Arruda is an economist and veteran popular educator, who has worked closely with Brazilian labour, co-operatives and solidarity economy movements for many years. Arruda has served as an advisor to local governments and as visiting professor in universities in Brazil and abroad. He is a facilitator for the Gaia Education Program and is active in the Ecovillage and the Transition Towns movements. He is also active in the Jubilee South Network, working on issues related to the debt crisis and alternatives, economy and ecology, public budget management and socio-economic development planning.
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