Article by Solidarity Economy Association (SEA), Oxford, England May 2020
In the region of North-East Syria, also known by its Kurdish name Rojava, a democratic self-administration system has been built up since 2012 – a system based on grass roots democracy, ecology and women‘s freedom, in which all the different ethnic and religious communities can live together on their own terms, through autonomy, self-determination, and equality.
The system is based on neighbourhood assemblies and councils, with principles of ecology and gender liberation at its heart, and values of ethnic and religious pluralism throughout. Women are at the front and centre of this movement.
But now, Rojava faces some big threats: War, embargo, water shortage
When the revolution in Rojava began, the groundwater level was very low due mainly to industrial monoculture agriculture organised by the Syrian regime over the last four decades, as well as a decline in rainfall as a result of the global climate crisis.
In 2015, Turkey started to use water as a weapon against Rojava by holding back the water on the rivers which flow from Turkey to Syria through the dams it has been building over the last twenty years. (…)
This situation is greatly exacerbated by the threat of Covid-19. In the time of a pandemic, access to water is more vital than ever.
“In the midst of a global pandemic that is overloading sophisticated governance and infrastructure systems, Turkish authorities have been cutting off the water supply to regions most under strain in Syria,” said Michael Page, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The Turkish authorities should do everything they can to immediately resume supply to these communities.”
Now, the people in Rojava need your help. We want to raise £100,000 for vital water infrastructure in North-East Syria.
A small private foundation in the UK that has previously supported projects in the region has agreed to a match-funding offer to kick-start the project. It will donate £1 for every £1 of the first £50k raised. This means we only need to raise £50,000 to reach the £100k target!
The fund will help women’s co-operatives and democratic local municipalities in Rojava with projects like repairing infrastructure damaged by bombings, digging wells and building water pumps for refugee camps, as well as funding long-term projects like co-operative farm irrigation systems and river cleaning initiatives. Despite the ongoing war, people in Rojava are still living cooperatively, rebuilding their lives, their ecology and their economy.
You can help support these efforts. Please let other people know about this campaign and donate what you can.
Water is not a weapon. Av jîyan e – Water is life!
Who are we?
The Solidarity Economy Association are working together with Aborîya Jin (Women’s Economy) in North-East Syria, not-for-profit NGO Un Ponte Per (Italy), UK-registered charity Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê (Kurdish Red Crescent), Roots for Change (Switzerland), and the Save the Tigris Campaign.
On World Fair Trade Day, Fairtrade International announces the launch of a “Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund” and establishment of a “Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund” in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The two funding mechanisms, with initial investments of €3.1 million, are intended to meet immediate needs of farmers, workers and their communities, while also establishing a foundation for longer-term economic recovery efforts.
Darío Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International, said, “As a system, Fairtrade works every day to change trade so that farmers and workers can earn decent livelihoods. In times of crisis, we must do even more to ensure the health, safety, and future of those who work so hard to supply us with the products we love. We realize these funds aren’t enough to meet all the needs of every producer affected by the pandemic, which is why we’re committed to continuing to look for additional funding sources within the system, as well as with partners.”
The Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund initially makes €2.1 million available to Fairtrade certified producer organizations for urgently needed investment in safety and livelihoods. Relief initiatives could include purchase of masks and basic protective and medical equipment, temporary payment of wages for suspended workers, setting up local food security initiatives, raising awareness of safety precautions, building emergency medical facilities, and business continuity costs, among others. The fund has been established through contributions by national Fairtrade organizations.
“Producer organizations quickly mobilized themselves to support their members and communities, like coffee producers in Colombia distributing food and hygiene packages to the elderly in their community, Brazilians helping to sanitize their cities, or Belizeans delivering masks. This has been the case in most of the producer organizations around the world. Having this additional financial support will make a significant difference in the level of relief that can be provided to some of the communities that are in the most need of assistance,” said Xiomara Parades, Executive Director of CLAC, the Fairtrade Producer Network in Latin America and the Caribbean.
While the Relief Fund targets immediate needs, it is clear that the pandemic will also have an extreme effect on global supply chains and trade worldwide, often with the impact only to be felt in the next planting/harvest season. The Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund, currently funded at €1,000,000 by members of the Fairtrade system, is being established to meet the longer-term needs of producers as they begin to look at life after COVID-19.
The Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund is intended to support longer-term economic interventions, such as business restoration, technology-based capacity building, addressing human rights risks in value chains through programmatic interventions, support for strengthening finances to tackle future risks, and advocacy, as a few examples.
“In addition asking our national organizations to contribute funds, we are looking for partners to help us grow this forward-looking fund to ensure that, as farmers and workers start to recover from the effects of COVID-19, they are able to secure their livelihoods, while building resilience in supply chains,” said Soto Abril.
Fairtrade invites contributions to the Producer Resilience Fund from retailers, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and government agencies. The monies from both the Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund and Fairtrade Producer Resilience Funds will be allocated proportionally to the three regional Fairtrade Producer Networks. The Producer Networks will, in turn, administer and manage the distribution, monitoring, and impact of the funds to Fairtrade certified producer organizations on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis.
“The crisis won’t end when COVID-19 stops spreading. We’re already seeing a global economic crisis looming,” said Nyagoy Nyong’o, Executive Director of Fairtrade Africa, the producer network covering Africa and the Middle East. “Farmers and workers are resilient and creative. This additional fund will enable them to identify opportunities or alternative business models, as well as continuing to invest in the future of their communities.”
For further information, please contact: Johnna Phillips, Director of External Relations, press[at]fairtrade.net
The Corona virus crisis is dominating all the news and indeed the daily lives of many people are being constrained as governments impose strict measures to slow down and prevent a pandemic contagion. People are forced to rethink about many things, including resorting to local consumption and production, reorganising mobility, distance / online work, reducing social and public interaction, etc. This has some positive effects, if communities don’t close themselves and Europe doesn’t become even more a “fortress”, violently rejecting refugees and migrants (as is happening now on the boarders between Greece and Turkey). Of course this does not mean undermining the pandemic threat – which by the way was not brought here in Europe by “migrants” but by international travelers. Emissions have been reduced more in the last 2 months than in planned longer periods – so it is possible to actually implement climate friendly policies rapidly, if we really want it. The recent Green Deal by the European Commission seems to be going somewhat in that direction… but is it really?
The European Green Deal was launched by the European Commission at the end of last year and it became a hot topic for debate and reflection in SSE activists circles. It sounds like a gigantic plan for the urgently needed step forwards on the path to become carbon neutral continent by 2050. The main areas of the €260-300 billion per year investments are: energy and climate change, circular economy for industry, building and construction, mobility and transport, biodiversity, food and pollution-free environment. There are few new, unexpected, fresh, promising, approaches and concepts. At least fresh and promising for strategic documents by the EC. The use of terms such as “just transition”, from “farm to fork”, a praise for “biodiversity and nature” (well, very not fresh in the name of “natural capital”), or citizens involvement and protection catch your eyes.
However, when you dive more deep into the document, you realise that the whole plan is still addicted to the growth paradigm and is more of an allusion that there is a need for little bit of green and little bit of money in the current system to become more just and sustainable. In RIPESS and other SSE oriented movements, we continuously push and work for a paradigm shift that will transform our economy and democracy deficit system. So while a “greener” Europe may benefit the issue of climate change or environmental pollution and go in the right direction, there is still a lot to do for a really just and ecological transition to take place.
The European Green Deal is here to stay and we will have to address it in the next several years. Some time ago, not so far from now, it would have been a science fiction idea or wishful thinking to have even the rhetoric shift in the core institutions. After a long term and dedicated work of many activists, workers and promoters of just, fair, solidarity and sustainable concepts we have some part of it in this Green Deal. It is not enough and it not good enough nor solidarity based. So, we have to continue with our advocacy and daily based practical SSE living so that in the next years this kind of framework policy document will include more important concepts, practices and systemic change focus such as: solidarity based economy, deep democracy and participatory decision making, nature rights and ecological footprint tax policies, workers protection and commons enhancing… RIPESS will do it, so join us! We’d like to open a debate on this members and other networks and organisations who are working to change the economic system (and are looking forward to participate in the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies) – please read the article in this newsletter and react, send your comments and proposals!
By Drazen Simlesa & Jason Nardi from RIPESS Europe Coordination Committee
EXTENDED DEADLINE: 14th June at 11:59pm CET (GMT+1)
Since 2017, the Transformative Cities initiative has been celebrating collectives around the world that have transformed their community in systematic ways with the Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award. The winners of last year have become a global source of inspiration:
The Our Water Our Rights campaign successfully resisted water privatization in Lagos, Nigeria.
In Spain, Barcelona Energia lit up people’s houses with renewable energy and stood up against corporate power.
In Mexico, Cooperación Comunitaria A.C. worked with the community’s traditional techniques and rebuilt their homes after an earthquake destroyed them.
In Kenya, the Dajopen Waste Management Project turned waste into valuable nutrients that regenerated the soil.
Today, begins the recruitment for new inspiring examples of transformation in 2020: an open callto find those who are the local leaders of global change. Maybe it’s your collective! Apply here for the Transformative Cities Peoples Choice Award 2020. Or maybe you know other collectives that should be introduced to this opportunity. Please share with them this Open Call.
Three key stories for each category will be chosen by expert evaluators in different fields. These 12 stories will receive widespread promotion, as they want to share the most inspiring initiators with as wide a public as possible. As a finalist of the 2020 edition your story will be included in the Atlas of Utopias 2020, which this year will feature all finalists from all the three editions so far. An inspiring mosaic of real transformative utopias.
Their goal is not to create competition between different political practices, but rather to put a spotlight on transformative practices and encourage their spread internationally.
Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe – Comparative synthesis report, Carlo Borzaga, Giulia Galera, Barbara Franchini, Stefania Chiomento, Rocío Nogales, Chiara Carini, European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation « EaSI » (2014-2020) [lire]
Buying for social impact Good practice from around the EU, Luigi Martignetti, Valentina Caimi, Dorotea Daniele, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (European Commission), 2020 [lire]
The report sent by RIPESS Europe collaborator Isa Álvarez
Dimensión social del municipalismo, AA.VV. , 2020 [lire]
A video on SSE in Barcelona
Documentary « Solidarity Economy in Barcelona », Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota, 2020 [lire]
The resolution on Cooperatives adopted at the United Nations level
74/119 Cooperatives in Social Development, Resolution adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 2019 [lire]
A major new report from World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Traidcraft Exchange, University of York and Cambridge University challenges leaders gathering in Davos and beyond to foster business models that put people and planet first. The report unveils key features of such mission-led business models and provides a direct contrast with profit-primacy businesses.
The report, titled ‘Creating the new economy: business models that put people and planet first’ challenges government, business and finance leaders to foster mission-primacy business models in order to kick-start the new economy. The report gives specifics to the idea of stakeholder capitalism, which is the focus of leaders gathering in Davos this week. A broad range of senior voices from academia and international organisations have already expressed support for the ideas in the report .
Roopa Mehta, the president of WFTO, says: “The new economy is already here. Fair Trade Enterprises are joining forces with the broader social enterprise movement and others to demonstrate that business can truly put people and planet first. We all need to embrace this revolution in business.”
To support this report, the authors called on several people from the Fair Trade or Social Solidarity Economy communities. Among the supporting quotes, Jason Nardi, Coordinator of RIPESS Europe, did not miss the call:
“The ‘business models that put people and planet first’ report is a remarkable demonstration of how ‘mission-led’ enterprises such as Fair Trade enterprises are much more successful than the profit-maximisation ones when it comes to creating a positive social impact, reducing poverty and increasing wellbeing, re-investing in social and environmental causes, increasing opportunities for farmers, workers, artisans and communities. Not only: gender equality is greater in Fair Trade enterprises and in general they have more diverse and representative governing boards. As social solidarity enterprises, they are usually more financially resilient. What does this all mean? It means that in today’s unsustainable globalised financial market economy, not only it is possible to survive with different business models that care for community and environment, but that on the long run, those enterprises – networking with each other and in cooperative and SSE circuits – will have much better chances to emerge and to be part of the change of economic system we urgently need.” – Jason Nardi, European Coordinator of RIPESS
In Occitania (France) a 2-day Forum on 22 and 23 November at the Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse brought together about 90 SSE structures, 4 local authorities and 4 SSE networks. The programme included 5 conferences, 4 convergence circles and 16 workshops. About 20 speakers contributed to the conferences, including 7 researchers.
The 1500 or so visitors came from different backgrounds (Political Sciences Bordeaux, Terre de Convergences in the Gard, Delegation of Marseille), a national and an international network and four representatives of local institutions. Forty stands presented SSE actors from Occitania. Twenty volunteers ensured the fluidity of the logistics and three restaurateurs (Ludi Monde, Curupira and the Kasbah) allowed the participants to take their meals, even if the attendance exceeded the forecasts. More than 250 young students took part in the round tables and various workshops. Finally, a concert with a Franco-Brazilian singer offered a joyful interlude. She provided the translation for the speech by Monica Benicio, Mariella Franco’s companion, a militant who was assassinated on 15 March 1918 in Rio de Janeiro (whose assassins are not likely to be prosecuted as long as Bolsonaro is in power).
There was a great participation of volunteers and visitors in this comfortable and accessible place with a lot of available space, a good animation of the actors’ circles, a rich and quality programming. In particular the Flashlab (presentation of initiatives in progress or brand new), its format, its richness, the exchanges were a success.
It is necessary to underline the energy given by the Barcelona perspective, the international dimension, the crossing of the 4 themes, the quality of the conferences. All in all, it was a joyful event, full of emulation, rich in emotion, particularly the speech by Monica Benicio during the conference on eco-feminism presenting the situation in Brazil.
This Forum was part of the mobilization cycle for the Barcelona WSFTE.
The next dates in Occitania related to the convergence towards the WSFTE and transformative economies are the following: two public political events – ex-Languedoc territory with Terre de Convergences, Démocratie Ouverte, La Région Citoyenne – ex-Midi Pyrénées territory; – an economic and feminist event in Toulouse (21 March); an event with the UFISC in Gignac on 30 May; two dates to be fixed in Ariège and Aude; – an agroecological event – ex-Languedoc territory; – an event in Haute-Garonne with FREDD (Film, Research and Sustainable Development).
The MES Occitanie is planning to produce a booklet using materials from FRESS (theory + feedback from the actors) which would promote transformative economies in the Occitanie region.
The creation of an Occitan delegation to represent the region at the WSFTE with citizens, elected local authorities, SSE actors and researchers will be based on a questionnaire with many actors of the transformative economies on the Occitan territory to collect information on their practices, encourage them to come to the FSMET and to propose animations.
You can find the filmed conferences on this link. (in French)
The COP25 International Conference took place in Madrid
(Spain) from December 2nd to 13th 2019. Jason Nardi, from RIPESS EU and
RIPESS Intercontinental Coordinator, was there and participated in the
“High-level circular economy roundtable” where he argued that we need a
radically different approach to the economy.
Written by Jason Nardi, RIPESS’ Intercontinental Coordinator.
The 25th UN Climate Conference was held in Madrid (instead
of Santiago in Chile, where it was supposed to take place) from 2 to 13
December: two weeks of negotiations among representatives of the nearly
200 countries that are parties to the UNFCCC, the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change.
During this COP25, states were meant to finalize the rules of
implementation of the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, which is supposed
to be fully operational from 2020. Moreover, they were to increase the
ambition of their emission reduction commitments, which are currently
totally insufficient to achieve the objectives and to avoid the most
serious consequences of global warming. The negotiations ended over 2
days beyond schedule and with a really weak agreement and substantial failure.
COP 25 was celebrated at the end of a year characterized by strong
mobilizations of young people, which raised the attention on the climate
crisis and the inaction of States to levels never reached before. Half a
million people took to the streets in Madrid on Friday 6 December,
calling for climate justice and responsibility of world governments. It
was followed by the Climate Social Summit,
the civil society event that saw more than 300 appointments promoted by
activists from all over the world to propose alternative solutions,
which ended with a statement titled: “The world has woken up to the climate emergency“.
Among the many spaces in the Social Summit, there was the MingaIndígena,
organized by representatives of indigenous communities to talk about
the impacts of climate change on their territories. Even though the
official negotiations have moved to the Europe, South American civil
society did not give up its space for expression, and in Santiago the
two planned meetings of the Cumbre de los Pueblos and the Cumbre Social
por la Acción Climática were celebrated.
RIPESS participated in both the official COP25 (see below the
intervention of RIPESS coordinator Jason Nardi at the High level debate
on “Circular economy, cities and buildings” in collaboration with FMDV and ICLEI) and in the Climate Social Summit, in several meetings organised by allies such as ECOLISE and members as REAS Madrid.
Next year’s COP, scheduled to take place in Glasgow between 9 and 19
November 2020, will be the final test for governments around the world.
Mobilising our networks, movements and organisations at all levels is
more crucial then ever to put more and more pressure on political
representatives and governments who pull back from assuming their
responsibilities and continuing to pursue a polluting, extractivist and
destructive economic model, instead of taking real action to change it.
And we need to link the mobilisation to the “transformative economies”
that will gather in Barcelona at the WSFTE (June 25th-28th 2020).
In this sense, the number of legal actions brought by citizens and
organisations against polluting states and companies is multiplying,
calling for climate justice and the protection of fundamental human
rights – the recent case won by the Urgenda foundation vs the Netherlands’ government is exemplary.
But even more hopeful are the positive actions taken at the local
level and the potential of trans-local collaborations, involving cities
who are investing in circular and social solidarity economy, where
organised citizens, responsible governments and enterprises and other
stakeholders can collaborate to build the climate resilient economic
system and society we urgently need.
High-level circular economy roundtable: Cities and buildings as agents of climate action
Speech of Jason Nardi, RIPESS Intercontinental Coordinator
Three quarters of resource-use and greenhouse gas emissions already
come from cities, and trends in urbanization, motorization, population
and economic growth will further drive up these numbers if we don’t get
smarter and more sustainable in the way we live, consume, travel, and
produce. Many cities face serious air, water and waste pollution; direct
result of unsustainable consumption and production patterns, making
citizens’ health a key imperative for action. Yet, the key to
unlocking cities potential extends far beyond that: it is about raising
political ambition, a constructive collaboration between different
levels and sectors of government, innovative housing, urban and climate
policies, sound economic incentives, and better urban planning. It is
integrated and coordinated action of stakeholders such as innovators,
policymakers, investors, developers, among others that will accelerate
impact to help achieve the Paris Agreement goals.
(From the introduction to the Rountable)
1) From “Smart” to collectively intelligent cities
Many if not most of today’s larger cities are ecologically unsustainable and socially unjust (concentration
of emissions, pollution, bad quality housing, non resilient and very
dependent from centralised provision – like energy, waste,
transportation, etc.) and need to be re-designed all together,
downsized and re-built. They were planned or transformed around carbon
intensive market-driven models, excluding many inhabitants and their
communities, especially those living on informal economies as the
majority of realities in the global south (60% average). If cities are
like organisms, they should only grow to their natural limit,
bioregional, livable and future capable. Perhaps less “smart” and more
That is why other more eco-systemic and fair approaches are needed:
Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) and finance are based on circular
economy, from the bottom up, with long tested and innovative solutions
adapted to very different contexts. They are done with collective,
cooperative shared intelligence and efficient use of existing resources,
recreating agro-ecological and re-localised supply chains.
Deregulated extractive linear economic growth and global
financialised “free market” competition are among the root causes of the
ecological and climate emergency we are in, let alone the inequality
and poverty gaps they generate.
Greening economic growth does not make it more sustainable and a true
circular economy is incompatible with today’s economic system. We need
a just transition to a living economy, where we produce and consume
less, reuse, repair, redistribute and regenerate more. “Circular”
without social economic rights is not viable.
2) Including marginalised communities and informal workers in circular dynamics
Informal workers account for 50 to 80 percent of urban (self)
employment of the global south. Yet they are largely excluded from
public infrastructure and services, public space, and public procurement
contracts. They are already contributing to a circular resilient low
carbon economy, but rarely recognized nor supported or offered financial
means, starting with women, who are half the population.
We need a radically different approach to the economy, based on
decentralized and collective ownership, cooperative and democratic
organization and management, short supply chains and local solidarity
economic circuits. This has proven to work in many cases all over the
There are thousand of examples where collaboration between informal,
solidarity economy and cooperative enterprises and finance with local
governments have been successful in giving answers to both social, urban
and environmental issues – and contributing to a low-carbon human
A few examples:
Bamako in Mali has been working on transforming 50000 tons of
solid waste into fertilizer and energy. The municipality, SSE
structures and peasant organisations are all involved. Waste for
composting is recovered from markets, schools, etc. it’s at the
beginning but promising.
In Solapur, India the women-led beedi and textile workers housing
cooperative together with the workers union has built almost 16000
houses (and other 30000 are on the way) made for climate local
conditions, with materials locally sourced, participation of the
workers, who from renting slum huts became owners of their sustainable
homes in a town they built, with support of the local government and
with community services, schools, hospitals and local farmers market
(they won the Transformative cities award, 2018).
This is what we call Right to the city recognized by Habitat III’s
New Urban Agenda: participatory urban planning by and for people and
communities, inclusive, fair and sustainable cities, creating
de-commodified spaces for local economic circuits, food and energy
sovereignty and urban commons. And larger alliances, such as those
among cities (as iclae) or built among States and the UN, such as the
Global alliance launched by France.
In order to do this, there needs to be the political will and courage
to (re) municipalise essential public services and infrastructures,
with public-community partnerships and democratic control and
management: enabling community coop housing and land-trusts,
citizen-controlled water, decentralised energy production, shared and
public mobility, circular waste mgmt and low-emission and resilient
alternatives for the building and construction sector, with a special
focus on the use of local materials and knowledge, community fab-labs
and maker spaces and inclusion of most vulnerable population groups.
Market-led solutions have failed in most cases – it is time to act
giving control back to the people, for a just, socially inclusive and
Quartiers du Monde (QDM) publishes the guide “Accompanying
social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective”. The
purpose of this document is to provide tools for alternative
entrepreneurship for women’s socio-economic autonomy.
Quartiers du Monde (QDM), a French international solidarity NGO and
member of RIPESS “Women and SSE” working group, publishes the guide “Accompanying social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a gender perspective“.
The guide proposes tools to entrepreneurship differently and reach the
women socio-economic autonomy. This guide is the product of a
co-construction between organizations from Latin America, Africa and
Why do women pay more attention to others than they receive? The
profound inequality in the use of the time that mark our societies must
challenge us all. It should be noted that women’s time is still
considered an inexhaustible resource, an adjustment variable between the
irreconcilable logics of the market economy and life.
It is therefore essential to reflect on how to build other ways of
doing business, based on the thinking of women involved in Social
Solidarity Economy (SSE) companies. Thus, this guide was created on the
basis of the South-South-North network program “Women of the World: A
Network of Women Entrepreneurs in Solidarity” and is based on two
pillars: SSE and the gender perspective (GP). This orientation is
intended to respond to the observation that the registration of an
activity in the SSE field is not sufficient to promote equality between
women and men despite the values established within the SSE.
Thus, by integrating SSE within a gender perspective, this guide
follows a conceptual approach and a method of intervention that aims at
real equality between women and men to counter the effects of certain
initiatives through gender mainstreaming, in order to transform the
gender inequality generated by patriarchal and neoliberal systems in the
Goals and objectives
The guide ” Accompanying social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a
gender perspective ” provides training and reinforcement of the
linguistic skills that accompany any social and solidarity
entrepreneurial initiative in a facilitator’s gender perspective. As
well as a collective reflection on the issues addressed, which places
women entrepreneurs as protagonists in each stage of their business
initiatives, from creation to consolidation.
The guide also enables entrepreneurs to make decisions based on their
territory, giving them a viable financial vision and social justice,
working towards transforming women’s economic activities into viable
business initiatives and creating collective wealth.
The main objectives, as presented at a RIPESS Women and SSE Group webinar in late 2017, are:
Empower and strengthen the facilitators’ capacities and groups and
networks leaders to support social and solidarity entrepreneurship with a
Empower and strengthen women’s capacities within collectives with
income-generating activities and SSE initiatives with gender
Contribute to the strengthening and transformation of women’s
economic activities towards viable entrepreneurial initiatives that
create collective wealth.
It has 4 main sections:
Introduction to the plural economy
Steps to develop an SSE entrepreneurial initiative with a gender perspective
Additional information and tools
And each section includes dynamic proposals, descriptive content,
real examples, as well as exercises and various other additional
materials in the form of videos, fact sheets, etc.
The guide can be used by different groups, women or mixed,
cooperatives, social organizations, etc., and can be implemented with
other methods that accompany the creation of social solidarity
entrepreneurship, as its contribution focuses on the women and men’s
Finally, it should be kept in mind that it is a guide and it can -and
should be- adapted to each context, as it provides a solid basis for
the evolution and support of processes when creating justice and
equality in neighborhoods and communities.
Facilitators who use these resources encourage discussion, reflection
and planning to promote a more inclusive, fair and equal SSE between
women and men, so the most important thing is this fact.
The process of reflection and work behind the development of the guide
The guide is the result of a sixty-month process of reflection and
learning. During this period, nine women’s associations and ten women
leaders – present in working-class neighborhoods in Latin America, East
Africa and Northern France – worked to integrate the gender perspective
into SSE using various tools.
The advisors, the program’s international coordination and the
facilitators met during five formative face-to-face meetings (in Bolivia
2017 and 2013, Morocco in 2014, Colombia in 2015, Paris in 2016).
In addition, they contacted each other virtually, through the network
forum and a webinar platform, to discuss the tools’ application, the
relevance and response of women, and to systematize learning. The
resources were co-constructed by all stakeholders, and the associations
made a cultural adaptation and translated into their original languages.
RIPESS and Quartiers du Monde join forces around the guide
In 2018, a pilot training based on the guide was carried out in Mali, within the SSE network, RENAPESS.
This experience led to an idea for a joint project between RIPESS and
Quartiers du Monde, which is currently being developed. The central
idea would be the formation of pilot RIPESS SSE networks in the gender
approach of various countries and continents. This project would include
the application of the knowledge and skills acquired in the operation
of the networks themselves, in their activities to support collectives,
and in their advocacy work on SSE and gender. Without forgetting the
convergence with other movements of transformative economies around the
subject thanks to the visions and skills acquired, echoing the current
dynamic of convergences of transformative economies in which both RIPESS
and Quartiers du Monde participate (World Social Forum of Transformative Economies)
An article by Ripess International, November 8, 2019
This week, from November 8th to 11th, the RIPESS
Education working group will pilot the Solidarity Economy Learning Tour
& Cross-training hosted by Cooperation Jackson (US) with the
participation of both local and international trainers from the US,
Latin America and the Caribbean; Canada; Europe and Eastern Asia.
The aim is to allowan exchange of knowledge of Solidarity Economy (SE) trainers and work on the development of an SE curriculum. Both the format of the learning tour, based on visiting local SE practices, and the curriculum that is being developed will be available to other SE networks/initiatives to be used and adapted to their local contexts.
The understanding of SE is about a way to change the current economic
and social capitalist paradigm towards a more just and sustainable
During these four days, the participants will combine classroom learning to provide a grounding in the theory, practice and organizing strategies to build the solidarity economy with site visits to see and engage with real world solidarity economy practices.
Amongst the objectives, this project wants to pilot and co-develop a SE Curriculum, including materials, methodologies, and guidelines, and facilitated by SE educators from around the world, as well as Cooperation Jackson
folks. And also, to connect and get to know each other and engage in a
process of personal transformation: “to know ourselves in relationship
to others – an understanding of ‘us’ and mutuality”.
By being a training of trainers, this gathering of trainers
also aims to generate a dialogue, sharing and networking between
trainers who are connected to the grassroots SE movements from all over
the world. Taking a popular education approach, the participants will begin with the knowledge of the participants and understand that everyone is a teacher and learner.
This approach, which well aligned with SE in terms of its principles,
foundations, and methods, is a process of analysis-looking for
patterns, accessing new knowledge as needed, developing a strategy of
action, implementing that action, then returning to a reflection of the
experience, analysis, gathering new knowledge to transform the local and
global economy to construct a new society based on justice, equality
and love, and so forth. The goal of popular education is to engage in a continual process of reflection and action in order to achieve the transformation of reality through an economic, social and political liberation.
Cooperation Jackson, Mississippi (US)
The gathering of trainers is hosted by Cooperation Jackson
a project that is igniting a lot of excitement in the U.S. as well as
internationally as it is part of a broader vision to transform the local
and regional economy and society through a political/electoral
strategy, grassroots organizing through people’s assemblies, and building the SE through a cooperative network consisting of four interdependent institutions:
a federation of local worker cooperatives, a cooperative incubator, a
cooperative education and training center, and a cooperative bank or
For these reasons, RIPESS’ education working group has decided to
collaborate with Cooperation Jackson to organize this gathering of
trainers and to start developing a Solidarity Economy Curriculum that
can be used in the future by people from all around the world.
RIPESS will publish some updates during the gathering of trainers on our social media accounts
Twitter and Facebook. So, stay tuned to follow the development of the
SE Curriculum and all participants’ learnings during these four intense