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Evaluation of Solikon 2015: participate!

Solikon_banner_180Dear participants and supporters of the Solikon2015,

Since the “Week of change” and the Conference on Solidarity Economy a few weeks have already passed. We thank you for your critical as well as euphoric feedback which you have sent us in the meantime. With a dedicated online survey we would, however, now like to learn more about your opinions and experiences as well as ongoing projects concerning a solidarity economic and social future.

Your opinion is very important to us and the whole community: for the reporting to our partner organizations as well as for our own work and the work of all the people who care about SE.

We would kindly ask you to participate in our survey. It will only take 20 minutes of your time. The following link takes you to a German and an English version.


Thank you so much for your valuable support!
In solidarity,

Solidarity Economy is a political movement in the noble sense
November 2, 2015

From the opening speech at Solikon 2015, by Josette Combes (MES – Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire, France)

josette combes

“Whether we are engaged in one or several of the themes that this Congress will explore, it seems to me that we share a same belief: there are alternatives to the current mismanagement of resources, to the delirious financialisation of the economy, to the excess that characterizes the so-called developed societies when any other part of the planet suffers from deprivation. Deprivation of food, water, shelter, health care, education and, of course, freedom. Freedom of expression, of movement, freedom to live simply, in a peaceful country where common law and human rights prevail. Not to mention that even inside our pockets of opulence, there are whole sectors of social and economic life that collapse spreading misery and despair and darkening the future for the majority of citizens.

It is to organize resistance to all the mutations of an absurd economic and social model that solidarity economy and alternatives are increasing everywhere in the world. As a basic definition, we can say that it includes all those citizen initiatives that strive for the creation of economic and cultural spaces, communities based on democracy, social justice and environmental vigilance.

Solidarity economy is a political movement in the noble sense, meaning that it cares about the common good and the good management of collective life. It advocates equality of people who have a say on everything affecting them and first and foremost the way in which social life and relations between humans take place”.

The complete text is available in French – here.

Food Sovereignty Forum: agroecology and solidarity economy
October 27, 2015

ECVC (European Coordination of La Via Campesina) and Urgenci held a joint Food Sovereignty Forum at Solikon 2015 in Berlin, to promote the concept that agroecology and solidarity economy are the logical vectors for the realisation of right to food, and that food sovereignty can only be fully achieved in the context of a paradigm change.

The Nyeleni Europe process in Europe has provided the impetus for developing a European platform for these concepts, and based on the extraordinary success of the Krems Nyeleni Europe Forum in 2011, much development of national platforms is now happening. The pillar 2 of the Nyeleni Europe process is largely carried forward by Urgenci, who have had 2 European meetings on this subject since 2011.

The interface between Food Sovereignty and Solidarity Economy, and the role of the Via Campesina, Urgenci and RIPESS in this field was presented, as well as concrete territorial illustrations from Greece and the Basque country.

The main presentations were made by Ludwig Rumetshofer (Nyeleni Austria), Andrea Ferrante and Paula Giaoa (ECVC) and Jocelyn Parot (Urgenci) for the Nyeleni Forum, and Judith Hitchman on the interface between solidarity economy and food sovereignty. Casestudies were presented by Jenny Gkiougki of the Neighbourhood network in Greece and also Urgenci, and Isa Alvarez of Nekesare, the Basque CSA network that is also part of Urgenci.

Solikon 2015: over 1400 participants in Berlin!

The Solidarity Economy European Congress – Solikon 2015 has brought together over 1400 participants from all over Europe and beyond (Brasil, USA, Canada, Cuba, Korea, Japan, and many other countries).  More than 100 workshops, Forums and Round Tables took place at the Technischen Universität in Berlin, to discuss alternative forms of economics, lifestyle and work. The “Week of Change” that took place in the week before the Congress (from 5th-9 th September), allowed for 500 people to go visit solidarity economy projects in Berlin and the Brandenburg region.  RIPESS Europe organized many international activities, including a convergence forum with many different alter-economic movements’ representatives, as well as it’s Annual General Meeting, welcoming new members from Greece, Croatia, France, the United Kingdom and Belgium.

Concrete solutions and action

Thirty-four tours, excursions and visits to initiatives and solidarity economy projects in Berlin. They resonated deeply with all the participants. People visited the collective enterprises, swap shops and Community Supported Agriculture farms, and many other initiatives. This short documentary film gives a good idea of what the Week of Change was like.

There was a broad consensus that we can all do something here and now to prepare for this change. As Rosangela Alves de Oliveira said in the Regional forum “Action is what brings about change rather than just ideas”.

Participants also agreed on the fact that Capitalism has failed (as journalist Paul Mason, author of “Post Capitalism: a Guide to our Future”, explained in the opening session). It leads to exclusion, increased precariousness in relationships at work and also destroys nature.   Solidarity economy is trying to find ways to radically change approach: how can we build an environmentally friendly, sustainable solidarity economy, based on cooperation and holistic, collective approaches rather than competition and profiteering?

From the collective kitchen to alternative financial instruments – where theory meets pratice!

Over 200 speakers from 20 countries put forward their ideas and proposals. These speakers included some well-known actors, such as Paul Singer (Secretary of State for Solidarity Economy in the Ministry for Labour in Brazil), Brid Brennan (Trans National Institute), Michel Bauwens (P2P Foundation), Rudi Dalvai (World Fair Trade Organisation), Ugo Biggeri (Banca Etica), Jean Luis Laville (CNAM), Nina Treu and Barbara Muraca (Degrowth), Christian Felber (Gemeinwohlökonomie)… and many others. In between workshops and plenaries, many meetings and discussions took place at the lunch and dinner breaks, prepared by an association helping refugees and with a collaborative dish washing by all participants.

Here is what RIPESS Europe organized or promoted (download pdf)

You can also find some multimedia documentation here:
PICS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/130033842@N04/
TWEETS: https://twitter.com/Solikon2015
RADIO: http://cba.fro.at/295046

More information and reports on the RIPESS AGM and on each event will be available soon.

Solikon 2015: Solidarity Economy European congress in Berlin

We know Other Ways!

RIPESS Europe co-organised  the 3rd Congress (after Barcelona in 2011 and Lille in 2013), from 10th to 13th September 2015 in Berlin, with the Forum Solidarische Oekonomie network.

5th-9th September  – Week of change – expeditions to collectives and alternate practice projects in Berlin and Brandenburg

10th-13th September – Congress on Solidarity Economy and Transformation at Technical University Berlin

Learn from existing alternatives, join forces and set precedent. The SOLIKON 2015 sets ideas in motion, bringing them out of the minds and onto the fertile pastures of our society and combines ideas which must be considered in unison: The theory and practice of a solidarity economy alternative. The SOLIKON Congress and the Week of Change from 5-13 September 2015 at the Technical University Berlin.

To overcome capitalism, how will this work? 
Indeed, the battle has already begun.
The only question is: will the end be barbaric?

(André Gorz)

The time to act is now, before our ecosystem collapses and buries us under the remains of growth and prosperity.

On the 10th of September at noon the congress starts with a regional (Berlin and Brandenburg) focus. In the course of the congress, both national and international dimensions will be adressed with hot topics like trade (TTIP and other trade agreements), climate change, fair trade and positive examples of the regional fora for solidarity economy in Latin America, as well as in other continents like Asia and Africa. There will also will be a focus on convergences among different alternative economy movements. The event will end on Sunday the 13th of September with the „planning“ of the next steps.

The main organizer of the congress is the German Forum for Solidarity Economy. Co-­organizers are RIPESS Europe, the ZTG (Center for Technology and Society at the Tech University Berlin), the ZEWK (Centre for Scientific Further Education and Cooperation at the TU Berlin) as well as other 40 other partners.

RIPESS Europe  co-organized the 3rd Congress (after Barcelona in 2011 and Lille in 2013), from 10thto 13th September 2015 in Berlin, with the Forum Solidarische Oekonomie network. This event will allow both the German networks to exchange and build new strategic visions of organization and action, but it’s also an opportunity for the whole European network to make a complete review of our activities until now, strategize and continue the expansion of solidarity economy in Europe. We invite you to actively participate and send your ideas and suggestions. We are already working on a program to have the opportunity to discuss with other alternative economy approaches (from the transition towns to degrowth, from the commons and peer economy, to fair trade, etc.). This will help us verify the possibility we have about “convergences” among the different approaches and progress on several topics. A workshop will be dedicated to the about Soclidarity Economy Overview in Europe also.

The 4th General Assembly will take place during the congress, on Friday 11th September 2015, between 2:30 PM to 6:30 PM.  The proposed agenda is the following:

  • Activity Report of RIPESS Europe for 2014
  • Financial report of RIPESS Europe for 2014
  • Strategic Orientation of RIPESS Europe for 2015-2018
  • Presentation of European project supported by RIPESS Europe
  • New Membership requests presentations
  • Renewal of Coordination committee


Practical information for the Congress:

Please find here : The Solikon Concept


Find here RIPESS Europe PROGRAM (Workshop, Roundtable and plenary animated by the RIPESS Europe)

Location of the event :

Straße des 17. Juni 136, D-10623

Technical university of BERLIN, GERMANY

Time: 10th -13th. September 2015

The recommended cost contributions  for the full Congress are:

95.00 € Solidarity-Contribution
55.00 € cost-covering fee and
30.00 € reduced fee.
10 € day fee for Thursday: only for Thursday September 10 (regional day) possible.

All contributions will be used for the organization of the Congress. The majority of the organizers of the Congress are working as volunteers.

Link for the  REGISTRATION 

Click here for more information about :  ACCOMODATION

Contact :

Deutsch team:

Workshops: workshops@solikon2015.org
Press inquiries: Dana.Berg@solikon2015.org and Maria.Schmidt@solikon2015.org
Cooperation requests: dagmar.embshoff@solidarische-oekonomie.de
Helpers and volunteers before and during the congress: backbone@solikon2015.org
Transformation week: wandelwoche@solikon2015.org

RIPESS Europe team :

Arielle Ndimbiarivola: communication@ripess.eu and arielle.ripess@gmail.com 
Jason Nardi: info@ripess.eu

Don’t forget to participate on RIPESS Europe survey for Solidarity Economy Overview 

For more information : [Click here]


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