Sumak Kawsay, Economía Política de la Universidad Javeriana

English: Sumak Kawsay, Political Economy group of the Pontificial Xaverian University


Our group, based in Bogota, Colombia was created in 2015 by 7 economics students motivated by the urge of analysing topics and issues that were not addressed in the core economics classes from a critical perspective. With this goal in mind, we started reading Thomas Piketty’s book  “Capital in the 21st century”, from which weekly scheduled meetings were set to discuss a chapter in each session with a presentation made by one of the group’s members.


During the second semester we introduced more authors and books, including Ha-Joon Chang, Joseph Stiglitz, Amartya Sen, Joan Martinez Allier, Kenneth Boulding, Herman Daly, George Akerloff, Robert Shiller and more. The group started to grow and the weekly meetings continued, and a chapter of a book was discussed in each weekly session. In 2016 the group started the process of being institutionalized, which meant being formally recognized by the Vice-Chancellor of the University and this was granted in June 2016.


From the following semester until now, the group’s mission has been to address the economics science from an alternative perspective in order to transform the way in which economics is taught and the way in which people are linked to the economic system and establish their social relationships.  In order to attain this, the group kept the weekly meetings in order to foster the knowledge enrichment through debates and started to take an active part in organising events and creating a student network to support the ideas of an alternative approach in economics. Thereby, the need to link to other student initiatives and worldwide networks became an important goal for the group to attain.




Our institutional associations are: the Vice-Chancellor of the University Students and the Vice-Chancellor of University Interinstitutional Relations, which have supported us since the formation of our group in the year 2015. Additionally we have strong support from the head of the economics department and head of the economics degree at our faculty, who have supported us with the diffusion of messages and financial support. Finally, we have a strong institutional partnership with the University’s Council, in which we have one of our members representing the economics department. Other partnerships include the Economic Growth and Development investigation group of the economics department and the Conflict and Peace observatory of the Political Science Faculty. We are currently trying to reach other similar groups in universities within our city and in other cities of the country.