RIPESS is a global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy. The member networks themselves (Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania) bring together national and sectorial networks, thus ensuring strong territorial anchoring. The combined local and global scope gives RIPESS legitimacy to promote SSE, foster intercontinental cooperation, and advocate at different levels. 

The inherent nature of RIPESS includes the objective of contributing to systemic, transformative change. It does this by demonstrating how much SSE contributes in terms of real transformative answers at local level to the existing system that is clearly showing its limits. RIPESS members believe in the importance of the globalisation of solidarity, and the ability to build and strengthen an economy that places people and planet at the centre of its activities.

How does RIPESS work?

From the Founding Congress in Lima in 1997, Quebec in 2001, Dakar in 2005, Luxemburg in 2009 and Manila in 2013, RIPESS has organised Globalisation of Solidarity meetings every four years to promote SEE in all continents, create a space for experience sharing, learning and cooperation between members. From these different meetings, the different continental networks have been progressively created, anchored in local initiatives.

In the current global context, RIPESS raises the voice of SSE that offers real diverse and transformative proposals. This includes themes as vital as food sovereignty, public policies that support SSE, the implementation of the SDGs through SSE, the role of women in SSE, ethical finance, inclusive local development etc.

Since 2012 the Board members, supported by a Secretariat have been implementing an action plan through virtual Working Groups that allow for exchange of ideas and documents and on-going actions on specific themes: awareness raising and training, women and SSE, visibility and institutional recognition, inter-cooperation and networking, mapping and communication.

The spirit in which RIPESS operates is based on networking, inter-cooperation between members and alliances with other movements that share the vision of change, as well as through proactive presence in key international spaces.

SSE as a means of systemic, transformative change

Extract from the RIPESS Global Vision 2015 declaration:

“The Social Solidarity Economy is an alternative to capitalism and other authoritarian, state- dominated economic systems. In SSE ordinary people play an active role in shaping all of the dimensions of human life: economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental. SSE exists in all sectors of the economy production, finance, distribution, exchange, consumption and governance. It also aims to transform the social and economic system that includes public, private and third sectors. SSE is not only about the poor, but strives to overcome inequalities, which includes all classes of society. SSE has the ability to take the best practices that exist in our present system (such as efficiency, use of technology and knowledge) and transform them to serve the welfare of the community based on different values and goals. 

(…) SSE seeks systemic transformation that goes beyond superficial change in which the root oppressive structures and fundamental issues remain intact (…)”