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Communities that transform the economy
May 22, 2018
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Article from Comune-info: Comunità che trasformano l’economia, Monica di Sisto and Ricardo Troisi, 16 May 2018

A great tapestry that intertwins a great deal of research on the territories (and the development that follows) with the testimony of a hundred experiences of the know-how that aspire to weave the novel drawing of a society and an economy capable of transforming the current order of things. By looking them next to each other, all these large posters marked with felt, result of many hours of open discussions, fruitful and dense, demonstrate the idea of ​​a possible alternative, result of a rigorous and in-depth work . This is what came out, and much more, of the two days of the event Stories of the Possible (Storie del Possibile) that took place at the Ex-Lavanderia of Santa Maria della Pietà, in Rome and whose drafting, considerably “enlarged”, was carried out by Comune-info. The opposite of a cold workshop that would build solemn and fragile alliances rooted in a final document. A temporary community, but potentially capable of spreading to many others, which has shown in a dynamic and user-friendly way its power to act and choose without the need to define or create a hierarchy or representatives. A community that is formed day after day, is self-governing but that is not delimited by exclusion, the limits of a group or a space. It was a pleasant spring weekend, needless to say, the systemic changes that you aspire to build with a craft patience in everyday life, but it seems to us that there was great need for this great tapestry.

Read the rest of the article on https://comune-info.net/2018/05/le-comunita-trasformano-leconomia

Find all the information and tools on the section of the site reserved for it: https://comune-info.net/2018/02/storie-del-possibile-storie-del-possibile

FundAction: grant making for and by change makers!
April 19, 2018
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160 activists from all over Europe are the members of FundAction, a new participatory fund making grants for social transformation, organized around a community of activists based in Europe to support social movements working towards a transition to a just and equitable world.

About a third of them met near Paris at the beginning of April 2018 for the second assembly of this innovative way of financing.  Members of RIPESS Europe participated in the meeting, contributing to the development of the fund.

Normally philanthropic money sits in an institution where staff and board members decide where to spend it. Participatory grantmaking seeks to involve those directly affected by the issues – the people that the money intends to help – in decision-making about where that money goes.

The goal of FundAction is to shift power to make decisions about funding from foundations to those closer to the issue, strengthen collaboration and mutual support among European activists and build the capacity of activists and the social movements they work with.

FundAction is built in a democratic and participatory way. FundAction was born out of conversations between activists and funders at several occasions.At the EDGE Funders Alliance European Retreat in 2016, four foundations (Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, Guerrilla Foundation, Open Society Initiative for Europe) decided to pool funding. In a series of meetings, they outlined the intention and values. Since May 2017, a smaller Facilitation Group has been putting this idea into action.

Three kind of grants are being proposed: Renew, Rethink, Resist.

More info at: https://www.fundaction.eu

IPES FOOD and RIPESS signed Letter of Agreement

By Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci

IPES FOOD (International Panel of Food Experts on Sustainable Food Systems) has been working for some time to establish a European Common Food Policy; There has been a complex methodology, that involves various members of different European Directorate General (Health, Environment, Agriculture…) and a wide process. This process initially consisted of Food Policy Labs on specific subjects and in various locations. Urgenci participated in two Food Policy Labs, including as a contributor in the one on social inclusion.

The next step fo the process was to collectively develop a ‘Sustainable Food Scoreboard’ document. Forr this stage RIPESS was included with a view to high-lighting the alternative that solidarity economy can provide to the economic sector, and distinguish solidarity economy from the ‘private sector’ involved in mainstream agribusiness.

Dražen Šimleša and Gaelle Bigler thus represented RIPESS, alongside Judith Hitchman from Urgenci. Various aspects of a Scoreboard were co-contructed by sixth teams, with Dražen and Judith actively participating in team 5 “Building sustainable farm livelihoods and functional supply chains” and Gaelle in team 3 “Harnessing the potential of urban food policies, city-region planning and alternative food systems”.

The final document will be publicly presented and debated in Brussels on 29-30 May 2018, at  a major event called the EU Food and Farming Forum (EU3F). The main goal will be to carry forward “policy proposals addressed to the EU for a comprehensive ‘Common Food Policy’”.

IPES FOOD and RIPESS signed Letter of Agreement as partners in this process, where RIPESS and Urgenci jointly made sure that the practice of SSE and its values are well embedded in the Scoreboard document. ‌

Registrations for GSEF 2018 open!

It is with great enthusiasm that Bilbao City Council announces that the registration for GSEF2018 is open. The Forum is meant to be a dynamic and participatory gathering, constructed in collaboration with local and International partners. It will be a unique opportunity to share visions and experiences through cross-border collaboration and cooperation. The Forum’s central theme is: Social Economy and Cities: Values and competitiveness for inclusive and sustainable local development.

We look forward to your participation, as this is your chance to contribute to this 4th edition of the Global Social Economy Forum, bringing together regional and local governments, Social Economy agents, civil society, universities and social organizations.

You can register here https://www.gsef2018.org/registration/

Farewell professor Paul Singer, promoter of Solidarity Economy
Foto: Agência Brasil
Professor Paul Singer, Austrian economist and tireless promotor of the Solidarity economy in Brazil, died at age 86.  He published several books on the subject and is a reference for studies on local development. His performance in Brazil and his intellectual production yielded him the honored Grand Order of Merit of the Republic of Austria, received in 2009..
From Austria Paul Singer arrived in Brazil in 1940, at the age of eight. At age 20, he worked as an electrotechnician, was affiliated to the Metalworkers Union of São Paulo and had active participation in the 300,000 strike that paralyzed the city in 1953. He graduated in Economics from the University of São Paulo (USP) , he received his doctorate in Sociology, he became a free teacher in Demography and a professor in Economics at the same university. He was one of the founders of Cebrap (which brought together intellectuals against the military dictatorship), of the PT in 1980 and of the Technological Incubator of Popular Cooperatives in USP.

From 2003 to 2016, he was National Secretary of Solidarity Economy, where he worked in close collaboration with the FBES (Foro Brasileiro de Economia Solidaria) and where he defended, among others, the creation of community banks as an instrument for the eradication of poverty.

In the month that Paul Singer completed 86 years, the book “Ensaios sobre Economia Solidária” organized by Rui Namorado of Editora Almeidina was launched in Portugal. The book integrates a theoretical perspective of solidarity economy, which values ​​its historical depth, with its anchorage in Brazilian reality. It is divided into two parts, each of which comprises eight texts. The first is predominantly constituted by essays in which Singer shows how he conceives solidarity economy theoretically, valuing it as a struggle against the exclusion of the exploited and as a possible emancipatory opportunity, towards a future that consubstantizes full humanism. The second one leads us through experiences of the solidarity economy in Brazil, in interaction with the political position of Singer, as a member of the federal government, taking as a backdrop his fraternal closeness with the organizations involved.

See his site for this book, documents, interviews, articles and videos: (in Portuguese): http://paulsinger.com.br/

See socioeco.org documents, interviews and videos in Spanish, Portuguese, English, German and French: http://www.socioeco.org/bdf_auteur-71_fr.html, among others:

2d European meeting “Independant Media and SSE”
February 27, 2018
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2nd European Alternative Media meeting

During the 1st meeting at the UniverSSE Congress in June 2017 in Athens, promoted by RIPESS Europe, a second European meeting of “Independent, Alternative and Cooperative Media and SSE” was proposed.  It took place in February 2018, in Villarceaux (near Paris), with several independent media (print and electronic) from more than 10 European countries – (see list here). The intention of this meeting was to reflect on how to bring together in a network – informal at the moment – media that share a common vision on sharing information and in particular the central question of the independence from the major economic and political powers, an alternative view of the economy and a democratic and cooperative way of working.

The session of mutual acquaintance between the participants showed a number of similarities. or differences, in seniority for example: half of the media present have been in existence for less than five years; content: some produce only paper content, others video, some publish in several languages, others in one, under “creative commons” or not, etc.

The work progressed according to the following order: a first series of workshops whose themes covered a broad spectrum of common concerns encompassing the forms of cooperation envisaged, common tools, commercial models,  potential obstacles to cooperation, in particular the need to better manage time constraints, content that can flow from one medium to another, the language barrier, etc.

Read more

REAS new web portal of Solidarity Economy
February 5, 2018
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The REAS – Red de Redes de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria has a renewed web portal on Solidarity Economy, in a veta release. You can visit it at the usual address economiasolidaria.org.

The Portal has been realised thanks to a crowdfunding  campaign (with Goteo.org) and has many new sections and contents.

“Europe and SSE – the time has come!” (January 12, 2018) in Lille

With nearly 170 participants and high density debates, the conference “Europe and SSE, the time has come!” organised by RTES and REVES was a success and a strong impulse to follow up the committed work.

A dense morning allowed to draw the landscape of the question of social and solidarity economy at a European level. The presentation of a mapping to highlight the different SSE approaches in the Union countries, the presentation of a report from the experts group with the European Commission, the testimonies of the local authorities committed in social and solidarity economy projects with a European dimension or financing, the presentation of the position of RIPESS Europe on the co-construction of public policies (see here) and finally the strong words of experts on these questions and of the Commission representative, Ulla Engelmann and of European MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, allowed to tackle the issues around this thematic.

The complete article is available in French here.

Enercoop wins the Enterprises and environment Award
January 8, 2018
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This year, Enercoop participated to the Enterprises and Environment Awards, a national contest organized by the Ecological and solidarity-based Transition Ministry and ADEME that honours the exemplary actions and projects driven by enterprises in the field of environment. We are happy to announce that the energy cooperative 100 % renewable won the first prize in the category Struggle against Climate Change!

Fiare Banca Etica and REAS Red de Redes sign a collaboration agreement
December 20, 2017
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The entity FIARE and the REAS signed a collaboration agreement during an act integrated to the annual assembly of the solidarity economy network. Read more

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