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UniverSSE2017
Video
Local citizen currency as a neighborhood economic contract

by Jean Rossiaud & Antonin Calderon (Léman Currency/ APRES-GE)

In this fourth chapter of the series that we started in October, on the theme of “local currencies”, after an overview of the advantages and challenges of local currencies through the example of the Léman (October 2018), the possibilities for collaboration and synergies between local currencies and local contract agriculture (LCA) (December 2018), and the interest of local currencies as tools for the development of economic agricultural sectors (February 2019), we are now proposing no longer to start from sectors, but from territories (neighborhoods, villages, etc.) to build short-circuits and collectively be part of the transition.

The climate crisis brings us back to common sense by making us aware that it is ecologically, economically and socially absurd to consume, in Geneva or Paris, tomatoes harvested in Holland, canned in Romania and whose cans themselves have been produced in Southeast Asia. The free movement of goods, particularly in the agricultural sector, has led to the economic specialization of entire regions and increased dependence on traders and large distributors. The competition between all the world’s territories produces great economic and social vulnerability everywhere locally; it is neither ecologically sustainable nor economically sustainable. That is why we come back to “short food supply chains”.

It is common to refer to ” short food supply chains ” as distribution channels, most often agricultural, where only one intermediary operates between the producer and the consumer, whether through direct sales (see our article on Local Agriculture,December 2018 , ) or indirect sales.

Today, there is a growing demand for ” short food supply chains “, because as consum’actors we want to protect our health and our environment at the same time. But historically, short circuits were the rule, especially just outside the city walls, as in Geneva on the Plain of Plainpalais or in Paris for market gardening villages to supply halls and urban markets.

However, the idea of ” short food supply chains “, in its contemporary renaissance, refers to the representation of ” Small is Beautiful ” (by the British economist Ernst Friedrich Schumacher) and of Territorial self-organization, as Hans Widmer (P. M.) imagines it, where ” neighborhood” are both economic and social living areas ” at human level ” and political spaces for governance in the communes.

Read more
TAPAS, There Are Platforms as AlternativeS: a research program aiming to foster SSE & commons based platforms.

(TAPAS – There Are Platforms as Alternatives) is a research program financed by the French Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Solidarities and Health, led jointly by the CEPN (Centre d’économie et de gestion de l’Université Paris 13 – UMR CNRS 7234) and the association, Coop des Communs.

Created in 2016, La Coop des Communs comprises commons and SSE practitioners, as well as researchers and public actors. Its goal is to help build an ecosystem conducive to the emergence of commons. “Allies, Commons and ESS can constitute, not residual solutions, but real pillars for sustainable development in a pluralist vision of the economy” (La Coop des Communs, 2018). La Coop des Communs is organised into work groups, including the Plateformes en Communs (Platforms in Commons) group. This took shape around digital platforms open to sharing practices in order to “bring together a set of emerging or existing actors who share these values, within an open community” and “build a mutualised toolbox aimed at operationality, and enable the appropriation of the new peer-to-peer possibilities offered by digital technology”(La Coop des Communs, 2017). The group’s objective is to create, run and equip the platform community in line with a code of ethics based on five principles: inclusive governance, equitable sharing of value, data ethics, production of commons, and cooperation among members. By cross-comparing several sampling criteria (including diversity of the development levels of the platform’s activity and the sectors of activity), the team selected nine sharing platforms.

The project is based on the empirical study of nine SSE platforms, analysing substantive, social solidarity economy mechanisms they develop. The results will propose a typology of collaborative platforms according to the economic models on which they are based and modes of treatment of the contributors to the functioning of the platform they propose. Emphasis will be placed on the combination of these two dimensions as well as on socioeconomic solutions and innovations to overcome the obstacles encountered by the actors. Description of the project is in French but the results will be available in English as well.

See more (Fr) : https://cepn.univ-paris13.fr/tapas/

SSE & the commons: first official initial training opens in France, University Paris 13 – CEPN Lab

The Economy and Management of the Commons Master degree has just opened in Paris 13, dedicated to the political economy of the commons, offering adjusted alternative management training. Fostering a democratic economy, the social solidarity economy is a crucial ally to the development of the commons. Their combination calls for dedicated and appropriate training: this Master is a first step. Commons call for an appropriate governance implementing a bundle of rights that will enable a diversity of stakeholders to take part to the commons; organizational forms and work organisation are to be tailored to the democratic aspiration of commoners. Those different aspects are breaking up with the extreme private property regime of appropriation, self-regulated market competition, and the hierarchical management.

Paris 13 and the CEPN Lab in particular have been dedicated to foster the commons development, actively cooperating with commons initiatives, networks of SSE & commons, alternative digital platforms, etc., through research programs.

The 6th Conference of the Regulating for Decent Work Network organized by ILO : “Work and well-being in the 21st century”

The RDW conference in 2017 explored some of the key dimensions which have impacted the world of work. The 2019 RDW conference will continue to focus on the future of work, to advance our understanding of what innovative institutions and transformative policies could help in ensuring a more equitable and just society. In their papers, contributors are invited to propose new ideas and policies that could help the global community in shaping a better future of work with a focus on: (i) transitions and transformations in the world of work; (ii) rethinking capitalism; (iii) well-being in the world of work; and (iv) building and renewing institutions: a social contract for the 21st century. This conference will contribute to the global debates during the International Labour Office (ILO)’s 100th anniversary in 2019.

Members of RIPESS Europe will participate to this conference, sharing analysis regarding the major contribution of SSE to the future of decent work, facing the environmental-capitalocene crisis, and the challenge of building solidarity between generations (some parts or the world becoming structurally older, some younger).

Following RIPESS Europe contribution for the open call regarding the development of the European Social Pillar of Social Rights, some element that will be communicated during that conference will be published in the next RIPESS Europe newsletter.

Link: www.ilo.org/rdw2019

European Project VET-2 (2018-2020): Mapping for Trainers is Out

One of the main objectives of this VET-2 project is to develop a competence profile for SSE trainers in different disciplines of VET studies. This report explores the possibility of integrating VET trainers’ competences in existing training programs. In order to do so, the organisations and networks part of the project – from Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Portugal, Romania – participated to a survey to explore elements that will be introduced in trainers competence profile adjusted to SSE requirement. Thus, in this report “Mapping of trainers’ competences and existing SSE training programs”, partners proceeded to an in depth analysis of the situation, with the help and answers of the people most fitted to answer: the trainers themselves. Interviews and desk research were used for data collection. Unveiling opportunities and constraints to develop SSE VET curricula, this report is an important contribution for the partners and RIPESS Europe to help overcome the inadequacy of the Occupational Standard, reaching out for all potential trainees. SSE vision and practices opens a new pathway on many issues such as nature and future of work, local development, social responsibility, education, training, etc. In that context, there are many opportunities for further SSE integration in VET trainings.

See also

The World Social Forum of Transformative Economies. Promoting synergies

The preparatory meeting for the WSFTE was held in Barcelona on 5, 6 and 7 April 2019. It brought together more than 300 people from all over the world, more than half of whom came naturally from Catalonia and Spain. For RIPESS international members from Africa, Latin America, North America, Asia and more from Europe (18 countries represented), this meeting was an excellent opportunity to share their experiences with people working in other parts of the world and in very diverse fields.

There were representatives of structures dedicated to the development of municipalities, the defence of agro-ecology, the promotion of eco-feminism, ecohousing, social currencies and ethical finance, popular education, alternative media and, of course, social and solidarity economy networks.
The place was well suited for this meeting. The Aula Magna University in Barcelona offered suitable rooms and above all an outdoor space conducive to informal exchanges during meals. The animation of the many workshops was very structured and but too vague at times. The participants sometimes considered that what was proposed for reflection pre-formatted the course of the debates a little too much. It must be recognized that the ambition of the meeting required that it be planned. The whole thing gave the impression of a promising potential but one that lacked the space and time to deploy further.

This test run augurs well for a series of rich interactions but also shows the difficulties in establishing the convergences that are essential to ensure a future for the species living on the planet, an increasingly important part of which is threatened with extinction, and ultimately the human species itself. Even if a certain awareness is beginning to grow, especially among the younger generations, it is urgent to gather all the energies to shift the current economic paradigms from a mad rush to profit towards a rational management of resources and a better social and ecological balance. All the parameters mentioned above will allow this fundamental change of direction.
All these dimensions, worked on by groups in a way that is still too often considered marginal or experimental, are still fragmented. Together, they form a coherent holistic approach in which each party can consider itself a legitimate actor. It is not only a question of fighting against but also of proposing concrete, current and effective actions, capable, through their demonstration, of attracting the support of a larger mass of people who will themselves become actors of change. Finally, these meetings, by providing an opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and know-how, contribute to strengthening the determination of the activists of all these networks and in a context where threats from authoritarian governments are increasing, this last point is far from being superfluous.
To achieve its objective, the WSFTE must adopt a more “intercultural” approach that better articulates the networks that were present this spring in Barcelona, so that all those who have visited it feel really empowered.

SSE of culture, culture of SSE, the RIUESS conference in Marne la Vallée, deep and joyful

On 15, 16 and 17 May, the Réseau Interuniversitaire de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire held its conference, this time hosted by the Université Paris – Est Marne la Vallée. This was the nineteenth edition of this event, which brings together SSE researchers and actors every year, this year under the title SSE of culture, culture of SSE. More than 200 participants were able to exchange ideas within a renovated university, in very good conditions of comfort and accompanied by a team of staff and students of the Chair of Social and Solidarity Economy, under the kind responsibility of Hervé Defalvard.

The opening conference was given by Farida Shaheed, Executive Director of the Shirkat Gah-Women Resource Centre (Pakistan) and former and first UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights. Laura Aufrère, who initiated this invitation, introduced Farida and stressed the importance of her work in understanding the multiple dimensions of cultural rights.


Farida Shaheed, while saying she knew little about SSE, said in the preamble that respect for human rights is an unfailing foundation of an economy that claims to be inclusive. Cultural rights allow the development of specific worldviews and the resulting ways of life. According to the United Nations definition, it is “the right of everyone to take part in cultural life and to benefit from scientific progress and its applications”. Culture is never static, it is always evolving. Similarly, no community can be referred to a single culture knowing that there is always a dominant culture that power imposes to the detriment of so-called minority cultures, including those of women, youth, ethnic minorities, etc. Cultural rights include the right to criticize, contradict and reformulate the parameters of the dominant culture.


According to Farida, one cannot talk about cultural rights without addressing the issue of gender. While women play a fundamental role in cultural transmission, their influence in decision-making is limited and rules are defined little or not at all by women. They face different forms of violence for acts as simple as choosing whether and with whom they want to marry, how to dress and where they are allowed to go. When they violate these rules, enacted without their advice, they are sentenced on the pretext of treason. This is why it is urgent to change the paradigm and place women on an equal footing in their role as spokespersons for what must be transmitted or abandoned from a culture undergoing renovation. Similarly, young people or the marginalized must regain their right to expression and influence.

In her presentation, Farida Shaheed also addresses the issue of access to technologies and the problem of transferring the results of research conducted in public laboratories to the public interest. It also highlights the danger faced by artists whose expression can be censored because it is perceived as threatening to the cultural status quo and thus the right to artistic expression is linked to the right to peaceful assembly, freedom of association including the right to form trade unions, the right to benefit from the moral and material protections related to their production and the right to leisure.

There is also a real demand for the restoration of historical truths that have been abused by “official history, especially for the peoples who have suffered colonization. In conclusion, Farida emphasizes the importance of respecting diversity by using the metaphor of the damage caused by monoculture in agroecology. Human ecology needs space and time for multidimensional exchanges.

Two upcoming events were announced in plenary: the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies in May 2020, with which RIUESS will be associated, and the 2nd International SSE Forum “Co-constructing reciprocity in North-South relations”, which will take place in Carthage (Tunisia) on 15-17 April.

There were 10 workshops or 30 contributors in two sessions, according to 5 main axes: the modes of organization of SSE in and through culture, SSE cultures between pluralism, isomorphism and new paths, alliances between culture and SSE, interculturality in SSE, minority, diversity at the crossroads of SSE and culture. (contributions will soon be available on the website as well as on socioeco.org.)

The round table moderated by Patricia Coler (UFISC) Culture and Territory examined the place of local agreements in the dynamics of territories.
Finally, the students had organized the gala evening with film screenings and music for dancing, a very cheerful evening. The twentieth meeting is scheduled for May 27,28,29 2020 in Clermont-Ferrand.

Independent media talk about SSE

Independent media are close to the SSE, often by their status and especially by the values they defend. But how do they approach it? Here is a selection of independent media articles from the last three months. You can also find them on the map of socioeco.org: Journalism of Solutions (the articles are located in the city where the experience is taking place or, in the case of a general article, in the city where the media is based).

As you will see, the articles are in their original language, due to the diversity of European countries. For Greek, for which the Efsyn journal is particularly present with sometimes several articles per week on SSE, an English summary is included. This will allow you to perceive which themes are covered by these media: sustainable development, refugees, self-management, cooperatives, organic agriculture, etc. Feel free to send us an article or a media site to improve the map and our knowledge of SSE. Write to Françoise Wautiez: fwautiez[at]socioeco.org

Cover picture from Reporterre L’eusko basque, première monnaie locale européenne

French

  • [Tribune] Monnaies locales : 10 leviers pour les développer à grande échelle, Samuel Sauvage, Tribune de Social Alter, 01/03/2019 [lire]
  • L’eusko basque, première monnaie locale européenne, Chloé Rébillard, Article de Reporterre, 27 mars 2019 [lire]
  • L’industrie sociale et solidaire : mais si, c’est possible ! (Vitamine T), Article de The Conversation, 17/04/2019 [lire]
  • Le travail collectif est un principe fondateur de l’économie solidaire Hafid Azzouzi, Article de El Watan, 8 mai 2019 [lire]
  • Changer l’entreprise avec l’économie sociale et solidaire, Jerôme Saddier, Tribune de Alternatives Economiques, 23/05/2019 [lire]

English

  • Using Employee Ownership to Build a More Equitable Future for Work Melissa Hoover, Article of Non Profit Quarterly, 2019 [lire]
  • Explosion of Interest in Worker Cooperatives Drives Economic Changes, Brian Van Slyke, Article of Truthout, 24/04/2019 [lire]
  • Unions and co-ops – a new way forward for workers?, Miles Hadfield, Article of thenews.coop, 29 April 2019 [lire]

Spanish

  • Políticas para una economía más justa, democrática y sostenible Emma Gascó, Blog El Salto Diario, 9 de abril 2019 [lire]
  • Nace la Red de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria de Castilla-La Mancha, articulo de eldiario.es, 15/04/2019 [lire]
  • Este bloque de viviendas en Madrid demuestra que lo ecológico no es solo para ricos, Sara Acosta, articulo de eldiario.es, 14/04/2019 [lire]
  • Sobre la economía de la economía solidaria, Alfonso B. Bolado, articulo de eldiario.es, 26/04/2019 [lire]
  • Propiedad colectiva para evitar la especulación: así funcionan las cooperativas de vivienda en Uruguay, María García Arenales, articulo de eldiario.es, 19/04/2019 [lire]
  • Economía solidaria y cooperativas en Rojava, Artículo de Kaosenlared, 10 de mayo 2019 [lire]
  • Una cita mundial para fortalecer las economías transformadoras, Blog de El Salto, 29 de mayo 2019 [lire]

Catalan

  • L’habitatge cooperatiu arriba a Nou Barris per trencar esquemes Xavi Fernández de Castro, Articulo de El Mon, 26/03/2019 [lire]
  • L’Economia Solidària, un repte per assolir als Instituts de Secundària
    Blog de Pam a Pam, 1/04/2019 [lire]
  • Erika Licón: “Els procesos d’aprenentatge de l’Economia Social i Solidària és donen en l’acció”, Jordi de Miguel, Articulo de El Critic, 13/05/2019 [lire]

Portuguese

  • Sem terra colhem 16 mil toneladas de arroz orgânico, Gilson Camargo, Articulo de Extra Classe, março 2019 [lire]

Greek

  • Συμμετοχικός σχεδιασμός (Participatory planning), Aphrodite Tziantzi, Article of EFSYN, 13/05/2019 [lire]
  • «Το κοινωνικό κράτος πρέπει να το διασφαλίζουν οι κυβερνήσεις» (« The welfare state must be guaranteed by governments »), Michael Angelos Konstantopoulos, Article of EFSYN, 08/04/2019 [lire]
  • Είναι χρήσιμο να είμαστε όλοι… Κ.ΑΛ.Ο.μαθημένοι! (It is helpful to be all … SSE), Ioanna Sotirchou, Article of EFSYN, 08/04/2019 [lire]
  • Η κοινωνική οικονομία πάνω από τις πολιτικές διαφωνίες (Social economy beypnd political disagreements), Michael Angelos Konstantopoulos, Article of EFSYN, 01/04/2019 [lire]
  • Ο κόσμος της αλληλεγγύης συναντήθηκε στη Γεωπονική (The world of solidarity meets agriculture), Aphrodite Tziantzin Article of EFSYN, 18/03/2019 [lire]
  • Οργάνωση «από τα κάτω» σε καιρό κρίσης (Organization « from the bottom » in a time of crisis), Ioanna Sotirchou, Article of EFSYN, 18/03/2019 [lire]
  • Το όραμα ενός αστέγου για ένα βιβλιοπωλείο και η αλληλεγγύη του κόσμου (The vision of a homeless for a bookstore and the solidarity of the world), Ioanna Sotirchou, Article of EFSYN, 04/03/2019 [lire]
  • Συμπόσιο για την Κοινωνία Πολιτών και την Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. (Symposium on Civil Society and SSE), Ioanna Sotirchou, Article of EFSYN, 04/03/2019 [lire]
Resources for June 2019 (in collaboration with socioeco.org)

In the framework of the 100th anniversary of ILO, we have decided to show which ILO documents related to SSE are referenced on socioeco.org.

We can divide them in 6 main blocks . We present a few examples in the different langages of what is there and invite you to visit the ILO page on socioeco.org:

ILO Position papers on SSE

ILO SSE Academy readers

Every year, – the 10th edition is being hold in this moment-, ILO helds a SSE academy : The Academy targets people responsible for the promotion of SSE around the world, including policy-makers, practitioners, researchers and representatives of workers’ and employers’ organizations.. For example :

A radio series on SSE

A Public Policies for the SSE series

Cooperatives

Illustrated by The Story of the ILO’s Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (No.193) A review of the process of making ILO Recommendation No. 193, its implementation and its impact (see the original recommandation here), you will find 5 subsections for coops :

1. Legislation  on coops:

2. The role of coops

3. Contribution of cooperatives to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (12 up to now)

4. Pedagogical tools :

5. Issues tackled by cooperatives : migrants, child care, informal economy, agriculture, youth employment, waste management, relations with trade unions, clean energy, finance, etc.

Have a good reading !

Publication: Our Commons. Political ideas for a New Europe

Our Commons by Sophie Bloemen and Thomas de Groot features reflections on the enclosure of knowledge and the monopolisation of the digital sphere, stories about renewable energy cooperatives and community foodwaste initiatives and urgent pleas to see the city as a commons and to treat health as a common good. Published by the Institute of Network Cultures, the book is first published online as an e-book, free for all to download and share and as a printable PDF. The book will also be available on a wide variety of print-on-demand platforms.

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