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19th RIUESS Meeting: “SSE of culture and culture of SSE”
RIUESS 2019 call

The 19th Meeting of the Inter-university Network of the Social and Solidarity Economy (based in France) will focus on the theme “SSE of culture and culture of SSE“. It will take place on the 15th to 17th of May, 2019 at the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée.

You will find the call for papers on this website.

The date of receipt of abstracts is 12 January 2019.

Strengthening local agriculture with local currencies
wikipedia

by Gaëlle Bigler (FRACP / URGENCI) & Jean Rossiaud (Monnaie Léman / APRES-GE)

In the last issue of the RIPESS-Europe Newsletter, we proposed to open a regular section / blog on the issue of “local currencies”,  to explain the advantages and challenges of this tool in the service of the social and solidarity economy and the issues that arise both locally and internationally in its development. We also took the risk of longer articles, allowing us to discuss more in depth this new and complex issue. The first article focused on the example of the Leman, the currency of the Franco-Swiss living area around Lake Geneva, its guarantee fund and its mutual credit system, its notes and blockchain.

The idea is to build on our grassroot experience, to imagine how to build, both transnationally and in other ever-changing local geographical contexts, synergies between SSE sectors and local currencies: the local currency can serve as an instrument both for building economic sectors (agriculture, IT, construction, etc.) and for promoting exchanges between SSE sectors, and between them and public authorities.

In this issue, Gaëlle Bigler and Jean Rossiaud co-authored this second article laying the foundations for a reflection on the relevance of the use of complementary currencies in the development of agro-ecological agriculture, starting from their own land, French-speaking Switzerland.

***

As presented in the previous article, like many other local currencies, the Leman was created to respond locally to two contemporary global systemic crises: the financial crisis and the climate crisis. The purpose of citizen money is to give a real territorial identity to the so-called transition economy, a post-extractivist (post-carbon, post-nuclear) and post-speculative economy. It offers an immediate and concrete solution to relocate production and consumption and direct them towards greater sustainability. It promotes the development of a dense network of companies, businesses, consumers and public authorities that share these principles, ethics and ideas of citizenship and commitment. As a Eusko spokesman said: when you take your Eusko note out to pay, it is the “transition identity card” that you display. Consuming healthy food as close as possible to home, from known sources, which we may have contributed to producing or distributing, is an action that benefits from being integrated and articulated in a broader economic and financial perspective.

Since 2008, the Fédération Romande des ACP (FRACP) has brought together some thirty initiatives from all over French-speaking Switzerland. Originally “ACP” refers to Local Contractual Agriculture, and by extension, ACP is used for any initiative, association or cooperative that enters into a partnership approach between a group of citizens and local producers for a social, economic and solidarity commitment. This reciprocal commitment allows you to receive, generally every week, the products for which you have signed a contract. It is a system of short circuit sales, without intermediaries between producer and eater.

FRACP’s missions are to bring together, i. e. to strengthen links between ACP; to accompany, i. e. to share knowledge; to support new ACP and those in difficulty; and to promote, i. e. to raise awareness and defend the ACP model among the public as well as public authorities.

For several years now, FRACP has been an active member of the international network Urgenci for citizen-supported agriculture. Indeed, the models developed in Switzerland correspond to the definition developed jointly by the members of some twenty countries: Citizen-supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership based on direct human relations between consumers and one or more producers, where the risks, responsibilities and benefits of agricultural work are shared as part of a long-term mutual commitment.

The Urgenci network itself is very active in the movement for food sovereignty and in the promotion of local and solidarity partnerships, particularly within the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

This commitment to the development of local, ecological, social, solidarity-based and human-scale agriculture to ensure food sovereignty has led FRACP to participate in various events at the local level, such as the day of reflection coordinated by the Feeding the City of Geneva programme, the campaign to add an article on food sovereignty to the Swiss constitution; and at the international level: participation in the drafting of a book on local and solidarity-based agricultural partnerships, as well as the co-writing of the European Declaration on Agriculture supported by citizens, etc.

Among the various work themes, both at local and international level, is the question of the development of sectors. How to integrate bakers, butchers and other artisans working upstream or downstream of agricultural production into the ACP? How can we better integrate eaters, decision-makers and people involved in the food processing into our approach, which means asking ourselves how to strengthen a social and solidarity-based economy in our territory. And this is where the local currency should be considered as a simple and effective tool to answer these questions.

The local currency offers solutions that address ACP concerns:

  • as eaters, we are also citizens and economic actors who have a strong interest in strengthening the coherence of our approach
  • Producers, people involved in the food processing and grocery retailers also have a strong interest in demonstrating their commitment to the agricultural and solidarity transition by accepting local currency. Signing the membership charter allows them to appear on a georeferenced map and thus increase their visibility in the face of a growing audience of responsible consumers.
  • It is in the interest of public authorities to keep agricultural enterpises, artesans or small processing enterprises on their territory, which contribute to social life and collect local taxes.

From a financial point of view, the local currency multiplies your ability to act on the system you are trying to promote and creates more wealth:

  • When you change 100 euros into local currency, your 100 euros will add to the guarantee fund, which is made available for investments in the transition economy. In fact, you have saved 100 euros for projects of collective interest and you have received enough to consume 100 euros in local products, often of much better quality than industrial products.
  • The circulation speed of a local currency is estimated to be 5 to 6 times faster than the circulation speed of a currency; that is, it produces 5 to 6 times more wealth in the real economy.

Secondly, the local currency reduces your involuntary or sometimes unconscious participation in the global economic system that you often find harmful: it is impossible to speculate with euskos, Bristol Pounds or lémans on the financial markets of New York or Hong Kong, while with your money in your bank account, this is what is constantly done. Your banker then takes more risk with your money and contributes, through the constant search for financial return, to the overproduction and overconsumption of the planet, which destroys the planet as much as societies. Everything you seek to thwart by eating local and healthy food.

Moreover, the local currency, because it cannot be exchanged into a foreign currency without costs, requires the search for suppliers and therefore the integration of the production to consumption chains. And that is what is most important. By stimulating the construction of a dense network of local companies, terrirories become very resilient to systemic crises such as the 1929 or 2008 crises. These financial crises do not become economic crises mainly because they dry up credit. Without liquidity, there is no longer any possibility of paying suppliers, no possibility of producing for its customers, and no possibility of meeting a demand that is nevertheless solvent, and serial bankruptcies of entire sectors of the economy. One only has to study the Argentine or Greek crises to be convinced of this.

The local currency when it functions like the Leman in pooled credit allows each company to have permanent credit lines automatically opened in the event of a liquidity crisis. In addition, in the event of excess stock, the same network can be activated for destocking.

That is why local currency is an excellent tool to strengthen mechanical solidarity in the production to consumption chains, from seed to bread,, from barley to pint in our favourite pub

SSE is still too often compartmentalized. Everyone cultivates his/her own garden and collects his/her best practices in well sealed silos. Yet the economy, by definition, is a system. And not every system is good, because it is a system. It is up to us to build an ecological, social and solidarity-based system that allows us to produce more and more healthy products as close as possible to home.

It is in this spirit that the Leman and the FRACP are starting a reflection on collaborations and synergies to be developed between local currencies and sustainable food. Here are the first themes we have identified:

  • reflection in terms of production to consumption chains, for each type of agricultural product: from seed to production, from production to processing, from processing to distribution, from distribution to consumption,
  • reflection within the framework of the “Eating Cities” Programme: starting from neighbourhood territories and municipalities to build short circuits and be part of the transition,
  • reflection to be carried out on the involvement of local authorities both as economic actors in short circuits; and as public authorities, in the context of public policies in the fields of agriculture, economic promotion, food and health (canteens), sustainable development and taxation.
  • role of the multi-currency purse, Biletujo (purse in Esperanto), for the import of products produced in other territories, or the export of products typically produced here.
  • reflection on the importance of networking and anchoring this reflection in the institutional framework of the SSE, and at the international level with RIPESS, but also beyond, by addressing economic actors who do not recognize themselves in the SSE, but who nevertheless share its philosophy by working on the agricultural, energy and economic transition.

We will certainly resume these reflections in a future article. Your comments and questions will guide the contents.

Our Good Food conference in Zagreb
December 17, 2018
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Our Good Food conference was organised in Zagreb becoming a several days event — from October 13 to 16, 2018 — for all interested in good and healthy food, sustainable model for taking care of soil, organic food production, solidarity citizens food groups, local seeds nurturing and exchanging.

First on Thursday, Cooperative for Good Economy used their usual weekly green box delivering to raise the voice and interest in a campaign on Good Food/Good Farming. On Friday, we organised in the city cinema a public movie screening about seed politics and activism.

Saturday was the main day with the Conference where 100+ participants discussed and debated about the above mentioned topics. Additionally we organised a seed swap fair and a regional food activism forum for people from Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It is also worth to mention how we presented at the conference our big campaign and project Community Seed Bank Croatia and partners from Arche Noah explained organic seeds rules and opportunities from the new EU Directive on Organic Agriculture.

On the next day, at our Recycled Estate, there was a practical workshop about soil nurturing with innovative and enriched composting methods for 20 participants. All in all, 150 people participated in all the activities.

The French government Growth Pact for the SSE: out of step
December 14, 2018
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Joint Statement of Collectif des Associations Citoyennes / Mouvement pour l’Économie Solidaire

The presentation of the French government’s plan for the “development of the SSE” did not convince the grassroot organisations who jointly published a statement to explain why this plan does not meet their expectations.

See (in French): Les-plans-du-gouvernement-pour-les-assos-et-l’ESS

“Oppose without killing each other”: a Convivialist proposal
December 14, 2018
0

By Josette Combes (MES)

Orchestrated by the members of the Club Convivialiste, itself composed of two hundred intellectuals belonging to various scientific networks, a group of academics and activists launched Ah! a new convergence initiative” against the madness of grandeur, money, power or ideology“. The Convivialists have just published in the newspaper L’Obs their proposed programme for the Yellow Vests, the social movement that has been stirring up French news for the past weeks. We will retain the four emblematic principles of the Convivialists:

  •  the principle of common humanity is opposed to all forms of discrimination
  •  the principle of common sociality affirms that the first wealth for humans is that of the social relationships they maintain, the wealth of conviviality
  •  the principle of legitimate individuation establishes the right of each human being to be recognized in his or her singularity
  •  the principle of controlled and creative opposition states that it is necessary to “oppose without killing each other” (M. Mauss).
Timisoara: transnational meeting for SSE VET
orangesmile.com

By Josette Combes (MES)

An Erasmus project following the previous one focusing on the inclusion of SSE in IVET (initial and vocational education and training) programmes brings together several RIPESS Europe members: CRIES (Romania), DOCKS (Greece), MES (France), Solidarius (Italy), Technet (Germany) under the coordination of APDES (Portugal) and with the contribution of RIPESS Europe. The first transnational meeting took place in Timisoara hosted by CRIES. The meeting was largely dedicated to discussing the program and to adjust to the budgetary restrictions.

The project will run for three years. Its objectives are as follows:

  • Provide curricula to strengthen the skills of trainers in programmes to integrate young people without jobs or qualifications.
  • Propose SSE as a social-cultural, interdisciplinary innovation that provides employment opportunities, especially for those furthest from it.
  • Raise awareness of SSE as a sector that provides employment and an interesting sector in terms of professional and human investment, starting by raising awareness of initial and continuing vocational education, within a local development framework.

Each partner will need to find territories of partners/stakeholders/locally from different macro-regions, which are available to get involved in the project in order to experiment with the modules and participate in their dissemination.

In its final year, the project will produce transmission and communication tools, including a video, with the aim of promoting and disseminating the approach on a European scale*.

Joint projects are an excellent support for intercooperation between members and for strengthening actions in the territories through the circulation of knowledge and skills present in the organizations of each country.

(* For your information, the recommended bibliographies for each of the IVET modules iof the first period are now available on socioeco.org:

Everything you wanted to know about SSE…

By Josette Combes (RIUESS)

It is the second edition of The Handbook on the Other Economy (Principes d’économie solidaire – Manuel de l’autre économie): directed by Eric Dacheux and Daniel Goujon, it is to be put in all hands, first and foremost those of the Master students, for whom it will be an abundant source of references, definitions, historical reminders, perspective and theoretical proposals. But even more importantly, it is a work of popularization in the noble sense of the term, which offers the opportunity, now that the term “solidarity economy” circulates in every direction – unfortunately often misused, for each citizen to familiarize him/herself with this economy, its foundations and its potential, so that it develops beyond the limited (though expanding) circle of its practitioners. Read more

Transformative economies: what do the documents tell us?
December 13, 2018
0
de www.enchange.org

As the article “The process of confluence of the Barcelona 2020 WSF of Transformative Economies begins” explains, the Barcelona WSF will be focused on transformative economies.

But what do we mean by “transformative economies”? If we want to answer from the SSE perspective, a quick look at socioeco.org is in order. A simple search in the search engine indicates that we can find about 700 documents that use the word “transformation” in different languages. To refine the search, we can use the keyword: New paradigm of transformation, which groups together those of interest to us and which we present here, used in the sense of social and political change. In the words of Ruben Suriñac, in his book Economias transformadoras de Barcelona, “the movements and phenomena of the transforming economy are all proposals for socio-economic reorganization that introduce a critique of the dominant economic model and formulate proposals for socio-economic change (both in theory and in practice) that, to varying degrees, attempt to transform this model or, at least, to prevent or mitigate its negative effects“. For Barcelona, he cites the movements of degrowth, the economy of the common good, the commons, the feminist and care economy, the social economy, the SSE. And the phenomena of the collaborative economy, community, responsible consumption, the circular economy, social entrepreneurship, social innovation and societal responsibility.

Here are some examples of documents that you can consult in 3  languages:

In Spanish

we find, in addition to the book mentioned above, the documents related to the Transformative Economies Forum itself and often to REAS and XES:

but also

Describe el concepto de ES desde dos perspectivas -europea y latinoamericana, con especial relevancia sobre el potencial transformador de ésta y su vinculación con los nuevos movimientos sociales.

Si las experiencias basadas en la ES lograran conectarse e intercooperar entre ellas dentro del modelo del consumo responsable, serian capaces de alterar las condiciones perversas del mercado actual.

In Latin America, the documents refer to social transformation, action for transformation, the paradigm of transformative change or as a form of resistance to capitalism.

Plantea que es el sentido de la transformación deseada, y desde esa definición amplia, qué política social o socioeconómica contribuyen a esa transformación.

Plantea la posibilidad de construir una economía no capitalista basada en relaciones y valores de justicia y solidaridad, que fuera –además- eficiente y económicamente racional.

Si no hay una ruptura epistemológica con el eurocentrismo, si no se da cuenta de la especificidad de las sociedades latinoamericanas, las posibilidades de construcción de la otra economía y de la otra sociedad son limitadas.

Plantea la necesidad de un nuevo modelo de desarrollo que posibilite el reconocimiento de las mujeres como sujeto politico y sus reivindicaciones.

and let’s not forget the slogan of the last WSF :

In English

we find the concept of “transformational or transformative change”, in particular used by UNRISD:

The report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals. It provides guidance on how to turn the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into concrete actions.

The paper considers whether the uptake of the SSE agenda by governments can scale up and enable SSE in ways conducive to realizing the ‘transformational vision’ of the SDGs.

But also the following documents associated with the comons and degrowth  :

Brisk overview of the commons, commoning, and their great potential in helping build a new society. becoming stewards of natural systems, and mutualizing the benefits of shared resources.

  • Initiatives, Chains and Networking for Transformation , Degrowth in movement(s): Solidarity Economy (Germany) – 2017 – Dagmar Embshoff, Clarita Müller-Plantenberg,, Giuliana Giorgi How is the relation between the degrowth movement and other social movements and perspectives?

In French

the authors discuss the transformative potential of the collaborative economy, social innovations, degrowth, commons or the transformation of capitalism:

Il s’agit de rechercher dans quelle mesure l’innovation sociale est révélatrice d’un changement de paradigme dans l’organisation socio-économique de nos sociétés.

Ce colloque traite de la reconstruction sociale en cours à travers l’émergence d’expériences socialement innovantes visant à redéfinir la société sur des bases plus solidaires et équitables.

Les principes que recouvre la transition écologique concordent avec les valeurs défendues par l’économie sociale et solidaire : démocratie, citoyenneté, solidarité, plus-value sociale et/ou écologique et favorisent la diffusion de nouveaux modes de consommation, de production.

Les Pôles territoriaux de coopération économique visent à organiser la coopération en vue de produire de la richesse territoriale au profit des citoyens, tout en s’inscrivant dans les politiques publiques de développement.

Est-il possible de concevoir certaines des réalités de l’économie sociale et solidaire comme des modèles de communs ?

Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Co-operation in Mesopotamia is one of the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA)’s major, and most successful projects. Its aim is to foster international solidarity and further education about the largely women-driven co-operative economy that is growing, despite ongoing war, in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava.

The project began with a research, translation and education focus, and over the past 3 years SEA has shared over 300 articles on the website, run around 30 workshops all over the UK, and developed strong relationships with many partners, including women’s economic bodies in Rojava, as well as co-ops and co-op bodies in the UK. The project has received overwhelmingly positive engagement, and the UK co-op movement is now much better informed about its counterpart in Rojava.

Here is the article of October 23

Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Several new women’s co-operative projects have opened in the Jazira region of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava).

The projects focus on agriculture, animal husbandry, food, and clothing, and will contribute yet further to the thriving women’s economy in the region. They are located in the city of Hesekê and have been developed by the Women’s Committee in the Hesekê Economy Directorate.

The projects are run co-operatively and include:

A dairy farm in Hesekê’s El Silêymaniyê village, which has been built by 11 women and active since 1st September. Duha Mihemed, one of the women involved in the project, said that it was important for the spirit of partnership, and to prevent commercial fraud.

The Inanna Kitchen, which opened in the El Kelase village of Hesekê, where women prepare food for the winter and sell it for well below market prices, and prepare daily meals. One of the project’s partners, Zêneb Umer, said they are taking some of the burden off women’s shoulders.

The Ishtar Women’ Bakery in the El Nasre neighbourhood, opened by 8 women.

The Women’s Committee has been supporting the development of agriculture in Hesekê too, distributing most of the region’s arable land among 300 women. These women have started to produce crops in these plots, and wells will also be created in the coming days.

In addition, generators have been established along several of the city’s streets, providing power for 130 homes each.

Women’s Committee administrator Cewhera Mihemed said they are launching new projects to develop the women’s economy in the region though co-operatives.


 

 

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

Image of Terra Nuova

French
  • Se déplacer en milieu rural : ces territoires enclavés qui développent des alternatives sociales et solidaires
    Sophie Chapelle
    Article de Basta!, 16 novemnre 2018 [lire]
  • A Clermont-Ferrand, le succès d’une grande librairie reprise en coopérative par ses salariés
    Sophie Chapelle
    Article de Basta!, 19 octobre 2018 [lire]
Spanish
  • Nace el Foro de Consumo Responsable de Zaragoza, que velará por la extensión de políticas sostenibles y saludables a nivel local
    Artículo de Arainfo, 16 de noviembre 2018
    2018 [lire]
  • La Contratación Pública Responsable estrena nueva web y se abre a la participación de las personas usuarias
    Artículo de Arainfo, 13 de noviembre 2018 [lire]
  • Comercio Justo y Economía Solidaria, valores compartidos
    Artículo de El Salto,30/10/2018 [lire]
  • El Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza aprueba la primera Estrategia de impulso a la Economía Social de la ciudad
    Artículo de Arainfo, 22 de octubre 2018 [lire]
Catalan
  • Jordi Via, excomissionat d’ESS a l’Ajuntament de Barcelona: balanç d’una experiència, moment i perspectives
    Pep Valenzuela
    articulo de Malarrassa, 16/11/2018 [lire]
English
  • Why Co-ops and Community Farms Can’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap
    Zenobia Jeffries
    Article of Yes! Mafazine, Nov 09, 2018 [lire]
Italian
  • Un modello 100% biologico e’ possibile: l’esempio del Sikkim
    Articolo de Terra Nuova, 16 ottobre 2018 [lire]
  • L’economia per un mondo nuovo
    articolo de Comune.info, 11 ottobre 2018 [lire]
Greek
  • Οι άνθρωποι της Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. προχωρούν με προβλήματα αλλά και αισιοδοξία (The SSE people are moving with both problems and optimism)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 12/11/2018 [lire]
  • Επιχορηγήσεις για υφιστάμενους φορείς Κ.ΑΛ.Ο.(Grants for existing SSE organizations)
    Article of EFSYN, 09/11/2018 [lire]
  • Στο Βελβεντό ο πρώτος αυτοδιαχειριζόμενος υδροηλεκτρικός σταθμός (In Velvento the first self-managed hydroelectric power station)
    Article of EFSYN, 04/11/2018 [lire]
  • Κοινωνικός αντίκτυπος για Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. (Social Impact of SSE)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 29/10/2018 [lire]
  • Ροκάνι: ΚΟΙΝΣΕΠ για την κυκλική οικονομία (Rokani: in a circular economy)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 29/10/2018 [lire]
  • Οι εναλλακτικές στον καπιταλισμό είναι ήδη εδώ, ήταν πάντα εδώ! (Alternatives to capitalism are already here, they’ve always been here!)
    Hara Kouki
    Article of EFSYN, 15/10/2018 [lire]
  • Κουκάκι: η Κ.ΑΛ.Ο ξορκίζει το κακό (Koukaki: SSE excuses the evil)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 08/10/2018 [lire]
  • Συνεταιριστές όλης της Ελλάδας, συνεργαστείτε! (« Co-operatives all over Greece, work together!”)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 01/10/2018 [lire]
  • Κριτική και προτάσεις για να βελτιωθούν οι νόμοι για την ΚΑΛΟ (Criticism and suggestions to improve the laws for SSE)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 1/10/2018 [lire]
  • «Ευρώπη, ήρθε η ώρα να τελειώσει η εξάρτηση από την ανάπτυξη!»(« Europe, it’s time for development dependency to end!”)
    Article of EFSYN, 24/09/2018 [lire]

 

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