people.

Over a thousand people stopped to see the Prout “Thought Exhibition” stand in front of the auditorium which had 10 banners with clear text and beautiful images that illustrated the following subjects: Introduction to Prout, Prout’s Economic Democracy, Prout Cooperatives, Prout and Ecology, Neohumanism, Spiritual Practices of Prout, Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, Prout Research Institute, Centro Madre, and the Neohumanist Kindergarten.

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“The Importance of Cultural Identity to Empower People: The Example of Barlovento” by Didi Ananda Sadhana