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PEKEA English

Homo convivialis is acting in the pursuit of a good life in a good society, a fair society according to the rule of convivial practice (drawn after Illich) :

To work together and to take care of each other and of Nature.

With this attempt to turn from the model of homo economicus to that of homo convivalis, we are still on the same track that the one we were on when launching in 2002 the international NGO PEKEA (in the English site, updated until 2008, remain basic information). PEKEA reads for "a Political and Ethical Knowledge in Economic Activities". At present a renewed homepage has been set up in French and a congress is organized ten years after the start of PEKEA; it is about cooperatives, on the 13 th of December « coopération et formes d’organisation sociale » in Rennes (in French).

Compared to various heterodox approaches, the convivial approach, in line with the one launched with PEKEA, is not set in opposition, but with the aim to go beyond, and not to enter so many debates including that debates opposing some heterodox approaches between themselves, each one trying to be the sole at the exclusion of the other ones. However, it is not a plural approach. It is somehow a complex one but as simple as the general rule that governs its principles and its practice of conviviality. It is inscribed in a normative stance that subsumes the most essential values that were at the core of liberalism and anarchism on a one side, and of socialism and communism on the other side.

The work done with the PEKEA network (see footnote *) was built upon a general argument (Argument En –set up in 2001 and to which the ones who joined the network and thousand who later asked to join, have subscribed. A clarification of the foundations of the approach was put down after a launching conference in Santiago de Chile in 2002 ( Foundations En ). From this conference we drew an introductory book in French and we designed four blocks of knowledge to build
The first domain to be tackled with was the “societal value” during a conference in Rennes (2003), it showed the crucial dimension of “Brotherhood” or Fraternity ), that of the French republican motto (Liberty – Equality – Fraternity). It is the necessity of Care :that « taking care of each other » of the conviviality rule. Then, asking us what could be « our possible common future », the Bangkok conference in Bangkok en 2004 underlined the necessity « to take care of Nature ».
After that, PEKEA organised a work on democracy facing ecocracy : the domination of economy endangers democracy and its ideals, leading far from the spirit of "working together". At that time we had almost the basis of the rule of conviviality “ to work together and to take care of each other and of Nature”. To settle it fully it was necessary to work on analyses about how to articulate individual and collective behaviours (Dakar conference in 2006) and to investigate about the way to give reality to this “together” that shapes the society. Then we took a first stock of the previous work, writing down remarks for a new Stage En).

Following this constitution of a general framework and after getting in 2006 the consultative status of an internationl NGO ( research) to the UN (ECOSOC, Council for Economic and Social affairs) two projects have been emulated jointly to the publication of a quarterly Newsletter (from January-March 2005) to deepen our analyses: a few texts published in this Newsletter are of very high interest ; everything is still in progress at different paces.
On one hand after the Bangkok conference were set up working groups with teams including researchers and actors in the field from various countries in the world. The PEKEA internet site in its English version was not updated since 2009 and up to now gives only information on past activities of the network and these operations. Among the most dynamic working groups, there is the one led by Michel Renaulton "Local indicators for societal progress". He played a pivotal role for the International conference in 2008 (Rennes)« Building together local indicators for societal progress». His work was granted in Busan (Korea) in 2009 an OECD Award (for a presentation – see the ppt- written –read the text-) for the Third World Forum “Measuring the Progress of Societies, Charting Progress, Building Vision, Improving Life”

On the other hand was established a Club of Local Authorities . The core reason to its constitution is that our approach that refuses to abstract itself from the real world, must analyze human activities always inscribed into concrete territories, bounded and managed by local Governments. It is at this level that the well-living together must be firstly defined.
On one side, researchers who work in the spirit of PEKEA and in that of the principles of practising conviviality, must nurture their thinking from localized realities; on the other side, political decision makers from local Governments are often let alone but with « experts » that are driven by their will to escape from territorial contingencies – social ones- and so doing to be closer to “scientific” rules and ready to apply so-called laws. This had been a rationale of the City of Rennes to support the creation of PEKEA in 2002. A call was launched to start this Club in cooperation with the Brittany Region, the Ille et Vilaine Department and Rennes Métropolis, joined in 2007 by Nord Pas de Calais Region.

These projects are in progress, but are not fully developed yet; perhaps they need a more articulated and more deeply conceived framework to rely on. Like so many people in many places and on various themes, here, we will go on contributing to enhance analyses and dissemination of ideas on matters of which they are still lacking.

* PEKEA is an acronym that reads for a Political and Ethical Knowledge in Economic Activities. The network has be run in an international way – in three languages: French, English, Spanish- with more than a thousand of members in 2008, from 60 countries and around 15 academic fields. Founding texts are available in the 3 languages and some in Japanese.
In this PEKEA Network have worked and are working side by side, citizens and activists along with an hetereogenous set of heterodox researchers, promoters of industrial policies for growth, promoters of decentralized regional development, third world activists, prophets and practionners of de-growth, apostles of sustainable development, demonstrators of the ATTAC network for taxation of financial overvalues… Let us hope that they will converge in their analyses towards the banner of the general rule of conviviality and that they will contribute to the shift from the model of homo economicus to that ofhomo convivialis, a condition for the survival of our humanity.

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