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RIPESS contributes to GSEF’s – Global Social Economy Forum – policy dialogues in Europe and Latin America
GSEF Liverpool UK November 2019

The GSEF Regional Policy Dialogues are organized to promote the exchange of knowledge between policy-makers and key SSE actors. RIPESS has participated in both dialogues with the objective of contributing to the promotion of SSE and bringing the vision of local SSE projects to international fora.

RIPESS EU joined the 3rd edition of the European Policy Dialogue organised by Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF), our long term partners and collaborators.

This year, the Dialogue took place in Liverpool, United Kingdom, between the 18th and 19th of November 2019, around the theme ‘Building diversity and inclusion through the social solidarity economy’. A rich and open debate took place around this theme with a specific focus on 3 major topics:

  • How local governments must proceed with new approaches to create true inclusion
  • Moving beyond inclusion through innovative work-integration practices and policies
  • Social and Solidarity Economy: a driving force in enabling diverse future leaders

As RIPESS EU, we presented our work based mostly on the third topic, but of course with connection to all important SSE areas. Regarding the location of this year GSEF event, it was organized in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and the University of Liverpool. And they were quite amazing hosts.

The day after the conference they organized an SSE actors tour across the city. Liverpool City Region is indeed a dynamic and vibrant SSE scene where they employ over 40,000 people in SSE organizations. We visited  Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre , main local spot for community activism, Baltic Creative CIC ,a unique area for gathering start-up and creative industries with huge focus on ownership and sharing, and Homebaked Bakery and Community Land Trust, a place of inspiration, with the best pie in the world and an amazing struggle against gentrification and speculative capital assault on land and houses.

Written by Alfonso Cotera (RIPESS LAC) and Drazen Simlesa (RIPESS EU)

Ripess Europe’s 2020 objectives: back to the main lines of action
A local newspaper headlines "A workshop preparing Tomorrow"

From the 16th to the 18th of January, the Ripess Europe CoCo (Coordination committee) met in Elne, in the beautiful region of the French Eastern Pyrenees. Near the snow-capped mountains, the team (braving the train strikes) spent three days brainstorming about the overall strategy orientations for the network on the long-term and on Ripess Europe’s areas of focus in 2020.

In such a context of climate crisis, where social benchmarks are only hanging by a thread, the role of RIPESS Europe in promoting social solidarity economy at the European level is more important than ever. The strategic axes for 2020 have therefore been established following this observation.

As a first step, Ripess Europe aims at promoting territorial ecosystems and supporting the emergence of new networks.

In order to do so, it will be necessary to support the valorisation of local experiences, the networking at European level, the development of new networks and economic intercooperation.

In addition to this first strategic line, it goes without saying that the promotion of the social and solidarity economy through its development and recognition remains a priority for the year 2020. This objective can be implemented through various actions such as the co-construction of public policies, but also through advocacy and media communication.

The concretisation of these strategic directions will be achieved through different thematic initiatives such as education (Erasmus), impact assessment, the implementation of tools (mapping) or information on the initiatives and local events of the network members.

Alongside their work program, the Coco members did not miss the chance to discover and meet with local initiatives such as André and his team “perm-AMAP 66”, working in a permaculture garden and CSA in Elne and selling delicious veggies! Without forgetting the discovery of Terra del Avis, this eco-museum which should soon open its doors in Elne and whose mission will be to preserve, maintain and transmit the agricultural heritage of Roussillon and to promote a sustainable agriculture of proximity.

A retrospective of the seminar “Building a Solidarity Economy!”

Organised thanks to the support of the Foundation for the Progress of Humankind and the APES, at the Bergerie de Villarceaux from 2 to 4 December 2019, the seminar “Co-constructing the Solidarity Economy! “was an opportunity for the members of the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (MES France) to launch the first steps of the cooperation action plan around the four national cooperative projects at the heart of the ambitions of the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire for the next three years. The working sessions alternated workshops and round tables on the 4 axes :

  • Social and citizen innovation at the service of territorial development to pool the tools and methods acquired by the members in their participation in territorialized economic development experiences within a space of shared and formative resources allowing systemic reflection on the subject.
  • The evaluation of social utility and social impact in order to establish evaluation as a subject of internal and external democracy within an organization and to integrate it into a continuous improvement process of practices by taking into account market and non-market criteria and the accessibility of existing tools and methods within a space of shared resources.
  • Socio-economic models of small SSE enterprises and organisations to support the creation and development of initiatives in rural and urban territories by establishing a panorama of good practices for the creation and consolidation of small SSE organisations and making accessible the methods and tools that promote the sustainability of their economic models at the territorial level.
  • Strengthen advocacy through the implementation of a communication and action strategy shared and collective between the MES and the member structures around what the national movement defends and its specificity within SSE in order to build collectively its contribution to the national and international SSE work.

These collective working times reinforce the cohesion of the network by reassuring its members in their strategic orientations and ethical foundations and in return give energy to the animators of the national network confronted with a context of hardening of the political authorities with regard to the citizens’ initiative. The meeting was also an opportunity to inform the participants about the WSFTE and to invite them to take part in it. The document resulting from this seminar will soon be available on the MES website.

By Josette Combes

Occitania mobilizes for the WSFTE in Barcelona

In Occitania (France) a 2-day Forum on 22 and 23 November at the Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse brought together about 90 SSE structures, 4 local authorities and 4 SSE networks. The programme included 5 conferences, 4 convergence circles and 16 workshops. About 20 speakers contributed to the conferences, including 7 researchers.

The 1500 or so visitors came from different backgrounds (Political Sciences Bordeaux, Terre de Convergences in the Gard, Delegation of Marseille), a national and an international network and four representatives of local institutions. Forty stands presented SSE actors from Occitania. Twenty volunteers ensured the fluidity of the logistics and three restaurateurs (Ludi Monde, Curupira and the Kasbah) allowed the participants to take their meals, even if the attendance exceeded the forecasts. More than 250 young students took part in the round tables and various workshops. Finally, a concert with a Franco-Brazilian singer offered a joyful interlude. She provided the translation for the speech by Monica Benicio, Mariella Franco’s companion, a militant who was assassinated on 15 March 1918 in Rio de Janeiro (whose assassins are not likely to be prosecuted as long as Bolsonaro is in power).

There was a great participation of volunteers and visitors in this comfortable and accessible place with a lot of available space, a good animation of the actors’ circles, a rich and quality programming. In particular the Flashlab (presentation of initiatives in progress or brand new), its format, its richness, the exchanges were a success.

It is necessary to underline the energy given by the Barcelona perspective, the international dimension, the crossing of the 4 themes, the quality of the conferences. All in all, it was a joyful event, full of emulation, rich in emotion, particularly the speech by Monica Benicio during the conference on eco-feminism presenting the situation in Brazil.

This Forum was part of the mobilization cycle for the Barcelona WSFTE.

The next dates in Occitania related to the convergence towards the WSFTE and transformative economies are the following: two public political events – ex-Languedoc territory with Terre de Convergences, Démocratie Ouverte, La Région Citoyenne – ex-Midi Pyrénées territory; – an economic and feminist event in Toulouse (21 March); an event with the UFISC in Gignac on 30 May; two dates to be fixed in Ariège and Aude; – an agroecological event – ex-Languedoc territory; – an event in Haute-Garonne with FREDD (Film, Research and Sustainable Development).

The MES Occitanie is planning to produce a booklet using materials from FRESS (theory + feedback from the actors) which would promote transformative economies in the Occitanie region.

The creation of an Occitan delegation to represent the region at the WSFTE with citizens, elected local authorities, SSE actors and researchers will be based on a questionnaire with many actors of the transformative economies on the Occitan territory to collect information on their practices, encourage them to come to the FSMET and to propose animations.

You can find the filmed conferences on this link. (in French)

By Josette Combes

RIES: Italian Network for Solidarity Economy established in Rome
RIES Roma founding meeting

On January 18 and 19, 2020, the new Italian national network was founded, bringing together associations, networks and companies from all over the country who identify with Solidarity Economy values and practices.

There are 22 founding members of the new association that on Saturday 18 of January in Rome signed the articles of association of the Italian Network for Solidarity Economy (RIES). The new Network marks a fundamental point of arrival and turning point for the the Italian Solidarity Economy movement, which for about twenty years has operated through an informal network, the RES, and after a long debate has chosen to recognize itself in a single formally constituted entity.

The RIES will thus be the official association of reference and the meeting place of different entities, but moved by common principles and objectives, able both to deal with institutions and public bodies and to relate with civil society, with the aim of promoting and disseminating culture and practices of Solidarity Economy.

The event, saw about forty participants. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to the founding assembly and the composition of the various bodies by elective vote, while the following day the assembly opened the discussion to all the initiatives that are interested in potentially becoming members of the network. The debate was highly participatory and many ideas and expectations emerged, that will form the basis of strategic orientations and work plan of the newborn association in different areas: identity and vision, unitary paths, solidarity development of territories, models of solidarity economy, ethical finance, training, relations with other national and international movements and networks. 

The declared final objective is to promote an alternative to the dominant economic and financial system and a response to the situation of growing economic, environmental, social and cultural crisis.

The 22 founding members of the RIES, Italian Network for Solidarity Economy, are: DES MODENA, GASTORINO, CAES, DESR PARCO SUD, ALTRO MODO FLEGREO, ASSOBOTTEGHE, FEDERAZIONE PER L’ECONOMIA DEL BENE COMUNE ITALIA, AERES VENEZIA, FONDAZIONE FINANZA ETICA, RES LOMBARDIA, CO-ENERGIA, GAS NETWORK PATTANTI MARCHE, EQUO GARANTITO, CRESER, MERCATO & CITTADINANZA (network CS Bergamo), BILANCI DI JUSTIZIA 2.0, DES ALTRO TIRRENO, OLTRE MERCATO SALENTO, SOLIDARIUS ITALIA, ASS. DEGROWTH, FAIRWATCH, OLTRECONFIN.

Here are the 9 members of the newly elected RIES Board of Directors: Jason Nardi, Patrizio Monticelli, Domenico Maffeo, Davide Biolghini, Adanella Rossi, Virginia Meo, Diego Moratti, Pietro Negri, Maria Teresa Pecchini.

Photos by Alberta Cardinali and Riccardo Troisi 

A delegation from Croatia in Geneva to disseminate SSE in Europe!
Une délégation de Croatie à Genève pour diffuser l'ESS en Europe (octobre 2019)

An article from Après-GE, Chambre de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire Genevoise.

Within the framework of the European project of cooperation between Switzerland and Croatia, in which APRES-GE participates, a delegation of about fifteen representatives from two Croatian cities, Ludbreg and Pregrada, came to discover and be inspired by the Geneva network of the Social and Solidarity Economy, on 28-30 October 2019.

As part of this project, a Croatian delegation of 14 people visited Geneva from 28 to 30 October last. It was composed of the mayors of the two cities, public officials and representatives of civil society.

The aim of this collaboration between Switzerland and Croatia is to present Geneva SSE companies, civil servants and elected representatives, so that our Croatian partners can be inspired by the “good practices” implemented in our canton. This objective has been achieved. Our partners have expressed their great satisfaction with the program that has been prepared for them and have left motivated to implement innovative solutions. In a second step, we will provide training in Croatia to build concrete projects with them. In a third and final step, we will participate in an international conference on the new economy in Zagreb. We are planning a small Geneva delegation for this occasion. Finally, the SSE Chamber could aim to support the creation of an SSE network in Croatia by transferring our expertise in this field and strengthening our long-term links, in the form of partnerships between Swiss and Croatian SSE companies and even between municipalities.

We would like to thank Jean Rossiaud and Lina Yanez from the LES IDEES Design Office – member of APRES-GE – for successfully following up this project for the SSE Chamber.
Part of the mandate is paid in Leman, our local currency.

A RIPESS pilot SE Learning Tour & Cross-training in the US

An article by Ripess International, November 8, 2019

This week, from November 8th to 11th, the RIPESS Education working group will pilot the Solidarity Economy Learning Tour & Cross-training hosted by Cooperation Jackson (US) with the participation of both local and international trainers from the US, Latin America and the Caribbean; Canada; Europe and Eastern Asia.

The aim is to allow an exchange of knowledge of Solidarity Economy (SE) trainers and work on the development of an SE curriculum. Both the format of the learning tour, based on visiting local SE practices, and the curriculum that is being developed will be available to other SE networks/initiatives to be used and adapted to their local contexts. The understanding of SE is about a way to change the current economic and social capitalist paradigm towards a more just and sustainable world.

During these four days, the participants will combine classroom learning to provide a grounding in the theory, practice and organizing strategies to build the solidarity economy with site visits to see and engage with real world solidarity economy practices.

Amongst the objectives, this project wants to pilot and co-develop a SE Curriculum, including materials, methodologies, and guidelines, and facilitated by SE educators from around the world, as well as Cooperation Jackson folks. And also, to connect and get to know each other and engage in a process of personal transformation: “to know ourselves in relationship to others – an understanding of ‘us’ and mutuality”.

By being a training of trainers, this gathering of trainers also aims to generate a dialogue, sharing and networking between trainers who are connected to the grassroots SE movements from all over the world. Taking a popular education approach, the participants will begin with the knowledge of the participants and understand that everyone is a teacher and learner.

This approach, which well aligned with SE in terms of its principles, foundations, and methods, is a process of analysis-looking for patterns, accessing new knowledge as needed, developing a strategy of action, implementing that action, then returning to a reflection of the experience, analysis, gathering new knowledge to transform the local and global economy to construct a new society based on justice, equality and love, and so forth. The goal of popular education is to engage in a continual process of reflection and action in order to achieve the transformation of reality through an economic, social and political liberation.

Cooperation Jackson, Mississippi (US)

The gathering of trainers is hosted by Cooperation Jackson a project that is igniting a lot of excitement in the U.S. as well as internationally as it is part of a broader vision to transform the local and regional economy and society through a political/electoral strategy, grassroots organizing through people’s assemblies, and building the SE through a cooperative network consisting of four interdependent institutions: a federation of local worker cooperatives, a cooperative incubator, a cooperative education and training center, and a cooperative bank or financial institution.

For these reasons, RIPESS’ education working group has decided to collaborate with Cooperation Jackson to organize this gathering of trainers and to start developing a Solidarity Economy Curriculum that can be used in the future by people from all around the world.

SE Education material available on Socioeco

The RIPESS Education working group has compiled a list of SE training material to be available to any person interested or working on SE and education. All the material can be found in Socioeco, the RIPESS’ resource center and we invite all trainers and SE networks to send new materials socioeco.org to be included in the section on SE training tool material or in the special map on pedagogical tools.

RIPESS will publish some updates during the gathering of trainers on our social media accounts Twitter and Facebook. So, stay tuned to follow the development of the SE Curriculum and all participants’ learnings during these four intense days.

Solidarity Economy shows its heart again

Article by Reas, Red de REDES, November 14, 2019

For the fifth consecutive year, Economía Solidaria once again shows its heart by publishing the annual report of the Social Audit Campaign, a tool for accountability and measurement of social, environmental and good governance impact, which is promoted by Social and Solidarity Economy entities (mainly, but not only, integrated to REAS RdR). The organizations that carry it out can use the results to improve internally while at the same time obtaining aggregated data from the ethical standards of the Solidarity Economy and the Social Market (Mercado Social).

In this self-evaluation process, the six principles of the SSE are evaluated systematically, objectively and periodically: profit policy, democracy and equity, environmental sustainability, cooperation, commitment to the environment and quality of work. This tool is also allowing a process of confluence of Solidarity Economy companies at the Spanish state level, by which since 2014 the indicators of the Social Balance and Audit systems developed from their different territories and led by its Social Audit Working Group of REAS RdR have been harmonized. It is from this process that in 2018 the technological platform that XES (Xarxa de Economía Solidaria de Catalunya) had developed within the framework of its “Enseña el Corazón” project was put to common use at the Spanish state level. Since 2008, the Xarxa has been offering entities associated or linked to this network a self-evaluation of their performance based on variables grouped into different blocks: economic performance, professional quality, democracy, equality, quality of work, the environment and social commitment.

The data that we present correspond to a total of 530 entities associated and linked to the different territorial and sectorial networks of REAS RdR that have carried out the campaign this year (19% more than last year), which includes: 191 thousand associated people -not workers-, close to 22 thousand volunteers who collaborate in the development of their social and collective projects, more than 4 thousand three hundred who participate in representation of the organizations, and more than 400 employers of entities. If we unite all those people linked to the entities -not workers- to the employees -members or not, a total figure of 235 thousand people related to the 530 entities that responded to the questions of the Social Audit of 2019 is reached.

The following results can be highlighted from the aggregate report of this self-evaluation process:

  • Equity: the wage difference is 1.5/1 between the highest and lowest wages of all workers; 60% of women in positions of responsibility and 88% of entities promote inclusive language.
  • Work: 75% improve legal work-life balance permits, 64% create spaces for emotional attention and care for workers, and 47% have internal regulations for the management of labour relations.
  • Environmental sustainability: 94% apply responsible consumption criteria in the purchase of products, 37% are entities with environmental management and 46% use 100% renewable energy.
  • Cooperation and commitment with the environment: 64% operate with ethical finances, 7% of their purchases are made within the framework of the Social Market and 7% in non-profit entities.
  • Non-profit: 63% of income comes from invoicing compared to 28% from subsidies. With regard to the distribution of profits, 65% is allocated to reserves, compensation for losses or own investments, 10% to initiatives for the construction of common goods and 4% to investments of financial entities of the SSE.

Based on these and other data derived from the Social Audit 2019 Reas network of networks wants to make visible and value the activity of social and solidarity economy companies in the Spanish state, showing that there are other business models truly responsible and whose objectives are not centered solely on obtaining profit but pursue the transformation and improvement of our society. “EstamosEnlaBrecha

See the full report. (in Spanish) Also on socioeco.org

Keep an eye on general infographics and gender infographics.

Global Peace Marches 2019-2020 from India and Senegal

On October 2, 2019 – the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth, a 14,000 km, one-year global march for justice and peace, called Jai Jagat 2020, will start from New Delhi to Geneva. Winding through 10 countries with nonviolence training and events on key justice themes along the way, and joining with separate marches starting from a number of countries in Europe and northwest Africa as well as delegates from around the world, participants will be welcomed and hosted by the City and Canton of Geneva for a week (26 September – 2nd October 2020) of workshops, advocacy meetings and cultural events.

This initiative urges the implementation of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in a dialogue with UN agencies in Geneva. Four Pillars of Advocacy related to the SDGs are at the core of the Jai Jagat campaign. These are: eradication of poverty, social inclusion, climate justice and the nonviolent resolution of conflicts.

Local committees all along the route will organize daily events, and there will be daily non-violence trainings, making this a year-long practice of non-violence. In some countries new families and new individuals with different stories will be included in the march.

​The arrival of the great march of Jai Jagat bearing the message of Gandhi and the voice of the voiceless is the perfect occasion, through a nonviolent dialogue, to promote various solutions for a world that works for everyone. To welcome the march, a festival/forum of change will be launched; combining, according to Gandhi’s vision, individual transformation with collective change. An innovative contribution to the key role of Geneva in the success of Agenda 2030 of the United Nations.

The Caravan For The Earth To Live

The POUR QUE VIVE LA TERRE caravan offers its public a meeting place for the diffusion and sharing of actions that bring hope.

In agriculture, ecology, politics, economics, social and cultural alternative solutions exist. The caravan creates a space for sharing so that these solutions can grow through the commitment of all. It takes place on average one week in each place to offer conferences, screenings, shows, parties and workshops. We think about it, we learn about it, we train ourselves, we celebrate.

WHY?

In the face of the current economic, social and environmental crises, many individuals are seeking a profound change in the way we live our societies. But many feel that they are helpless. What can I do about it?

Vectors of positive transformations, carriers of hope, the various alternatives underway are already determining the advent of a better world where the human values of solidarity, sobriety and respect for nature will be at the heart of our projects and our businesses.

The caravan is associated with the Delhi-Geneva Jai Jagat 2020 march, organized by Ekta Parishad, which will arrive in Geneva in October 2020.

UFISC and its members look forward to seeing you in Avignon in July 2019

This year again during the Avignon Festival, UFISC is offering several highlights, meetings, workshops and training sessions on July 11, 15 and 17 in the ISTS room, as part of the Maison des professionnels du Spectacle Vivant and the Village des professionnels du OFF, including a special event organized in conjunction with the Collectif pour démarche de progrès par les droits culturels and Opale CRDLA-Culture.

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