Since 2013 GSEF, as a regional platform for promoting the co-construction of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) public policies, has been hosting annual Policy Dialogue meetings. In 2017, RIPESS was present at both the Asian and European gatherings.
The fourth GSEF Asian Policy dialogue took place in Seoul in June 30 – July 31 2017. The goal was to foster the policy capacities of local governments in Asia in SSE. It brought together about 60 policy makers and government officials from 16 countries. ASEC, our Asian network, joined the event represented by both Dr Ben Quinones and Dr Denison Jayasooria. Dr Jayasooria moderated a session called “SSE as an alternative urban development model -commonalities & complexities of Asia”. This meeting provided a great opportunity to encourage cooperation between SSE stakeholders and to foster Social and solidarity economy (SSE) as a lever for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Then, for the first time since it had been created, the fifth 2017 GSEF policy dialogue moved from Asia to Europe, to start establishing a platform for knowledge exchange and draw lessons from the unique experiences of European countries. Europe is considered as one of the most active regions in the world in implementing innovative SSE public policy experiments. The European Policy Dialogue brought together around 30 policy makers, researchers and SSE stakeholders on December 5th.
RIPESS Europe was invited to participate and was represented by Jason Nardi, the new general coordinator of RIPESS Intercontinental. The event enabled exchange on pressing socioeconomic issues such as widening inequality, regional disparity, unemployment or migration, but above all, we participated in identifying and sharing the most innovative European public policy initiatives related to community ownership, social finance, social enterprise, Fairtrade and cooperatives. Based on SSE principles, these policies are building a basis to create a stronger alternative to capitalism, and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. There is no doubt that SSE is resonating with a broader range of institutional actors: councils, parties and governments, and is being perceived as representing a great opportunity to scale-up the promotion of genuine alternatives.
The outcomes of the European Policy Dialogue will be prepared and released by the next GSEF forthcoming Forum in Bilbao, Spain, due to take place from 1st to 3rd October 2018.
RIPESS will pursue its goals to strengthen the collaboration between governments and SSE structures with a view to adopting institutional instruments that recognise the transformative potential of SSE and provide support for various actors. One of the challenges clearly demonstrated by the GSEF policy dialogues is how to make these initiatives more visible and inspire other territories to commit to similar policies.
Our on-going mapping of existing or emerging SSE public policies (in collaboration with socioeco.org) provides a more extended vision on how those policies are growing in the world. It highlights case studies at territorial level, depending on the type and field of application of the public policies. Please feel free to participate and, contact us if you have identified concrete SSE public policies.