The Cestes

The “Centro Studi Trasformazioni Economico Sociali CESTES-PROTEO” is a non-profit association. Its main purpose is that of spreading cultural themes concerning tolerance, solidarity, peace, environment, and quality of life by promoting and launching activities aimed at the building of a socio-economic development model based on solidarity and compatibility with the environment and on a real economic and cultural democracy.

The cultural, educational, and research activities launched by CESTES endeavour to promote the spirit of participation of ‘ordinary people’ in the fortune of civil society by putting forward hypotheses for the transformation of the present model of economic and social development. CESTES not only stimulates participation in the strategic decision-making processes affecting the whole of the economy but also suggests ways to broaden workers’ participation in the distribution of income, labour, and the accumulated wealth and solidarity and should focus on a social economy capable, in its different forms, of creating an alternative type of wealth and of social distribution of value. Thus, CESTES champions a concept of real economic and social democracy in order to contribute to the building of an alternative development model centred on a conscious demand for culture and on social and economic relations based on solidarity.

The capacity to support the demand for a radically different development model has acquired nowadays central relevance. This model should be capable of generating new and different patterns of work, of wealth, of production, and of social life. The reasons behind this model are not only political and cultural but also economic, on a global level. CESTES-PROTEO, therefore, works towards the realization of political and cultural activities above all in the world of associationism and of grass-roots trade unionism and of all those political, social, academic and broadly speaking cultural forces which reject the compatibility with and the validation of the neo-liberalist principles based on the culture of privatization of the public goods, of Welfare and of the social. These activities should form a political, social, and economic offensive which should be able to connect the generalized reduction of working time with the creation of a type of employment which creates good not necessarily for exchange, with capital taxation in order to socialize society’s wealth, with the acknowledgment of the need for a Minimum Social Wage for the unemployed and for precarious jobs, and with the strengthening of a new social State featuring universal citizenship, centred upon the distribution of accumulation, and based on a new development model characterized by economic and social compatibilities outside the market.

CESTES-PROTEO thus: promotes and supports the study and observation of socio-economic phenomena; carries out analyses, inquiries, researches, and publications; launches activities promoting greater information, communication, formation, and consciousness; and organizes meeting, debates, seminars, courses, shows, demonstrations, exhibitions, and innovative ways to support cultural activities. To this end, CESTES (together with the “Federazione Nazionale delle Rappresentanze Sindacali di base, RdB) publishes PROTEO (a scientific quarterly for the analysis of the economy, of production, and of labour politics) through which it spreads its own central scientific and cultural considerations (as well as those of many of its external collaborators) on social transformations, transformations of the world of labour, and a development model compatible with ecological and social needs.

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