Final CNM•UNM Presentation Explores Commonalities Between Latin America and New Mexico

October 30, 2015

As the third and final presentation in the newly-launched CNM•UNM Latin American Studies Speakers Series, Eric Griego, a doctoral fellow at the UNM Center for Health Policy, will discuss "Building a Creative and Cultural Local Economy in New Mexico: Lessons from Latin America." The presentation will take place on Thursday, November 4, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. in the Smith-Brasher (SB ) Hall (Room 106) on the CNM main campus. For reference, see the event flyer.

In this presentation, Griego will discuss alternative economic development policies (micro-finance and cooperatives) in the comparative contexts of Ecuador and New Mexico. Highlighting the success of communities in Cuenca, Ecuador, where local economic development has focused meaningfully on low-tech sectors such as artisanship, cultural entrepreneurship, and food production, Griego contradicts the problematic model in which New Mexico communities have emphasized high tech or otherwise more sophisticated formal sector entrepreneurship. Using evidence from field research, this presentation proposes that the Ecuadorian "Buen Vivir" model of social and economic development strategy offers a viable alternative for local growth in New Mexico, and may be particularly appropriate for poorer, predominantly Hispanic communities who suffer from a lack of capital, living wage jobs, and alternatives to traditional welfare programs.

Eric Griego has worked for the past two decades as a researcher, analyst and policy maker at the local, state, national, and international level on applied public policy issues ranging from economic development to early childhood education. The first ten years of his career after receiving his Master's Degree at the University of Maryland's Public Policy School, he spent working on international economic issues at several agencies and on Capital Hill. As an Albuquerque City Councilman, State Senator and senior appointed state official he worked on economic, social and tax policy issues from increasing the minimum wage to campaign finance reform. He later ran the largest and most active anti-poverty advocacy, research and policy organization focusing on children and families, New Mexico Voices for Children. Currently he is a doctoral fellow at the UNM Center for Health Policy where his research interests include the connections between economic development, human capital, healthy communities and social investment.