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UniverSSE2017
Video
The future of Europe beyond green growth

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

Open Call for the Transformative Cities Initiative 2020

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 call to 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

Ready, set, apply and share!

March 2020 resources (in collaboration with socioeco.org)
Socioeco

This month, we would like to highlight the following documents:

The proceedings of the MES Seminar, which we told you about in the February 2020 Newsletter:

  • Les Actes du séminaire COCONSTRUIRE L’ÉCONOMIE SOLIDAIRE 2020 [lire]

The Fair Trade Polska 2018 report

  • Fair Trade Polska Report for 2018, the Foundation of the “Fair Trade Coalition” – Fairtrade Polska, September 2019 [lire]

The document of Pour la Solidarité – PLS – on the Green Deal presented by the European Commission, mentioned in Josette Combes’ article, “A Green Deal for Europe?” :

  • Policy paper. Green deal et Économie Sociale : Enjeux et perspectives Théo BURATTI,, Tatyana WARNIER, 2020 [lire]

Ripess Europe is working this year with Ecolise on the Status report 2020. Here is the report for 2019

  • Status report 2019 : Reshaping the future. How local communities are catalysing social, economic and ecological transformation in Europe 2019 [lire]

An interview about associationism and two books by Jean-Louis Laville

  • Interview de JL Laville par Jean Bastien pour Nonfiction, 2020 [lire]
  • Réinventer l’association. Contre la société du mépris. Jean-Louis Laville, 2019 [lire]
  • Du social business à l’économie solidaire. Critique de l’innovation sociale. Maité Juan, Jean-Louis Laville, Joan Subirats Humet 2020 [lire]

Jean-Louis Laville also does a chronicle on solidarity economy in France Inter’s Carnets de Campagne programme.

Two reports from the European Commission :

  • 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]
WFTO new report – ‘business models that put people and planet first’

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

WFTO Press release
22 January 2020, Geneva Switzerland
Occitania mobilizes for the WSFTE in Barcelona

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)

By Josette Combes

Failure and hope after the Climate Summit in Madrid
Sommet sur le climat de MadridSommet sur le climat de Madrid

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 Minga Indígena, 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 collectively intelligent.

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 world.

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 activity.

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).

3) Right to the city and the New Urban Agenda

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 healthy society.

That is what circular economy is and should be.

A guide to SSE entrepreneurship from a gender perspective

Article by Ripess Intercontinental, November 2019

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 France.

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 world.

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 gender perspective.
  • Empower and strengthen women’s capacities within collectives with income-generating activities and SSE initiatives with gender perspective.
  • Contribute to the strengthening and transformation of women’s economic activities towards viable entrepreneurial initiatives that create collective wealth.

It has 4 main sections:

  1. Introduction to the plural economy
  2. Entrepreneurship Preparation
  3. Steps to develop an SSE entrepreneurial initiative with a gender perspective
  4. 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 transformation.

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)

A RIPESS pilot SE Learning Tour & Cross-training in the US

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 allow an 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 world.

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 financial institution.

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.

SE Education material available on Socioeco

The RIPESS Education working group has compiled a list of SE training material to be available to any person interested or working on SE and education. All the material can be found in Socioeco, the RIPESS’ resource center and we invite all trainers and SE networks to send new materials socioeco.org to be included in the section on SE training tool material or in the special map on pedagogical tools.

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 days.

The world is on fire….. let’s join forces with peaceful counter-fires

By Josette Combes

This November, we can only be concerned about the state of the world: Sydney threatened by the flames while bushfires burned more than 10,000 km2 in Australia. Similarly, Amazonia has been the victim of devastating fires, California is facing the same devastation while Venice is experiencing one of the highest floods in its history and this list could grow longer and longer. Despite denials from climate skeptics, there is a link between these series of disasters and climate degradation and between this degradation and the now uncontested absurdity of our energy-intensive lifestyles. According to the World Climate Risk Index (WCRI), even if developing countries are the most affected, because they are exposed to harsh climates, Europe is far from escaping the threat. For example, France is 18th, Portugal 21st, Germany 23rd and Italy 25th according to the IRC ranking. The cause of climate change is identified: greenhouse gas emissions linked to the production and frantic consumption of modern countries, and in the process the eradication of biodiversity through the concreting of agricultural land, and intensive monoculture. All this is now well known and documented. Solutions exist, those that citizens are striving to implement as they organize to fight against this deadly entropy that threatens the present and even more so the future. Waiting for governments, who will meet for the umpteenth Climate Summit (COP25) in Madrid in December, to decide to declare the climate emergency and act accordingly….

RIPESS brings together within its networks these initiatives which demonstrate that the drift of an economy totally disconnected from the consequences that its development entails is not a fatality and that it is possible to sustain life by avoiding the appalling costs that accompany the current hubris. There is an urgent need to unite the forces of the various movements and initiatives that are building forms of post-capitalist economies, transforming economies for systemic change that can no longer be postponed.

There is an urgent need because people all over the world are rebelling against the unfair conditions in which the economy of transnational corporations – which are champions of tax evasion – is forcing them to live or even barely survive. No continent is free from this rise of popular anger, even if the triggers may – at first sight – vary. Hong Kong, Bolivia, Haïti, Venezuela, Chile and Brazil are facing fierce repression in the face of the protest that arises from the confiscation of democracy by authoritarian powers supported by major predators who are calling for the suppression of social achievements. The movement is reaching the Iranian people despite a very coercive system, in Lebanon, in Iraq the same effervescence. In France, all demonstrations are marred by violence, whether they are those of demonstrators or even more of armed police officers. And in Syria, in the midst of a long and atrocious war, the resistance and development of a society based on solidarity and cooperation like Rojava is a lesson in hope and tenacity to which we must connect and that we must defend. The rise of fascisms is a real threath.

Multinational companies are losing ground even if they do not risk communicating on this chapter for obvious reasons, including the GAFAs (1). It can be hypothesized that large groups feel the end of their supremacy coming because humans are gradually becoming aware that the danger of an uninhabitable planet is looming over the human species and that it is the consequence of the over-consumption of products that are not really useful, or even harmful, starting with agricultural production filled with pesticides and inputs. The search for relocating production and related consumption is accelerating.

That is why it is urgent to join forces to build and continue to build areas of resilience, to invent peaceful counter-fires, to animate agoras of hope. This is why the members of the network, on their territories, boil pots of counter-poison. You will have some examples in our November newsletter. And don’t hesitate to let us know about your own recipes. Let us remain vigilant to maintain the taste of good living.

(1) GAFA: Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon

RIPESS is looking for a project manager for the WSF of Transformative Economies
October 30, 2019
0
FSMET 2020

From the intercontinental network of Social Solidarity Economy RIPESS we are looking for a project manager with the aim of coordinating the implementation of the World Social Forum of Transforming Economies 2020 within the Network. If you are interested and meet the requirements, you have until November 8th to submit your candidacy.

From RIPESS Europe and RIPESS Intercontinental (during the 2016 WSF in Montreal) the idea to organize a Thematic World Social Forum of “transformative economies” for 2020 in Barcelona (https://transformadora.org/en) was taken forward. This perspective opened up a two-year process in which the aim is to promote the acceleration of convergence dynamics between movements and networks offering alternatives and transformative solutions with a transformative vision (such as agroecological, feminist, commons, solidarity economy and cooperative (…) movements/ networks).

The first year of the process driven mostly by the SSE movement through RIPESS, RIPESS Europe and its Spanish (REAS) and Catalan (XES) members, has led to a preparatory meeting in April 2019 in Barcelona. In July 2019 a meeting of international networks/movements of transformative economies has allowed the creation of an extended coordination committee integrating more geographical and thematic diversity of networks/movements. In a context in which RIPESS represents one of the most committed networks within this diversity and its particular international composition, and besides the fact that many more activities and actions deriving from the planning, organization, realization, conclusion and follow-up of the WSF TE have emerged, there is a need for RIPESS to animate its own dynamics within its network, beyond the follow-up of the new coordination committee and the different commissions in collaboration with the other movements and networks involved.

In this situation, the RIPESS delegates in the process need a person in charge of coordinating the implementation of the forum process among the network, by promoting the transfer of information between the various decision-making and organisational bodies. This person will be responsible for ensuring that the inputs of RIPESS and its members actively contribute to the preparation of the 2020 meeting, in accordance with the RIPESS strategy in the WSF TE process.

Check the offer here (pdf).

The deadline for applications is November 8th, 2019. Send applications in Spanish and English with CV and motivation letter to info@ripess.org

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