After the VII Latin American and Caribbean Meeting on Social Solidarity Economy last February (VII ELACESS), our member RIPESS LAC has laid the foundations to confront some crucial months for the promotion of SSE in LAC. Among them, the working commissions they have created are of the highest importance, as well as their presence in different forums on SSE across the continent.

Written by Patricio Bravo V. MESSE, RIPESS-LAC Communication

The VII ELACESS Meeting, held in February this year in Costa Rica, achieved the objectives of agreeing on a common regional vision and advocacy agenda in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Around 100 participants attended, representing organizations working to defend, produce and reproduce solidarity, ecological and feminist economies, fair trade, self-management of the Commons, food sovereignty and good living as a way to promote a transformative economy.

Among other topics, they discussed the current reality of solidarity economy as a force under construction to promote an economy of social protection and transformation, based on ethics, economy and politics. These factors determine the impacts of global capitalism and drive the emergence of a new society based on SSE, according to the RIPESS LAC vision.

Corruption and impunity were analyzed as ways that accumulate and to concentrate capital and that enable the power to be kept under the control of the elites. Some participants from the ecological economy expressed the importance of considering environmental sustainability and the rights of nature if we want to achieve a transformative SSE. Others highlighted the importance of building strategies and mechanisms to promote and advocate for SSE at the level of governments and multilateral organizations in the region.

Election of RIPESS LAC new Board of Directors

During the RIPESS LAC General Assembly, held in February 2019, the Regional Board of Directors was elected for the period 2019-2021:

Nicolás Cruz, REDESOL, Dominican Republic
Alfonso Cotera, MCLACJ, Peru
Patricio Bravo, MESSE, Ecuador
José G. Armenta, ALCONA, Mexico
Relinda Sosa, GRESP, Peru
Salomón Sotelo, CINCOP, Colombia
Gonzalo Silva, RETE, Chile

There are also their respective substitutes.

Creation of new working commissions

The General Assembly also approved the creation of working commissions. Each commission has a representative on the Regional Board of Directors.

Organizational Commission

Responsible for promoting and attending the admission requests to RIPESS LAC made by national and continental Networks currently is underway as well as the promotion of the admission of others. The goal is to integrate at least 10 new networks into RIPESS LAC, to integrate the Steering Committee of the Social Protection Network, to dynamize the articulation and alliances with regional spaces and social movements such as: CEPAL, Jubilee South America, Maela, OEA, UNASUR, CELAC, FAO, SICA, MERCOSUR and others. Also, the commission wants to ensure compliance with regulations, standards and good practices of network management and RIPESS LAC in particular.

Education and Research Commission

Among other responsibilities, the commission will be responsible for the promotion and organization of technical and social events, which will include the academy, as well as the coordination with different RIPESS working groups, in addition to identifying training and exchange offers in SSE at all levels. The Commission will draw up a list of SSE professionals and technical specialists to organize a Skills Bank and promote a system of knowledge exchange and mutual cooperation services amongst networks.

Communication Commission

The commission will develop a comprehensive proposal on information and communication, use of ICTs and administration of SSE content in social networks, manage the RIPESS LAC website for a better intercommunication across member networks. It will also promote the registration of updated networks in the mapping of SSE actors. It will also be responsible for the coordination with communications managers from related networks.

Advocacy Committee

It will design RIPESS LAC’s political advocacy strategy in regional spaces such as Jubileo Sur América, Maela, ALBA- TCP, OEA, UNASUR, CELAC, FAO, SICA, MERCOSUR and others at national and local level. It will also coordinate with other RIPESS working groups to promote actions and alliances for the inclusion of SSE in public policies.

Gender Equity Commission

Elaborate policy proposals, approach strategies and treatment of feminist economy and gender equity in the SSE framework in all RIPESS LAC areas, coordinating with existing instances on this subject.

Solidarity Economy Circuits Commission

It has the task of elaborating, systematizing and proposing policies and practices of the different SSE stakeholders, as well as the promotion of good practices identified in SSE. It also proposes to take indigenous communities’ economies and the SSE into account.

The work of the Commissions is subject to ongoing review and evaluation by the Regional Board of Directors.

RIPESS LAC has attended different events


RIPESS LAC at the LED Forum

Nicolás Cruz and Salomón Sotelo, as RIPESS LAC delegates, participated in the 3rd Regional Forum for Local Economic Development (LED) for Latin America and the Caribbean which was held in Barranquilla, Colombia, from May 5th to 9th. The main focus was on Local Economic Development in fragile territories affected by conflict and violence. More than 600 participants from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean attended this event.

The Forum provided a good opportunity to meet with local governments and civil society stakeholders working closely in the SSE sector in the region.

RIPESS LAC at the WSFTE 2020 preparatory meeting

The First Meeting of Convergence towards the World Social Forum of Transformative Economies was held in Barcelona (Spain) from April 5th to 7th 2019. Helena Almirati from Uruguay, Wagner Suazo from Costa Rica and Luciano Mina, FBES, Brazil attended the event as RIPESS LAC delegates. All of them highlighted that RIPESS LAC is undergoing a moment of revitalization and with much motivation to exchange and collaborate with diverse networks and movements in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meeting also helped to establish relationships with networks, projects and people with whom to coordinate and develop future actions to promote the Social Solidarity Economy in Latin America.

The picture that heads this article shows RIPESS LAC delegation at the WSFTE 2020 preparatory meeting in Barcelona (April 2019).