From October 23 to October 25 the Board members of RIPESS held their yearly face-to-face meeting in Barcelona. The political situation may well be unsatable, but Barcelona has also proved to be a very prolific place for Social Solidarity Economy the recent years.
The 3-day Board meeting took place in the premises of an innovative services’ cooperative group, called ECOs, and provided an important opportunity for the Board members to evaluate the progress of RIPESS in contributing to the promotion of SSE globally, together with other international social movement allies. It also allowed the participants to step back from achievements and project RIPESS into the future, share common visions, values, and experiences. One of the key mottos of this stage in RIPESS’ history could be ”from Globalisation to the relocalisation of Solidarity”, thus spotlighting the need for constant back and forth between local and global. In line with the RIPESS procedure on the rotation, the coordination of RIPESS was handed from Latin America to Europe, and naming Jason Nardi from RIPESS Europe was designated as the new Coordinator of RIPESS Intercontinental.
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Prior to the Board meeting, Board and other RIPESS members also took part to the Catalan Solidarity Economy Forum (the FESC) organized by the Catalan SSE network XES (member of RIPESS EU), and discovered how SSE in Catalunya proposes alternatives in many consumption and development sectors of the economy. This year’s topic of the FESC was the Commons: “Neither yours nor mine! Lets create a community”. It also provided an opportunity for many RIPESS members to share their local experiences, as all RIPESS members are active at local and national level, be it in Australia, Cameroon, Chile, France, Italy, Japan, Peru, Quebec, and the USA before becoming global RIPESS actors. There was a round table, called “From local to global” that allowed participants to share RIPESS’ ongoing work on inter-cooperation between the continental member networks of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America, and Oceania on different topics. These covered SSE training, SSE and gender perspective, public policies for SSE, and many other topics, as well as all the advocacy work done to ensure international recognition for SSE.
Finally these days of hard work also enabled participants to share positions in greater depth with the the progressive Municipality of Barcelona’s Commissioner’s Office for Social and Solidarity Economy, Local Development and Consumption, as the city has been developing very interesting and proactive public policies to contribute to the momentum of SSE, as well as with the cooperative group ECOs, and the Catalan SSE network (XES) .
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Laure Jongejans – RIPESS Executive Secretary