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.
Solidarity Oxford is a website and digital map which has been produced as part of the Solidarity Economy Association’s Mapping the Solidarity Economy in Oxford pilot project.
Oxford has a whole host of organisations, projects and people working to create a just and sustainable city. From swap shops and childcare circles to housing co-ops and community farms, we’ve got a thriving network of initiatives meeting the needs of our communities in ways that put people, and our environment, first.
Around the world, activity like this is known as the solidarity economy. In many cities and countries – from New York City to Barcelona, and from Mali to Brazil – solidarity economy initiatives play a fundamental role in people’s lives.
In New York City, a group of people came together to create a map of their solidarity economy, and this map has helped to make their city’s communities more onnected, their projects and initiatives stronger, and has helped more people to be able to access the products and services they need in ethical and sustainable ways.
We’ve been exploring whether creating a map in Oxford is similarly helpful for our communities.
A big part of SEA’s mission is to make the solidarity economy in the UK stronger, and to encourage more people to find out about it and support in their local area. Our Mapping the Solidarity Economy in Oxford pilot project is about celebrating what’s important in our city’s communities, and showing how all the different projects, initiatives and organisations are helping to create a more just and sustainable world.
Together, we are creating an alternative economy based on cooperation and self-determination, which empowers everyone, regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender or background, and which cares about the health and well-being of people and the planet.
Our longer-term vision is also to show how the solidarity economy that exists in communities, cities and regions in the United Kingdom is part of a much larger movement of people around the world, all working to transform our economic system into a system that works for all.
More info here
By Nora Inwinkl / Solidarius Italia
The 10th International Labour Organisation Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy took place in Turin from the 3rd to the 7th June. It was been co-organised by the International Labour Organisation, celebrating its first century of existence this year. Looking at the Future of Work, it was an opportunity given to people interested or already engaged in the promotion of SSE around the world, including policy-makers, practitioners, researchers, representatives of workers and employers’ organisations to exchange on the need to impact the economy through SSE in a sustainable perspective. More than 100 people from all the world were involved (except for Oceania), carrying their different knowledge, traditions, cultures, frameworks and needs. Thanks to an agreement with the organisers, four members of the RIPESS Europe network from Portugal, Greece and Italy were able to attend, as well as Beatrice Alain (Chantier de l’Economie sociale, Quebec) and Jason Nardi (RIPESS coordinator) who were among the invited speakers.
The core of the Academy reflected our market and labour situation, focusing on the challenges we are facing in several fields: economy, technology, environment, climate change, democracy, participation, and others. Despite the diversity of participants, both in terms of origins and in terms of career orientations, everybody agreed on one specific and essential point: the system we are living in is not sustainable at all and the solutions promoted by various governments and the main stakeholders are not relevant. For this reason, the Academy put forward several important issues comprising different form of enterprises and/or organisations of the SSE (SSEEOs – Social and Solidarity Economy Enterprises and Organisations), the legal framework existing or that could be promoted in the different countries both at the local and national level, financial mechanisms and tools, and many others.
The report entitled « Work for a Brighter Future » written by the Global Commission on the Future of Work served as an illustration of the advocated work model. That is is a « human-centred agenda for the future of work that strengthens the social contract by placing people and the work they do at the centre of economic and social policy and business practice».
It is important to move from the local scale and, particularly, from the local expertise and practices, highlighting the specificities of each territory. During these five days, many practitioners presented their initiatives and their experiences, sharing knowledge and different form of innovation and receiving several comments and suggestions. Different experiences developed in different territories but all guided from similar values and principals, those of the SSE paradigm, enhanced in contrast with the neoliberal one.
The importance of the “practices” has been highlighted together with the study fields, organised during the second day in the cities of Turin, Ivrea and Cuneo. It gave the opportunity to the participants to discover the implementation of SSE through virtuous experiences.
There is still a long way to go and probably one of the things that have to be improved is the construction of a common vocabulary and a common framework to implement and develop SSE in a transversal and transectorial way. It is important to work in both direction: the bottom-up, implementing and supporting local initiatives, and the top down, working with the local and national authorities in promoting SSE laws and policies. Thus, as a participant said during the closing plenary, we need to work on “SSE in all policies”.
In this fourth chapter of the series that we started in October, on the theme of “local currencies”, after an overview of the advantages and challenges of local currencies through the example of the Léman (October 2018), the possibilities for collaboration and synergies between local currencies and local contract agriculture (LCA) (December 2018), and the interest of local currencies as tools for the development of economic agricultural sectors (February 2019), we are now proposing no longer to start from sectors, but from territories (neighborhoods, villages, etc.) to build short-circuits and collectively be part of the transition.
The climate crisis brings us back to common sense by making us aware that it is ecologically, economically and socially absurd to consume, in Geneva or Paris, tomatoes harvested in Holland, canned in Romania and whose cans themselves have been produced in Southeast Asia. The free movement of goods, particularly in the agricultural sector, has led to the economic specialization of entire regions and increased dependence on traders and large distributors. The competition between all the world’s territories produces great economic and social vulnerability everywhere locally; it is neither ecologically sustainable nor economically sustainable. That is why we come back to “short food supply chains”.
It is common to refer to ” short food supply chains ” as distribution channels, most often agricultural, where only one intermediary operates between the producer and the consumer, whether through direct sales (see our article on Local Agriculture,December 2018 , ) or indirect sales.
Today, there is a growing demand for ” short food supply chains “, because as consum’actors we want to protect our health and our environment at the same time. But historically, short circuits were the rule, especially just outside the city walls, as in Geneva on the Plain of Plainpalais or in Paris for market gardening villages to supply halls and urban markets.
However, the idea of ” short food supply chains “, in its contemporary renaissance, refers to the representation of ” Small is Beautiful ” (by the British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher) and of Territorial self-organization, as Hans Widmer (P. M.) imagines it, where ” neighborhood” are both economic and social living areas ” at human level ” and political spaces for governance in the communes.Read more
2019 marks the centenary year of the creation of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The founding text places particular emphasis on social justice as a condition for “universal and lasting peace” and calls on States to establish a “truly humane working regime”.
sIn the face of repeated attacks on labour law and human rights, under the renewed pretext of new technologies, the ILO Constitution and its missions are more relevant than ever.
We have assembled in a programme on viziradio (in Frenchà, a little jumbled, readings, sound pieces, documentaries and music that address these issues. The link between work and war, alienation and domination, but also the issues of emancipation.
A creation by Laura Aufrère and Marie Limoujoux
Enercoop article of 29 January 2019
For nearly 4 years, Enercoop and its partners in the European REScoop MECISE project have been working together to develop and strengthen citizen renewable energy projects in France, Belgium, Spain and the United Kingdom.
More specifically, the project aims to directly support the development of new citizen renewable energy production projects and to explore new innovative solutions for financing these projects at European level.
The REScoop MECISE (Renewable Energy Sources COOPeratives Mobilizing European Citizens to Invest in Sustainable Energy) project has been funded under the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises since early 2015. It will end on 28 February 2019 and the public conclusions of this project were presented on 22 January at a conference at the Musée des Sciences naturelles in Brussels (Belgium).
This conference was also an opportunity for Enercoop and its partners Courant d’Air (Belgium), Ecopower (Belgium), Energy4All (United Kingdom) and Som Energia (Spain) to officially announce the creation of the European cooperative REScoop MECISE, or Mutual for Energy Communities Investing in a Sustainable Europe. This European cooperative, a concrete and sustainable outcome of the European project, has as its social objective to promote the European energy transition to energy democracy.
To this end, the European cooperative will provide financial facilitation services, mainly in the form of equity financing for renewable energy production projects and should raise funds at European level to support renewable energy cooperatives in Europe
Going beyond simple financial cooperation, REScoop MECISE is clearly in line with the logic of the social and solidarity economy by putting financial tools directly at the service of citizen energy. For Enercoop, the event on 22 January marks both the culmination of several years of work on the design of this new tool and the beginning of a great adventure of solidarity between European partners.
Joint Statement of Collectif des Associations Citoyennes / Mouvement pour l’Économie Solidaire
The presentation of the French government’s plan for the “development of the SSE” did not convince the grassroot organisations who jointly published a statement to explain why this plan does not meet their expectations.
See (in French): Les-plans-du-gouvernement-pour-les-assos-et-l’ESS
By Josette Combes (MES)
Orchestrated by the members of the Club Convivialiste, itself composed of two hundred intellectuals belonging to various scientific networks, a group of academics and activists launched Ah! a new convergence initiative” against the madness of grandeur, money, power or ideology“. The Convivialists have just published in the newspaper L’Obs their proposed programme for the Yellow Vests, the social movement that has been stirring up French news for the past weeks. We will retain the four emblematic principles of the Convivialists:
- the principle of common humanity is opposed to all forms of discrimination
- the principle of common sociality affirms that the first wealth for humans is that of the social relationships they maintain, the wealth of conviviality
- the principle of legitimate individuation establishes the right of each human being to be recognized in his or her singularity
- the principle of controlled and creative opposition states that it is necessary to “oppose without killing each other” (M. Mauss).
By Josette Combes (MES)
An Erasmus project following the previous one focusing on the inclusion of SSE in IVET (initial and vocational education and training) programmes brings together several RIPESS Europe members: CRIES (Romania), DOCKS (Greece), MES (France), Solidarius (Italy), Technet (Germany) under the coordination of APDES (Portugal) and with the contribution of RIPESS Europe. The first transnational meeting took place in Timisoara hosted by CRIES. The meeting was largely dedicated to discussing the program and to adjust to the budgetary restrictions.
The project will run for three years. Its objectives are as follows:
- Provide curricula to strengthen the skills of trainers in programmes to integrate young people without jobs or qualifications.
- Propose SSE as a social-cultural, interdisciplinary innovation that provides employment opportunities, especially for those furthest from it.
- Raise awareness of SSE as a sector that provides employment and an interesting sector in terms of professional and human investment, starting by raising awareness of initial and continuing vocational education, within a local development framework.
Each partner will need to find territories of partners/stakeholders/locally from different macro-regions, which are available to get involved in the project in order to experiment with the modules and participate in their dissemination.
In its final year, the project will produce transmission and communication tools, including a video, with the aim of promoting and disseminating the approach on a European scale*.
Joint projects are an excellent support for intercooperation between members and for strengthening actions in the territories through the circulation of knowledge and skills present in the organizations of each country.
(* For your information, the recommended bibliographies for each of the IVET modules iof the first period are now available on socioeco.org:
Co-operation in Mesopotamia is one of the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA)’s major, and most successful projects. Its aim is to foster international solidarity and further education about the largely women-driven co-operative economy that is growing, despite ongoing war, in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava.
The project began with a research, translation and education focus, and over the past 3 years SEA has shared over 300 articles on the website, run around 30 workshops all over the UK, and developed strong relationships with many partners, including women’s economic bodies in Rojava, as well as co-ops and co-op bodies in the UK. The project has received overwhelmingly positive engagement, and the UK co-op movement is now much better informed about its counterpart in Rojava.
Here is the article of October 23
Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)
Several new women’s co-operative projects have opened in the Jazira region of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava).
The projects focus on agriculture, animal husbandry, food, and clothing, and will contribute yet further to the thriving women’s economy in the region. They are located in the city of Hesekê and have been developed by the Women’s Committee in the Hesekê Economy Directorate.
The projects are run co-operatively and include:
A dairy farm in Hesekê’s El Silêymaniyê village, which has been built by 11 women and active since 1st September. Duha Mihemed, one of the women involved in the project, said that it was important for the spirit of partnership, and to prevent commercial fraud.
The Inanna Kitchen, which opened in the El Kelase village of Hesekê, where women prepare food for the winter and sell it for well below market prices, and prepare daily meals. One of the project’s partners, Zêneb Umer, said they are taking some of the burden off women’s shoulders.
The Ishtar Women’ Bakery in the El Nasre neighbourhood, opened by 8 women.
The Women’s Committee has been supporting the development of agriculture in Hesekê too, distributing most of the region’s arable land among 300 women. These women have started to produce crops in these plots, and wells will also be created in the coming days.
In addition, generators have been established along several of the city’s streets, providing power for 130 homes each.
Women’s Committee administrator Cewhera Mihemed said they are launching new projects to develop the women’s economy in the region though co-operatives.