By Luis Loria
“People who think about social change in traditional political terms cannot begin to imagine the changes that lie ahead. Conventional reformers cast their programs in terms of national policies, or in terms of laws and central planning. But in the end, what will shape the future is a creative potential that inheres in the new technologies of electronic communication and machine intelligence.”
—Ithiel de Sola Pool, Four Unnatural Institutions and the Road Ahead, 1983.
On July 4, 2016, IDEAS, a Costa Rican think tank, launched #RevolucionCR, an open platform for promoting disruptive social, political, and regulatory innovation that is citizen-centered, expert-enabled, and powered by IDEAS Labs- IMPACT ACCELERATOR.
#RevolucionCR created a new space that allows citizens to directly engage and assume the responsibility for proposing, designing, and implementing major reforms that politicians, both in the govenrment and political parties, have not been able to make.
The heroes of the #RevolutionCR—in order to quickly transform their ideas into high-impact social, political, and regulatory solutions, that can be implemented in the short term, without disrupting the constitutional order, in democracy, and without violence—require a revolutionary toolbox that is very different than the one that has been in use for attempting policy reform during the last century.
New technologies have enabeled new forms of citizen-driven social change. The new forms of social change are already having a major impact on local, national, regional, and global political landscapes.
These major changes in the practice of politics—which have been, up to this date, mostly the result of accidents, in contrast with careful planning—cannot be adequately understood through the lenses of traditional theories of political change.
A revolutionary political toolbox is something utilitarian that, like axes, swords, and ballestas, will allow the champions of IDEASto fight, survive and win. In other words, a new set of revolutionary political tools will become the ‘walking stick’ of innovative policy entrepreneurs.
The #RevolutionCR project has greatly benefited from the advice, mentoring, and collaboration with individuals and organizations that have helped us to validate the concept of the accelerator for social, political, and regulatory innovation, identify learning opportunities from existing projects, review relevant literature, and gain access to a world class network of sucessful reformers, business leaders, research centers, organizations, and donors that share our interests and have recognized the potential of our work to inform and shed some light on questions related with the gap that has emerged between the practice and the theory of political change.
It would be impossible to mention, in such a limited space, all of the individuals and organizations that have collaborated with theIDEAS Labs – IMPACT Accelerator and the #RevolutionCR project, so we will just mention the ones whose ideas have contributed significantly to improve our work:
- Professor Nazli Choucri, MIT Political Science, Director of the Global System for Sustainable Development
- Professor Beth Simone Noveck, Stefaan Verhulst, Alan Kantrow, and Maria Hermosilla, The Governance Lab @ NYU.
- Alex Chafuen, Gonzalo Schwarz, Rainer Heufers, Juan Jose Daboub, Cristian Larroulet, and Simeon Djankov, Atlas Network.
- Gabriel Calzada, Javier Fernandez-Lasquetty, Universidad Francisco Marroquin—UFM.
- Wayne Leighton, The Antigua Forum.
- Rick Geddes, Cornell University.
- Alvaro A. Salas-Castro, Democracy Lab.
- Julián Ugarte, Socialab.
- Adam Price, Brenton Caffin, Kristen Bound, Sonja Dahl, Nesta.
On this date, we are publicly announcing that, as part of our on-going collaboration with The GovLab – NYU, our champions of IDEAS will have access to a Spanish version of The GovLab’s Academy Canvas to work their actionable strategies for the real world to the end of significantly improving the lives of Costa Ricans.
IDEAS is the Institute for Enterprise Development and Social Action, a private, independent, and non-partisan non-for-profit that functions as a knowledge management unit to conduct applied research and analysis to promote independent causes, private and market-oriented public policy solutions to contribute to improve competitiveness, innovation, and economic growth, in Latin America, and, at the same time, designs strategies and implements the necessary steps to promote their implementation.
IDEAS mantra – Knowledge, Dialogue & Impact
IDEAS Mission – To promote the strategic use of knowledge to design free-market oriented solutions for local, national, and regional problems, and to promote more effective collaboration and discussion forums to achieve the successful implementarion of those solutions, in Latin America.
For more information about IDEAS, please visit our web site: http://ideaslabs.org/
About Luis E. Loria, #RevolutionCR Coordinator
Mr. Loria completed doctoral studies (Dr. Cand.) at the Graduate School of Business Administration at Harvard University as a Fulbright—LASPAU Scholar. While at Harvard, he collaborated in projects related with the practice of leadership at the Kennedy School of Government, at Harvard University, and knowledge-management, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He is the President and Founder of the Institute for Enterprise Development and Social Action—IDEAS (www.ideaslat.org), in Costa Rica. Since 2001, he is the President of Strategic Advantage Consulting Group (www.strategic-la.com). Since 2015, he is, also, the Director of IDEAS Labs – IMPACT Accelerator.
Mr. Loria accumulates twenty years of experience as a Senior Consultant to both public and private sector leaders, including top-level government authorities, in more than a dozen Latin American countries. He has collaborated with public and private entities and NGOs in topics related with Public Policies, Applied Economics, Investment Promotion, Competitiveness and Innovation.
A native of Costa Rica, Mr. Loria has lectured in graduate programs of Business and Economics throughout Latin America. He has written case studies, articles, and book chapters on his areas of expertise. Additionally, he participates actively on public forums and debates on fiscal and monetary policy, conditional cash transfers, entrepreneurship, innovation, and competitiveness.
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