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MES: Our commitment to a citizen ecological transition
November 6, 2018
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Excerpt from the editorial, by Bruno Lasnier national coordinator of MES – Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (France)

November, the Month of SSE! A time to promote a new way of conceiving the economy, at the service of humanity and the planet for social justice and a sustainable world! We do need it because never before has the model of social democracy and universal rights seemed to have been so damaged. The coming to power of an extreme right-wing candidate in Brazil is a clear demonstration of this: an alliance is taking place every day between a neoliberalism ready to “market” everything, further deepening the gap of unequal rights, wealth and resources, and an identity-based fundamentalism that takes many religious, xenophobic or nationalist forms.

If the Solidarity Economy has the ambition to become a space of resistance against this democratic, social and ecological threat, it must upscale, become a broad and strongly supported force of civil society. This goes beyond the economic activities of social utility and general interest carried out by companies and organisations within the SSE. More than ever, we need to cooperate openly to strengthen effective convergences between our movements, our struggles and new forms of organization driven by the younger generations. We need to connect different worlds, to connect and put into perspective our common project (convivialists, SSE, ecological transition movements, social movements, trade unions, migrants/culture…).

The 19 and 20 October 2018 were a great success, in the premises of the Foundation for the Progress of Humankind! Our “Cooperate to strengthen” meetings brought together our member networks and allied networks convinced that, beyond the shared observation of the multiple pitfalls facing militant organizations, the challenges are to bring about a strong project of social, economic and ecological transformation. For the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire and its membersOurco, it is a question of carrying a clear strategic and political vision: to undertake and organize the Buen Vivir on a territory at the service of a society that we wish to TRANSFORM! For more social justice, more economic citizenship and more commitment to ecological transition! The “how” we proceed is as important as the intended “purpose”!

Our discussions focused on the many resources and expertise that our networks possess and on sharing and pooling them in order to achieve an ambitious convergence that weighs heavily on a daily basis. The production and distribution of services and products must be organised in an ethical, ecological and solidarity-based manner that respects the fundamental needs of people and human rights.

When many no longer know how to say what the economy is, as it escapes them, it becomes urgent to explain and re-appropriate it (popular education, empowerment), as well as to dare to talk about money and its circulation. And this implies forcing oneself to debate, to accept discord in order to share an analysis, which can be common just as it implies the right to evaluate what is good for oneself and others on one’s territory and in the world. The evaluation of social utility/social impact is essentially located at the heart of civil society, the techniques at work cannot ignore this mandatory methodological detour towards citizenship and democracy.

During this working time, several points were reaffirmed. We must be ambassadors for our actions and successes. We must rewrite our commitment in a history and reinforce our message by clarifying both what we oppose and what we want to build. Be clearer, but also firmer. It is up to us to raise forcefully the question of the governance of municipalities, and to promote relevant regulatory methods and organisations already tested in territories (water, land, services, digital, technologies etc.).

Developing real solidarity within the SSE ecosystem is also an issue. This means “speaking the truth” between small, medium and large organizations. Engage in a sincere and ethical dialogue on practices, financing methods, limited lucrativity, issues of company size to be able to build new solid and resilient models.

Faced with the social and environmental emergency, civil society is not stopping. A dynamic emerges driven by youth, conscious and motivated to change the situation, Alternatiba is an example of this! And for the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire, it is exciting because there is material to transmit knowledge and ways of doing in a popular education process. But even more, it is an opportunity to create new experiments with a generation of young people ready to invent new forms of organization

Access to the newsletter here (in French).

A Colombian delegation In Occitania (France)

By Bérénice Dondeyne, Co-President MES Occtianie, member of the RIPESS Europe Coordination Committee

Présenation artisanat Colombie

 

Following the GSEF in Bilbao, the Movement for the Solidarity Economy Occitania welcomed with great pleasure a Colombian delegation from 7 to 12 October 2018! Meetings with elected officials and field workers were organized by Denis Coutens and Bérénice Dondeyne, co-chairs. Colombia enjoys extraordinary ecological diversity and has natural reserves in the Amazon recognized by UNESCO. A lot of exchanges around a local agriculture of quality guaranteeing food self-sufficiency and articulated around a rural citizen community of “farmers”! Engaged in a peace process with FARC, Colombia is entering a new phase in which the Social and Solidarity Economy occupies a central place. Cooperatives are already shaping a new relationship to the “commons”, to land and property and, of course, to the distribution of wealth. Thanks to partners such as Alfredo Cadena, CODEMA y PROVIVIENDA, César Díaz, CIMA (Cumbre de los pueblos del Macizo), Julián Díaz, Asociación Campesinos Putumayo, Mario Anatole Vega, ProComún, Turismo del Común, we have discovered a range of natural and organic products, products of excellence with high nutritional and culinary value (seeds, oils, beans….) or plant handicrafts for which a distribution channel can be considered here in the Occitania region (France). Initial contacts have been made. To be continued….

 

Thank you to La Région Occitanie / Pyrénées-Méditerranée O’Saveurs-Paysannes Ville d’Albi Artisans du Monde Toulouse MIRAMAP Lycée Fonlabour Albi who all put responsible agriculture and food at the heart of their concerns. This trip is part of the dynamic that our Ripess and Ripess Europe networks are driving. The Delegation was accompanied by the Fabrica, a social innovation cooperative in Barcelona (Dorys Ardila/Josep Maria Navarro), Intaini, a Franco-Colombian NGO (Amparo Theret in Toulouse supported the inter-knowledge between Occitan and Colombian actors).

O'Saveurs Paysannes Bienvenida

 

INAISE (solidarity finance) and NENA (Australia) join RIPESS Intercontinental

Just after the GSEF 2018 Forum, the International RIPESS Board of Directors was held, composed of two delegates per continent and representatives of international members such as Urgenci. It should be noted that RIPESS and the GSEF practice cross-membership and that the collaborative links between the two entities have been consolidated. Laurence Kwark, General Delegate of the GSEF, had been invited to participate in the first morning of the meeting. The face-to-face Board of Directors is an annual high point during which the RIPESS strategy is developed at the international level in line with the realities of the continents, which are all different from each other. It is also an opportunity to put faces on the names that circulate on the lists during virtual consultations, an essential part of the network’s cohesion.

One of the elements of complexity is linked to the geographical and demographic scale of the continents and the principle of creating sub-continents (particularly in Asia) to better achieve the objective of spreading practices has been considered. Two new members are joining: INAISE (International Network of SSE Investors) and NENA (New Economy Network Australia) as new focal point for Oceania. A partnership with Quartiers du Monde has also been established.

On communication, an important decision was also been adopted: bringing all websites together within the intercontinental Ripess website, which will allow the use of common grammar and semantics, economies of scale and better intercommunication. Gabriel Boichat, the new RIPESS communication officer, broadcast the two events extensively on social networks.

Alternatiba 2018: we are the last generation that can save the Planet

By Jason Nardi

Under the pouring rain, the city of Bayonne (in the French Basque country) is nonetheless beautiful and full of life: on Sunday 7th of October the “Alternatives Village” was all over the old town, with hundreds of people in the streets and squares dedicated to many of the existing “alternative” practices – most of them if not all we can say Social Solidarity Economy – that today are not only possible but being done and used by more and more people. Collective Renewable energy solutions, shared mobility (the symbol of Alternatiba is a tandem bicycle – and the bicycle tour that involved thousands of people throughout France, Switzerland and Belgium a success, arriving in Bayonne on the 6th), food agroecological production and collaborative distribution, the Eusko social currency (with both its paper and electronic version) and ethical banking, but also community and cooperative housing, a strong eco-feminist presence (in streets and debates) and a special attention to the migration crisis, brought to us by the current dominant “growth” economy and the climate change that it engenders.

The latter was the main underlying theme of this Festival, started 5 years ago in Bayonne by the citizens group Bizi, full of “normal” and young people, families, and of course activists – who debated together with a rich program (https://alternatiba.eu/2018/10/programme-du-weekend-d-arrivee-du-tour-alternatiba/) as well as cultural and artistic events. While the urgency of a radical, systemic change was clearly perceived by all participants, the convivial and festive atmosphere gave much hope and renewed energy. Saving the Planet is no longer an option – now is the time to engage: “change the system, not the climate”.

Extract from the article Climate: 15,000 people in Bayonne for the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report

More than 15,000 people joined Bayonne this weekend for a major climate campaign. The two days marked by the arrival of the Tour Alternatiba, a gigantic village of alternatives, conferences and an atmosphere of popular emulation ended with a manifesto to initiate the immediate metamorphosis of the territories. Among them, nearly 200 personalities, scientists, political and associative leaders, artists, former ministers. In a duplex from South Korea, Valérie Masson-Delmotte, a member of the IPCC scientific committee, gave the public gathered in Bayonne the first opportunity to adopt the 1.5°C ratio and encouraged the continuation of citizen actions such as the Tour Alternatiba.

On the eve of the release of the IPCC 1.5°C report, Bayonne delivered a strong message. The final manifesto, read by Gaby, a young high school student from Poitiers and Moriba, a young Guinean saved from drowning by a maritime rescue boat while crossing the Mediterranean, both sixteen years old, launched a vibrant appeal for the immediate metamorphosis of our territories.

With nearly 50 conferences (attended by 6263 people) on such fundamental issues as the current government’s climate and energy transition assessment, obstacles to transition, economic relocation, transition financing, transport, renewable energies, solidarity and climate justice, this weekend also contributed to the ongoing discussions. Concrete alternatives such as the 100% renewable electricity supplier Enercoop or the eusko, already Europe’s leading local currency in terms of volume of currency in circulation, which passed the 1 million euskos mark that same weekend, have demonstrated the possibility that alternatives have to change scale.

This civic effervescence in Bayonne reflects what was observed during the 4 months of the Alternatiba Tour, where a total of more than 77,000 people showed their determination to take action to make a real difference. Under the guise of a great popular celebration, Alternatiba 2018 has once again confirmed that the crucial challenge of the fight against climate change is not only a vital challenge that tens of thousands of citizens are ready to take up, but also the foundation for more sustainable and desirable societies.

Text of the Manifesto  (in French) here.

Videos and photos here.

GSEF2018: Bilbao welcomes the Cities promoting SSE

The Capital of the Basque Country – Bilbao – is hosting the 4the edition of the Global Social Economy Forum, GSEF2018, from the 1st to the 3rd of October. The title of the Forum is: ‘Social economy and cities – Values and competitiveness for an inclusive and sustainable local development”. The GSEF that was initiated by the City of Seoul in 2013, in collaboration with its local social economy partners, is an international network that brings together local governments and civil society stakeholders committed to supporting the development of the Social Economy (SE).. In 2016 it took place in Montreal, Canada, and RIPESS participated and became a member. This year the RIPESS delegation is quite large, coming from all continents, and present in several sessions.

REAS – through REAS Euskadi, the local network – has been part of the organising committee and has involved many solidarity economy actors at the local level.

On the 2nd of October, REAS Euskadi, XES and RIPESS are organising a special moment dedicated to present the “Declaration for a transformative Social Solidarity Economy” and the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies.

The programme and key speakers are available on the GSEF website.

 

If cooperatives were the future of the press?
Abstract of the article (in French) :Et si les coopératives étaient l’avenir de la presse ?, by Pauline Porro, Ina Global, August 30, 2018

Crédit :
Ina. Illustration  Martin Vidberg

The press is in crisis and is trying to reinvent its economic model. The article provides an overview of the media companies in France that have opted for the cooperative status.

Among the 35,047 press cards awarded in France in 2017, 32 would be press companies, 6 in Scic (cooperative society of collective interest) and 26 in Scop (participative cooperative society) (including news agencies and publishing of newspapers, periodicals and magazines), ie 228 employees.

In view of their operation, which is based on the pooling of information collection means, especially internationally, the cooperative is a status particularly suited to news agencies. Thus, the Associated Press has a cooperative status, like the German agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur, or Reuters until its IPO in 1984. But in contrast to news agencies, where the choice of cooperative status is justified by a certain economic rationality, the choice of this status for an out-of-agency media is more a matter of compliance with values, notably that of the SSE. But it can also be the fruit of history: indeed, at the end of the Second World War, the cooperatives or the Sapo (public limited company with worker participation) are numerous within the press resulting from the Resistance.

Cooperative status has concrete repercussions on the one hand,
– the strong involvement of the staff that find themselves both employees and owners of capital;
– explains the resilience of these companies, which are often higher than the national average, showing an accumulation of reserves in good years and prudent management, uncontaminated by the search for profit at all costs;
– the safeguard of jobs in situations where so-called traditional firms resort to redundancies.

However, when heavy investments are needed – the digital transition for example – the cooperative model can become a weakness, especially in such a competitive environment. In addition, it also causes difficulties raised by the set up, the formalism and the delays to settle which can be dissuasive to carry out such a project. Approaches of other statutes are currently being explored to guarantee employees a place in the governance bodies, ensure editorial independence while sharing the philosophy of a cooperative society.

Porto, July 13: a new paradigm in initial vocational training

APDES (member organization of RedPES, the Portuguese SSE network) and RIPESS Europe invite you on July 13 2018 in Porto (Portugal) to participate in the International Seminar on the Social Solidarity Economy in Europe: Affirming a New Paradigm through IVET Curricula Innovation, funded by Erasmus+, to explore the potential of SSE on its connection with the field of initial vocational training.

In this event, there will be an opportunity to reflect in several sessions and workshops – on four thematic areas:

  • The objectives of sustainable development and the SSE
  • The values and principles of SSE in education
  • Extra curricular innovation: the extracurricular program of flexibility and autonomy
  • The SSE in Europe

This event is expected to be a point of reflection and debate, intended for decision makers and representatives of governments, training organizations, third sector entities, community and solidarity economy initiatives, universities.

You can download the programme and register here.

 

CNLQR: Call for action in popular neighbourhoods
June 8, 2018
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Are you an actor of the social solidarity economy in your country? Do you carry a local development project in popular neighbourhoods?

The National Liaison Committee of the Régies de Quartier, gathering more than 133 associations in France seeks to get to know the European actors of the popular districts carrying a project similar to theirs. If you are carrying out actions in favour of professional integration, solidarity economy or popular education in neighbourhoods, let’s talk about it! 

To find out more (and read French), look here.

Solidarity Spring in France: a report
May 30, 2018
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On March 22 and 23, 2018, the Solidarity Economy Movement organized its Printemps Solidaire, around the issue: What socio-economic models for the Solidarity Economy?

Fifty people came together at the Maison des réseaux artistiques et culturels in Paris, to reflect together on the development prospects of the Solidarity Economy and our movement.

On the occasion of the publication of the proceedings of the meeting find here a summary of our exchanges and download the proceedings of the meeting (in French).

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

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