IDEAS Comunitarias2023-11-05T00:49:14-06:00

IDEAS Comunitarias • Mexico


IDEAS is a nonprofit organization that enables women, men, and young people to lead community-based initiatives that contribute to the common good. IDEAS was started in 1998 when individuals from the social sector came together to design projects focused on collective action and self-financing through community cooperatives. Their work was initially based in marginalized communities in Mexico City. Shortly thereafter, they initiated projects to engage rural and urban youth in cultural, environmental, and community development projects in Oaxaca, Mexico. 

Their current projects focus on micro-financing, addressing domestic violence, and environmental sustainability, while championing self-sufficiency and equity. Their services have reached over 100 communities, positively impacting the lives of thousands of vulnerable and financially disadvantaged families.

We build the Common Good together, to be happy!

• IDEAS Team •


The School for the Common Good: IDEAS works to promote positive principles and values for the common good by engaging young people and adults in community meetings and sessions. The meetings focus on self-development, nutrition, improving community communication, social advancement, and many other topics relevant to their participants. When the series of meetings conclude, the participants will lead one or more community initiatives to bring awareness to the common good. Some previous examples have included activities focused on addressing gender, interculturalism, and intergenerational barriers.

Women, Gender & Audiovisual Narratives: Through this program, IDEAS offers workshops and sessions where women from different generations share experiences about identity, self-esteem challenges, and human rights. The purpose of the narratives is to 1) build equal relationships between men and women, 2) promote the exercise and usage of women’s rights, 3) raise awareness and prevent gender violence. The activities include art workshops with drawing, painting, and photography, as well as forums for conversations on storytelling, photography, and the importance of gender. The art pieces produced in the workshops are displayed in audiovisual exhibitions to raise awareness of gender topics. Since the program’s inception, over 300 women and 160 men have participated in the activities.

Community Governance: Through this project, IDEAS offers workshops for civil society organizations representing marginalized communities to learn skills to exercise their civil and political rights while participating in the design, implementation, monitoring, and social audit of public policies and institutional practices. As a result of IDEAS’ efforts, underserved communities are able to demand transparency and accountability from policymakers which leads to good governance and policies that reflect the intercultural, gender, and intergenerational perspectives of the community. From 2016-2018, IDEAS brought improved community governance practices to ten communities and five civil organizations. 

Community Communication: IDEAS offers resources and opportunities to young people so that they are able to create communications materials centered on equity, gender, food sovereignty, and other issues of interest to them. IDEAS’ services include software training, photograph and image workshops, and sessions that reflect on challenges related to equity and autonomy. The participants are given the artistic space to create their communication materials and are able to publish informational materials on dissemination platforms including on IDEAS’ Radio en Bola show.

Healthy Food and Learning Collective: The purpose of this program is to promote learning and provide spaces for food production in urban and rural communities. The IDEAS team conducts workshops that allow community members to come together to exchange knowledge about food preservatives, fermentation, vegetable cultivation, compost, fertilizers, pesticide reduction, etc. Through these sessions, IDEAS aims to cultivate stronger relationships and more collaboration amongst their community members that will lead to more effective and sustainable agricultural practices.


GoPhil was thrilled to partner with IDEAS in 2023 to provide their organization with a pilot grant to support their Healthy Food and Learning Collective. In addition, we provided them with a capacity development grant that will ensure their team has the resources to address skills gaps in their organization. 


IDEAS is a true example of community-led development. Despite operating on a relatively small budget, IDEAS is able to make significant changes in its target communities through projects that address a wide array of societal inequities. All of their initiatives are designed to give people from multiple generations the chance to raise their voices and participate in all stages of project implementation, so that the end deliverables and objectives of the projects are never IDEAS’ team members’ concepts alone, but are representative of the entire community.



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