Ideas. Cities. Social Innovation.

“Our fundamental guiding principle is to use culture as a tool for education and transformation, to improve people’s lives, and we’re in a position to fulfill that mission, thank God,” Mr. Miranda said. “Over the last decade our budget has been doubling every six years or so. It’s incredible, no?”

SESC owes its enviable position largely to a financing model that its leaders believe is unique in the world. A private, nonprofit entity whose role is enshrined in the national Constitution, the organization derives its budget from a 1.5 percent payroll tax imposed on and collected by Brazilian companies, so as the workforce in this nation of nearly 200 million people expands, so does the organization’s budget.

Kudos to the citizens for pushing back on the evictions:

Meanwhile, residents in some of the favelas, or slums, who face eviction are pulling together and standing their ground, in stark contrast to the preparations for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where authorities easily removed hundreds of thousands of families from the city for the Games.

Favela residents are using handheld video cameras and social media to get their messages across. And they are sometimes getting a helping hand from Brazil’s vibrant and crusading news media, arguably the envy of other Latin American countries.