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Building up Social Solidarity Economy in Central Eastern Europe

By Karolína Silná, Ředitelka| Director Ekumenické akademii

At the RIPESS co-organized European Social Solidarity Economy Congress “UniverSSE”, held in Athens in June 2017, the need for advocating for an economy that meets the needs of all people treating them as citizens and right holders instead of addressing them simply as consumers or stakeholders was emphasized as well as further training of practical Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) skills: not only how to start a social enterprise and other SSE initiative but also how to develop/innovate and how to run activities sustainably in the longer-term perspective. This could be creating an alternative market, an ecosystem of sustainable businesses – in a horizontal way (sustainable supply chain) and vertical way (intersectoral approach). Furthermore skills of community building seem to be essential, advocacy actions as well as campaigning and communicating the values of Social Solidarity Economy.

This was an impulse to develop a project, that would facilitate the spread of SSE activities by providing knowledge, skills and competences, with a special regional focus on Central-Eastern Europe. The joint project of RIPESS Europe and organisations from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Austria is called „Building up Social Solidarity Economy“ and was successfull in the 2018 call of Erasmus + educational programme of the EU. The project will start in October 2018 and the primary goal is to create an informal innovative European training programme of 4 modules on different aspects of Social Solidarity Economy. The educational materials and training tools will be produced in the languages of the involved countries and also in English, to make them available for a broader audience. An important part of the project is also to develop cooperation and networking at the regional and European level during different events.

The project partners are representing various forms of supporting Social Solidarity Economy and entrepreneurship, placed in different context and will bring together very innovative practices and experiences.

The project partners are: RIPESS Europe, Ecumenical Academy (Czech Republic), Dobrze Food Cooperative (Poland), Utopia (Slovakia), Katholische Sozialakademie Österreichs (Austria)

More information to come soon…




The European CSA Declaration adopted in Ostrava!
October 7, 2016
Ostrava (CZ) - 3rd European CSA meeting

150 participants and volunteers from 25 countries gathered from Sept 16th -18th in Provoz Hlubina (Ostrava, CZ) for the 3rd European meeting on CSA.

The gathering took place in a former coal mine and steel works that has been reconverted into a conference and cultural centre. It provides an interesting background for non-profit activities and cultural events for those who are interested in actively changing society in a post-industrial era! Ostrava and its region is actually the area in the Czech Republic with the second highest number of CSAs.

Read more

Prague: Solidarity economy is developing in Eastern Europe
June 7, 2016

by Josette Combes (MES)

On April 28 2016 in Prague, a conference titled «Social Solidarity Economy » took place, organised by the Ekumenickà Academie. RIPESS Europe participated with Josette Combes in a round table dedicated to international experiences. Asked by Markéta Vinkelhoferovà, after a presentation of RIPESS Europe and a definition of SSE, I described the experience of parental nurseries in an intercultural context, the issue of caring for the infants being one of the major problems for young families. Ashish Kothari presented the forms of organisations that Indian societies have invented to resist to the effects of a particularly unequal society and to establish a radical and ecological democracy. Another Indian, Lakshmi Narayan, showed how a women’s cooperative managed the waste of their village and were able to become financialyy autonomous and regain trust in themselves. Konstantina Kranou spoke of the different formes of SSE in Greece, illustrating the example of the popular canteens and other forms of solidarity that arised to help solve the situation of refugees.  Read more

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