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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
0

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
0

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

Let’s recover our journalistic sovereignty
April 26, 2018
0
Article of Setembre, April 24, 2018 by Sara Blázquez

“Recovering journalistic sovereignty, for me, is changing the chip and understanding journalism as an activity and not as a product of consumption or a merchandise, and recognizing it as a collective practice”

“Recovering ownership of the media, basically, is also to escape commercial and docile journalism with the advertisers and institutions that support practically all the current media”
 

Setembre is among the promotors of a new European network of alternative and cooperative media

Blaming the Internet and the new technologies for the crisis of journalism is literally an outgrowth of those who are part of what is really causing the crisis of the media: capitalism. And not the disintegration of a business model. In the words of Pere Rusiñol (Alternativas Económicas), “The problem is that where previously there were companies owned by newspaper publishers, today there are companies owned by the financial sector. The problem is that the bank becomes a press editor ».

It is true that advertising revenues, which largely support many media, have plummeted, but it is also true that the crisis of the mass media is due to the mismanagement of its managers, who too often have forgotten the values of journalism to be too close to capital and power. In return, many times, from a simple slap on the back.

Since the crisis began in 2007, 10,000 journalists have lost their jobs in Spain only. Just the same year that many of us left the university, eager to explore ahead or, at least, put a little bit of sand in the transformation of journalism. The news about the closure of the media or the dismissal of constant workers , male and female, made us see that it would not be easy and that the first thing that we should transform would be the organizational model of the media itself.

Read more

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. ‌

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