Foro Columbia: Alumni Discuss the Private Sector’s Role in Public Policy

May 25, 2021

Nine Columbia graduates attended the second encounter of Foro Columbia held on April 28. The event focused on the relationship between the private and public sector regarding Public Policy, was moderated by Nicolás León (SIPA’18), Public Affairs Manager at the Chilean Construction Chamber, and attended by Andrés Osorio (SIPA'18), Valeria Moraga (SIPA’19), Diego Valdés (SPS’20), Rodrigo Ajenjo (SIPA’18), Fernanda Abarzúa (SPS’18), Danae Flores (SIPA’18), Andrés Alegría (SIPA’19), and Gabriel Guggisberg (SIPA’18).

During the meeting, the alumni debated what would entail an appropriate balance between the private and public roles in Chile towards improving social well-being. They discussed the principle of subsidiarity and how entities should collaborate to promote autonomy, decentralized decision-making, and interaction with civil society.

Other topics centered around the need for private companies that participate in public policies to align their goals with those of the state, aiming to enhance the quality of living of the Chilean population. “International practices could be implemented, such as companies communicating to the citizens their corporate responsibility and sustainability strategies, thus improving transparency standards,” stated Abarzúa.

The participants also coincided on the need for state promotion of long-term strategies regardless of political cycles, with clear goals and common minimum standards that support the development of private sector incentives. “Right now, the different economic sectors are governed by their own guidelines. There should be best practices common to all in order to generate change," Moraga noted. Additionally, the alumni stated that in some cases the state should act as provider while in others it should regulate a private offer that has proven to be successful in satisfying the needs of those less favored, highlighting the urgent need for the state to promote a strategy for permanent public-private cooperation.

Foro Columbia is a meeting space for Chilean alumni to network, deliberate topics and propose solutions from a variety of angles and perspectives. The next session, to be held on May 26, will address education as a right. Future issues to be discussed include gender equality, the ongoing Chilean constitutional process, as well as the role and effects of immigration in Chilean society.

If you are a Columbia alumnus and would like to participate in future Foro Columbia events, you can contact the organizers at [email protected]