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GA2018: more inter-cooperation and convergence!

In a lively Zagreb filled with people enjoying the world cup festive atmosphere, RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe celebrated its 7th General Assembly meeting with members from all over the continent, from Spain to Russia. The first day – Friday 15th of June – was dedicated to the “Good Economy Conference” sessions, in the beautiful setting of the Kino Tuskana theater, with a small yet rich and colourful local producer fair and many sessions dedicated to sharing experiences from Croatia, the Balkan region and the rest of Europe.

The dinner party in Zmag’s Recycled Estate Farm – 30 km out of Zagreb – was the most welcoming, convivial and social networking evening there could be, where new members got to know the rest of the RIPESS crowd as well as the great Zmag team.  Pizza and local craft beer, as well as reggae music, helped create a true multicultural atmosphere.

One of the oldest schools in Zagreb, in the old part of town, was the setting for the actual Genera Assembly for an intense day and a half of strategy discussions (on convergence with other alter-economic movements, public policies and SSE, education, peer training and cultural change), elections for the renewal of the coordination committee and admission of new members.  Three new members joined the network: Bio Fair coop from the Czech Republic, Fair Trade Poland and Good Earth cooperative from Macedonia.

One of the main issues discussed was the promotion of the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies, a three year process of alliances and convergence with two main events planned to take place in Barcelona in Spring 2019 and 2020.  More to come about it…

The last day was dedicated to foster the inter-cooperation among members, sharing ideas, projects and areas of work where new exchanges and common actions can be discussed and help advance SSE concretely all over Europe as well as at the international level, connecting with the other continental networks of RIPESS.

Last but not least, lunch and dinner were assured by the excellent food prepared by two catering cooperatives, Taste of Home (whose main worker-members are refugees and asylum seekers) and Avocado, with the participation of local “Food not bombs” food recyclers…

From Portugal to Russia, SSE is the “Good economy”

The RIPESS Europe General Assembly took place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of June in Zagreb, Croatia. It was preceded by the event organised by the “Green Network of Activists Groups” and the “Good Economy” platform: “Konferencija o dobroj ekonomiji”

The “Good economy” conference is an annual event (5th edition) offering an opportunity for exchanges and information to the actors of social transformation who implement initiatives on a daily basis to make territories live in harmony with their natural environment and their populations. The programme was rich and has been an excellent “warm-up” for the General Assembly (see program here).

In May, RIPESS Europe was mandated by the British Council to draft a series of recommendations to better promote the Culture of social solidarity economy in Greece. In addition, the Erasmus IVET project devoted to the introduction of SSE training into initial vocational or professional training courses has come to an end and the final report will be available following its official presentation at the last transnational meeting planned in Porto (Portugal) on July 13th. These various requests attest to the need to link SSE organisations in Europe, all the more urgent as institutional solidarities are crumbling under the effect of the hardening of governance methods by both private enterprises and public authorities.

Socioeco.org has been working for several months on many maps, including two that link the Sustainable Development Goals and SSE. The site will soon publish the contributions issued during the last conference of the Réseau Interuniversitaire de l’ESS (RIUESS) which was held in Rennes in May (in French, see here). “To associate, to self-manage, to emancipate”, the theme of the conference is a useful form of incentive in the face of the consequences of the hardening political times mentioned above.

In the meantime, the work of convergence and alliances with major networks continues: in Brussels with the fair trade (WFTO and the FTAO), in Florence with the REVES, the European network of Regions and cities for the ESS.

To conclude, it should be stressed that interactions between RIPESS Europe and its members are intensifying and the countries of Eastern Europe are now better represented. The region of Northern Europe is also very active:  in April the NESEM (North Europe Solidarity Economy Meeting) took place in Helsinki, a promising meeting for the creation of a “Nordic” SSE platform, which will include Scandinavia, Baltic countries and… Russia!

By strengthening each other, we give each other strength!

Good economy conference hosting the RIPESS Europe General Assembly
Good Economy Conference

On the 15th of June 2018, the 5th Good Economy Conference will take place, followed by the 7th General Assembly of RIPESS Europe (April 16-17). Organized by the Green Network of Activists Groups and the Platform for Good Economy, these two meetings are taking place in Zagreb, Croatia.  You’re all invited to participate!

The Good Economy Conference became in the past years a unique place in Croatia and the Balkan region, gathering activists and people that create and live different forms of alternative economy:  there are practitioners building “good economy” models, capable of supporting and strengthening our local communities and societies. The conference represents the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge, to cooperate on new paths, projects and common initiatives. Now in its fifth year, advocating for good and solidarity economy is going even further, with the RIPESS – Solidarity Economy Europe Network’s General Assembly taking place in Zagreb right after the Conference, will create a space for more cooperation between regional good economy activists and solidarity economy initiatives from all over Europe.

Once again, we are focusing on real stories and models that are already here, around us! A world of “collaborative economy” practices, with concepts of “open factory” owned by its employees, ecological and social enterprises, hotels run by immigrants and former refugees, cities organised on participatory governance, movements for collective ownership and a fairer work sector dealing at the same time between the cooperatives rich tradition and the new technologies of the 21st century.

[by Drazen Simlesa (Zmag / Good Economy Platform) and Jason Nardi (RIPESS Europe)]

General Assembly of RIPESS Europe 2017 (summary)

RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe’s General Assembly took place in the context of the UniverSSE Congress, in the premises of the agricultural University in Athens, on Friday June 9, 2017 and according to the usual operation of the European network, when the AG takes place in the framework of a Congress, it was a shorter meeting. Read more

The Solidarity Economy Sun at the center of the UniverSSE

More than 1000 people (650 officially registered and many others as observers) attended the UNIVERSSE 2017 – 4th European Social Solidarity Economy congress in Athens (9-11 June 2017), during 3 days of intense debate and experience sharing.  Participants from all over Europe and beyond had the opportunity to meet and network together and make plans to collaborate on several common issues.

One of the most important results of this event has been the agreement for the creation of the Pan-Hellenic Solidarity Economy network.  Another result was the self-management and independent financing of the Congress and the success of the crowdfunding campaign, which provided the possibility to fund the participation of people representing many different solidarity economy initiatives from various countries. Read more

UniverSSE 2017: an inter-galactic program!
June 5, 2017
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Solidarity Economy is live and thriving, if what you can see through the telescope of the 4th European Congress on SSE is just a small part of what is moving in Europe and around the world.  Here is the program of the Congress, with a multitude of meetings, networking events, workshops and round tables that show the richness of the initiatives and organisations behind it. And since the technologies are there, the UNIVERSSE also has an Application for telephones and tablets:

Be part of the Universse 2017: Call for Ideas for the 4th European SSE Congress in Athens
UNIVERSSE2017

Be part of the Universse 2017

Democratising Economy, Emancipating Society, Empowering Change

The 4th European Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) Congress will take place in Athens on the 9/10/11th of June. Cooperatives, grassroots initiatives, SSE organisations, groups and people that work to promote and advance SSE from all over Europe will meet for the event.

During the 3day Congress, we are going to have the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas, experiences, expertise and common strategies around SSE. We consider SSE to be a dynamic space that spreads all over Europe, in which people organise their social and economic activity in many different ways.

This event is a great opportunity to enhance SSE’s visibility in Greece and to build strong connections amongst people, groups and coops on a European level.

We are also happy to announce that the 6th General Assembly of RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe will be held in Athens as well, as part of the Congress.

Call for ideas

While the organisation team works for the success of this congress, we are looking forward to receiving your ideas regarding the following themes that wprioritiseze to discuss during the 3day Congress.

The procedure will be the following:

Every group, network or individual that is interested in participating on the process of formulating the program, could send ideas according to the following axes, until 05/03/2017 through our email: call@universse2017.org

Proposed axes:

1) Concepts, forms and fields of social solidarity economy and cooperativism

2) Responsible consumption, production and climate change

3) Practices of SSE on social integration with a special focus on refugees issues

4) Social innovation: Research, technology, education and tools for SSE

5) Commons: Approaches and practices on digital, natural, urban, cultural common goods

6) Public policies (on local, national, European level) promoting SSE : From whom, for who, what for.

7) Open space / Free zone

We invite ideas indicating the thematic area you refer to and the format of the meeting you propose (workshop, panel discussion, etc.). After the deadline (05/03/2017), the organizational team will assess all proposals and arrange them in clusters. Within these clusters we will make an effort to include as many ideas sent as possible.

The main intention is to organize the Congress along with the main axes (plus the free zone area) in order to enable a common vision while allowing for the exchange of different perspectives and experiences.

Check for updates and contact us

Organizational Team contact: call@universse2017.org – www.universse2017.org

Ripess EU contact: info@ripess.eu – www.ripess.eu

4th European Solidarity Economy Congress in Athens, 9-11 June 2017
December 18, 2016
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Athens 2017

SAVE THE DATE!  The next European SSE Congress (and RIPESS General Assembly) will take place in Athens, Greece on the 9-10-11th of June 2017, as decided in the last General Assembly in Villarceaux, Paris. The local organising committee is coordinated by DOCK – Social and solidarity economy zone.

DOCK is the Greek initiative that emerged from Solidarity for All as a new, independent organisation dedicated to the promotion of SSE in Greece, contribute to the networking while they build a supporting infrastructure for existing and potential SSE initiatives.
An organisational team has been already formed and has start to work in all aspects of the Congress. The general framework will be arround the role of SSE in re-inventing democracy and building networked alternatives. Some of the thematics zones that are already proposed are SSE and refugees, SSE and commons, public policies, SSE and cooperativism movement, social impact, peer learning.
In the coming months, a process of co-construction of the event programme will be activated to which all groups, networks and organizations practising forms of social economy and solidarity are invited. We strongly invite you to contribute to the formulation of the contents of the Congress by telling us what you would like to share from your work and initiatives. Furthermore we would like you to propose what themes or in which areas of SSE you would prefer to exchange and learn from the experiences of others.

For more information: info@ripess.eu

GA2016: Jean-Louis Laville’s speech (summary)
J-L_Laville_ag2016

Since 2002, Jean-Louis Laville co-directs the «dictionary of the other economy», in South America and Europe, and recently he as worked on a book titled “The Left of the 21st century”.

Why has neo-liberalism been able to impose itself so easily?

Laville formulates the following hypothesis: If neoliberalism could impose itself with such force, it is because the power to change of the left are out of breath and there is a tiredness of progressive thinking. Can the SSE can play a role in a different way to find the responses? The importance of economic determinism makes it difficult to think about economic and political mediation. Read more

A General Assembly under the sign of openness and conviviality

La Bergerie de Villarceaux, lovely eco-centre and organic farm outside Paris, was the convivial setting for RIPESS Europe’s 5th General Assembly, which took place from 20 to 22 June 2016, thanks to the hospitality of the Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH). Several new members and observers participated.

During an opening session, Claudia Neubauer presented the FPH and its positioning with respect to the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE). Jean Louis Laville gave a indepth perspective of the potential role of the SSE to respond against the growing ecological and social economic violations by the globalized neo-liberal system. Stressing the need to establish effective cooperation with public institutions, Laville stated that the SSE should works in the direction of a just transition by encouraging new forms of collaboration between the SSE and the public policy actors. After the meal prepared by the Bergerie’s restaurant team with their locally produced food, the evening was devoted to the presentation of the activities and motivations of participants wishing to become new RIPESS Europe members. Read more

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