[by Ruby Van der Wekken]
Commons.fi and visiting RIPESS coordination team participated at the Pixelache 2017 Local and Decentralised Festival. For Commons.fi already having the intention to participate the Pixelache Festival, the possibility to have the RIPESS team over was a great opportunity to share on all and strengthen own objectives. Read more
[by Ruby Van der Wekken]
[by Luca Asperius] The initiative SoliOli, that succesfully closed its second campaign last Spring with more than 33.000 euro of direct orders from Germany to Greek cooperatives, organized a small trip to visit them in Greece, learn directly about their structure and workflows and strengthen the link between the producers and the consumers. Read more
Dear RIPESS members and friends,
RIPESS is celebrating the 20th birthday of our movement!
The first meeting of the globalization of solidarity was held in Lima, Peru, from the 1st to the 4th of July 1997, as an initiative of GRESP, the Peruvian network for solidarity economy. Following this meeting and declaration, the desire to internationalize the SSE movement was strongly expressed, and the formal network officially took form as “RIPESS” five years later, in December 2002.
In the hearts and minds of all those who have contributed to the RIPESS movement, and those who continue to do so, the Lima meeting undoubtedly marks the symbolic foundation of a global collective dynamic to unite forces to counter unbridled globalization.
Where are we now? What have we achieved, and what are our joint commitments between our continents? What could we improve? We invite everyone to take a little moment to reflect on the answers.
In fact, the next face-to-face RIPESS Board meeting will be held in Barcelona in October and this will provide us with an important opportunity to evaluate and explore new strategic directions.
Furthermore, the launch of the content of the new RIPESS website in July will also be symbolic in this sense.
But now it’s time to celebrate! We must take pride in our success. We welcome you rmessages of support and will be happy to share them on the RIPESS communication channels.
We also invite you to re-read the Lima Declaration (attached) : it is still very relevant in the 2017 context.
!Thank you for sharing this message with your networks and any other person / organization you consider appropriate!
The RIPESS Coordination Team
Europe is under heavy weather: it is undermined by populism, legitimately contested by all those who consider it too dependent on the big financial and industrial powers, and defended by all humanists who do not wish to see nationalism take hold again, who do not believe in isolationism but rather imagine a space for exchange, positive cooperation and a culture of the common good. The present challenges, especially those of the preservation of the Planet and even of the humankind, can only be resolved by using our collective intelligence and our combined strength to jointly build the paths towards our future.
RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe has set itself the task of linking the actors of social transformation for a better future that benefits us all. That is the underlying meaning of the activities in which our members are involved, and continue to implement. This objective implies that alliances should be undertaken with more or less key prospects, all our approaches being above all aimed to converge and join other like-minded energies. This is the spirit with which we participated in the NESI Forum (New Economy and Social Innovation) that was held in Malaga from April 19 to 21. It was mainly constituted by a large number of energy and social transition organizations.
The divergence of views and opinions has helped to have rich debates and exchange of ideas, reaching from social entrepreneurship to solidarity economy, as the Forum brought together many people of good will who actively participate in the renewal of the paradigm of economic thought (and practice).
There were some 700 participants from 43 countries at the Forum. A Charter – RIPESS EU participated in the drafting committee – and “100 actions to change the world” emerged from the numerous workshops that took place. There will undoubtedly be follow ups, in particular on the theme of the Commons.
RIPESS Europe will participate in the International Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy entitled “Engagement, citizenship and development: how to train in SSE”, on May 22-24 in Marrakech (Morocco). The meeting i organized by the Inter-university Network for SSE (sRIUESS), in partnership with our RIPESS Morocco and African counterparts REMESS, and RAESS. At the end of the forum, which will bring together more than 150 Francophone researchers from Europe and Africa, the various networks have scheduled a meeting to discuss possible future cooperation in the field of training.
Finally, our network’s General Assembly will be held at the 4th European Solidarity Economy Congress in Athens – organized by a group of Greek actors in partnership with RIPESS Europe. It is a very good opportunity to return to the Greek capital after our first visit to Solidarity4all in 2014, when the SSE was seeking its identity, without even having developed a real definition. Since then, it has evolved in a country where it represents, more than anywhere else, the oxygen necessary for the survival of citizens asphyxiated by the austerity measures imposed on their country. This event promises to be rich in content, opportunities for debate and joyful festivities. Let us welcome the inventiveness of our Greek friends who called it UNIVERSSE 2017. We hope to see you there, together with many others and hope that the beautiful energy of the inventors of the future will circulate there with serenity.
A month ago we joined around 300 others at Open:2017, the UK’s first multi-day conference dedicated to platform co-operatives, organised by The Open Co-op LLP. As one of the early sponsors of the event, we were so excited to help make it happen, and to contribute to what became an incredibly inspiring couple of days.
For those who might not know, ‘platform co-operatives’ are owned and managed by their members just like traditional co-ops, but whilst traditional co-ops are normally based around a physical community of members, platform co-ops exist online and are normally populated by online communities of members. As Oliver Sylvester-Bradley, co-founder of The Open Co-op, explains in his Co-operative News article, the word ‘platform’ is often used to describe an internet service which brings together suppliers and consumers in an online marketplace. But they don’t necessarily provide traditional ‘products’, they often facilitate the trade of services, like taxis or temporary accommodation. Companies like Uber, Airbnb and Deliveroo – platform monopolies – have been the recent focus of much negative media attention for their unfair treatment of workers, whilst generating huge profits for their shareholders. Platform co-ops, on the other hand, are specifically designed to address the issues of workers’ rights and the extraction of value by making their members owners of the platforms, and giving them democratic control.
So, coming together at Open:2017 were individuals, initiatives and organisations united in their vision of a transparent, democratic and decentralised economy which works for everyone. Contributors focused on exploring how collaborative software and co-operative ownership models are being combined to create this new economy. Workshops, talks and debates considered the practical steps needed to set up platform co-ops and accelerate their growth in the UK. There was much talk about an ecosystem of apps to support the Solidarity Economy in general, and the co-op movement in particular, and it’s really exciting to feel this momentum.
Be part of the Universse 2017
Democratising Economy, Emancipating Society, Empowering Change
The 4th European Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) Congress will take place in Athens on the 9/10/11th of June. Cooperatives, grassroots initiatives, SSE organisations, groups and people that work to promote and advance SSE from all over Europe will meet for the event.
During the 3day Congress, we are going to have the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas, experiences, expertise and common strategies around SSE. We consider SSE to be a dynamic space that spreads all over Europe, in which people organise their social and economic activity in many different ways.
This event is a great opportunity to enhance SSE’s visibility in Greece and to build strong connections amongst people, groups and coops on a European level.
We are also happy to announce that the 6th General Assembly of RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe will be held in Athens as well, as part of the Congress.
Call for ideas
While the organisation team works for the success of this congress, we are looking forward to receiving your ideas regarding the following themes that wprioritiseze to discuss during the 3day Congress.
The procedure will be the following:
Every group, network or individual that is interested in participating on the process of formulating the program, could send ideas according to the following axes, until 05/03/2017 through our email: email@example.com
1) Concepts, forms and fields of social solidarity economy and cooperativism
2) Responsible consumption, production and climate change
3) Practices of SSE on social integration with a special focus on refugees issues
4) Social innovation: Research, technology, education and tools for SSE
5) Commons: Approaches and practices on digital, natural, urban, cultural common goods
6) Public policies (on local, national, European level) promoting SSE : From whom, for who, what for.
7) Open space / Free zone
We invite ideas indicating the thematic area you refer to and the format of the meeting you propose (workshop, panel discussion, etc.). After the deadline (05/03/2017), the organizational team will assess all proposals and arrange them in clusters. Within these clusters we will make an effort to include as many ideas sent as possible.
The main intention is to organize the Congress along with the main axes (plus the free zone area) in order to enable a common vision while allowing for the exchange of different perspectives and experiences.
Check for updates and contact us
At the end of October 2016 the Greek parliament voted for the new law 4430/2016 on the “Social and Solidarity Economy and the development of its actors”.
In our point of view, this law constitutes an essential progress for the development of SSE in Greece since it sets a framework of specific values and principles that define the actors, as SSE actors. More specifically, it disconnects the legal entity and the legal status as a precondition to be a SSE actor.
It is standard practice when writing an end-of-year editorial message to rejoice in the success stories of the year, so I will carry on the tradition by underlining the success of the GSEF in Montreal early last September, and the EFSSE that was held in Brussels at the European Parliament in January.
There is something inconclusive in the air at the end of this year… Have we really engaged as planned with the urgent need to address climate change or social and political issues? Definitely not. Our house is on fire, the fracture between the political and civil society spheres is ever greater and is leaving wide open space for self-declared, anti-systemic populist political movements.
But we will not give in to this, or lower of demands. RIPESS Europe already has a full calendar of events planned for 2017, and we wish to invite you to continue to jointly build a real change of paradigm. We will therefore be participating in Malaga in the NESI Forum in April. It is another important stage on the journey to build convergence between the movements aiming to change society. There will then be the 2nd EFSSE that will take place in Brussels in May, followed by the RIUESS meeting that will allow us to think about how we can build spaces around the Mediterranean. In June we will be holding our Congress in Athens, and we need to jointly develop the agenda for that. The congress will also allow us to renew the energy in our various working groups.
This is a considerable programme, and it should help us to move forward to propose concrete alternatives and place them in the various agendas of civil society. Because to create change, we need to “rethink our action paradigms, as well as those for managing our companies and act within the collective imagination” as Jordi Via, the Commissioner for Social and solidarity economy in Barcelona told us at our recent meeting there.
This is the roadmap that we should adopt and include in our resolutions for 2017!
Wishing you all seasons’ greetings,
Coordinateur Général RIPESS Europe
Today within the Enercoop network, “shared governance” is infused gradually into everyday practices. But what is shared governance? The subject is vast but in a few words, it is an organizational method that allows people to work cooperatively on the basis of the so-called “collective intelligence”.