Constituent Process: an opportunity to re-design the Chile we wantMay 14, 2021
Column by Michelle Pinaud, Luis Gavilán y Cali Trivelli / Pic by Luis Gavilán
Chile is currently experiencing one of the most important moments of change and social transformation in recent decades. A process that has led us to question and challenge the foundations of our coexistence, how we link and relate to each other and above all, the deep sense of purpose that we share regarding life in common. A process that seems to have many parallels with the design and implementation of the strategy that we’ve been developing for more around 15 years at Almabrands with people, companies and institutions and that today, in the midst of a deep social, political and economic crisis, takes on even more value, urgency and relevance.
The starting point: a Diagnosis that shows our strengths but above all, our gaps, weaknesses and challenges as a society
It is never easy to look at each other from the pain and the gaps between us. It is not easy in strategic processes and neither has it been for Chile as a country. The “social explosion” on Oct 18/2019, preceded by multiple controversies, collusion and corruption scandals, many milestones destroying trust in our society; the agreement and announcement of a constitutional process, a small light of hope that is postponed by the arrival of the pandemic; then the coronavirus, the confinement, the fear, the health crisis, the consequent economic crisis. Uncertainty is one of the emotions that have marked the context and the collective sentiment in recent times. Uncertainty that, in part, responds to the concern that the traditional political class “hijacks” this process, which citizens feel as something of their own given the collective origin.
“Uncertainty because there is no clarity in the procedures to draft the new Constitution. Hope because I want a better Chile. Illusion in which the best will be sought for all people.” (Woman, 38 years old, Talcahuano | Survey “The Chile of the future”, Almabrands)
But along with fear, opportunity also arises from hope. In our survey “The Chile of the future”, we can see hope as the main emotion, mostly among those who voted “I approve”. This hope is reflected in people’s expectations: a new beginning, a participatory and citizen process, not one of the usual elites, democratic and inclusive, that brings together a great diversity of opinions, the desire for a better future for the following generations, a renewal of politics and the participation of leaderships originating from the citizenry, greater equality of opportunities, and this possibility of citizen dialogue. A new way of relating to each other as a society, where empathy, transparency, collaboration, equity and, above all, dignity prevail. This hope is also accompanied by optimism, joy, motivation and tranquility.
Strategy: Co-construction of our new Constitution
This process, which was triggered by the social crisis of October 2019 and which led to the call for a plebiscite on a possible new Constitution – where a large majority voted for the “Approve” option – gave us a clear signal from a large part of our society: Chile wants and needs a new Constitution, and wants it to be born from a participatory, broad and diverse process.
We thus enter an important stage of collaborative strategic design of the way in which we want to live together. This new Constitution, making the parallel with our consulting processes, is equivalent to the generation of the strategic definitions of an organization, all those agreements, agreed by its members, that will guide our country in the future.
We have also stated that we want to build this sense under certain conditions. Chile wants to design its Constitution in a collaborative, inclusive, renewed way, which does not come from traditional politics. This has been reflected in the emergence of a large number of local leaders not linked to political parties (independent candidates who have not previously held public or political positions). On the other hand, there is the background, from the different areas of interest and concern of citizens, all those issues, initiatives, and causes that are proposed as relevant for the discussion of the new Constitution.
These strategic definitions consider central pillars or commitments, keys to building the country we want; The expectations on these fundamental issues that the new Constitution should consider include mainly education, health and pensions, to which are added concern for the environment and natural resources, indigenous peoples, equality and equity, and housing. , among others.
Action and future: Take care of the process and fulfill what was promised
Then will come the action, the implementation of everything that in this new Constitution is defined as the way in which we want to live together. But for us to validate the path and therefore the result, the Constituent Convention must take charge of the diagnosis and take care of the process so that the needs, pains and expectations of citizens are an effective and central part of it: that citizen participation is real, that the elites do not take ownership of the process, that it be done in a transparent, collaborative and inclusive manner, and above all, that the result, our new Constitution, achieves effective and real expression in a new agreement, in a new daily pact that changes the life logic of all citizens.