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UniverSSE2017
Video
Measuring and Reporting Sustainability Performance: Are Corporations and SSE Organizations Meeting the SDG Challenge?

Sustainability measurement and reporting has much improved in recent decades, but is it fit for purpose for 21st century challenges and for the SDGs? This international conference held on June 3 and 4, in Geneva, will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders from UN agencies, national policy making bodies and practitioners in the measurement and reporting fields to discuss best practices, key concerns, and ways forward that take better account of the social dimensions of sustainable development.

Building the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies 2020

Interview with Jason Nardi, RIPESS Intercontinental Coordinator, about the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies (WSFTE) that starts this week in Barcelona.

Written by Gabriel Boichat, RIPESS.

The first meeting of the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies (WSFTE 2020) will be held in Barcelona from 5th to 7th April. This will allow us to establish the basis of the process that will take us until May 2020, when the main meeting will be held.

RIPESS, as the International Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy, is one of the three networks promoting this process, together with the Network of Alternative and Solidarity Economy Networks of Spain (REAS) and the Catalan Network of Solidarity Economy (XES).

We interviewed Jason Nardi, Coordinator of RIPESS Intercontinental, to ask him why RIPESS decided to promote the WSFTE 2020, the objectives pursued and what opportunities present themselves for RIPESS to participate in the process.

Why is RIPESS one of the promoters of the WSFTE 2020?

RIPESS is a network made up of various networks, platforms, campaigns and very heterogeneous initiatives from all around the world. The different countries and continents all have experiences that identify as Social Solidarity Economy (SSE). Some are more focused on the community aspect, others on the business side of local and cooperative development, while others are oriented towards caring for people, defending rights and nature, and how we can rethink the economy to preserve the environment and habitat and promote a more dignified and freer life.

This is why RIPESS, as a coordinating structure is open to the different ways of interpreting another economy, to meeting and working together with other visions and other alternative movements to the dominant neoliberal market economy, that is the opposite of all the values we represent.

We have seen how many times there are not only common struggles, but complementarities and possibilities to cooperate to build a stronger voice that can multiply and be recognized as a plural voice of citizens trying to build another society in different spaces of dialogue with other movements.

What is the starting point of the WSFTE 2020?

There is a need to move to another level. Not necessarily to build the economic growth of solidarity economy activities, although this can also be the case, but rather an intellectual growth, a growth of experience, a growth in our capacity to influence society.

So, a forum like this is an attempt to create an open space between those who are practicing another economy. Not just imagining, not just theorizing. It is not a meeting of heterodox economists, but between networks and experiences that are practicing another economy.

Why is a process like the WSFTE 2020 necessary for movements that create a different economy?

For RIPESS, the idea of convergence has been the basis of our strategic approach in recent years. RIPESS is a daughter of the convergence of social movements, such as the World Social Forum or other spaces between movements that fight for food sovereignty at the United Nations and among the different ways of valuing traditions and social innovation.

But there are not many of these global spaces to share struggles and proposals, campaigns and solutions. And it is not easy to organize them because each initiative, each network, each organization has its structure, its own culture, its approach to participation, and sometimes, if a space is not perceived as open and welcoming, people do not participate.

This is what happened to the World Social Forum, which began as a real space for sharing global struggles between very local movements with a strong political focus. However, due to the lack of capacity to organize these spaces, it has become a space that is neither a movement nor a real place of convergence.

What was missing then?

There was a lack of a more specific approach that reached beyond recognizing that we have shared global problems. We are already building solutions we can mutualize using an open source community approach, and we have to work to overcome the existing difficulties in organizing these spaces.

In fact, I see RIPESS as an agent provocateur. We can see more and more different sectors that identify with SSE in the networks that we are involved with around the world. This is not because our SSE principles have changed or expanded, but because they are the producers and, above all, consumers who are increasingly aware of the interconnection between the different levels.

The WSFTE 2020 is therefore a very important opportunity to practice alternative networking, business, community and the care for people and planet that characterise SSE. We believe that this approach to networking and convergence can be transferred to other spaces and this is our contribution.

How can different worldviews be integrated into SSE?

I believe that we must allow ourselves to be open and positive in our attitude to the innovations that have grown enormously in various parts of the world in recent years. The proposals from feminist economies, for example that are not just a demand for gender justice, but a different worldview of how to organize society, work, care, the relationship between people, etc.

This needs to be integrated into and become part of a vision of SSE, not only because it is a principle, a fundamental right, but also because it is part of the solution.

Something similar happens with indigenous visions of how to organize a resilient economy, respectful of mother earth and its sacredness, which although not religious in the Western sense of the term, is understood as a cosmovision. This broader and more global vision is a very important contribution to all the initiatives that we promote every day through cooperatives of people who work together in a horizontal approach.

The WSFTE 2020 is holding this first big event this week in Barcelona. What is going to happen from now on?

The Forum is part of the more general process of the WSF: social movements are the basis of transformation and also because we do not want to create a new network of networks or a new political movement – which does not mean that we do not include a political approach in our work.

The goal is therefore to create a space that allows a strategic exchange of co-construction with a process that has a long-term vision. And the Forum is a moment in time of this process; it will be built with the contributions of many, and with some clear guidance.

And what is the purpose?

The main focus here is convergence. Why convergence? To define is the minimum common denominator multiplier that will allows us to build a common action agenda, as defined by Carlos Askunze.

If this process really works, as we hope it will, in 2020, after a year of virtual interaction at international level and of local or translocal convergence, we aim to formulate a proposal that will be validated during the Forum, It will be a kind of political programme created by a movement of movements, a plural movement. This is the real aim of this process.

How does RIPESS aim to participate in the Forum and the process? How will it work?

We will be present to contribute, but above all to enjoy meeting other organisations that can contribute to our work on issues to which we are already committed, such as gender, local and international public policies, the media, and how to localise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), among others.

At the same time, we will try to provide a specific perspective on the reorganization of economic activities and services and the value chain. If we really want to transform the economy, we not only have to produce differently, more ecologically, with emphasis on more human rights,  we also have to rethink the relationship between production and consumption, and how the distribution of wealth can be transformed.

This implies rethinking public and public-community systems. For example, what formula can we apply where there are services that have been privatized, bearing in mind that we do not want them to be completely controlled by the State either. Or how we can economically re-imagine international trade, migrations or relations between communities that are not in the same bioregion.

I believe that this is part of the RIPESS Global Vision and we can therefore contribute our ideas and formulas from the approach of a solidarity economy of liberation. Euclides Mance defends the idea that, contrary to what is happening today where the economy is a modality of control and submission, the economy can still be a means of liberation.

Finally, the WSFTE 2020 is also an opportunity for RIPESS to renew itself, to rethink itself, to come into contact with new realities, with organizations and new territories. This is therefore a great opportunity to discover, to contribute and to become known as network that promotes a movement for another economy.

Popmind: defending and promoting human rights in France
February 27, 2019
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popmind2019

At the initiative of the UFISC (Federal Union for the Intervention of Cultural Structures) and of all its member organizations, more than twenty networks of professional actors in the field artistic, cultural, social, solidarity International, Citizenship, Solidarity economy co-organize three days of reflection and debate. This event named POPMIND will bring together more than 300 people, professionals, academics, citizens and public partners with a red thread: defending and putting human rights to work for today and tomorrow.

This event will take place from March 19th to March 21st, 2019 in Rouen (1h30 of Paris).

In March, upstream of the European elections, these days will allow us to share our concerns, our analyses and our recommendations to think of a declaration of our initiatives on the issue of European construction.  You can find the program here (in French only for the moment, sorry).

2nd Int. conf. “SSE & the Commons”: call for contributions

You will find in annex the call for contributions for the second edition of the international conference “Social Solidarity Economy & the Commons”, which will take place from the 6th to the 8th of November 2019 at Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL) in Lisbon, Portugal. The general theme of this year’s edition is “Contributions to the Deepening of Democracy”. Please submit proposals by email to  ssecommons.cei@iscte-iul.pt . The submission deadline is May 31st 2019.

19th RIUESS Meeting: “SSE of culture and culture of SSE”
RIUESS 2019 call

The 19th Meeting of the Inter-university Network of the Social and Solidarity Economy (based in France) will focus on the theme “SSE of culture and culture of SSE“. It will take place on the 15th to 17th of May, 2019 at the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée.

You will find the call for papers on this website.

The date of receipt of abstracts is 12 January 2019.

Our Good Food conference in Zagreb
December 17, 2018
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Our Good Food conference was organised in Zagreb becoming a several days event — from October 13 to 16, 2018 — for all interested in good and healthy food, sustainable model for taking care of soil, organic food production, solidarity citizens food groups, local seeds nurturing and exchanging.

First on Thursday, Cooperative for Good Economy used their usual weekly green box delivering to raise the voice and interest in a campaign on Good Food/Good Farming. On Friday, we organised in the city cinema a public movie screening about seed politics and activism.

Saturday was the main day with the Conference where 100+ participants discussed and debated about the above mentioned topics. Additionally we organised a seed swap fair and a regional food activism forum for people from Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It is also worth to mention how we presented at the conference our big campaign and project Community Seed Bank Croatia and partners from Arche Noah explained organic seeds rules and opportunities from the new EU Directive on Organic Agriculture.

On the next day, at our Recycled Estate, there was a practical workshop about soil nurturing with innovative and enriched composting methods for 20 participants. All in all, 150 people participated in all the activities.

New energies and a new team in the URGENCI International Committee

Press Release, 12 November 2018

Over 300 URGENCI International Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) network delegates representing over 2 million members from all over the world have just spent three days gathered in Thessaloniki (Greece) for the 7th Urgenci International CSA network meeting, as well as the 4th European gathering and the 2nd Mediterranean Network meeting.

The first day was devoted to three international tracks, covering food justice and solidarity economy, advocacy, and practitioners topics.

These tracks were carried over into the second day which included 30 different workshops on the above, as well as dedicated tracks for the Mediterranean network, Community Supported Fisheries, a beginner’s track, experience sharing, network building, training and social justice. The broad alliances and coalitions that URGENCI has built over several years were echoed in many sessions, as was the need for improved communication on all our many achievements and work.

The rich contents and enthusiasm as well as open-mindedness and respect were all reflected in the third day’s work dedicated to URGENCI’s General Assembly, where a new three-year plan was drawn up. This is also a reflection of the coming of age of URGENCI as a globally recognised social movement and of the increasingly democratic and participatory governance.

The General Assembly also considered how to ensure financial stability through a new membership fee structure that will allow the network to withstand the pressures of potential project shortfalls and financial crises that could result from the current project-based model, and build a new approach was adopted to progressively build collective resilience.

The freshly elected International Committee is a good reflection of URGENCI’s will to continue to grow as an even more inclusive and collective effort. It is a younger and more diverse team than ever before, while still reflecting the producer-consumer as well as gender balance that are also part of Urgenci’s core values. It includes Judith Hitchman (Ireland), and Shi Yan (China) as co-presidents, Isa Alvarez (Spain) as vice-president, and Denis Carel (France), Ariel Molina (Brazil), Qiana Mickie (US), Veikko Heinz (Germany), Simon Todzro (Togo), and Shimpei Murakami (Japan). Zsofia Perenyi (Hungary) was re-elected as Special Expert on Education and Training. The spontaneous creation of a new Special Representative for Community Supported Fisheries is the mirror of the strong enthusiasm and determination to build a sister network under the URGENCI banner on this theme. Community Supported Fisheries are already well developed in North America, and are increasingly recognised in Europe! And Elizabeth Henderson (US) will also continue as URGENCI’s Honorary President.

The new work plan includes specific focus on each continent, with key topics that will develop into new project proposals and actions in the course of the next three years.

All this work was made possible by the dedicated Steering Committee and the local team of AGROECOPOLIS led by Jenny Gkiougki. Many side activities were led, ranging from some very beautiful artwork that consisted of printing postcards to be sent to the FAO, customising t-shirts, and a seed mandala-seed swap. The meeting was also supported by a group of 20 volunteer professional interpreters, and the COATI alternative interpretation systems team, who made the communication possible. They are key actors in all major social movement meetings, and help make our work across borders possible!

FRESS Occitanie ! 18th edition
October 16, 2018
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Fress Occitanie 2018 affiche

18th Regional Forum of Social and Solidarity Economy

in Occitanie

23 and 24 November 2018

SSE” symposium: You said you were changing scale ” crossed views of actors/entrepreneurs/researchers/researchers

The 18th Regional Forum of the Social and Solidarity Economy will put SSE actors at the centre of reflection and research and will join researchers to talk about a change of scale in SSE! Built with the Université Jean Jaurès and the Master Nouvelle Economie sociale, created by Jacques Prades, the Forum will honour the work of scientists who have contributed to a theoretical reflection on SSE in France and around the world: Jean-Louis Laville, Jean-François Draperi, Geneviève Azam will be present. Conferences, workshops, citizen debates….. as many spaces during two days to define together what we want in terms of social utility? What size of company? What financing? What governance? With which territorial roots?

Ripess Europe will be invited for a round table discussion on “scaling up in SSE, a European issue”

Crédit Coopératif, in the person of Jean-Louis Bancel, will chair the final conferences before an audience of elected representatives, citizens and SSE companies!

info of FRESS : www.fress-occitanie.fr
and on the social networls
#ESSjelabooste
GSEF2018: RIPESS and REAS Euskadi present the Declaration for a Transformative SSE
Declaration Transformative SSE Bilbao

Within the framework of the GSEF2018 (Global Social Economy Forum) in Bilbao on the 2nd of October 2018, RIPESS and REAS Euskadi have launched the Declaration for a Transformative Social and Solidarity Economy. The statement comes when it is the thenth anniversary since the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the trigger that ignited the biggest financial crisis even known.

The outbreak of the financial crisis in September 2008 placed capitalism at the centre of all citizen’s criticism. However, in these ten years the much-awaited and necessary changes have not occurred. Quite the contrary: the processes of financialization of the economy have increased, its speculative character has strengthened and, above all, the poverty and inequality rates on the planet have grown significantly.

Therefore, the statement wants to “raise the voice to denounce capitalism that commodifies and threatens our lives and our planet. It is a hetero-patriarcal capitalism that promotes discrimination against women and excludes diversity “.

In this way, the people, organizations and networks of SEE present at GSEF 2018 commit themselves through this declaration to “working together with other social movements for the transformation of the economy through alternative and social initiatives in the areas of finance, production, marketing and consumption. By transforming the economy, we transform territories and communities and thus promote a new cultural, social and political model”.

With this initiative, a commitment is made to a transforming social and solidarity-based economy at the service of a New World that is more just, respectful, democratic and sustainable. It is now a question of joining forces, and all existing practices, to build and impose an Inclusive Global Agenda from the Local to the International, and show that we have answers and proposals to overcome today’s huge global challenges.

In the act of launching the declaration, the World Social Forum of the Transformative Economies that will be held in Barcelona in 2020 has also been presented to the people attending the GSEF 2018.

You can consult the Declaration for a transforming Social and Solidarity Economy here.

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.

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