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Renewable energy cooperatives and local authorities
REScoop Zagreb may 2019

This year’s conference focuses on how REScoops and local authorities can transform communities through collaboration and features European REScoops, local authorities (including cities and municipalities) and a bunch of local stakeholders from the RIPESS network, the Compile project and the wider Balkan region.

This 3-day conference will take place in Zagreb, Croatia on Thursday 30th of May, Friday 31st of May and Saturday 1st of June 2019. The international conference on day 1 and 2 will coincide with the 6th General Assembly of REScoop.eu on day 3.

We start the conference on day 1 with a plenary session about Energy Remunicipalisation and a guided tour through Zagreb for REScoop.eu members.

On day 2, REScoops and municipalities will present information on how to accelerate the energy transition at the local level. European stakeholders will explain how citizen energy communities are organised in their respective countries and best practices of innovative collaboration between REScoops and local authorities in the Balkan region and beyond will be showcased. Finally, during several interactive sessions participants will be able to share thoughts and ideas

On day 3, more interactive workshop sessions will be organised, followed by REScoop.eu’s General Assembly

More info

Urban Alternatives: a new map to share transformative municipalist initiatives
urban alternatives

Urban Alternatives is a collaboration that brings together municipalist activists, academics, local governments, think-tanks and NGOs. The founding collaborators include participants from: Madrid 129, European Alternatives, Transnational Institute, Habitat International Coalition, MISTRA Urban Futures, Sheffield University Urban Institute, University of Aalborg, RIPESS Europe, P2P Foundation, Commons Network and the Global Platform for the Right to the City.

This mapping project looks to understand and map those initiatives that are emerging from the many urban social movements that are claiming the right to the city, occupying urban space, demanding social justice, democratic participation, cultural spaces and economic transformations. Largely hidden from our collective consciousness, this distributed and emergent set of actions demonstrated that it is not only possible to think of alternatives to the neoliberal paradigm, but that these alternatives are already happening. Our collaboration has two sets of goals:

1. To create the greatest possible visibility of positive urban transformation, revealing common dimensions of an emerging urban movement. We want to document – and to prove – that change is possible;

2. To create an ongoing process for developing common perspectives and understandings, supporting knowledge transfer between a diverse pool of actors, and providing opportunities for shared projects and common campaigns.

Brought into focus by the squares movement and the occupation of public space (from Tahrir to Puerta del Sol and Plaça de Catalunya, Taksim or Mong Kok), we’re witnessing a wave of initiatives ‘from below’ and ‘from the side’ that are looking to transform our urban environment. These initiatives – from the democratic remunicipalisation of energy production or the development of citizen policy-making mechanisms, through to the establishment of worker cooperatives to help meaningfully welcome refugees – all share a common thread. Not only do they pose a challenge to the increasing financialization of economy and commodification of urban space, they do so through putting faith in our own capacity to generate innovative projects, policies and prototypes that move us towards living our lives in common.

Go to the website: www.urbanalternatives.org

More farmers, better food: Nyéléni ECA releases CAP publication
More farmers better food CAP

Sustainable small farmers should be put at the core of EU agricultural policy, according to a new paper by the Nyeleni Europe and Central Asia Platform for Food Sovereignty [1]. The strongly documented publication comes ahead of a key vote in the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in early April, and represents the position of a pan-European coalition of farmers, peasants, pastoralists, fisherfolk, Indigenous Peoples and environmental organizations in regards to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

The report highlights the alarming situation in rural areas and in the food system in the EU: Between 2005 and 2016, the number of farm holdings under 50 hectares fell by 29.4%. Over 4 million holdings disappeared in just 10 years. Increased numbers of seasonal, and often migrant workers suffer appalling working and living conditions. Pollution linked to agrochemicals continues to have a negative impact on public health – chemical residues are found in food, nitrate and phosphorus run-off pollutes water and soil. High levels of antibiotic use in animal farming leads to antimicrobial resistance. Around 88 million tons of food waste is generated per year, as a result of the industrial food chain. CAP has made the EU extremely dependent on cheap imports from regions with far lower environmental and social standards.

Stanka Becheva, food sovereignty campaigner at Friends of the Earth Europe said: “With the world facing multiple environmental and social crises, many of which are directly linked to how we feed ourselves, EU politicians need to listen to small-scale sustainable farmers who can help fix the climate crisis and the breakdown of the natural world. The food systems they create provide healthy, affordable, and local food for consumers, respects nature and climate, and create safe and dignified employment.”

Laying out the part of the report focused on what is needed from the CAP for this transition to be successful, Genevieve Savigny, farmer and representative of the European Coordination Via Campesina [2], says “the CAP must provide small-scale sustainable producers with the adequate political, economic and social support they need. This implies fair prices, setting a capping for direct payments and a redistribution of aid. Currently, less than 2% of CAP beneficiaries receive 30% of the total budget of direct payments. This must change. More money for rural development and a collective approach of projects where peasant agroecology is promoted must be put forth. And for our youth? Support to new farmers during the first years of their activity is essential.”

“This report also shows the environmental and social benefits of new, local partnerships between producers and consumers. It comes right in time to show that a new social contract between food producers and the societies they feed is highly awaited and urgently needed”, says Judith Hitchman from URGENCI, the international network of Community Supported Agriculture movements.

Download the report (in English) here.

Transformative Cities Award: still time to apply
Transformative Cities Award

The 2019 edition of the Transformative Cities initiative has started with the publication of the Open Call (Open until 15th of March).

We invite you to apply to the 2019 “Transformative Cities Award”; this open call being a great opportunity to highlight grassroot initiatives that have made a difference in their community on Housing, Energy, Water and Food Systems

RIPESS joined a group of organizations that are promoting the 2nd edition of the “Transformative Cities Award” aiming to highlight political practices and solutions that can serve as inspiration for others – See related information HERE.

In this second edition, the award is looking for initiatives that have succeeded in articulating an inclusive vision for a social majority to transform their city or defined environment. The prize aspires to create a new model of awards, which is participatory, inspirational, and rooted in exchanges and learning; the idea would be to highlight practices that can be replicated in other regions and places.

“Transformative Cities Award”: all you need to know!

You can find all the information of the prize here.

Or you can watch a video with basic information: https://youtu.be/yhhDkLPqIqo

Who can apply?

This initiative is open to collectives not individuals. A collective can have the form of a social movement with recognizable structures and goals without a formal legal recognition, a legally existing civil society organization, a citizens platform seeking to gain institutional power at municipal and/or city level via a political candidacy, an established city council, or other forms of collective action that centre their practices in a specific location that is not generally recognized as a region, state or similar delimitations.

Transformative… doing what?

The second edition of the award (2019) will look at the three issues of the first edition: Energy, Water and Housing plus an additional one: Food systems. Each initiative can also apply to several issues simultaneously under the same application.

Ok… but what do you mean by “transformative”?

“Transformative” recognizes that these struggles have succeeded in articulating an inclusive vision for a social majority to transform their city or defined environment. These practices will have measurable results, since they have been implemented successfully, and they will be practices that can be replicated in other regions and places. 

How they can submit their initiative?

Completing this online form or sending the attached Application form to transformativecities@tni.org

What is the deadline to submit the proposal?

They can submit their application until the 15th of March 2019 at 23.59h CET.

What is the selection criteria?

These are the key elements of a Transformative Practice:

  • Equity and participation
  • Capacity to inspire collective action
  • Impact
  • Transferability and replicability
  • Accountability and Transparency
  • Solidarity and Public ethos
  • Sustainability and efficiency
  • Fairness of labour conditions and the recognition of care and domestic work

It is just for “cities”?

The concept of “city” is a highly contested one, scientifically or politically. For the purpose of the award, they define cities in very broad terms as the locations for place-based struggles for basic rights. They understand that cities have certain strategic advantages to advance social, environmental and gender justice – in terms of combining critical masses of people as well as potential for more accountable governance. This will encompass transformative practices happening in urban and rural areas and in areas that could be described as both.

Who is behind this award?

The Transformative Cities initiative is launched by a group of regional and international organizations (in alphabetical order): European network for community-led initiatives on climate change and sustainability (Ecolise), Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C) and the Transnational Institute (TNI). 


Watch (and share and comment) this 2 minute video (English only for now – other languages coming soon): 

Twitter https://twitter.com/TransfCities/status/106269135219291340 
Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/TransfCities/videos/251609742180147/
Youtube https://youtu.be/yhhDkLPqIqo


Got any questions? See https://transformativecities.org/frequently-asked-questions 

You can help to promote it, forward this email and/or use the suggestions below.

Consider applying and spread the word with those who might want to use this opportunity.

Twitter

You can follow https://twitter.com/TransfCities 

Please RT this one https://twitter.com/TransfCities/status/1062691352192913409

Or send your own tweets, here you have some suggestions

.@TransfCities is launching the 2019 edition of #TransformativeCities Peoples Choice Award  .
 Apply, share your story of transformation and connect with other initiatives  https://transformativecities.org/open-call-201

In the face of #water, #energy, #food and #housing crises, communities worldwide are finding inspiring solutions. Are you working on transforming your community from below? Apply for the 2019 #TransformativeCities https://transformativecities.org/open-call-201

More suggestions and content here https://pad.tni.org/p/Transformative_Cities_Open_Call_Launch_2019 

Cool visuals here in English here:  https://nextcloud.tni.org/index.php/s/sYeF32HtrA8GbQx  

Facebook
Like Transformative Cities https://www.facebook.com/TransfCities/ 

And share the video we launch today calling to the open call https://www.facebook.com/TransfCities/videos/251609742180147/ 

YoutubePlease like us if you didn’t yet https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiSTZKtBfz7R5BC2fxrLsGg 

And take a look at the video https://youtu.be/yhhDkLPqIqo 

Bilbao: RIPESS at the Global Social Economy Forum GSEF 2018

The Global Social Economy Forum was held in Bilbao (1-3 October 2018). This is the fourth edition after Seoul 2 times and Montreal 2016. It brought together more than 1700 people from 84 countries. It should be noted that a significant number of representatives of local authorities had made the trip to testify to their involvement in the SSE. It is one of the strong points of the GSEF, to link the evolution of the development of cities to the Social Economy. It should be noted in passing that the title “social economy” has largely predominated in the discourse, the term solidarity being considered superfluous in some cultures because it is included. Nevertheless, the term SSE has also been used in several instances, either in plenary or in workshops. This point can and has given rise to some controversy. We know that for RIPESS, the term solidarity is central because it refers to a philosophy of radical contestation of the ultra-liberal model in force in the globalized economy. The title of the Forum, “Values and competitiveness for inclusive and sustainable local development”, strongly advocated by the Bilbao government, was also discussed.

Mondragon, a partner of the event, is an emblematic example of cooperativism, and of the social economy conceived as a systemic complex aiming at autonomy in a context of resistance, at the time of its creation, to Francoism. Mr. Iñigo Ucin, President of the Mondragon County Council, presented his global experience (production, finance, training, distribution) and invited people to field visits.

The workshops on a wide range of themes offered a wide range of experiences, which is always a time to stimulate optimism and an opportunity for meetings that can be extended over time through fruitful collaborations. RIPESS was present with several members from all continents. The opportunity to get in direct contact with representatives of local authorities and the European Commission was well taken.

During a dedicated session, a Declaration on Transformative SSE which aims at real systemic change was read. During the ceremony, people from several cultures and continents read the text in 4 languages.

During the same session, Jason Nardi for RIPESS, Julia Grannel for XES and Carlos Askunze, coordinator of REAS Euskadi, announced the preparation of the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies. A first preparatory phase will take place in April 2019 in Barcelona and the final edition of this Global Forum is scheduled for 2020. The session ended with a “picoteo” (a kind of aperitif dinner) invited by REAS to Hika Ateneo, an alternative place in Bilbao.

In the closing session Margeritte Mendell (Concordia University, Montreal) used an oxymoron to signify that political and also academic research staff should relax the frameworks and rules that stifle the field initiative. She recommended the “institutionalization of flexibility”.

Jason Nardi was one of three people mandated to read the final declaration of the GSEF after participating in its drafting. A statement from the youth who participated in the forum was also presented.

The next edition of the GSEF is expected to take place in Mexico City in 2020.

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. ‌

Registrations for GSEF 2018 open!

It is with great enthusiasm that Bilbao City Council announces that the registration for GSEF2018 is open. The Forum is meant to be a dynamic and participatory gathering, constructed in collaboration with local and International partners. It will be a unique opportunity to share visions and experiences through cross-border collaboration and cooperation. The Forum’s central theme is: Social Economy and Cities: Values and competitiveness for inclusive and sustainable local development.

We look forward to your participation, as this is your chance to contribute to this 4th edition of the Global Social Economy Forum, bringing together regional and local governments, Social Economy agents, civil society, universities and social organizations.

You can register here https://www.gsef2018.org/registration/

“Europe and SSE – the time has come!” (January 12, 2018) in Lille

With nearly 170 participants and high density debates, the conference “Europe and SSE, the time has come!” organised by RTES and REVES was a success and a strong impulse to follow up the committed work.

A dense morning allowed to draw the landscape of the question of social and solidarity economy at a European level. The presentation of a mapping to highlight the different SSE approaches in the Union countries, the presentation of a report from the experts group with the European Commission, the testimonies of the local authorities committed in social and solidarity economy projects with a European dimension or financing, the presentation of the position of RIPESS Europe on the co-construction of public policies (see here) and finally the strong words of experts on these questions and of the Commission representative, Ulla Engelmann and of European MEP, Marie-Christine Vergiat, allowed to tackle the issues around this thematic.

The complete article is available in French here.

RTES/REVES Meeting: co-construction of public policy

“Europe & ESS, the time has come!” – Lille 12 January 2018

Introduction by Ripess Europe (Patricia Coler and Jason Nardi)

Solidarity Economy is a movement that aims to transform the current social and economic system into one based on cooperative and solidarity short and direct circuit exchanges that connect individual needs with those of the community. It puts dignity in front of any profit. And the common good and public interest before the private, individualistic one.

It’s based on practices of relocalising value supply chains, production, exchange and use of goods and services that meet the economic and social needs of local, territorial and international communities. It promotes economic democracy, social justice, environmental awareness, gender equity and a pluralist, multicultural approach. Social Solidarity economy is already happening through thousands of citizen initiatives, solidarity practices and collaborative networks all over Europe and the world.

For Ripess Europe, meeting the challenges of today’s Europe means that there has to be a much more open and plural economy that recognizes and gives space to the SSE, the full and effective participation of citizens in the economic and democratic regulations, cooperation by and between territories. An economy that goes beyond the traditional division in 3 sectors : private, public and social – where all have the same obligations and responsabilities towards the people and the planet.

Read more

Call for Proposals for GSEF 2018

It is with great enthusiasm that the Bilbao City Council announces that the Call for Proposals for GSEF 2018 is now open! This is your chance to contribute to this 4th edition of the Global Social Economy Forum, bringing together regional and local governments, Social Economy agents, civil society, universities and social organizations.

The online site will guide you through the submission process of your social economy initiatives. Once evaluated, successful proposals will be presented at the GSEF2018which will be held in Bilbao, in the Basque Country, in 1-3 October 2018. Please be aware that the submission deadline is Wednesday February 28th (at midnight in Central Europe, UTC/GMT +01:00 (CET)).

Submit your initiatives here:  www.gsef2018.org

We look forward to receiving your initiatives and to seeing you at the GSEF2018 in Bilbao!

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