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State of the Art
A Charter for Data (and Mapping) Commons

One of the earliest such maps was TransforMap, a project with origins in Austria and Germany that is using OpenStreetMap as a platform for helping people identify and connect with alternative economic projects. In the US, CommonSpark assembled a collection of “maps in the spirit of the commons” such as the Great Lakes Commons Map (a bioregional map of healing and harm), World of Commons(innovative forms of citizen-led governance of public property and services in Italy), Falling Fruit (a global map identifying 786,000 locations of forgeable food), a map of Free Little Libraries (free books available in neighborhoods around the world), a global Hackerspace map, a global Seed Map, a map of all Transition communities, and several Community Land Trustdirectory maps.

As the varieties of maps proliferate, there is growing concern that the mapping projects truly function as commons and be capable of sharing data and growing together. But meeting this challenge entails some knotty technical, social and legal issues.

A group of mappers met at the Commons Space sessions of the World Social Forum in Montreal last year to try to make progress on the challenge.  The dialogues continued at an “Intermapping” workshop in Florence, Italy, last month. After days of deep debate and collaboration, the mappers came up with a document that outlines twelve key principles for developing effective data and mapping commons. The Charter for Building a Data Commons for a Free, Fair and Sustainable Future is the fruit of those dialogues.

The Charter’s authors describe the document as “the maximum ‘commons denominator’ of mapping projects that aspire to share data for the common good.” If you follow these guidelines,” write the mappers, “you will contribute to a Global Data Commons. That is, you will govern your mapping community and manage data differently than people who centralize data control for profit.”

“The Charter does not describe the vision, scope or values of a specific mapping project.  It is rather an expression of Data Commons principles. It will help you reimagine how you protect the animating spirit of your mapping project and prevent your data from being co-opted or enclosed.” Read more

“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.

Read more

The GECES 2016 Report
December 10, 2016
GECES rapport 2016

The GECES brings together 70 experts from the various Member States of the European Union and works on a report about the social economy. At the request of the Commission, expressed in its Communication “Social Entrepreneurship Initiative”, the mission has been to evaluate the implementation of the measures foreseen in this communication to support the development of social entrepreneurship.

At work since September 2015, the GECES has just publicly communicated its report, at a conference on social economics and social enterprises organised by the Slovak presidency of the Council of the EU, in Bratislava on 30 November and 1 December 2016.  In the wake, the GECES addresses 13 recommendations for concrete actions to the European institutions and to the Governments of the Member States to develop the social economy. The four major issues are: enhancing visibility and recognition, facilitating access to financing, adapting the legal framework and developing ad hoc international support programmes, networks and mechanisms.

More info: download the GECES report 2016

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).

Read more

Waste picking is work
October 26, 2016
Lakshmi Narayanan - Wiego

An interview by Marketa VINKELHOFEROVÁ (July 2016) with Lakshmi Narayanan, co-founder of an Indian waste pickers’ union and cooperative, who has dedicated her professional life to improving working conditions for low-caste women. On their everyday lives, struggles, whether education uplifts people from poverty, and the intersection of dealing with social and environmental issues.

The whole article is available via Socioeco.org

Mapping the Italian solidarity economy (under construction)
October 7, 2016
Italian SSE map

In addition to the website restlying, the 0.5 version of the portal www.economiasolidale.net  – launched in September 2016 – is characterized by the Italian solidarity economy organizations online mapping.

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Local Exchange Trading Systems and Solidarity Economy
September 30, 2016
Università d'estate decrescita italia 2016

From September 7 to 11 in the town of Giovinazzo, near Bari in Italy, the Summer University of Degrowth took place. The University organized by the association for Degrowth and by the Italian Solidarity Economy network (RES – Rete di economia solidale), was an opportunity to deepen the themes of social solidarity economy in a convivial atmosphere, promoting exchanges between stakeholders and participants. Solidarius Italia  participated in the person of Stefano Caffari, author of this article.

The central theme of this edition was about alternative currencies and LETs – Local Exchange Trading Systems,  fundamental instruments for the construction of ecological and solidarity communities capable of overcoming the multiple systemic crises we are going through.
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David Bollier – Patrick Conaty: Democratic Money and Capital for the Commons
August 8, 2016

One of the more complicated, mostly unresolved issues facing most commons is how to assure the independence of commons when the dominant systems of finance, banking and money are so hostile to commoning. How can commoners meet their needs without replicating (perhaps in only modestly less harmful ways) the structural problems of the dominant money system?

Fortunately, there are a number of fascinating, creative initiatives around the world that can help illuminate answers to this question – from co-operative finance and crowdequity schemes to alternative currencies and the blockchain ledger used in Bitcoin, to reclaiming public control over money-creation to enable “quantitative easing for people” (and not just banks).

Download the report from Socioeco.org [pdf]

Read more

Jessica Gordon Nembhard: Building a Cooperative Solidarity Commonwealth
August 8, 2016
A really profound and well structured paper on the practice of Co-operative Commonwealth, uniting the Solidarity Economy, the Commons movement and Co-op Commonwealth. It is by Jessica Gordon Nembhard, member of the US Solidarity Economy Network and part of the Next System Project.

Jessica Gordon Nembhard is a political economist and professor of community justice and social economic development in the Africana Studies Department at John Jay College, City University of New York. She has numerous publications on cooperative economics, community economic development, credit unions, wealth inequality, community wealth, and Black political economy.

This interview by journalist Laura Flanders from 2014 gives an idea of the history and solidarity practices of African americans, which the Jessica Gordon Nembhard talks about in another very informative an enlightening publication, “Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice”.

Creation of a visual map of public policies and territories promoting SSE
Public policies map - socioeco

The role of public policies in favour social and solidarity economy suffers from a lack of visibility. Yet these same policies can prove decisive in helping collective initiatives that involve citizens to emerge. We would like to showcase existing public policy on SSE through a compilation of case studies and mapping that highlights the policies that contribute to creating territorial ecosystems that encourage the development of SSE through:

– funding, public markets, fiscal, legal and legislative mechanisms, social audits, etc.
– accompanying the actors working to support SSE at territorial level
– encouraging contact, exchange and networking of these actors
– relocalising activities linked to food, transport, energy, etc.
– thus creating sustainable, relocalised employment
– show-casing good practice
– building new spaces for discussion and joint development of policies with citizens.

SSE needs to “tell its story” to inspire people and disseminate. What public policies have a real impact on helping SSE initiatives to emerge and to develop? We believe that by collecting as many case studies as possible, enhanced by mapping them, would provide a useful tool for sharing, and that could be used by all our respective sites and other instruments (mobile APPs, infographs, etc.). This is something we can decide together.

The socioeco.org site has recently allowed us to develop a carte des solutions (map of solutions). It collects the descriptions of SSE initiatives that have been identified according to needs (food, housing, health, education etc.). It is in 6 languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian). The map also provides more opportunities: it is possible to identify alternative media or research centres for SSE, select only food experiences or reproduce a specific part of the map in a message on your own website. We thought of using a specific map of solutions for public policies and the territories that support them.

RIPESS Europe and socioeco.org hope to present a first map with the descriptions of public policies in different countries and different languages at the World Forum of Social Economy GSEF2016, that will be held in Montreal from 7th-9th September, to demonstrate the potential of such a tool and find new partners to develop the project further.

We need your help to do this. Your network has identified concrete public policies at different territorial levels: Local, regional or national Authorities. We propose you to fill the form linked here which will allow the collection of information and the compilation of a list of institutions at different levels which promote public policies for the development of the SSE, starting from what already exists and that we plan to showcase. We will then make all this information organised and visible by using shared tools and creating a visual public mapping.

Info and communications:

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