by Elena Tzamouranou, DOCK (Greece)
Several members of Ripess Europe participated in the 10th edition of the ILO Academy on SSE that was held in Turin, Italy, from the 3rd to the 7th June 2019. We expanded our knowledge on frameworks and discussed SSE and the Future of Work along with over 100 people from all around the world responsible for the promotion of SSE, including policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.
Some insight on the issues addressed
The very well organized and diverse program included discussions about policies in different countries and contexts, challenges and opportunities, study visits, but also how the social and solidarity economy relates to social and environmental issues, such as the care, informal, green, rural economy and gender equality.
The main three key topics addressed and linked to social solidarity economy were:
- Future of work
- Human-in-command approach to technology
- Social inclusion of vulnerable groups
What we’ve learned
Admitting each session and discussion included useful information and conclusions, we’ve chosen to focus on some points that we consider to be fundamental:
- As emerged from several cases two pre-conditions have to be met in order for SSE to be visible and develop on a national level: related legislation and supporting financial instruments
- SSE development on a national level is significant but not sufficient enough. It also requires the involvement of local authorities, as many cities experience a transition in their social and economic landscape. Examples of the different local realities are the cities of: Milan (Italy), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Guro (Seoul), and Kef (Tunisia)
The issue on defining SSE remains up-to-date and is always a subject
of creative debate! Following four possibilities on defining SSE
were pointed out from Marcelo Vieta:
- Accommodates to the capitalist system; fills in gaps due to dwindling state and growing inequalities (neoliberal view)
- Reforms or mitigates capitalist system (social-democratic view)
- Rethinks and re-configures socio-economic life (revolutionary view)
- Already existing community activities and assets, growing the SSE as a plurality of the economy in ”diverse economies” (see: Elgue,2015; J.K. Gibson-Graham, 2005; Miller, 2010; EURICSE; EMES; CIRIEC, etc.)
To read our view on Convergences and Differences in Concepts, Definitions and Frameworks, please visit: http://www.ripess.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/RIPESS_Vision-Global_EN.pdf
- The importance of education and training in SSE and SSE-related subjects was pointed out as a need by the majority of the participants in different occasions during the 10th ILO Academy.
- Another point is if the private sector could play a positive role in transforming the socio-economic model. Some examples in collaborating across the boundaries of private and non-private sector were presented. Could such examples form sustainable models or how imperative are such collaborations remains open to discuss in future.
SSE doesn’t guarantee that everything will be right (Jean Fabre)! Indeed, as we pointed out during the ILO Academy in numerous occasions, working in a different way, having co-ownership and self-management is a imperative, but this alone doesn’t change the socio-economic paradigm. We need to shift the focus from the enterprise to the community and think in a completely different way (as Jason Nardi pointed out).
How does a successful initiative or cooperative look like? Do we define success by the numbers of members? Do we define success by the profit generated the previous year? Sustainability is not only on being profitable today, but it’s on being sustain on economic, social and environmental terms. We need to redefine success. Success can and should be defined by the social change, the social outcomes and social impact accomplished through the economic activity.
Moreover we need to concentrate on communities: on the needs of the territory, on how to transform our economies on each different context and not to take a blueprint that comes from an unspecified model of the market. Only then can we really change the paradigm from a growth market oriented paradigm to a community well being and that is the real transformation we are looking forward.
The ILO academy was organized by the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO). Partners: Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprise (EURICSE), International Centre of Research on Social and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC), and Fondazione Italia Sociale.
To access the materials of the 10th edition of the ILO Academy on SSE please visit: http://ssecollectivebrain.net/2019/06/07/materials-of-the-10th-ilo-academy-on-sse-turin-presentations-videos-photos-publications-etc/