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Platform co-operatives: Inspiring ideas for a new economy
April 6, 2017

Article of Institute for Solidarity Economics, April 4, 2017 by Kat D

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.

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Be part of the Universse 2017: Call for Ideas for the 4th European SSE Congress in Athens

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: call@universse2017.org

Proposed axes:

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

Organizational Team contact: call@universse2017.org – www.universse2017.org

Ripess EU contact: info@ripess.eu – www.ripess.eu

Italy: after the earthquake, the reactions of the solidarity economy
December 22, 2016
Tremblement en Italie
Three weeks after the earthquake on October 30th in the centre of the Italy, here is a small guide to the initiatives launched in the regions that were hit (Lazio, Marche and Umbria) to support the most affected communities. Post-emergency projects, which have already in view 2017 and the creation of new solidarity economy circuits under the sign of sustainability.
by Luca Martinelli (23 novembre 2016)
The new Greek law on SSE: progressing in the right direction
Greek Parliament Athens

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.

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Editorial: Hungry for change!
December 18, 2016

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,

Eric Lavillunière
Coordinateur Général RIPESS Europe

Enercoop: Towards shared governance!
December 18, 2016
Enercoop gouvernance partagee

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”.
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Toulouse: the 16th SSE Regional Forum in Occitania (FRESS) between territories in transition
December 14, 2016

A nice atmosphere and lots of enthusiasm was in the air on the 18th and 19th of November for the 16th Regional Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy in Occitania (FRESS) which took place in Toulouse, France. Promoted by by ADEPES, the Mouvement for Solidarity Economy in Occitania, and co-organised by nearly 30 SSE actors and accompanied by more than 20 volunteers, the Fress 2016 gathered:

600 visiters both professionals and general public

55 Exhibitors reflecting the diversity and complementarity of SSE actors

35 institutional, private, associative actors, coming from all Occitania and beyond

120 participants in 8 workshops

16 seminars, conférences, tables rondes …

Including 2 large citizen and participatory animations: The FlashLab fleet-boost citizen with project carriers and Fabrik – young people imagine and decide now the world of tomorrow

The issues of citizenship, territories and transition were at the heart of the Forum’s meetings and debates, whose thread was “the economy, my territory and me.” Rich in meetings, cooperation and innovations, this FRESS offered to participants “unforgettable moments, an immeasurable human wealth” as Claudine Farhan of the associationPasserelles et Compétences said. Happy to have offered such moments to the ESS actors of Occitania, ADEPES is already launched to prepare a FRESS 2017 even more impacting.

Careful to encouraging real and lively citizenship, ADEPES will make these exchanges live throughout the year, notably by committing to Alternatiba 2017.  Already, the team is boiling, the Flashlab and the Fabrik have given us the idea of creating an innovative participatory process, starting from a solidarity living lab.

[By Bérénice Dondeyne, ADEPES]

Some pictures from the even:

Les porteurs de projet du Flashlab- FRESS 2016

La Fabrik du FRESS 2016


“Being WISE towards EU2020 strategy!”
December 14, 2016

The active labour market measures designed to work integration social enterprises are efficient to integrate disadvantaged people on the labour market. Indeed, they enable the disadvantaged persons to find a job or a vocational training while favouring the increase of self-esteem and confidence throughout a tailored integration pathway. By choosing the work integration social enterprise model, public authorities change the costs[i]  linked to the disadvantaged person into a real investment generating a economic[ii]  and social return.

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EMPATHEAST: rethinking social good and co-creating alternatives in Eastern Europe
December 12, 2016
Empatheast 2016 circle

Jason Nardi at Empatheast 2016The forum for empathy-driven social change in Eastern Europe: EMPATHEAST is an annual event organized by Ideas Factory (Sofia, Bulgaria). The third edition took place between Nov. 11-13th in the town of Vratsa, Bulgaria – the poorest region of the EU. The forum`s aim was to break the stereotype about ever depopulating region by creating space for co-creation of alternatives – in economy, culture and citizen`s led innovations.

It gathered around 200 guests from Europe, Bulgaria and local people in search of innovative answers to burning societal challenges. This year’s topic “This>connect:rethinking social good in times of radicalization” searched for answers across disciplines and sectors and managed to support 5 innovative ideas changing the city.

The next edition will be in November 2017 again in Bulgaria.

More information here: www.empatheast.net

SSE in Initial Vocational Education and Training (IVET)
December 9, 2016

On November 30th 2016 in Rome the first meeting of the Erasmus+ project “SSEE Ivet” took place, aiming to promote the Social Solidarity Economy in Europe through an action research initiating an innovative study programme on initial and vocational training (IVET). It is about formulating and evaluating an SSE vocational training curriculum for young people who come out of the education system without a diploma.

The coordination of the project is done by APDES, a Portuguese education and prevention organization in the field of health, vocational insertion and local development, as well as supporting development co-operation in the global South, and which is also a founding member of the Redpes, the new Portuguese network of SSE.  APDES asked RIPESS Europe to be a partner in the project, together with other 7, of which 3 are RIPESS members (Technet Berlin, CRIES and Solidarius Italia).

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