Pablo Capilé

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2007
Espaço Cubo


This profile was prepared when Pablo Santiago Capilé Mendes was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Pablo builds a new orientation toward professional life among youth in Brazil by replacing ambition for individual wealth and fame with a work ethic centered on collective, interdependent activity, and modest consumerism. Pablo has identified some key professional arenas to put this fundamental shift into practice: Musical performance and production; theater; and more recently, sports. These fields are particularly characterized by the ideals of celebrity status and excessive consumerism—exactly what Pablo tries to counter with his Espaço Cubo (Cube Space). 
Espaço Cubo draws young artists into an alternative economic system of “Cubo Cards,” with which they are paid for performances on an hourly basis. They can spend Cubo Cards on Espaço Cubo services. By benefiting from these shared services and joining together instead of competing, music and theater groups are more likely to realize their ambitions, attracting audiences in a way they would not alone. The more hours they work, the more financially viable they become, earning a small but sufficient income. This success effectively transforms youth into confident protagonists in their own lives—a lesson that along with an ambition redirected away from individual accumulation of wealth—will shape their futures, regardless of the professional paths they choose. Along with the Cubo Card system, Espaço Cubo also joins youth from different backgrounds in debate and action around the role of the state in promoting cultural activities.
Pablo continuously draws in new groups to Espaço Cubo through his “Off the Axis” network, which exists in 17 Brazilian states outside of the culturally dominant Rio—São Paulo region. Not only will he expand geographically, but, starting with sports and media production, he will include an ever-increasing array of professional arenas.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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