Written by Françoise Wautiez, Socioéco.org

As the article “The process of confluence of the Barcelona 2020 WSF of Transformative Economies begins” explains, the Barcelona WSF will be focused on transformative economies.

But what do we mean by “transformative economies”? If we want to answer from the SSE, a quick look at socioeco.org is in order. A simple search in the search engine indicates that we can find about 700 documents that use the word “transformation” in different languages. To refine the search, we can use the keyword: New paradigm of transformation, which groups together those of interest to us and which we present here, used in the sense of social and political change.

In the words of Ruben Suriñach, in his book Economías transformadoras de Barcelona, “the movements and phenomena of the transforming economy are all proposals for socio-economic reorganization that introduce a critique of the dominant economic model and formulate proposals for socio-economic change (both in theory and in practice) that, to varying degrees, attempt to transform this model or, at least, to prevent or mitigate its negative effects”. For Barcelona, he cites the movements of degrowth, the economy of the common good, the commons, the feminist and care economy, the social economy, the SSE. And the phenomena of the collaborative economy, community, responsible consumption, the circular economy, social entrepreneurship, social innovation and societal responsibility.

Here are some examples of documents that you can consult in the 3 RIPESS languages:


In Spanish

We find, in addition to the book mentioned above, the documents related to the Transformative Economies Forum itself and often to REAS and XES:

Alternativas Economicas n°57 – Dossier : Economias transformadoras – 2018

But also:

It describes the concept of SE from two perspectives -European and Latin American, with special relevance to its transforming potential and its link with new social movements.

If SE-based experiences were able to connect and intercooperate with each other within the model of responsible consumption, they would be able to alter the perverse conditions of today’s market.

In the Basque country, there has been a tradition of constructing alternative and transforming socio-economic experiences in the face of hegemony and the fatal consequences of the capitalist development model.

In Latin America, the documents refer to social transformation, action for transformation, the paradigm of transformative change or as a form of resistance to capitalism.

It argues that it is the meaning of the desired transformation, and from that broad definition, what social or socioeconomic policy contributes to that transformation.

It raises the possibility of building a non-capitalist economy based on relations and values of justice and solidarity, which would also be efficient and economically rational.

If there is no epistemological rupture with Eurocentrism, if it does not realise the specificity of Latin American societies, the possibilities of constructing the other economy and the other society are limited.

It raises the need for a new development model that makes possible the recognition of women as political subjects and their demands.

And let’s not forget the slogan of the last WSF:


In English

We find the concept of “transformational or transformative change”, in particular used by UNRISD:

The report explores what transformative change really means for societies and individuals. It provides guidance on how to turn the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs into concrete actions.

The paper considers whether the uptake of the SSE agenda by governments can scale up and enable SSE in ways conducive to realizing the ‘transformational vision’ of the SDGs.

But also the following documents associated with the common and the degrowth:

Brisk overview of the commons, commoning, and their great potential in helping build a new society. becomung stewards of natural systems, and mutualizing the benefits of shared resources.

How is the relation between the degrowth movement and other social movements and perspectives?


In French

The authors discuss the transformative potential of the collaborative economy, social innovations, degrowth, commonalities or the transformation of capitalism:

The aim is to investigate to what extent social innovation reveals a paradigm shift in the socio-economic organisation of our societies.

This conference deals with the ongoing social reconstruction through the emergence of socially innovative experiences aimed at redefining society on a more solid and equitable basis.

The principles of ecological transition are in line with the values defended by the social and solidarity economy: democracy, citizenship, solidarity, social and/or ecological added value and encourage the spread of new modes of consumption and production.

The Territorial Poles of Economic Cooperation aim to organise cooperation in order to produce territorial wealth for the benefit of citizens, while being part of public development policies.

Is it possible to conceive some of the realities of the social and solidarity economy as models of commonality?