Our site tracks LatAm companies and corporate elites, and empowers citizen stakeholders to hold them accountable.
1% of Latin America is preventing the other 99% from accessing democracy and development. This is the most unequal region on earth.
Mexico is home to the world’s richest man, Carlos Slim Helú, worth US$ 62 billion. Yet, it also has a 36% poverty rate, including 13% in extreme poverty.
And to make matters worse, 38 of the richest men effectively control 27% of the Mexican economy through large holding companies. And this figure does not include Carlos Slim…
Powerful companies and corporate elites are hijacking economic and political decision-making at the expense of average citizens and communities.
These bad apples undermine democracy and development and spoil the marketplace for investment. Moreover, their actions impact negatively on workers, communities, and the environment.
What can we do about this?
Without the right information and tools to hold these companies accountable, communities must depend upon complacent authorities and corporate charity, and crony capitalism and inequality only get worse … until now. That’s where PODER Mexico comes in – we provide these information tools!
PODER Mexico is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization whose mission is to improve corporate transparency and accountability in Latin America and to strengthen civil society stakeholders of corporations as long-term accountability guarantors. For more information, see here: www.ashoka.org/fellow/cokelet_ben or www.echoinggreen.org/fellows/ben-cokelet.
Right now our Mexican office is creating an exciting new tool that does just that. Previously, understanding corporations and their owners in Latin America was like a black box: opaque and impenetrable. But with our innovative open data site – Who’s Who Wiki – communities and stakeholders will gain equal access to information once only available to corporate insiders, ripping the lid off of the black box and leveling the information playing field!
Imagine what communities can do with the right information in their hands.
Who’s Who Wiki is the tool that communities, journalists, regulators, small investors, and other corporate stakeholders have been waiting for. This open data, open source website combines business intelligence and transparency technology to analyze Latin American companies and corporate elites. Contributors can upload and download corporate data, making it possible to reward or punish corporations based on the totality of their practices, including their human rights, labor, and environmental records.
Who’s Who Wiki is the first corporate transparency tool of its kind, with revolutionary potential to tip the balance of power in favor of the average citizen and his or her community. It is the information solution for the corporate transparency and accountability movement.
Who’s Who Wiki Details
Our platform consists of four components:
1. A database relating corporate elites and their companies in Latin America;
2. A network analysis and visualization tool illuminating the corporate social network;
3. A wiki site to coalesce and empower diverse corporate stakeholders, and;
4. A secure digital drop box for whistleblowers to report on corporate malfeasance.
Who’s Who Wiki embodies the concepts of collaboration and transparency. It is designed to spark and enrich an open wiki exchange between individuals and organizations, creating the platform for a regional corporate accountability movement driven by community-based awareness and leadership. It will ensure access to symmetric information, furthering public understanding of the corporate social network and allowing for a more efficient allocation of investment capital, improved regulatory control, and increased availability and quality of corporate data for all.
With your donation we will build the alpha version of the Who’s Who Wiki, which will focus on Mexican corporate elites as they represent the paradigm of inequality in Latin America. Please spread the word to others, and let’s build this movement together. Thank you!
Building an electronic platform is not cheap, which is why we need your help. $US 20,000 will enable us to design, develop, and launch the alpha version of Who’s Who Wiki by July 2012. To date, PODER’s Mexican office has successfully attracted volunteers and in-kind support in the form of free graphic design, database programming, technical mock-ups, and important networking with transparency technology experts. However, in order to build our prototype and road test it with users and other stakeholders, we must take the next step, and fast… inequality and crony capitalism are only getting worse!
The tipping point for our Start Some Good campaign is set at $US 5,000. This is the minimum amount we need to raise to secure at least this much funding. With this we can bring on a part-time programmer to begin building the wiki component of the site using MediaWiki and integrating our MySQL database.
If we reach $US 15,000, we can really start jammin’, moving the part-time programmer to full-time and integrating the secure digital drop box.
And if we reach US$ 20,000, we will reach our goal of bringing the alpha version to fruition within six months, opening it up to wiki users, and starting to shake up Latin America for the better!
Please note that Start Some Good and PayPal take a small percentage in crowdfunding fees. Also, your donation is not tax deductible; Who’s Who Wiki is based in Mexico after all. The standard deduction in the U.S. is $5,800 for individuals and $11,600 for married couples filing jointly, so if your cumulative giving is less than this it won’t matter either way.
How will Who’s Who Wiki have a social impact?
Who’s Who Wiki fills an information gap for communities and other corporate stakeholders so, together, we can all ameliorate human rights, labor, and environmental violations caused by the lack of corporate accountability. But Who’s Who Wiki won’t just help alleviate symptoms (violations); it will also attack root causes, such as the lack of corporate transparency and compliance, and place information tools in communities’ hands to ensure long-term sustainability.
How can I help?
Did we mention that a regional corporate transparency and accountability movement is only possible with your help? Unless citizens, communities, and their advocates join forces, the crony capitalists only get richer and inequality only gets worse… Join the movement now! You can:
• Support Who’s Who Wiki through Start Some Good by clicking the green Donate Now! button. You’ll need a Start Some Good account, which only takes a few seconds, and a PayPal account.
• Spread the word! Post to Facebook, Twitter, in your blog, and send friends an e-mail.
• Having problems using PayPal? Just e-mail us at email@example.com.
• Join us! If you think your particular skills might help with this project, please e-mail us.
Thanks in advance for your support; it’s making a difference!
StartSomeGood is a unique hybrid crowdfunding model that connects social entrepreneurs with funding for transformative ideas that can change the world. It is exclusively for social change initiatives that need to raise seed capital to get new projects off the ground. StartSomeGood requires a tipping point to trigger funding for a project, so any fund-raising before this is done in an all-or-nothing way. To honor your generosity, we have a list of rewards to entice you to help us reach our tipping point before the deadline. Finally, StartSomeGood does not edit or mold the ventures on its site to meet unique marketing requirements; rather, it trusts the social entrepreneur to know what’s best for his or her project.
Do we know what we're talking about?
PODER's Mexico office may be a young organization, but it has lots of cumulative experience. Ben Cokelet founded PODER to empower civil society groups to organize for corporate accountability. Tired of corruption and illegality thwarting human rights, he leveraged 12 years of experience in the U.S. and Latin America as an advocate, trade union organizer, researcher, scholar, and social entrepreneur to reconceptualize corporate accountability as a citizen-led movement capable of achieving broad economic, environmental, and social impact. In 2009, PODER won the Stern Business School Social Venture Competition at New York University, where Ben was also a Catherine B. Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. In 2010 Ben and PODER also won Echoing Green and Ashoka fellowships. Today PODER Mexico has six paid staff, many volunteers, a solid board, wise advisers, and numerous strategic partnerships throughout Latin America.
We would like to thank...
Rodrigo "Eneas" González for editing and producing our video.