Alejandro Calvillo Unna

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico,
Fellow Since 2003
El Poder del Consumidor

Citation

This profile was prepared when Alejandro Calvillo Unna was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Alejandro is showing Mexico's consumers the power that they wield in their purchasing decisions and giving them opportunities to exercise that power toward checking irresponsible business practices. Using the reach and efficiency of the Internet–and his own credentials and contacts from his tenure leading Greenpeace-Mexico–Alejandro is building the organization El Poder del Consumidor (Consumer Power) to hold businesses, government, and consumer-citizens alike accountable for violating social responsibility.
Until now, Mexican consumers have not recognized that how they spend their pesos matters, even though Mexicans' purchasing power has burgeoned and their insecurities about profit-oriented exploitation of their country have multiplied in recent years. Alejandro believes that by giving Mexico's consumers compelling and true information on harmful corporate behavior and opportunities to act in coordination with masses of other consumers and citizen organizations, he will stimulate them both to embrace their right to know what's "behind" a product and to exert economic pressure on companies and government through their purchasing decisions. Select, powerful campaigns targeted against the worst corporate violators–and delivered over the Internet–will be a key part of pressuring for change. More broadly, however, Alejandro will be creating new, aware, active Mexican consumers who can represent their social priorities and take a measure of personal responsibility in a Mexico that is newly democratic politically and increasingly liberal economically.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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