Social Responsibility vs. Cultural Responsibility: Seeking Solutions that Work in Our Context

A book for the Brazilian paradox

Eduardo Eugenio Gouvêa Vieira is the chairman of the FIRJAN System

The Brazilian paradox, a rich country with an extremely poor population, imposes on us a

ll the pressing challenge of combating social inequality. But how can economic prosperity translate into social well-being? This is the question Carmen Pires Migueles faces in this brilliant book.The work brings to the center of the debate no longer the old lamourias by policies that depend on transitory governments, but the construction of actions based on social responsibility and cultural responsibility.

The book is the result of the thought generated by the Juan Molinos Institute, whose name honors one of the most brilliant engineers this country has ever had, the father of the author Carmen. I had the pleasure of meeting Juan Molinos, a man who always knew how to turn his optimism and inexhaustible energy into concrete actions for a better Brazil.

Born in Spain and naturalized Brazilian, Juan Molinos had his professional career linked to Duque de Caxias, a city that is an extreme synthesis of the perverse Brazilian paradox, since it is one of the ten largest municipal economies in the country and at the same time it holds 1,782th position in the National HDI ranking. This means a scenario in which large companies are neighbors of a population with low schooling and whose youth have little prospect of breaking the cycle of misery.

The engineer, specialist in the construction of large industrial complexes, was director of COPESUL, COPENE and superintendent of Petroflex, in Duque de Caxias. Positions you have achieved on your own merits, your belief in the study, and the efficiency of your work. This experience of self-improvement is the example of life that the Juan Molinos Institute wants to make possible to the young people of the Baixada Fluminense. The actions of the Institute, which find in this book its guideline, are very attuned to the work and thinking of the FIRJAN System. For us, the debate of business problems only makes sense in the context of the discussion of the demands and needs of the whole society. That is why we defined our activities with the strategic objectives of increasing the competitiveness of the Fluminense industries and implementing social responsibility actions, especially in the education and health sectors. In education, our
focus is social inclusion. In health, prevention. When we talk about increasing industrial competitiveness, our goal is to increase employment and provide income distribution.

Carmen emphasizes in her book the importance of culture for the construction of the autonomy of individuals. In fact, the valuation of cultural heritage promotes the strengthening of the identity of citizens, who become more conscious political entities capable of building their own destiny. The author also points out the need to increase transparency, as a basic condition for a more efficient public management. I recommend reading this book to all who care about the reality of our country and who wish to find solutions to effective policies of social inclusion. His ideas, original and feasible, have the transformative potential that has always been present in the life of the unforgettable Juan Molinos.

Eduardo Eugenio Gouvêa Vieira é presidente do Sistema FIRJAN

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