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FundAction: grant making for and by change makers!
April 19, 2018
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160 activists from all over Europe are the members of FundAction, a new participatory fund making grants for social transformation, organized around a community of activists based in Europe to support social movements working towards a transition to a just and equitable world.

About a third of them met near Paris at the beginning of April 2018 for the second assembly of this innovative way of financing.  Members of RIPESS Europe participated in the meeting, contributing to the development of the fund.

Normally philanthropic money sits in an institution where staff and board members decide where to spend it. Participatory grantmaking seeks to involve those directly affected by the issues – the people that the money intends to help – in decision-making about where that money goes.

The goal of FundAction is to shift power to make decisions about funding from foundations to those closer to the issue, strengthen collaboration and mutual support among European activists and build the capacity of activists and the social movements they work with.

FundAction is built in a democratic and participatory way. FundAction was born out of conversations between activists and funders at several occasions.At the EDGE Funders Alliance European Retreat in 2016, four foundations (Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation, European Cultural Foundation, Guerrilla Foundation, Open Society Initiative for Europe) decided to pool funding. In a series of meetings, they outlined the intention and values. Since May 2017, a smaller Facilitation Group has been putting this idea into action.

Three kind of grants are being proposed: Renew, Rethink, Resist.

More info at: https://www.fundaction.eu

New Iberoamerican journal of SSE – RIESISE: call for contributions
April 19, 2018
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First call for the presentation of articles for the Iberoamerican Journal of Solidarity Economy and Socio-Ecological Innovation (RIESISE) on the topics of this new scientific publication published by the Publications Service of the University of Huelva (Spain).

The deadline to submit proposals in the form of abstracts is next June 30. See the call here (in Spanish): Presentación RIESISE

Synergia Institute – Summer Program: Osuna, Spain
April 19, 2018
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As an organization committed to progressive social and economic change, Synergia Institute would like to alert you to an important program taking place this summer focusing on game changing ideas, practices, and economic models that generate system change toward a political economy for people and planet.

The Synergia Summer Institutes in Osuna, Spain (May 18 – 27) and Tuscany, Italy (June 23 – July 8) are the second iterations of a hugely successful program initiated last summer at Monte Ginezzo in Italy. 

In these programs, co-operatives businesses, social finance, community-based solutions for housing, energy and social care, commons, and many other topics will be introduced during what has been described as a game-changing learning experience, deliverd by some of the world’s foremost experts in their fields.

Especially relevant to researchers, policy makers, social change practitioners, activists, and anyone deeply committed to progressive system change, the program is receiving registrations for both venues and detailed registration information may be accessed through the following links.

https://mailchi.mp/f94f390fb88e/registration-open-for-synergia-institute-2018?e=3c64dd9928

https://synergiainstitute.wordpress.com/2018/01/27/register-now-for-our-2018-study-programs/

Registrations are still open for both programs – the deadline for the Osuna prgram has been extended to April 23,  and until April 23, we are also offering a special discount for early registrants :to the Monte Ginezzo Program – 1,000 euros for the one-week prgram and 1,500 euros for the full two-week progam. We invite you to share this information with other colleagues and networks you think would have an interest in this crucial field of work. We hope you can join us in Osuna or Monte Ginezzo this summer!

No Agroecology without farmers and Conscious Consumers !
April 19, 2018
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The 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology took place at the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) headquarters in Rome, 3-5 April 2018.

700 participants, representing Member States, FAO agencies, farmers’ unions, civil society organisations and social movements as well as researchers from all over the world exchanged on their practices and visions of agroecology.

Urgenci, the international network of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) raised the voice and the visibility of local solidarity alliances between producers and consumers from all parts of the world. Jointly with the other Civil Society actors from the International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty, Urgenci supported a clear common message: without women, there is no Agroecology, without small-scale food producers, there is no Agroecology, without conscious consumers, there is no Agroecology.

In their various interventions, Urgenci delegates stressed the importance of the role of conscious consumers in scaling up agroecology:

“A global consumers’ movement exists today. This movement is creative and diverse and stands for a vision of agroecology that is clearly connected to food sovereignty and solidarity economy , said Judith Hitchman, President of Urgenci, during one of the plenaries.”

Shi Yan, President of the Chinese CSA movement and Vice President of Urgenci shared her experience as a CSA farmer outside Beijing as one of the keynote speakers during the opening session.

Community Supported Agriculture and other types of local solidarity based partnerships between producers and consumers all contribute to many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They should be considered as a central element of the Scaling Up of Agroecology initiative that was unveiled by the FAO.

Nevertheless, several aspects of the implementation of this Scaling up initiative require caution on Urgenci’s part. Especially, that of major investors and large private sector operators who lay claim to agroecology, coopting the principles of peasant agroecology without transparency and accountability. Most importantly, there is a need to tirelessly refer to the fundamental systemic, social, environmental and political changes implied by peasant agroecology.

As the Forum was closing, Simon Todzro, an Urgenci International Committee member from Togo, declared: « Although the FAO scaling up initiative shows a clear paradigm shift, we will continue our own daily work of scaling out, farmer-to-farmer, eater-to-eater dissemination of alternative food partnerships and practicing peasant agroecology on the ground in Africa and around the world ».

By Urgenci, Rome, 5 April 2018.

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