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Good economy conference hosting the RIPESS Europe General Assembly
Good Economy Conference

On the 15th of June 2018, the 5th Good Economy Conference will take place, followed by the 7th General Assembly of RIPESS Europe (April 16-17). Organized by the Green Network of Activists Groups and the Platform for Good Economy, these two meetings are taking place in Zagreb, Croatia.  You’re all invited to participate!

The Good Economy Conference became in the past years a unique place in Croatia and the Balkan region, gathering activists and people that create and live different forms of alternative economy:  there are practitioners building “good economy” models, capable of supporting and strengthening our local communities and societies. The conference represents the opportunity to share ideas and knowledge, to cooperate on new paths, projects and common initiatives. Now in its fifth year, advocating for good and solidarity economy is going even further, with the RIPESS – Solidarity Economy Europe Network’s General Assembly taking place in Zagreb right after the Conference, will create a space for more cooperation between regional good economy activists and solidarity economy initiatives from all over Europe.

Once again, we are focusing on real stories and models that are already here, around us! A world of “collaborative economy” practices, with concepts of “open factory” owned by its employees, ecological and social enterprises, hotels run by immigrants and former refugees, cities organised on participatory governance, movements for collective ownership and a fairer work sector dealing at the same time between the cooperatives rich tradition and the new technologies of the 21st century.

[by Drazen Simlesa (Zmag / Good Economy Platform) and Jason Nardi (RIPESS Europe)]

GA2018: more inter-cooperation and convergence!

In a lively Zagreb filled with people enjoying the world cup festive atmosphere, RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe celebrated its 7th General Assembly meeting with members from all over the continent, from Spain to Russia. The first day – Friday 15th of June – was dedicated to the “Good Economy Conference” sessions, in the beautiful setting of the Kino Tuskana theater, with a small yet rich and colourful local producer fair and many sessions dedicated to sharing experiences from Croatia, the Balkan region and the rest of Europe.

The dinner party in Zmag’s Recycled Estate Farm – 30 km out of Zagreb – was the most welcoming, convivial and social networking evening there could be, where new members got to know the rest of the RIPESS crowd as well as the great Zmag team.  Pizza and local craft beer, as well as reggae music, helped create a true multicultural atmosphere.

One of the oldest schools in Zagreb, in the old part of town, was the setting for the actual Genera Assembly for an intense day and a half of strategy discussions (on convergence with other alter-economic movements, public policies and SSE, education, peer training and cultural change), elections for the renewal of the coordination committee and admission of new members.  Three new members joined the network: Bio Fair coop from the Czech Republic, Fair Trade Poland and Good Earth cooperative from Macedonia.

One of the main issues discussed was the promotion of the World Social Forum on Transformative Economies, a three year process of alliances and convergence with two main events planned to take place in Barcelona in Spring 2019 and 2020.  More to come about it…

The last day was dedicated to foster the inter-cooperation among members, sharing ideas, projects and areas of work where new exchanges and common actions can be discussed and help advance SSE concretely all over Europe as well as at the international level, connecting with the other continental networks of RIPESS.

Last but not least, lunch and dinner were assured by the excellent food prepared by two catering cooperatives, Taste of Home (whose main worker-members are refugees and asylum seekers) and Avocado, with the participation of local “Food not bombs” food recyclers…

From Portugal to Russia, SSE is the “Good economy”

The RIPESS Europe General Assembly took place on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th of June in Zagreb, Croatia. It was preceded by the event organised by the “Green Network of Activists Groups” and the “Good Economy” platform: “Konferencija o dobroj ekonomiji”

The “Good economy” conference is an annual event (5th edition) offering an opportunity for exchanges and information to the actors of social transformation who implement initiatives on a daily basis to make territories live in harmony with their natural environment and their populations. The programme was rich and has been an excellent “warm-up” for the General Assembly (see program here).

In May, RIPESS Europe was mandated by the British Council to draft a series of recommendations to better promote the Culture of social solidarity economy in Greece. In addition, the Erasmus IVET project devoted to the introduction of SSE training into initial vocational or professional training courses has come to an end and the final report will be available following its official presentation at the last transnational meeting planned in Porto (Portugal) on July 13th. These various requests attest to the need to link SSE organisations in Europe, all the more urgent as institutional solidarities are crumbling under the effect of the hardening of governance methods by both private enterprises and public authorities.

Socioeco.org has been working for several months on many maps, including two that link the Sustainable Development Goals and SSE. The site will soon publish the contributions issued during the last conference of the Réseau Interuniversitaire de l’ESS (RIUESS) which was held in Rennes in May (in French, see here). “To associate, to self-manage, to emancipate”, the theme of the conference is a useful form of incentive in the face of the consequences of the hardening political times mentioned above.

In the meantime, the work of convergence and alliances with major networks continues: in Brussels with the fair trade (WFTO and the FTAO), in Florence with the REVES, the European network of Regions and cities for the ESS.

To conclude, it should be stressed that interactions between RIPESS Europe and its members are intensifying and the countries of Eastern Europe are now better represented. The region of Northern Europe is also very active:  in April the NESEM (North Europe Solidarity Economy Meeting) took place in Helsinki, a promising meeting for the creation of a “Nordic” SSE platform, which will include Scandinavia, Baltic countries and… Russia!

By strengthening each other, we give each other strength!

Porto, July 13: a new paradigm in initial vocational training

APDES (member organization of RedPES, the Portuguese SSE network) and RIPESS Europe invite you on July 13 2018 in Porto (Portugal) to participate in the International Seminar on the Social Solidarity Economy in Europe: Affirming a New Paradigm through IVET Curricula Innovation, funded by Erasmus+, to explore the potential of SSE on its connection with the field of initial vocational training.

In this event, there will be an opportunity to reflect in several sessions and workshops – on four thematic areas:

  • The objectives of sustainable development and the SSE
  • The values and principles of SSE in education
  • Extra curricular innovation: the extracurricular program of flexibility and autonomy
  • The SSE in Europe

This event is expected to be a point of reflection and debate, intended for decision makers and representatives of governments, training organizations, third sector entities, community and solidarity economy initiatives, universities.

You can download the programme and register here.

 

CNLQR: Call for action in popular neighbourhoods
June 8, 2018
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Are you an actor of the social solidarity economy in your country? Do you carry a local development project in popular neighbourhoods?

The National Liaison Committee of the Régies de Quartier, gathering more than 133 associations in France seeks to get to know the European actors of the popular districts carrying a project similar to theirs. If you are carrying out actions in favour of professional integration, solidarity economy or popular education in neighbourhoods, let’s talk about it! 

To find out more (and read French), look here.

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