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Portugal: First European Summer School on Solidarity Economy
CES Summer school
4 – 8 September 2017, Lisbon (Picoas Plaza, Rua Viriato – 13, Lojas 117/118)

Is it possible to foster a common agenda for Solidarity Economy in Europe?

The concept of Solidarity Economy is consolidated in many countries, especially in Latin America, as describing a field of citizen-led social transformation and political action. In many parts of the world, experiences have been strengthened by associated work, by the collective ownership of productive assets, by shared management and by solidarity – understood here as reciprocity in the distribution of goods and opportunities.

In spite of this context, the term Solidarity Economy still constitutes a recent designation and is little used in Portugal and in several countries of Europe. In a generic sense, it can be said that it refers to the set of collective economic arrangements of production, consumption, trading, and credit, in rural or urban areas, as well as social reproduction and well-being managed by the citizens themselves and inspired by the principles of self-management, solidarity, and cooperation.

Understood in a reductive way by some writers as an economy of social insertion – linked, therefore, to the situation of structural unemployment and crisis contexts – Solidarity Economy is often presented alongside the Social Economy. The latter is a term that usually means the universe of cooperatives, associations and mutual societies and other terms such as third sector, social enterprise and social entrepreneurship. The Solidarity Economy concept is attentive to the non-institutionalized forms of cooperation among citizens, who seek to collectively organize space and economy for the strengthening of their rights and emancipation. Within the framework of the Solidarity Economy, these experiences of associated work and of reciprocal help allow gathering in an equitable and non-hierarchical way diverse knowledge – urban, popular, peasant. Initiatives that seek a direct relationship between producers and consumers, which stimulate the exchange of goods and knowledge, which strengthen the relationship between neighbors and which are based on proposals for critical consumption and solidarity are multiplying. These community experiences exist in several European countries with the same names or with different denominations, showing that there are common points between the experiences of Solidarity Economy in Europe.

In this Summer School, it is intended to explore precisely the common points and the differences between what has been happening in Southern Europe and other countries of the European continent, in order to highlight the multiplicity and diversity of silenced economic experiences, namely those that are carried out by groups of citizens. It also seeks to reflect on the possibility of building a more intense and permanent dialogue agenda among researchers and activists from different countries, in order to build a greater visibility for the Solidarity Economy.

This Summer School takes place as one of the 1st events of the international platform SERESI (Solidarity Economy, Reciprocity and Social Innovation).

It is promoted by: ECOSOL-CES, ICSTE-IUL, Fondation Maison Science de L’Homme, ACEESA, RedPES and RIPESS Europe

More info, programme and registration

Italy: International Deep Dive of Mapping Initiative
January 24, 2017
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March 10-15 2017 in Florence, Italy

This Deep Dive will enable p to make participants in-depth analysis and tackle the existing challenges to developing a common, distributed, semantic mapping process among different mapping initiatives. Initiatives who share a commitment to making visible diverse human economies and challenge dominant ways of thinking about society and economy.

Mapping practitioners from initiatives such as Transformap, GreenMaps, ESSGlobal (Ripess) and others identified this need at an informal meeting during the World Social Forum (WSF) 2016 in Montreal. The goal is to exchange and articulate a common framework for shared data beyond our own maps and processes. This framework will be tested by applying it in a concrete region with assistance from local activists – namely the region around Florence. This will show the potential for how mapping alternatives can expand from the local to the global level.

Mapping supports the strategic development of Commons, SSE (Social Solidarity Economy) initiatives and other alternatives. Community mapping is becoming part of engaged planning processes, school programs and leadership development projects.

Mapping generates action as it guides the way we explore, experience and interpret the world. Mapping is universally understood and contributes in a very palpable way to developing a new “world-view”. Maps change perceptions and support the discovery and creation of links between initiatives, increasing opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

This mapping lab is part of the Panorama of SSE in Europe and is co-promoted by RIPESS EU.

More information and program here

 

Participate in the NESI Forum (April 19-22 2017)!
December 22, 2016
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RIPESS Europe’s convergence strategy priority will continue next year with the NESI Forum, the global Forum on New Economy and Social Innovation (NESI), which will take place in Málaga, Spain, April 19-22, 2017, where some of the main economic movements proposing a real alternative to the current economic system come together in one place with the aim of co-creating a common narrative towards a New Economy focused on people that will serve as a roadmap for governments and companies. For RIPESS members and sympathizers, there is a -20% exclusive discount coupon: #ripess+ (go here to register).

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Solidarity economy and the Commons: a close relationship… to be built
ECA European parliament nov16

Between November 15 to 17 – 2016, an important meeting took place inside and outside of the European Parliament in Brussels, that gathered more than 150 people, practitioners and researchers of commons and the affirmation of a new economic and political culture. Please find here a report by Sunna Kovannen and myself, Ruby van der Wekken, of the Finnish Solidarity economy network on the starting up European Commons Assembly (ECA) process: https://commons.fi/2016/11/28/european-commons-assembly/

As you can read in the report, one of the things discussed by participants of the ECA (and several RIPESS members were also involved) is the issue of bringing closer the moblisations around Solidarity economy and the Commons, out of the recognition that the development of solidarity economy, including the increased linking together of actors out of which also new practices are born, is a furthering of our commons and commoning, and in fact that what gives our commons and commoning its solidarity, ethical base.

One of the thematical/policy areas defined to also work under in the future in the ECA process, is then exactly about the links between solidarity economy and the commons, and thus the need for enabling policies in both these areas.

The ECA process is yet to be setting its milestones for the upcoming years, there are currently different proposals on the table. One possibility would be to further develop the idea of holding an ECA also at the Solidarity Economy European congress in Athens in June, promoting the collaboration and envisioning between the strands.

Is that something we are interested in to be advocating and facilitating?

Does your network / organisation have experience with initiatives on the Commons?

We would like to create a working group within RIPESS to discuss and develop ways to connect Solidarity Economy to Commons on both the grassroots and policy levels.

Would you be interested in joining?

Ruby van der Wekken (Commons.fi – Finland)

Toulouse: the 16th SSE Regional Forum in Occitania (FRESS) between territories in transition
December 14, 2016
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A nice atmosphere and lots of enthusiasm was in the air on the 18th and 19th of November for the 16th Regional Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy in Occitania (FRESS) which took place in Toulouse, France. Promoted by by ADEPES, the Mouvement for Solidarity Economy in Occitania, and co-organised by nearly 30 SSE actors and accompanied by more than 20 volunteers, the Fress 2016 gathered:

600 visiters both professionals and general public

55 Exhibitors reflecting the diversity and complementarity of SSE actors

35 institutional, private, associative actors, coming from all Occitania and beyond

120 participants in 8 workshops

16 seminars, conférences, tables rondes …

Including 2 large citizen and participatory animations: The FlashLab fleet-boost citizen with project carriers and Fabrik – young people imagine and decide now the world of tomorrow

The issues of citizenship, territories and transition were at the heart of the Forum’s meetings and debates, whose thread was “the economy, my territory and me.” Rich in meetings, cooperation and innovations, this FRESS offered to participants “unforgettable moments, an immeasurable human wealth” as Claudine Farhan of the associationPasserelles et Compétences said. Happy to have offered such moments to the ESS actors of Occitania, ADEPES is already launched to prepare a FRESS 2017 even more impacting.

Careful to encouraging real and lively citizenship, ADEPES will make these exchanges live throughout the year, notably by committing to Alternatiba 2017.  Already, the team is boiling, the Flashlab and the Fabrik have given us the idea of creating an innovative participatory process, starting from a solidarity living lab.

[By Bérénice Dondeyne, ADEPES]

Some pictures from the even:

Les porteurs de projet du Flashlab- FRESS 2016


La Fabrik du FRESS 2016

 

EMPATHEAST: rethinking social good and co-creating alternatives in Eastern Europe
December 12, 2016
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Empatheast 2016 circle

Jason Nardi at Empatheast 2016The forum for empathy-driven social change in Eastern Europe: EMPATHEAST is an annual event organized by Ideas Factory (Sofia, Bulgaria). The third edition took place between Nov. 11-13th in the town of Vratsa, Bulgaria – the poorest region of the EU. The forum`s aim was to break the stereotype about ever depopulating region by creating space for co-creation of alternatives – in economy, culture and citizen`s led innovations.

It gathered around 200 guests from Europe, Bulgaria and local people in search of innovative answers to burning societal challenges. This year’s topic “This>connect:rethinking social good in times of radicalization” searched for answers across disciplines and sectors and managed to support 5 innovative ideas changing the city.

The next edition will be in November 2017 again in Bulgaria.

More information here: www.empatheast.net

Annual colloquium of the SSE Inter University Network (RIUESS) in Marrakech from 22 to 24 May 2017
December 9, 2016
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Universite Cadi Ayyad - Marrakesh

The Université Cadi Ayyad in Marrakech and the University of Haute-Alsace are organizing the annual Colloquium of the Inter University Network of Social and Solidarity Economics (RIUESS) in Marrakech in conjunction with the Euro-Mediterranean Network sustainable development and social link (2DLiS), the Moroccan network of Social and Solidarity Economy (REMESS) in Marrakech (Morocco) from the 22nd to the 24th of May 2017.

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7th ILO SSE Academy: presentations, materials, photos and videos

21The 7th ILO Social and Solidarity Economy Academy took place in San José, Costa Rica, from the 21st to the 25th of November 2016. You can access its presentations, materials, photos and videos through the following channels:

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The 2nd REAS Congress in Bilbao, November 10-12, 2016
November 14, 2016
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Bilbao Congreso REAS 2016 - Economia feminista

The REAS Spanish solidarity economy network congress takes place every two years. This year it was held in Bilbao, capital of the Spanish Basque country. The theme was “Transformar los territorios desde la Economía Solidaria”: Transforming territories through solidarity economy. It was attended by about 400 people from all over Spain.

The Spanish Basque country is possibly the most advanced region I know in terms of the duality of solidarity economy and food sovereignty. It is indeed one of the original birthplaces of food sovereignty, as Ehne Biskaya was one of the founding members of the food sovereignty movement in the late 1990s. So the fact that transition and food sovereignty was one of the main strands of the congress was no surprise.

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Barcelona: the plural economy that transforms our towns
Barcelona mercado social

During the days of 20 and 21 October 2016, Barcelona hosted the second Trobada Internacional de Municipalisme i Economia Solidària, organised by the Commissioner of Social Solidarity and Cooperative Economy of the Barcelona City Council. The title of the encounter was “Cities for a plural and transformative economy”, focusing on the role that municipalities and, more generally local governments, have and may have in the context of the promotion of the solidarity economy.

International guests, representatives of local authorities and actors of organised civil society (cooperatives, collectives of local action, networks of solidarity economy, etc.) participated in the event, which was intended to be a space for sharing, cooperation and the exchange of knowledge and experience in the field of solidarity economy and local government, with the main objective of working on a model of socio-economic development based on participation, horizontality, respect for work, social cohesion and environmental sustainability, in contrast to the forms that prevail today in exploitation and exclusion.

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