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Participate in the NESI Forum (April 19-22 2017)!
December 22, 2016

RIPESS Europe’s convergence strategy priority will continue next year with the NESI Forum, the global Forum on New Economy and Social Innovation (NESI), which will take place in Málaga, Spain, April 19-22, 2017, where some of the main economic movements proposing a real alternative to the current economic system come together in one place with the aim of co-creating a common narrative towards a New Economy focused on people that will serve as a roadmap for governments and companies. For RIPESS members and sympathizers, there is a -20% exclusive discount coupon: #ripess+ (go here to register).

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INAISE 2016: International networks convergence, opportunities, challenges
From left to right: Gérald Larose, Claire Brodin, Milleder Villegas, Chantal-Line Carpentier, Alain Arnaud, Yvon Poirier and Laurence Kwark

The International Association of Investors in the social economy (INAISE) held its annual conference in Montreal, May 11-13 May. About 180 participants were present. This association includes various types of institutions of social and solidarity finance on an international level, ranging from cooperative financial institutions such as the Caisse d’économie solidaire Desjardins, Banca Etica in Italy, ethical banks like Triodos Bank in the Netherlands and Community Sector Banking in Australia. Several microfinance institutions, Oikocredit or the African Network MAIN, are also members. The complete list, with members in every continent, is found on the website. Historically, relations between INAISE and RIPESS exist since at least 2004.

> See the link to the Program & Presentations

The conference this year focused on the theme Contributions, promises and challenges. Among other things, the plenary sessions were carried on the following topics:

  •         Financial tools for the empowerment and solidarity and responsible economic development;
  •         Cooperatives and their role in the social economy and local development;
  •         Family farming and value chains;

Thereafter, the participants exchanged in workshops on social economy and women entrepreneurshipsocial economy and sustainable development as well as savings and credit unions.

The penultimate session focused on the Foundations and support for the social economy. Usually foundations make grants according to their mandates. These grants come from revenues on investments and interest. What is new is that foundations give themselves responsible investment policies and even dedicate a portion of their funds for patient capital funds for SSE enterprises. One of the obstacles to this practice in laws and regulations that prevent or restrict the development of such a practice.

RIPESS was invited to participate in the roundtable International networks: convergence, opportunities, challenges. Six organizations in the social economy and ESS spoke:

  •         Milder Villegas – President INAISE
  •         Gérald Larose – Vice President – Mont Blanc Meetings (MBM)
  •         Alain Arnaud – President CIRIEC International
  •         Laurence Kwark – Secretary General – GSEF (Global Social Economy Forum)
  •         Yvon Poirier – RIPESS
  •         Claire Brodin – Savings Without Borders (France)

The panel was moderated by Chantal Line Carpentier of the New York Office of UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. She was known by most of the organizations since she spoke at the meeting of the International Leading Group on SSE on 28 September in New York. After a presentation of each organization, explaining who they are and what they fonts, each expressed his vision of collaboration. All expressed their willingness to collaborate to advance alternatives that represents the SSE.

On behalf of RIPESS, I expressed our desire to continue collaborations we have already, even though they may be variable, with other organizations. This is particularly the case with INAISE, the MBM and GESF that are SSE organizations. We have no relationship with CIRIEC International, nor with Savings Without Borders, which are more in research, but we were willing to have.

After insisting, on behalf of RIPESS, it was important to build the movement at every level, local, regional, national and international, to put forward an alternative development model to capitalism and state economies, a clarification become necessary. Indeed, the next speaker, Alain Arnaud from CIRIEC intervened to say that from his point of view, the SSE advocates a plural economy, that it aims to take it’s a place next to the private sector and the public economy. Before I had the opportunity to make a clarification, Gérald Larose from MBM expressed a position quite similar to that of RIPESS. He replied to Alain Arnaud, that we could indeed have a plurality in the form of business, but that as a system, we could not talk about plural economic system. For him, we must indeed speak of an alternative model to capitalism as a system.

We must be grateful to INAISE for organizing this spirit of cooperation, that we must continue….

Note written by Yvon Poirier, member of RIPESS Board

Convivialism in all its diversity
December 10, 2015
Colloque Convivialism

[by Josette Combes, co-president of the MES (Movement pour l’Économie Solidaire)]

A symposium called “Another world is being built, theory and practice” was held at the University of Rennes 2 from 26th-28th October. The objective was to “identify the state of play of the convivialist project, including the international dimension in Germany, Brazil, India, Japan and Italy”.

Convivialism is based on a Manifesto that proposes the convergence of movements to create a convivial society based on a “shared doctrinal basis” to “create a new way of living together that valorises relations and cooperation” and “enables people to disagree without killing one another, caring for others and for nature (…) a sustainable basis that is both ethical, based on ecological economy and politics”.

The Manifesto is the work of a collective of university lecturers, researchers and others working with Marc Humbert for PEKEA (a Political and Ethical Knowledge on Economic Activities), and Alain Caillé, founder of MAUSS (Mouvement Anti Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales) and director of the eponymous review.

The symposium brought together a certain umber of actors involved in the manifesto (cf programme), most of whom are well-known for their world social forum commitments (as a movement opposed to the globalisation of financialised economy and the hubris of the oligarchs to the detriment of the three billion poor of our planet).

Here is my conclusion for the whole symposium: “We need to modify all existing parameters if the world is to evolve, especially in terms of economic democracy. It is important to revisit the figure of providential man, acting to the detriment of assemblies that are truly deliberative in nature and where citizens develop projects of collective interest, the reflection on what falls in the public domain, and what in the private. It is also necessary to revise the scale of values, hierarchy of so-called noble tasks versus those that are considered degrading and carried out by sub-human species, particularly the care of others that is relegated to women. The highly preoccupying situation of climate change means we must take decisions that are no longer the prerogative of the club of decision-makers, but belong to all citizens. Finally it is essential for the evolutions to be considered together with a new way of considering ‘good living’”.

The full version of all texts presented by speakers can be found on the Convivialist site: http://altersocietal.org/colloque2015txt

RIPESS at the World Social Forum in Tunis
March 23, 2015
FSM 2015

Another world is possible and already exists ! On the occasion of the World Social Forum2015, a delegation of RIPESS will travel to Tunis from 24 to 28 March for the second edition of the WSF in Tunisia. RIPESS and several members of its African, European and North American continental networks will present workshops and participate in aconvergence Assembly, in collaboration with various organizations and social movementsview online the RIPESS program for the WSF.

RIPESS Europe, in particular, will organize the following workshop:


RIPESS Europe, Centrale nationale des employés (CNE)

Participatory debate about the necessity of convergence among those organizing the resistances. How to organize the convergences between social movements of struggle and change agents that are promoters of alternative and solidarity economy, how to better connect the forces between the South and the North.

Here are the other workshops promoted by RIPESS Intercontinental:


Habitat International Coalition, URGENCI (International Network for Community Supported Agriculture) and RIPESS.

This workshop will discuss and share the links between the Right to the City platform, the food sovereignty movement, and solidarity economy. This activity will focus on enhancing local and regional food systems (city region food systems), including tangible experiences in creating better and more sustainable access to food in urban areas. Presenters will share their organizational experiences in implementing structural change in urban areas including implementing Right to the City frameworks/policy and social production of habitat, urban agriculture and Community Supported Agricultural models, Community gardens and allotments, workers coops and solidarity finance.


RIPESS, P’actes européens and Enda Tiers-Monde

Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is an alternative development model with potential for building more sustainable and equitable societies in a context of multiple crises at the global level (social, economic, climatic, environmental, civilizational). Whether in the fight against poverty and inequality, for the creation of decent jobs or access to basic needs such as food, housing, health and education, initiatives resulting from people themselves and grassroots organizations are growing and connect more and more with each other.

In view of the ongoing negotiations for the definition of the Post-2015 international development agenda (United Nations negotiations on Sustainable Development Goals – SDGs; 3rd International Conference on Financing for Development, Addis Ababa, July 2015, COP21 on climate change in Paris, December 2015), SSE actors are actively engaged in the Post-2015 multi-stakeholders campaigns to build convergences, advance practical solutions, appropriate legal frameworks, and to obtain effective resources for SDGs implementation.

The workshop will explore various proposals from civil society and social movements, including SSE, that: are based on collaborative logic; seek territorial anchoring solutions to serve people, communities and nations; focus on ecological, resilient and sustainable practices to protect the commons; advocate for elaborating qualitative indicators to measure the added value of these initiatives, so as to contribute to articulating the implementation of SDGs around democratic and verifiable tools



Co-organizers:  ATTAC France, Beyond 2015, Enda Tiers-Monde, IBON International, Our World is Not for Sale, Plataforma 2015 y más, RIPESS- Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy, Social Watch

The year 2015 will be crucial to define the future of the international development agenda. From the 3rdFinancing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July, to the final adoption by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September to the December Conference on climate change (COP21) in Paris, the orientations and means of implementation of the approach to sustainable development that will be adopted at global level will have significant impacts on populations. The SDGs approved by consensus at the UN require a paradigm shift because they address inequalities and require developed countries to change their unsustainable production and consumption patterns. Furthermore, they reaffirm the right to social security and essential social services and promote international tax justice, among other important transformations. But the decisions have not yet been fully determined, so these promises still lack any means of implementation or a credible mechanism for monitoring and accountability. People all over the world are proposing concrete solutions and organizing themselves to build fair and sustainable economies and societies. The sustainable development agenda needs to draw on these transformational processes, echo their proposals and support them.

All social movements, social solidarity economy actors, women’s and food sovereignty movements, trade unions, human rights defenders and civil society as a whole are invited to participate in a convergence assembly to share their analyses and proposals, and exchange on positions that should be defended, identify false solutions that should be denounced and discuss strategies for moving toward greater convergence in our actions that will ensure that the decisions taken by governments meet the needs of people and planet rather than favoring the 1%.

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