What does it mean to be a President Néstor Kirchner Fellow?

Fernando Kleiman (Brasil)

He holds a BA in Economics, University of São Paulo, Brazil (USP) and a Masters Degree in Sociology, University of Brasilia, Brazil (UnB). He specializes in Public Policies and Governmental Management. In the early years of his carreer he coordinated a program of assistance for grass roots movements and citizenship groups on the poor surroundings of the city of São Paulo, at the USP. More recently he served as General Coordinator of the Popular Cooperatives Incubator at the University of São Paulo and Advisor for the Solidarity Economy of the Unitrabalho Foundation, and he represented the Brazilian government in some international forums. Recently, he has teached on graduate courses of political sciences. At the present time, he works as a Special Advisor for the Minister and former Advisor of the Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Social Development, Brazil. He also teaches on graduate courses of political. He has published several articles and books about Solidarity Economy, Public Policies e Social Policies in Bra zil.

It was an honor to receive the President Nestor Kirchner Fellowship and to become part of this network, built by the Observatory on Latin America at The New School.

The experience I had during the two weeks in New York was enriching not only for the many critiques and discussions about my work but also for having the opportunity to see how many interesting common issues we have throughout the Americas.

It was very challenging to present my ideas to professors, researchers and activists that opened their agenda and made efforts to connect with the discussions I'm having at my workplace and within my Brazilian networks. It was a mind-opening experience to be questioned with a large amount of cases, theories and situations from distant parts of the planet. I know that many of these exchanges wouldn't happen if it were not for the PNK Fellowship, and I can bet that some of the contacts that I've made will be long-lasting. I now have many interesting issues to work through, from building bridges with the solidarity based economy movement in Brazil and the Workers Self-Directed Enterprises in the US to discussing assets inequality and job guarantee programs.

More deeply than integration, it became clear to me how vital it is that we know more about each other in order to learn from each other's successes and mistakes. The support that I had from professors Cohen and Gutman and all the OLA team was key to making the most of this opportunity. Coming from Brazil, it was quite aspiring for me to have my public lecture in the Orozco room, filled with so many people from different parts of the world with surprisingly common identities. I hope that this kind of activity and project can be strengthened to build the paths that we need for a better future for every and each one of us.

New York, February, 2014