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Social and Solidarity Economy – North America

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MANILA RIPESS Meeting in October (15-18)

Posted by Admin on June 13, 2013

English (Español abajo; Français en bas)
Dear RIPESS Board members (and communication team),
I finished the Manila 2013 website. Please check and see if you have suggestions. Now it has the following sections:
1. Program – The program is already updated with the change we did in the last meeting of the Program and Institutional Relations Committees
2. Registration – There are 2 forms for registration: one for the event, and another for self-managed activities in Day 2. Please check the forms and the information to see if there is something that should be changed. I still need information from the local organizers where the text is highlighted in yellow. Ben, these online forms will generate automatically a spreadsheet with all people who want to register. We need to know who will answer those requests and proceed with the actual subscription and payment from the participants.
3. Consultation about the global vision – There is an introduction and the 3 documents available!
4. Preparatory debates – The 12 forums are ready! It’s one for each of the 4 Themes in each of the 3 languages. Now you’re very important to animate these debates! Please tell us which Themes in which language each one of you is going to animate!
Another section will be ready soon: A section with graphic material for the networks and organisations to promote the event. Aicó is finalizing the graphic material.
Manila Website: http://ripess.org/manila2013
Direct English link: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-en/?lang=en
Direct French link: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-fr/?lang=fr
Direct Spanish link: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-es/?lang=es
Lucie and I are preparing a message to the 100 websites mapped by the communication team. In this message, we’re going to ask them to promote Manila 2013 in their website or social networks, besides sharing the new ripess website, specially the news from 60 sources and the SSE TV!
I’ll wait for your comments and suggestions for the Manila 2013 website up to Friday, July 14, and then send the e-mail on Monday.
Have a great day,
daniel tygel
Español (Français en bas)
Estimadas/os miembros del CA de RIPESS (y equipo de comunicación),

Terminé el sitio web de Manila 2013. Por favor, verifiquen y vean si tienen sugerencias de cambios. Él está con las siguientes secciones:
1. Programa – El programa ya está actualizado con el cambio que hicimos en la última reunión de los Comités de Programa y de Relaciones Institucionales
2. Inscripción – Hay 2 formularios de inscripción: uno para el evento, y otro para las actividades autogestionadas del día 2. Por favor, consulten los formularios y las informaciones generales para ver si hay algo que debe ser cambiado. Todavía necesito algunas informaciones de los organizadores locales, donde el texto se resalta en amarillo. Ben, estos formularios en línea generarán automáticamente una hoja de cálculo con todas las personas que quieran inscribirse. Necesitamos saber quien responderá a las solicitudes y procederá a la suscripción efectiva y el pago de los participantes.
3. Consulta sobre la visión global – Hay una introducción y los 3 documentos disponibles!
4. Debates preparatorios – Los 12 foros están listos! Es uno para cada uno de los 4 Temas en cada uno de los 3 idiomas. Ahora ustedes son muy importantes para animar los debates! Por favor díganos qué tema(s) y cual idioma(s) cada uno de ustedes va a animar!

Otra sección estará lista en breve: Una sección con material gráfico de las redes y organizaciones para promover el evento. AICO está ultimando el material gráfico.
Sitio web general de Manila 2013: http://ripess.org/manila2013
Enlace directo al Inglés: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-en/?lang=en
Enlace directo al Francés: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-fr/?lang=fr
Enlace directo al Español: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-es/?lang=es

Lucie y yo estamos preparando un mensaje a los 100 sitios identificados por el equipo de comunicación. En este mensaje, vamos a pedirles que promuevan Manila 2013 en su sitio web o redes sociales, además de compartir las novedades del sítio de RIPESS, especialmente las noticias de 60 fuentes y la TV ESS!

Voy a esperar sus comentarios y sugerencias para el sitio web de Manila 2031 hasta el viernes 14 de julio y, a continuación, enviar el e-mail el lunes.

Que tengan un buen día,

daniel tygel
Français
Chers membres du CA du RIPESS,

J’ai fini le site Manille 2013. S’il vous plaît vérifier et voir si vous avez des suggestions. Maintenant, il comporte les sections suivantes:

1. Programme – Le programme est déjà mis à jour avec les changements que nous avons fait lors de la dernière réunion des Comités de Programme et des Relations Institutionnelles
2. Inscription – Il y a 2 formulaires d’inscription: une pour l’événement, et un autre pour les activités auto-gérées au Jour 2. S’il vous plaît vérifier les formulaires et les renseignements généraux pour voir si il ya quelque chose qui devrait être changé. J’ai encore besoin des informations des organisateurs locaux où le texte est surligné en jaune. Ben, ces formulaires en ligne génèrent automatiquement une feuille de calcul avec toutes les personnes qui veulent s’inscrire. Nous devons savoir qui va répondre à ces demandes et procéder à la souscription effective et le paiement par les participants.
3. Consultation sur la vision globale – Il s’agit d’une introduction et les 3 documents disponibles!
4. Débats préparatoires – Les 12 forums sont prêts! C’est une salle pour chacun des 4 thèmes dans chacune des 3 langues. Maintenant, vous êtes très important pour animer ces débats! S’il vous plaît nous dire quels sont les thème(s) et langue(s) dans laquelle(s) chacun de vous va animer!

Une autre section sera bientôt prêt: Une section avec du matériel graphique pour les réseaux et les organisations afin de promouvoir l’événement. Aico est en train de finaliser le matériel graphique.

Site web Manila 2013: http://ripess.org/manila2013
Lien direct Anglais: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-en/?lang=en
Lien direct Français: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-fr/?lang=fr
Lien direct Espagnol: http://www.ripess.org/manila2013-es/?lang=es

Lucie et moi sommes en train de préparer un message aux 100 sites identifiés par l’équipe de communication. Dans ce message, nous allons leur demander de promouvoir Manille 2013 à leur site web ou ces réseaux sociaux, en plus de partager le nouveau site du RIPESS, spécialement les nouvelles en provenance de 60 sources et la TV de l’ESS!

Je vais attendre vos commentaires et suggestions pour le site Web de Manille 2013 jusqu’à au vendredi 14 Juillet, puis envoyer le courriel le lundi.

Bonne journée a toutes et tous,

daniel tygel

Posted in Social Networks | Leave a Comment »

First meeting of the Francophone Social and Solidarity Economy Network of the Americas (Haiti)

Posted by Admin on May 10, 2013

event_660_photo_136757039812618«English»
First meeting of the Francophone Social and Solidarity Economy Network of the Americas (Haiti)
The Centre de la francophonie des Amériques organized a meeting in Cap Haitien, from April 30 to May 2.

The objective of this meeting was to promote the discovery of approaches and practices of social and solidarity economy (SSE). For the Centre, solidarity and social economy draws its strength from the heart of collective sustainable development practice and contributes to building a more just and equitable world.
French is the 4th most widely spoken language in the Americas, coming respectively after Spanish, English and Portuguese. As a minority group in the Americas, it turns out that the SSE could be an indispensable tool in many communities.
In addition to representatives from Quebec and Canada, there were participants from Louisiana, Guadeloupe and Haiti.
The idea of setting up a network for the exchange of information on SSE in the Francophone areas of the Americas is seen by participants as very relevant.
We, from the Chantier de l’économie sociale and the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNET), both members of RIPESS North America, were partners of the Centre in holding the meeting.
Éric Lefebvre
Chantier de l’économie sociale
Éthel Côté and Yvon Poirier
Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNET)

«Français»
Première rencontre du Réseau de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire sur la francophonie des Amériques (Haïti)
Le Centre de la francophonie des Amériques organisait une rencontre à Cap-Haïtien, du 30 avril au 2 mai.

L’objectif de cette rencontre était de favoriser la découverte des approches et des pratiques de l’économie sociale et solidaire (ESS). Pour le Centre, l’économie solidaire et sociale puise toute sa force au cœur même de pratiques collectives de développement durable contribuant à la construction d’un monde plus juste et équitable.
Le français est la 4ième langue en importance des Amériques, après respectivement l’espagnol, l’anglais et le portugais. En tant que groupe minoritaire des Amériques, il s’avère que l’ESS peut être un outil indispensable dans un grand nombre de communautés.
Outre les représentants du Québec et du Canada, il y avait des participants de Louisiane, de la Guadeloupe et d’Haïti.
L’idée de mettre en place un réseau d’échange d’informations sur l’ESS dans la francophonie des Amériques est vue par les participants comme étant très pertinent.
Nous, du Chantier de l’économie sociale et du Réseau canadien de développement économique communautaire (RCDÉC), membres de RIPESS Amérique du Nord, étions partenaires du Centre pour la tenue de la rencontre.
Éric Lefebvre
Chantier de l’économie sociale

Éthel Côté et Yvon Poirier
Réseau canadien de développement économique communautaire (RCDÉC)

«Castallano»
Primera reunión de la Red de Economía Social y Solidaria de la Francofonía de las Américas (Haití)
El Centro de la Francofonía Américas organizó una reunión en Cap Haitien, del 30 de abril al 2 de mayo 2013.

El objetivo de esta reunión fue favorecer el descubrimiento de enfoques y prácticas de la economía social y solidaria (ESS). Para el Centro, la economía social y solidaria saca toda su fuerza en el corazón de las prácticas colectivas de desarrollo sostenible contribuyendo a la construcción de un mundo más justo y equitativo.
La lengua francesa es la cuarta en importancia en las Américas, respectivamente, después del español, inglés y portugués. Como grupo minoritario en las Américas, resulta que la ESS puede ser una herramienta indispensable en muchas comunidades.
Además de los representantes de Quebec y Canadá, hubo participantes de Luisiana, Guadalupe y Haití.
La idea de crear una red para el intercambio de información sobre la ESS en la Francofonía de las Américas es considerada por los participantes como muy relevante.
Nosotros, en la construcción de la economía social y el desarrollo económico comunitario Canadiense (CED Network), miembros de la RIPESS América del Norte, eran socios del Centro para la celebración de la reunión.
Eric Lefebvre
Chantier de l’économie sociale
Ethel Cote y Yvon Poirier
Desarrollo Económico Comunitario canadiense (Red CED)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

INFO-RIPESS

Posted by Admin on May 3, 2012

RIPESS has just published Newsletter #20.

http://www.ripess.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/INFO-RIPESS-20-EN.pdf

RIPESS vient de publier le bulletin d’information #20

http://www.ripess.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/INFO-RIPESS-20-FR.pdf

Nueva publicación del boletín del RIPESS, numero 20

http://www.ripess.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/INFO-RIPESS-20-ES.pdf

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Solidarity Economy at the 2012 Left Forum

Posted by Admin on March 15, 2012

Confront Global Capitalism at the 2012 Left Forum!
March 16-18, Pace University, NYC

Solidarity Economy Panels
________________________________________
Community Economic Development and Worker Cooperatives
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Fred Rose — Wellspring Initiative, Djar Horn — Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political Economy
When times get hard, people often are forced to create their own livelihoods. The current economic crisis has seen an upsurge, especially in poor and marginalized communities, of efforts to create worker cooperatives. This workshop will explore the potential of cooperatives to not only create jobs, but also to consciously contribute to community revitalization and inform alternative strategies of community economic development. This workshop will look at examples of cooperative development in low income communities from the Jersey Shore, NYC and Springfield, MA. We’ll discuss lessons about replicating these models along with the economic and community impact of this work.

Occupy the Economy! Building a Solidarity Economy for People and Planet
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Emily Kawano — Center for Popular Economics and US Solidarity Economy Network, Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political
Economy & University of Utah, Ana Margarida Esteves — Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies,
Occupy the economy! The time is now to push for an economy that serves the 99% instead of the wealthy and powerful elites. This workshop will provide an introduction to the solidarity economy – a growing global movement to build an economy that puts people and planet front and center. It is grounded in principles of solidarity, equity in all dimensions (race, class, gender, etc.), sustainability, participatory democracy and pluralism (ie. not a one-size fits all approach). The solidarity economy builds on many existing practices and policies – both mainstream and alternative – and seeks to strengthen and connect these stepping stones to a just and sustainable economic system. The solidarity economy believes that it is critical to both build and resist – that is, build and strengthen solidarity economy practices such as worker cooperatives, community land trusts, or social currencies and also resist the oppression of corporate-dominated capitalism. This workshop will provide an introduction to the conceptual framework, the global movement including the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, and concrete examples of the solidarity economy.

Mapping the Solidarity Economy – Locally and Globally
Sponsored by US Solidarity Economy Network
Participants: Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Ana Margarida Esteves — Tulane University, Maliha Safri — Drew University
Recent years have seen the rise of a global movement supporting what has been termed the solidarity economy. This movement, which consists of a networked set of diverse initiatives ranging from consumer and worker cooperatives to time banks and CSAs, seeks not simply to compel greater charity from the rich or to channel profit-making towards social ends. Rather, it seeks to forge alternative economies around principles of social solidarity, cooperation, and community-based development. Many of its proponents see the movement as providing alternatives to mainstream capitalist economies and as representing a counterhegemonic form of globalization to challenge the neoliberal globalization. In 2009, a global mapping initiative was launched in order to build awareness about the solidarity economy, to facilitate networking among solidarity economy organizations, and to help build solidarity economy supply chains. In this panel we will introduce and analyze the different forms this mapping initiative has taken and the different functions such maps serve in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. examples will be drawn from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Western Massachusetts. International examples will be drawn from Italy, Brazil, and Quebec, among countries/regions. The panel will also analyze cosmopolitan efforts to generate a world solidarity economy map that seeks to integrate local mapping initiatives within a single platform while preserving decentralized content.

The Mondragon Coops and 21st Century Socialism: An In-Depth Analysis
Sponsored by: Dialogue & Initiative
Participants: Al Campbell — Solidarity Economy Network, University of Utah, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, To Be Announced — Solidarity Economy Network
A multimedia presentation–film clips, powerpoint and discussion–that goes deeply into the history and structure of the Mondragon cooperatives centered in Spain’s Basque country and now spreading elsewhere. The implications of cooperatives of this type for present and future socialist projects, such as Cuba, will also be stressed. Carl Davidson of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism will be the presenter, with Al Campbell of the University of Utah and the Solidarity Economy Network as chair and respondent.

Worker Cooperatives: Building a Solidarity Economy
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society and http://www.workercontrol.net
Participants: Ken Estey — Brooklyn College / CUNY, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network, USA, Cheyenna Weber — SolidarityNYC, Chris Michael
The panel examines the growth of worker cooperatives in the US and the world as an alternative to corporate and employer dominated businesses. In recent years, the cooperative movement has expanded dramatically and becoming a viable alternative to workers who are seeking a workplace grounded in equality and democratic control. Worker cooperatives are also interacting with unions to build a solidarity economy throughout the world. Also, worker cooperatives are beginning to challenge the dominant capitalist paradigm that defends workplace and community over corporate efforts to expand profits even at the expense of closing down firms. This panelists discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead ahead for workers cooperatives in the US and beyond.

Workers’ Cooperatives: the International Context
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, Rethinking Marxism, and GEO
Participants: Ethan Earle — La Base / The Working World, Peter Ranis — York College / CUNY Graduate Center, Chris Michael — Workers Development, New York City, Carl Davidson — Solidariaty Economy Network, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network
As the capitalist economy is in a state of rapid decline, the panel examines the historic and contemporary relevance of workers cooperatives as an alternative to capitalist and private ownership of property and enterprises. The panel explores the trajectory of worker control in the comparative national contexts and its challenge to capitalist domination.

Technology, Un/Employment, and the Left: From Future Shock to OWS
Sponsored by: Platypus Review
Participants: Edward Remus — Platypus Affiliated Society, George Caffentzis — University of Southern Maine, Midnight Notes Collective, Fred Block — UC Davis, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Solidarity Economy Network, Chaia Heller — Institute for Social Ecology; Mount Holyoke College, Walda Katz-Fishman — Howard University; League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Science and technology are intertwined with the transformation of society. For at least two centuries, reformers and revolutionaries have grappled with the question of how technology– first machinery, later cybernetics and robotics– might lead to the end of compulsory work. The end of compulsory work figured prominently in the voluntary communal experiments of the Occupy encampments, yet the Left’s historical attempts to grapple with this question are often forgotten by today’s activists. The possibility that technology may free us from labour finds expression in a range of figures: 19th century utopian socialism, Marx and the revolutionary Marxists, postwar sociologists such as Daniel Bell, New Left thinkers such as Andre Gorz, futurists such as Jeremy Rifkin, neo-Marxists such as Moishe Postone, and anarchists such as Bob Black– to name just a few. When the New Communist Movement tried to organize the remnants of the U.S. industrial proletariat in the clutch of outsourcing and– more significantly– automation of jobs, it confronted this problem head-on; and today we, too, occupy this post-Fordist reality of chronic unemployment. This panel will explore how contemporary figures on the Left understand technology’s promise and why it remains unfulfilled– why the vast majority of our species remains forced to experience unemployment as scarcity and misery rather than as abundance and freedom.

Fair Trade as Justice
Sponsored by: URPE
Participants: Tamara Stenn — Keene State College, Dean Cycon — Dean Beans, Kerstin Lindgren — Domestic Fair Trade, Renee Bowers — Fair Trade Federation
Fair Trade is loosely defined, made up of different individuals and institutions each with their own guidelines. It is a multi-billion dollar model of cooperation between producers, traders and consumers to create meaningful products that benefit all. It is environmentalism (supporting sustainable farming), human rights (fair wages, decent working conditions) and empowerment – “respect and dignity for all.” Tamara Stenn will give an intro to Fair Trade and talk about her 15 years working in Fair Trade with women of the Andes Mountains and her ongoing academic studies on the effect of Fair Trade on indigenous women. Dean Cycon will speak of his model of direct trade – and how he develops long term, meaningful relationships with producers, without engaging a Fair Trade institution, and ensures higher than Fair Trade prices being paid for premium products. Kerstin Lindgren will speak about domestic fair trade (DFTA), the challenges to US farmers and farmworkers, and the DFTA model for uniting farmers, workers, businesses and NGOs under a common vision of a more just agriculture system. Renee Bowers will speak about the Fair Trade Federation, the largest institution of Fair Trade craft producers in the US, and the important work being done to improve conditions and lives for Fair trade producers. She will address the ways in which Fair Trade goes beyond labor rights to address issues of economic justice. Time will be allocated for audience questions and participation.

The Alt Banking Sector – A Roundtable Discussion Of Potential & Existing Alternative Banking Models
Sponsored by: http://spectregroup.org
Participants: Chris Lindstrom — Slow Money , Julieta Aranda — E-Flux Time/Bank, Tianna Kennedy — Catskills Time, Mike Krauss — The Public Banking Institute, Kristen Ragusin — The Public Banking Institute, Elizabeth Friedrich — Federation for Community Development Credit Unions, Anton Vidokle — E-Flux Time/Bank
There are many reasons to start your own bank. We ask this conversation remain practical, explaining what mutual banks, co-operative banks, public banks, land banks, time banks, peer-to-peer banks and all these other banking models are, why you may want to join one, or start your own. Moderated by Chris Lindstrom with farmer Tianna Kennedy (of Catskills Time), artist Julieta Aranda (of E-Flux Time/Bank), Mike Krauss and Kristen Ragusin (of the Public Banking Institute), and Elizabeth Friedrich (of the OWS Alt Banking Group). — “The only true method of organizing the alternative world of Mutuality is thru voluntary non-state free institutions such as co-ops, mutual banking & insurance … sustainable economic ventures (i.e. non-capitalist businesses) like independent farms and craft ateliers willing to federate with the commons…” – Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Occupy Wall Street, Act Two” — “The ideal [Occupy] bank would be democratically owned and controlled by its customers and employees. Like many credit unions, all depositors would get an equal say, regardless of the size of their accounts. It would be non-profit, building in a competitive advantage over the for-profit banks … Any small-scale bank we establish say in New York would have be to be replicable by others elsewhere.” – Carne Ross (Occupy Bank)

Occupy the World — Life Without Money
Sponsored by: Capitalism Nature Socialism
Participants: Joel Kovel — Capitalism Nature Socialism, Anitra Nelson — Associate Professor, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University (Austral, Ariel Salleh — University of Sydney, Australia, Frans Timmerman — Australian Labor Party, Caroline Woolard — Solidarity Economy NYC, Mary Mellor — Department of Social Science, University of Northumbria, UK
This roundtable discussion explores why we must, and how we can, free ourselves from monetary values and monetary relations in order to achieve the key left agenda of social justice and environmental sustainability. The panel engages with the conference theme by arguing that human and environmental values are constrained by market systems. To permanently occupy our world we need to create and expand non-market structures for living, producing and exchanging. The speakers include practitioners and theoreticians of non-market socialism. Half of the panel has contributed to a new Pluto Press publication: Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, which argues that the urgent environmental and economic crises that we face cannot be overcome without dispensing with money. Resuscitating the Left’s humanist critique of twentieth century communism and drawing on utopian, anarchist and Marxist literature, the book explores work refusal, self-management, gift economies, a collective labour-credit system and the non-monetary ecological economics of urban and rural squatters. The chair will introduce the topic and the speakers, canvassing a range of questions drawing on each speaker’s ideas and experiences, and summarising key commonalities and distinctions before opening the discussion to the audience.

The Next System: Exploring Economic Alternatives to Capitalism
Sponsored by: The Democracy Collaborative
Participants: Gar Alperovitz — University of Maryland, Richard Wolff — New School , David Schweickart — Loyola University Chicago, Keane Bhatt — Democracy Collaborative – University of Maryland
Economists Gar Alperovitz and Richard Wolff, and philosopher David Schweickart discuss institutional frameworks that aim to transcend capitalism, and delve into questions such as workplace democracy, community ownership, environmental sustainability, democratic planning, combating economic expansionism, fostering participatory culture, and expanding free time.

Moving Beyond Capitalism: food, fracking, and creating a compassionate future.
Participants: Rashad Barber — Occupy Wall St NY,NY, Dustin Fedako — http://foodisfreeproject.org/,
Quisia Gonzales — http://www.henrygeorgeschool.org/, Nada Kader – WESPAC
Join as these panelists go over their roles in the food & hydraulic fracturing movements as well as explore opportunities for creating a more just and sustainable future. This exciting panel will hold an interactive discussion that will challenge different perspectives for bringing social change to the local and regional level, as the panelists presented showcase their work in grassroots movements and in policy changing.

The Worker Cooperative Movement and Grassroots Approaches to Ending PovertyParticipants: Alex Jackimovicz — Proutist Universal, Nada Khader — WESPAC Foundation, Jalal Sabur — Freedom Food Alliance, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life, Community Voices Heard — Community Voices Heard
This panel will involve a discussion among four grassroots organizers who will explore current successes with the worker cooperative movement as well as challenges. Jalal Sabur (confirmed) is a young African American organizer in the food justice/food sovereignty movement and will speak about his recent experience moving to a cooperative farm in upstate New York and his work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Vanessa Bransburg (Center for Family Life) will speak about her experience with immigrants and women in building worker cooperatives locally. Alex Jackimovicz is a student of the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) from Maine and will speak about the role of cooperatives in Prout’s post-capitalist vision for a fair and balanced economy. A member of Community Voices Heard will also participate on the panel and share CVH’s approach to ending poverty. The panel will be moderated by WESPAC’s Executive Director, Nada Khader.

Horizontal Worker Cooperatives: A path beyond capitalism
Participants: Heather Mitchell — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Susannah Cummins — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Scott Crow — Anarchist organizer, author, worker, insurgent, and dreamer
This workshop’s aim is to engage participants in showing the common sense of horizontally organized worker cooperatives in the US as a viable economic, political and ecological alternative to the current dominant business models.

Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective
Sponsored by: PM Press
Participants: Scott Crow — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, author ‘Black Flags and Windmills’, Malik Rahim — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, former member Black Panther Party, Kerul Dyer — Co-founder Common Ground Collective , Organizer Rainforest Action Network
This presentation will show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds when governments fail. This workshop draws from experiences of an organization called the Common Ground Collective which formed after hurricane Katrina in response to the disaster. It was an organization based on the ideas and practices of the Black Panther Party, the Zapatistas and anarchism which sought to build/rebuild infrastructure to address the immediate problems (creating medical clinics, free schools, women’s centers, and eviction defense to worker coops and other service programs)as well as offering long term support to marginalized communities to build their own community based power.

Fellow travelers
________________________________________
These are panels that SEN is not directly involved in (as far as we know), but that seem to fit well within the solidarity economy framework.

Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future.
Sponsored by: OWS Sustainability Working Group
Participants: Andrew Faust — Center For Bioregional Living , Lisa DePiano — Mobile Design Lab, Maggie Cheney — Bushwick Campus Farms, Eco Station NY, Winnie Wong — OWS Sustainability Working Group, Dr. Susan Rubin — Better School Food, Post Carbon Institute, Matt Anderson — Director: Fall & Winter, Guy McPherson — University Of Arizona
OWS Sustainability will present and moderate a panel discussion / Q&A titled: Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future. This panel of educators, activists, community organizers, and green innovators will focus their talks in the areas of Urban Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Green Design, Social Activism, and Permaculture. Together we hope to inspire, engage, and empower participants of this panel to become more informed of the many actions we can start taking in order to live more sustainable lives on the planet. Matt Anderson and Winnie Wong will screen an extended trailer of Fall Winter Movie.

Worker Occupations and Worker Control
Sponsored by: WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society and Workerscontrol.net
Participants: Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Elaine Bernard — Harvard University Law School, Richard Wolff — New School for Social Research, Michael Goldfield — Wayne State University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Michael Hirsch — New Politics
The take-over of their work places by workers has happened throughout the last 100 years during political, economic or social crisis’. In most take over’s workers have not only demonstrated that they are able to run factories, services and institutions, they also acted far beyond the need to maintain their jobs and experimented and created new ways of how to work and new relations among themselves, with other workers and with communities. During the last years we have seen again hundreds if not thousands occupations of work places, especially in Latin America, but also a few one in the North of the world. Facing a financial and systemic crisis these occupations are likely to grow in the near future as a mechanism of defense against the destructive force of capitalism. In this panel we want to have a look at the history and the actuality of workers control, discussing success and problems of workers control.

Syndicalism and Autonomism: Building a New Labor Movement
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society / Industrial Worker
Participants: Immanuel Ness, Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Daniel Gross — Brandworkers & IWW, Godfrey Vincent — Tuskegee University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Steven Manicastri — Rutgers University
The global decline in trade union power over the last 30 years of ascendant neoliberal economic policy, has led to the configuration of new forms of worker organization that reject traditional collective bargaining and corporatist models in favor of direct action, and autonomous organization. Facing the growing incapacity of traditional unionism to fight back massive deterioration of work conditions and wages and to stop massive lay offs, nany workers are pursuing to advance their own interests through self-organization, as the heirs of the earlier generations of socialist and anarchist labor formations. The new forms of worker organization that we are concerned with are typically rooted in the class solidarity that emerges in the workplace and community, seek to counter this growth of precarious labor and reformist labor relations by cultivating democratic structures at the point of production. In this panel we want to critically examine the rise of contemporary forms of syndicalist, neo-syndicalist and autonomous worker representation with examples drawn from different parts of the world.

Occupying in Latin America: Social Movements Taking Over Land, Factories and Schools
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom and Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine
Participants: Scott Harris — Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine, Michael Fox — NACLA, Arun Gupta — Haymarket Books, Esneider Arevalo — Friends of the MST
While the Occupy Movement has taken the world by storm, a long history of different types of social movement occupations have marked Latin America for decades. This panel draws connections between the Occupy Movement in the US and its historical and contemporary counterparts in Latin America. Participants will discuss Brazil’s landless farmer movement, the occupation of factories and businesses in Argentina following the country’s 2001 economic crisis, the occupation of land by farmers and urban activists in Paraguay and today’s powerful student movement in Chile, which has occupied the streets and schools of the nation. This panel will look at the distant and recent history of occupying as a short and long term tactic of the some of the most powerful social movements in the hemisphere, and tie it to today’s struggles emerging out of the global Occupy Movement. Proposed Panelists will include: Moderator: Scott Harris of Between The Lines Radio; Michael Fox editor of NACLA Report on the Americas (confirmed) and a member of Friends of Brazil’s Landless Movement (Friends of the MST)

Analysis, Vision, and Strategy for Participatory Socialism
Participants: Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society, Yotam Marom — Organization for a Free Society, Ileia Burgos — Organization for a Free Society, Amanda Vodola — Organization for a Free Society, Michael Strom — Organization for a Free Society, Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society
Occupy Wall Street ignited a progressive movement that quickly swept the country, changing the political dialogue and inspiring many to take to the streets and begin organizing for social change. Amidst this moment of political awakening, it is important to take the space to deepen our analysis of how oppression operates in our lives, to envision the world we want to see, and to develop a strategy that will bring us there. On this panel, members of the Organization for a Free Society will articulate a theoretical framework that looks at the interconnectedness of race, community, the economy, gender, sex, sexuality, age, ability, and authority, without elevating any but instead recognizing the intrinsic importance of each in liberating social relations. We will point towards a vision guided by values such as equity, solidarity, diversity, self-management, and ecological balance. We will look at the importance of mass movements and grassroots organizing in fighting back against systems of oppression and building alternative institutions in the place of current ones dominated by greed, hierarchy, and isolation.

The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one an in-depth analysis.
Participants: Ame Johnson — Prout Movement USA, Tapan Mallik, Leonard Herbert Burg — Pace University, Jon Rynn — Manufacturing Green Prosperity
This Panel will attempt to discuss the pros and cons of a centralized economy versus the opposite- decentralized economy. Centralized economy is traditionally used as the paradigm for most countries of the world. Centralized economy in this case means economic decisions vested in the hands of a few members of the society, be it the privileged 1% of the population, the ruling class or the governing party bureaucrats. Decentralized economy would be the total opposite. Economic decisions will be vested amongst members of the local community with participation of specialists and experts of different fields within the community and with the local government . We will attempt to brainstorm the best scenario for the present day crisis in the USA and the Global community. The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one, an in-depth analysis.

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Copyright © 2012 Center for Popular Economics, All rights reserved.
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Confront Global Capitalism at the 2012 Left Forum!
March 16-18, Pace University, NYC Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Solidarity Economy at the 2012 Left Forum

Hey there SEN community,
It is almost time once again for the Left Forum – an exciting collection of workshops & panels taking on the issues of global capitalism in the 21st century!

We hope that we’ll see you at the Left Forum this year. The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (SEN), as well as members of SEN have organized or are participating in a number of workshops that relate to different aspects of the solidarity economy. You will find below a list of these workshops along with a brief description and a link for further details. See you in March!

Solidarity Economy Panels
________________________________________
Community Economic Development and Worker Cooperatives
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Fred Rose — Wellspring Initiative, Djar Horn — Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political Economy
When times get hard, people often are forced to create their own livelihoods. The current economic crisis has seen an upsurge, especially in poor and marginalized communities, of efforts to create worker cooperatives. This workshop will explore the potential of cooperatives to not only create jobs, but also to consciously contribute to community revitalization and inform alternative strategies of community economic development. This workshop will look at examples of cooperative development in low income communities from the Jersey Shore, NYC and Springfield, MA. We’ll discuss lessons about replicating these models along with the economic and community impact of this work.

Occupy the Economy! Building a Solidarity Economy for People and Planet
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Emily Kawano — Center for Popular Economics and US Solidarity Economy Network, Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political
Economy & University of Utah, Ana Margarida Esteves — Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies,
Occupy the economy! The time is now to push for an economy that serves the 99% instead of the wealthy and powerful elites. This workshop will provide an introduction to the solidarity economy – a growing global movement to build an economy that puts people and planet front and center. It is grounded in principles of solidarity, equity in all dimensions (race, class, gender, etc.), sustainability, participatory democracy and pluralism (ie. not a one-size fits all approach). The solidarity economy builds on many existing practices and policies – both mainstream and alternative – and seeks to strengthen and connect these stepping stones to a just and sustainable economic system. The solidarity economy believes that it is critical to both build and resist – that is, build and strengthen solidarity economy practices such as worker cooperatives, community land trusts, or social currencies and also resist the oppression of corporate-dominated capitalism. This workshop will provide an introduction to the conceptual framework, the global movement including the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, and concrete examples of the solidarity economy.

Mapping the Solidarity Economy – Locally and Globally
Sponsored by US Solidarity Economy Network
Participants: Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Ana Margarida Esteves — Tulane University, Maliha Safri — Drew University
Recent years have seen the rise of a global movement supporting what has been termed the solidarity economy. This movement, which consists of a networked set of diverse initiatives ranging from consumer and worker cooperatives to time banks and CSAs, seeks not simply to compel greater charity from the rich or to channel profit-making towards social ends. Rather, it seeks to forge alternative economies around principles of social solidarity, cooperation, and community-based development. Many of its proponents see the movement as providing alternatives to mainstream capitalist economies and as representing a counterhegemonic form of globalization to challenge the neoliberal globalization. In 2009, a global mapping initiative was launched in order to build awareness about the solidarity economy, to facilitate networking among solidarity economy organizations, and to help build solidarity economy supply chains. In this panel we will introduce and analyze the different forms this mapping initiative has taken and the different functions such maps serve in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. examples will be drawn from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Western Massachusetts. International examples will be drawn from Italy, Brazil, and Quebec, among countries/regions. The panel will also analyze cosmopolitan efforts to generate a world solidarity economy map that seeks to integrate local mapping initiatives within a single platform while preserving decentralized content.

The Mondragon Coops and 21st Century Socialism: An In-Depth Analysis
Sponsored by: Dialogue & Initiative
Participants: Al Campbell — Solidarity Economy Network, University of Utah, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, To Be Announced — Solidarity Economy Network
A multimedia presentation–film clips, powerpoint and discussion–that goes deeply into the history and structure of the Mondragon cooperatives centered in Spain’s Basque country and now spreading elsewhere. The implications of cooperatives of this type for present and future socialist projects, such as Cuba, will also be stressed. Carl Davidson of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism will be the presenter, with Al Campbell of the University of Utah and the Solidarity Economy Network as chair and respondent.

Worker Cooperatives: Building a Solidarity Economy
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society and http://www.workercontrol.net
Participants: Ken Estey — Brooklyn College / CUNY, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network, USA, Cheyenna Weber — SolidarityNYC, Chris Michael
The panel examines the growth of worker cooperatives in the US and the world as an alternative to corporate and employer dominated businesses. In recent years, the cooperative movement has expanded dramatically and becoming a viable alternative to workers who are seeking a workplace grounded in equality and democratic control. Worker cooperatives are also interacting with unions to build a solidarity economy throughout the world. Also, worker cooperatives are beginning to challenge the dominant capitalist paradigm that defends workplace and community over corporate efforts to expand profits even at the expense of closing down firms. This panelists discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead ahead for workers cooperatives in the US and beyond.

Workers’ Cooperatives: the International Context
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, Rethinking Marxism, and GEO
Participants: Ethan Earle — La Base / The Working World, Peter Ranis — York College / CUNY Graduate Center, Chris Michael — Workers Development, New York City, Carl Davidson — Solidariaty Economy Network, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network
As the capitalist economy is in a state of rapid decline, the panel examines the historic and contemporary relevance of workers cooperatives as an alternative to capitalist and private ownership of property and enterprises. The panel explores the trajectory of worker control in the comparative national contexts and its challenge to capitalist domination.

Technology, Un/Employment, and the Left: From Future Shock to OWS
Sponsored by: Platypus Review
Participants: Edward Remus — Platypus Affiliated Society, George Caffentzis — University of Southern Maine, Midnight Notes Collective, Fred Block — UC Davis, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Solidarity Economy Network, Chaia Heller — Institute for Social Ecology; Mount Holyoke College, Walda Katz-Fishman — Howard University; League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Science and technology are intertwined with the transformation of society. For at least two centuries, reformers and revolutionaries have grappled with the question of how technology– first machinery, later cybernetics and robotics– might lead to the end of compulsory work. The end of compulsory work figured prominently in the voluntary communal experiments of the Occupy encampments, yet the Left’s historical attempts to grapple with this question are often forgotten by today’s activists. The possibility that technology may free us from labour finds expression in a range of figures: 19th century utopian socialism, Marx and the revolutionary Marxists, postwar sociologists such as Daniel Bell, New Left thinkers such as Andre Gorz, futurists such as Jeremy Rifkin, neo-Marxists such as Moishe Postone, and anarchists such as Bob Black– to name just a few. When the New Communist Movement tried to organize the remnants of the U.S. industrial proletariat in the clutch of outsourcing and– more significantly– automation of jobs, it confronted this problem head-on; and today we, too, occupy this post-Fordist reality of chronic unemployment. This panel will explore how contemporary figures on the Left understand technology’s promise and why it remains unfulfilled– why the vast majority of our species remains forced to experience unemployment as scarcity and misery rather than as abundance and freedom.

Fair Trade as Justice
Sponsored by: URPE
Participants: Tamara Stenn — Keene State College, Dean Cycon — Dean Beans, Kerstin Lindgren — Domestic Fair Trade, Renee Bowers — Fair Trade Federation
Fair Trade is loosely defined, made up of different individuals and institutions each with their own guidelines. It is a multi-billion dollar model of cooperation between producers, traders and consumers to create meaningful products that benefit all. It is environmentalism (supporting sustainable farming), human rights (fair wages, decent working conditions) and empowerment – “respect and dignity for all.” Tamara Stenn will give an intro to Fair Trade and talk about her 15 years working in Fair Trade with women of the Andes Mountains and her ongoing academic studies on the effect of Fair Trade on indigenous women. Dean Cycon will speak of his model of direct trade – and how he develops long term, meaningful relationships with producers, without engaging a Fair Trade institution, and ensures higher than Fair Trade prices being paid for premium products. Kerstin Lindgren will speak about domestic fair trade (DFTA), the challenges to US farmers and farmworkers, and the DFTA model for uniting farmers, workers, businesses and NGOs under a common vision of a more just agriculture system. Renee Bowers will speak about the Fair Trade Federation, the largest institution of Fair Trade craft producers in the US, and the important work being done to improve conditions and lives for Fair trade producers. She will address the ways in which Fair Trade goes beyond labor rights to address issues of economic justice. Time will be allocated for audience questions and participation.

The Alt Banking Sector – A Roundtable Discussion Of Potential & Existing Alternative Banking Models
Sponsored by: http://spectregroup.org
Participants: Chris Lindstrom — Slow Money , Julieta Aranda — E-Flux Time/Bank, Tianna Kennedy — Catskills Time, Mike Krauss — The Public Banking Institute, Kristen Ragusin — The Public Banking Institute, Elizabeth Friedrich — Federation for Community Development Credit Unions, Anton Vidokle — E-Flux Time/Bank
There are many reasons to start your own bank. We ask this conversation remain practical, explaining what mutual banks, co-operative banks, public banks, land banks, time banks, peer-to-peer banks and all these other banking models are, why you may want to join one, or start your own. Moderated by Chris Lindstrom with farmer Tianna Kennedy (of Catskills Time), artist Julieta Aranda (of E-Flux Time/Bank), Mike Krauss and Kristen Ragusin (of the Public Banking Institute), and Elizabeth Friedrich (of the OWS Alt Banking Group). — “The only true method of organizing the alternative world of Mutuality is thru voluntary non-state free institutions such as co-ops, mutual banking & insurance … sustainable economic ventures (i.e. non-capitalist businesses) like independent farms and craft ateliers willing to federate with the commons…” – Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Occupy Wall Street, Act Two” — “The ideal [Occupy] bank would be democratically owned and controlled by its customers and employees. Like many credit unions, all depositors would get an equal say, regardless of the size of their accounts. It would be non-profit, building in a competitive advantage over the for-profit banks … Any small-scale bank we establish say in New York would have be to be replicable by others elsewhere.” – Carne Ross (Occupy Bank)

Occupy the World — Life Without Money
Sponsored by: Capitalism Nature Socialism
Participants: Joel Kovel — Capitalism Nature Socialism, Anitra Nelson — Associate Professor, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University (Austral, Ariel Salleh — University of Sydney, Australia, Frans Timmerman — Australian Labor Party, Caroline Woolard — Solidarity Economy NYC, Mary Mellor — Department of Social Science, University of Northumbria, UK
This roundtable discussion explores why we must, and how we can, free ourselves from monetary values and monetary relations in order to achieve the key left agenda of social justice and environmental sustainability. The panel engages with the conference theme by arguing that human and environmental values are constrained by market systems. To permanently occupy our world we need to create and expand non-market structures for living, producing and exchanging. The speakers include practitioners and theoreticians of non-market socialism. Half of the panel has contributed to a new Pluto Press publication: Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, which argues that the urgent environmental and economic crises that we face cannot be overcome without dispensing with money. Resuscitating the Left’s humanist critique of twentieth century communism and drawing on utopian, anarchist and Marxist literature, the book explores work refusal, self-management, gift economies, a collective labour-credit system and the non-monetary ecological economics of urban and rural squatters. The chair will introduce the topic and the speakers, canvassing a range of questions drawing on each speaker’s ideas and experiences, and summarising key commonalities and distinctions before opening the discussion to the audience.

The Next System: Exploring Economic Alternatives to Capitalism
Sponsored by: The Democracy Collaborative
Participants: Gar Alperovitz — University of Maryland, Richard Wolff — New School , David Schweickart — Loyola University Chicago, Keane Bhatt — Democracy Collaborative – University of Maryland
Economists Gar Alperovitz and Richard Wolff, and philosopher David Schweickart discuss institutional frameworks that aim to transcend capitalism, and delve into questions such as workplace democracy, community ownership, environmental sustainability, democratic planning, combating economic expansionism, fostering participatory culture, and expanding free time.

Moving Beyond Capitalism: food, fracking, and creating a compassionate future.
Participants: Rashad Barber — Occupy Wall St NY,NY, Dustin Fedako — http://foodisfreeproject.org/,
Quisia Gonzales — http://www.henrygeorgeschool.org/, Nada Kader – WESPAC
Join as these panelists go over their roles in the food & hydraulic fracturing movements as well as explore opportunities for creating a more just and sustainable future. This exciting panel will hold an interactive discussion that will challenge different perspectives for bringing social change to the local and regional level, as the panelists presented showcase their work in grassroots movements and in policy changing.

The Worker Cooperative Movement and Grassroots Approaches to Ending PovertyParticipants: Alex Jackimovicz — Proutist Universal, Nada Khader — WESPAC Foundation, Jalal Sabur — Freedom Food Alliance, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life, Community Voices Heard — Community Voices Heard
This panel will involve a discussion among four grassroots organizers who will explore current successes with the worker cooperative movement as well as challenges. Jalal Sabur (confirmed) is a young African American organizer in the food justice/food sovereignty movement and will speak about his recent experience moving to a cooperative farm in upstate New York and his work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Vanessa Bransburg (Center for Family Life) will speak about her experience with immigrants and women in building worker cooperatives locally. Alex Jackimovicz is a student of the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) from Maine and will speak about the role of cooperatives in Prout’s post-capitalist vision for a fair and balanced economy. A member of Community Voices Heard will also participate on the panel and share CVH’s approach to ending poverty. The panel will be moderated by WESPAC’s Executive Director, Nada Khader.

Horizontal Worker Cooperatives: A path beyond capitalism
Participants: Heather Mitchell — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Susannah Cummins — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Scott Crow — Anarchist organizer, author, worker, insurgent, and dreamer
This workshop’s aim is to engage participants in showing the common sense of horizontally organized worker cooperatives in the US as a viable economic, political and ecological alternative to the current dominant business models.

Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective
Sponsored by: PM Press
Participants: Scott Crow — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, author ‘Black Flags and Windmills’, Malik Rahim — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, former member Black Panther Party, Kerul Dyer — Co-founder Common Ground Collective , Organizer Rainforest Action Network
This presentation will show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds when governments fail. This workshop draws from experiences of an organization called the Common Ground Collective which formed after hurricane Katrina in response to the disaster. It was an organization based on the ideas and practices of the Black Panther Party, the Zapatistas and anarchism which sought to build/rebuild infrastructure to address the immediate problems (creating medical clinics, free schools, women’s centers, and eviction defense to worker coops and other service programs)as well as offering long term support to marginalized communities to build their own community based power.

Fellow travelers
________________________________________
These are panels that SEN is not directly involved in (as far as we know), but that seem to fit well within the solidarity economy framework.

Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future.
Sponsored by: OWS Sustainability Working Group
Participants: Andrew Faust — Center For Bioregional Living , Lisa DePiano — Mobile Design Lab, Maggie Cheney — Bushwick Campus Farms, Eco Station NY, Winnie Wong — OWS Sustainability Working Group, Dr. Susan Rubin — Better School Food, Post Carbon Institute, Matt Anderson — Director: Fall & Winter, Guy McPherson — University Of Arizona
OWS Sustainability will present and moderate a panel discussion / Q&A titled: Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future. This panel of educators, activists, community organizers, and green innovators will focus their talks in the areas of Urban Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Green Design, Social Activism, and Permaculture. Together we hope to inspire, engage, and empower participants of this panel to become more informed of the many actions we can start taking in order to live more sustainable lives on the planet. Matt Anderson and Winnie Wong will screen an extended trailer of Fall Winter Movie.

Worker Occupations and Worker Control
Sponsored by: WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society and Workerscontrol.net
Participants: Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Elaine Bernard — Harvard University Law School, Richard Wolff — New School for Social Research, Michael Goldfield — Wayne State University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Michael Hirsch — New Politics
The take-over of their work places by workers has happened throughout the last 100 years during political, economic or social crisis’. In most take over’s workers have not only demonstrated that they are able to run factories, services and institutions, they also acted far beyond the need to maintain their jobs and experimented and created new ways of how to work and new relations among themselves, with other workers and with communities. During the last years we have seen again hundreds if not thousands occupations of work places, especially in Latin America, but also a few one in the North of the world. Facing a financial and systemic crisis these occupations are likely to grow in the near future as a mechanism of defense against the destructive force of capitalism. In this panel we want to have a look at the history and the actuality of workers control, discussing success and problems of workers control.

Syndicalism and Autonomism: Building a New Labor Movement
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society / Industrial Worker
Participants: Immanuel Ness, Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Daniel Gross — Brandworkers & IWW, Godfrey Vincent — Tuskegee University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Steven Manicastri — Rutgers University
The global decline in trade union power over the last 30 years of ascendant neoliberal economic policy, has led to the configuration of new forms of worker organization that reject traditional collective bargaining and corporatist models in favor of direct action, and autonomous organization. Facing the growing incapacity of traditional unionism to fight back massive deterioration of work conditions and wages and to stop massive lay offs, nany workers are pursuing to advance their own interests through self-organization, as the heirs of the earlier generations of socialist and anarchist labor formations. The new forms of worker organization that we are concerned with are typically rooted in the class solidarity that emerges in the workplace and community, seek to counter this growth of precarious labor and reformist labor relations by cultivating democratic structures at the point of production. In this panel we want to critically examine the rise of contemporary forms of syndicalist, neo-syndicalist and autonomous worker representation with examples drawn from different parts of the world.

Occupying in Latin America: Social Movements Taking Over Land, Factories and Schools
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom and Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine
Participants: Scott Harris — Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine, Michael Fox — NACLA, Arun Gupta — Haymarket Books, Esneider Arevalo — Friends of the MST
While the Occupy Movement has taken the world by storm, a long history of different types of social movement occupations have marked Latin America for decades. This panel draws connections between the Occupy Movement in the US and its historical and contemporary counterparts in Latin America. Participants will discuss Brazil’s landless farmer movement, the occupation of factories and businesses in Argentina following the country’s 2001 economic crisis, the occupation of land by farmers and urban activists in Paraguay and today’s powerful student movement in Chile, which has occupied the streets and schools of the nation. This panel will look at the distant and recent history of occupying as a short and long term tactic of the some of the most powerful social movements in the hemisphere, and tie it to today’s struggles emerging out of the global Occupy Movement. Proposed Panelists will include: Moderator: Scott Harris of Between The Lines Radio; Michael Fox editor of NACLA Report on the Americas (confirmed) and a member of Friends of Brazil’s Landless Movement (Friends of the MST)

Analysis, Vision, and Strategy for Participatory Socialism
Participants: Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society, Yotam Marom — Organization for a Free Society, Ileia Burgos — Organization for a Free Society, Amanda Vodola — Organization for a Free Society, Michael Strom — Organization for a Free Society, Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society
Occupy Wall Street ignited a progressive movement that quickly swept the country, changing the political dialogue and inspiring many to take to the streets and begin organizing for social change. Amidst this moment of political awakening, it is important to take the space to deepen our analysis of how oppression operates in our lives, to envision the world we want to see, and to develop a strategy that will bring us there. On this panel, members of the Organization for a Free Society will articulate a theoretical framework that looks at the interconnectedness of race, community, the economy, gender, sex, sexuality, age, ability, and authority, without elevating any but instead recognizing the intrinsic importance of each in liberating social relations. We will point towards a vision guided by values such as equity, solidarity, diversity, self-management, and ecological balance. We will look at the importance of mass movements and grassroots organizing in fighting back against systems of oppression and building alternative institutions in the place of current ones dominated by greed, hierarchy, and isolation.

The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one an in-depth analysis.
Participants: Ame Johnson — Prout Movement USA, Tapan Mallik, Leonard Herbert Burg — Pace University, Jon Rynn — Manufacturing Green Prosperity
This Panel will attempt to discuss the pros and cons of a centralized economy versus the opposite- decentralized economy. Centralized economy is traditionally used as the paradigm for most countries of the world. Centralized economy in this case means economic decisions vested in the hands of a few members of the society, be it the privileged 1% of the population, the ruling class or the governing party bureaucrats. Decentralized economy would be the total opposite. Economic decisions will be vested amongst members of the local community with participation of specialists and experts of different fields within the community and with the local government . We will attempt to brainstorm the best scenario for the present day crisis in the USA and the Global community. The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one, an in-depth analysis.

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Copyright © 2012 Center for Popular Economics, All rights reserved.
You have received this email because of your past expressed interest in SEN.
Our mailing address is:
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Confront Global Capitalism at the 2012 Left Forum!
March 16-18, Pace University, NYC Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.

Solidarity Economy at the 2012 Left Forum

Hey there SEN community,
It is almost time once again for the Left Forum – an exciting collection of workshops & panels taking on the issues of global capitalism in the 21st century!

We hope that we’ll see you at the Left Forum this year. The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (SEN), as well as members of SEN have organized or are participating in a number of workshops that relate to different aspects of the solidarity economy. You will find below a list of these workshops along with a brief description and a link for further details. See you in March!

Solidarity Economy Panels
________________________________________
Community Economic Development and Worker Cooperatives
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Fred Rose — Wellspring Initiative, Djar Horn — Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political Economy
When times get hard, people often are forced to create their own livelihoods. The current economic crisis has seen an upsurge, especially in poor and marginalized communities, of efforts to create worker cooperatives. This workshop will explore the potential of cooperatives to not only create jobs, but also to consciously contribute to community revitalization and inform alternative strategies of community economic development. This workshop will look at examples of cooperative development in low income communities from the Jersey Shore, NYC and Springfield, MA. We’ll discuss lessons about replicating these models along with the economic and community impact of this work.

Occupy the Economy! Building a Solidarity Economy for People and Planet
Sponsored by: US Solidarity Economy Network and URPE
Participants: Emily Kawano — Center for Popular Economics and US Solidarity Economy Network, Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Al Campbell — Union for Radical Political
Economy & University of Utah, Ana Margarida Esteves — Roger Thayer Stone Center for Latin American Studies,
Occupy the economy! The time is now to push for an economy that serves the 99% instead of the wealthy and powerful elites. This workshop will provide an introduction to the solidarity economy – a growing global movement to build an economy that puts people and planet front and center. It is grounded in principles of solidarity, equity in all dimensions (race, class, gender, etc.), sustainability, participatory democracy and pluralism (ie. not a one-size fits all approach). The solidarity economy builds on many existing practices and policies – both mainstream and alternative – and seeks to strengthen and connect these stepping stones to a just and sustainable economic system. The solidarity economy believes that it is critical to both build and resist – that is, build and strengthen solidarity economy practices such as worker cooperatives, community land trusts, or social currencies and also resist the oppression of corporate-dominated capitalism. This workshop will provide an introduction to the conceptual framework, the global movement including the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, and concrete examples of the solidarity economy.

Mapping the Solidarity Economy – Locally and Globally
Sponsored by US Solidarity Economy Network
Participants: Craig Borowiak — Haverford College, Ana Margarida Esteves — Tulane University, Maliha Safri — Drew University
Recent years have seen the rise of a global movement supporting what has been termed the solidarity economy. This movement, which consists of a networked set of diverse initiatives ranging from consumer and worker cooperatives to time banks and CSAs, seeks not simply to compel greater charity from the rich or to channel profit-making towards social ends. Rather, it seeks to forge alternative economies around principles of social solidarity, cooperation, and community-based development. Many of its proponents see the movement as providing alternatives to mainstream capitalist economies and as representing a counterhegemonic form of globalization to challenge the neoliberal globalization. In 2009, a global mapping initiative was launched in order to build awareness about the solidarity economy, to facilitate networking among solidarity economy organizations, and to help build solidarity economy supply chains. In this panel we will introduce and analyze the different forms this mapping initiative has taken and the different functions such maps serve in the U.S. and abroad. U.S. examples will be drawn from New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Western Massachusetts. International examples will be drawn from Italy, Brazil, and Quebec, among countries/regions. The panel will also analyze cosmopolitan efforts to generate a world solidarity economy map that seeks to integrate local mapping initiatives within a single platform while preserving decentralized content.

The Mondragon Coops and 21st Century Socialism: An In-Depth Analysis
Sponsored by: Dialogue & Initiative
Participants: Al Campbell — Solidarity Economy Network, University of Utah, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, To Be Announced — Solidarity Economy Network
A multimedia presentation–film clips, powerpoint and discussion–that goes deeply into the history and structure of the Mondragon cooperatives centered in Spain’s Basque country and now spreading elsewhere. The implications of cooperatives of this type for present and future socialist projects, such as Cuba, will also be stressed. Carl Davidson of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism will be the presenter, with Al Campbell of the University of Utah and the Solidarity Economy Network as chair and respondent.

Worker Cooperatives: Building a Solidarity Economy
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society and http://www.workercontrol.net
Participants: Ken Estey — Brooklyn College / CUNY, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life of Sunset Park, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network, USA, Cheyenna Weber — SolidarityNYC, Chris Michael
The panel examines the growth of worker cooperatives in the US and the world as an alternative to corporate and employer dominated businesses. In recent years, the cooperative movement has expanded dramatically and becoming a viable alternative to workers who are seeking a workplace grounded in equality and democratic control. Worker cooperatives are also interacting with unions to build a solidarity economy throughout the world. Also, worker cooperatives are beginning to challenge the dominant capitalist paradigm that defends workplace and community over corporate efforts to expand profits even at the expense of closing down firms. This panelists discuss the opportunities and challenges ahead ahead for workers cooperatives in the US and beyond.

Workers’ Cooperatives: the International Context
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society, Rethinking Marxism, and GEO
Participants: Ethan Earle — La Base / The Working World, Peter Ranis — York College / CUNY Graduate Center, Chris Michael — Workers Development, New York City, Carl Davidson — Solidariaty Economy Network, Jessica Gordon Nembhard — John Jay College / CUNY and Solidarity Economy Network
As the capitalist economy is in a state of rapid decline, the panel examines the historic and contemporary relevance of workers cooperatives as an alternative to capitalist and private ownership of property and enterprises. The panel explores the trajectory of worker control in the comparative national contexts and its challenge to capitalist domination.

Technology, Un/Employment, and the Left: From Future Shock to OWS
Sponsored by: Platypus Review
Participants: Edward Remus — Platypus Affiliated Society, George Caffentzis — University of Southern Maine, Midnight Notes Collective, Fred Block — UC Davis, Carl Davidson — Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Solidarity Economy Network, Chaia Heller — Institute for Social Ecology; Mount Holyoke College, Walda Katz-Fishman — Howard University; League of Revolutionaries for a New America
Science and technology are intertwined with the transformation of society. For at least two centuries, reformers and revolutionaries have grappled with the question of how technology– first machinery, later cybernetics and robotics– might lead to the end of compulsory work. The end of compulsory work figured prominently in the voluntary communal experiments of the Occupy encampments, yet the Left’s historical attempts to grapple with this question are often forgotten by today’s activists. The possibility that technology may free us from labour finds expression in a range of figures: 19th century utopian socialism, Marx and the revolutionary Marxists, postwar sociologists such as Daniel Bell, New Left thinkers such as Andre Gorz, futurists such as Jeremy Rifkin, neo-Marxists such as Moishe Postone, and anarchists such as Bob Black– to name just a few. When the New Communist Movement tried to organize the remnants of the U.S. industrial proletariat in the clutch of outsourcing and– more significantly– automation of jobs, it confronted this problem head-on; and today we, too, occupy this post-Fordist reality of chronic unemployment. This panel will explore how contemporary figures on the Left understand technology’s promise and why it remains unfulfilled– why the vast majority of our species remains forced to experience unemployment as scarcity and misery rather than as abundance and freedom.

Fair Trade as Justice
Sponsored by: URPE
Participants: Tamara Stenn — Keene State College, Dean Cycon — Dean Beans, Kerstin Lindgren — Domestic Fair Trade, Renee Bowers — Fair Trade Federation
Fair Trade is loosely defined, made up of different individuals and institutions each with their own guidelines. It is a multi-billion dollar model of cooperation between producers, traders and consumers to create meaningful products that benefit all. It is environmentalism (supporting sustainable farming), human rights (fair wages, decent working conditions) and empowerment – “respect and dignity for all.” Tamara Stenn will give an intro to Fair Trade and talk about her 15 years working in Fair Trade with women of the Andes Mountains and her ongoing academic studies on the effect of Fair Trade on indigenous women. Dean Cycon will speak of his model of direct trade – and how he develops long term, meaningful relationships with producers, without engaging a Fair Trade institution, and ensures higher than Fair Trade prices being paid for premium products. Kerstin Lindgren will speak about domestic fair trade (DFTA), the challenges to US farmers and farmworkers, and the DFTA model for uniting farmers, workers, businesses and NGOs under a common vision of a more just agriculture system. Renee Bowers will speak about the Fair Trade Federation, the largest institution of Fair Trade craft producers in the US, and the important work being done to improve conditions and lives for Fair trade producers. She will address the ways in which Fair Trade goes beyond labor rights to address issues of economic justice. Time will be allocated for audience questions and participation.

The Alt Banking Sector – A Roundtable Discussion Of Potential & Existing Alternative Banking Models
Sponsored by: http://spectregroup.org
Participants: Chris Lindstrom — Slow Money , Julieta Aranda — E-Flux Time/Bank, Tianna Kennedy — Catskills Time, Mike Krauss — The Public Banking Institute, Kristen Ragusin — The Public Banking Institute, Elizabeth Friedrich — Federation for Community Development Credit Unions, Anton Vidokle — E-Flux Time/Bank
There are many reasons to start your own bank. We ask this conversation remain practical, explaining what mutual banks, co-operative banks, public banks, land banks, time banks, peer-to-peer banks and all these other banking models are, why you may want to join one, or start your own. Moderated by Chris Lindstrom with farmer Tianna Kennedy (of Catskills Time), artist Julieta Aranda (of E-Flux Time/Bank), Mike Krauss and Kristen Ragusin (of the Public Banking Institute), and Elizabeth Friedrich (of the OWS Alt Banking Group). — “The only true method of organizing the alternative world of Mutuality is thru voluntary non-state free institutions such as co-ops, mutual banking & insurance … sustainable economic ventures (i.e. non-capitalist businesses) like independent farms and craft ateliers willing to federate with the commons…” – Peter Lamborn Wilson, “Occupy Wall Street, Act Two” — “The ideal [Occupy] bank would be democratically owned and controlled by its customers and employees. Like many credit unions, all depositors would get an equal say, regardless of the size of their accounts. It would be non-profit, building in a competitive advantage over the for-profit banks … Any small-scale bank we establish say in New York would have be to be replicable by others elsewhere.” – Carne Ross (Occupy Bank)

Occupy the World — Life Without Money
Sponsored by: Capitalism Nature Socialism
Participants: Joel Kovel — Capitalism Nature Socialism, Anitra Nelson — Associate Professor, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, RMIT University (Austral, Ariel Salleh — University of Sydney, Australia, Frans Timmerman — Australian Labor Party, Caroline Woolard — Solidarity Economy NYC, Mary Mellor — Department of Social Science, University of Northumbria, UK
This roundtable discussion explores why we must, and how we can, free ourselves from monetary values and monetary relations in order to achieve the key left agenda of social justice and environmental sustainability. The panel engages with the conference theme by arguing that human and environmental values are constrained by market systems. To permanently occupy our world we need to create and expand non-market structures for living, producing and exchanging. The speakers include practitioners and theoreticians of non-market socialism. Half of the panel has contributed to a new Pluto Press publication: Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies, which argues that the urgent environmental and economic crises that we face cannot be overcome without dispensing with money. Resuscitating the Left’s humanist critique of twentieth century communism and drawing on utopian, anarchist and Marxist literature, the book explores work refusal, self-management, gift economies, a collective labour-credit system and the non-monetary ecological economics of urban and rural squatters. The chair will introduce the topic and the speakers, canvassing a range of questions drawing on each speaker’s ideas and experiences, and summarising key commonalities and distinctions before opening the discussion to the audience.

The Next System: Exploring Economic Alternatives to Capitalism
Sponsored by: The Democracy Collaborative
Participants: Gar Alperovitz — University of Maryland, Richard Wolff — New School , David Schweickart — Loyola University Chicago, Keane Bhatt — Democracy Collaborative – University of Maryland
Economists Gar Alperovitz and Richard Wolff, and philosopher David Schweickart discuss institutional frameworks that aim to transcend capitalism, and delve into questions such as workplace democracy, community ownership, environmental sustainability, democratic planning, combating economic expansionism, fostering participatory culture, and expanding free time.

Moving Beyond Capitalism: food, fracking, and creating a compassionate future.
Participants: Rashad Barber — Occupy Wall St NY,NY, Dustin Fedako — http://foodisfreeproject.org/,
Quisia Gonzales — http://www.henrygeorgeschool.org/, Nada Kader – WESPAC
Join as these panelists go over their roles in the food & hydraulic fracturing movements as well as explore opportunities for creating a more just and sustainable future. This exciting panel will hold an interactive discussion that will challenge different perspectives for bringing social change to the local and regional level, as the panelists presented showcase their work in grassroots movements and in policy changing.

The Worker Cooperative Movement and Grassroots Approaches to Ending PovertyParticipants: Alex Jackimovicz — Proutist Universal, Nada Khader — WESPAC Foundation, Jalal Sabur — Freedom Food Alliance, Vanessa Bransburg — Center for Family Life, Community Voices Heard — Community Voices Heard
This panel will involve a discussion among four grassroots organizers who will explore current successes with the worker cooperative movement as well as challenges. Jalal Sabur (confirmed) is a young African American organizer in the food justice/food sovereignty movement and will speak about his recent experience moving to a cooperative farm in upstate New York and his work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Vanessa Bransburg (Center for Family Life) will speak about her experience with immigrants and women in building worker cooperatives locally. Alex Jackimovicz is a student of the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT) from Maine and will speak about the role of cooperatives in Prout’s post-capitalist vision for a fair and balanced economy. A member of Community Voices Heard will also participate on the panel and share CVH’s approach to ending poverty. The panel will be moderated by WESPAC’s Executive Director, Nada Khader.

Horizontal Worker Cooperatives: A path beyond capitalism
Participants: Heather Mitchell — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Susannah Cummins — Co-Director Ecology Action of Texas, Scott Crow — Anarchist organizer, author, worker, insurgent, and dreamer
This workshop’s aim is to engage participants in showing the common sense of horizontally organized worker cooperatives in the US as a viable economic, political and ecological alternative to the current dominant business models.

Black Flags and Windmills: Hope, Anarchy and the Common Ground Collective
Sponsored by: PM Press
Participants: Scott Crow — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, author ‘Black Flags and Windmills’, Malik Rahim — Co-founder Common Ground Collective, former member Black Panther Party, Kerul Dyer — Co-founder Common Ground Collective , Organizer Rainforest Action Network
This presentation will show what ordinary people can do to change their own worlds when governments fail. This workshop draws from experiences of an organization called the Common Ground Collective which formed after hurricane Katrina in response to the disaster. It was an organization based on the ideas and practices of the Black Panther Party, the Zapatistas and anarchism which sought to build/rebuild infrastructure to address the immediate problems (creating medical clinics, free schools, women’s centers, and eviction defense to worker coops and other service programs)as well as offering long term support to marginalized communities to build their own community based power.

Fellow travelers
________________________________________
These are panels that SEN is not directly involved in (as far as we know), but that seem to fit well within the solidarity economy framework.

Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future.
Sponsored by: OWS Sustainability Working Group
Participants: Andrew Faust — Center For Bioregional Living , Lisa DePiano — Mobile Design Lab, Maggie Cheney — Bushwick Campus Farms, Eco Station NY, Winnie Wong — OWS Sustainability Working Group, Dr. Susan Rubin — Better School Food, Post Carbon Institute, Matt Anderson — Director: Fall & Winter, Guy McPherson — University Of Arizona
OWS Sustainability will present and moderate a panel discussion / Q&A titled: Creating A Sustainable Culture: Food, Farming, Energy and Our Future. This panel of educators, activists, community organizers, and green innovators will focus their talks in the areas of Urban Agriculture, Renewable Energy, Green Design, Social Activism, and Permaculture. Together we hope to inspire, engage, and empower participants of this panel to become more informed of the many actions we can start taking in order to live more sustainable lives on the planet. Matt Anderson and Winnie Wong will screen an extended trailer of Fall Winter Movie.

Worker Occupations and Worker Control
Sponsored by: WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society and Workerscontrol.net
Participants: Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler Universität Linz, Elaine Bernard — Harvard University Law School, Richard Wolff — New School for Social Research, Michael Goldfield — Wayne State University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Michael Hirsch — New Politics
The take-over of their work places by workers has happened throughout the last 100 years during political, economic or social crisis’. In most take over’s workers have not only demonstrated that they are able to run factories, services and institutions, they also acted far beyond the need to maintain their jobs and experimented and created new ways of how to work and new relations among themselves, with other workers and with communities. During the last years we have seen again hundreds if not thousands occupations of work places, especially in Latin America, but also a few one in the North of the world. Facing a financial and systemic crisis these occupations are likely to grow in the near future as a mechanism of defense against the destructive force of capitalism. In this panel we want to have a look at the history and the actuality of workers control, discussing success and problems of workers control.

Syndicalism and Autonomism: Building a New Labor Movement
Sponsored by: Working USA: The Journal of Labor and Society / Industrial Worker
Participants: Immanuel Ness, Dario Azzellini — Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Daniel Gross — Brandworkers & IWW, Godfrey Vincent — Tuskegee University, Élise Thorburn — University of Western Ontario, Steven Manicastri — Rutgers University
The global decline in trade union power over the last 30 years of ascendant neoliberal economic policy, has led to the configuration of new forms of worker organization that reject traditional collective bargaining and corporatist models in favor of direct action, and autonomous organization. Facing the growing incapacity of traditional unionism to fight back massive deterioration of work conditions and wages and to stop massive lay offs, nany workers are pursuing to advance their own interests through self-organization, as the heirs of the earlier generations of socialist and anarchist labor formations. The new forms of worker organization that we are concerned with are typically rooted in the class solidarity that emerges in the workplace and community, seek to counter this growth of precarious labor and reformist labor relations by cultivating democratic structures at the point of production. In this panel we want to critically examine the rise of contemporary forms of syndicalist, neo-syndicalist and autonomous worker representation with examples drawn from different parts of the world.

Occupying in Latin America: Social Movements Taking Over Land, Factories and Schools
Sponsored by: Toward Freedom and Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine
Participants: Scott Harris — Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine, Michael Fox — NACLA, Arun Gupta — Haymarket Books, Esneider Arevalo — Friends of the MST
While the Occupy Movement has taken the world by storm, a long history of different types of social movement occupations have marked Latin America for decades. This panel draws connections between the Occupy Movement in the US and its historical and contemporary counterparts in Latin America. Participants will discuss Brazil’s landless farmer movement, the occupation of factories and businesses in Argentina following the country’s 2001 economic crisis, the occupation of land by farmers and urban activists in Paraguay and today’s powerful student movement in Chile, which has occupied the streets and schools of the nation. This panel will look at the distant and recent history of occupying as a short and long term tactic of the some of the most powerful social movements in the hemisphere, and tie it to today’s struggles emerging out of the global Occupy Movement. Proposed Panelists will include: Moderator: Scott Harris of Between The Lines Radio; Michael Fox editor of NACLA Report on the Americas (confirmed) and a member of Friends of Brazil’s Landless Movement (Friends of the MST)

Analysis, Vision, and Strategy for Participatory Socialism
Participants: Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society, Yotam Marom — Organization for a Free Society, Ileia Burgos — Organization for a Free Society, Amanda Vodola — Organization for a Free Society, Michael Strom — Organization for a Free Society, Eliot Tarver — Organization for a Free Society
Occupy Wall Street ignited a progressive movement that quickly swept the country, changing the political dialogue and inspiring many to take to the streets and begin organizing for social change. Amidst this moment of political awakening, it is important to take the space to deepen our analysis of how oppression operates in our lives, to envision the world we want to see, and to develop a strategy that will bring us there. On this panel, members of the Organization for a Free Society will articulate a theoretical framework that looks at the interconnectedness of race, community, the economy, gender, sex, sexuality, age, ability, and authority, without elevating any but instead recognizing the intrinsic importance of each in liberating social relations. We will point towards a vision guided by values such as equity, solidarity, diversity, self-management, and ecological balance. We will look at the importance of mass movements and grassroots organizing in fighting back against systems of oppression and building alternative institutions in the place of current ones dominated by greed, hierarchy, and isolation.

The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one an in-depth analysis.
Participants: Ame Johnson — Prout Movement USA, Tapan Mallik, Leonard Herbert Burg — Pace University, Jon Rynn — Manufacturing Green Prosperity
This Panel will attempt to discuss the pros and cons of a centralized economy versus the opposite- decentralized economy. Centralized economy is traditionally used as the paradigm for most countries of the world. Centralized economy in this case means economic decisions vested in the hands of a few members of the society, be it the privileged 1% of the population, the ruling class or the governing party bureaucrats. Decentralized economy would be the total opposite. Economic decisions will be vested amongst members of the local community with participation of specialists and experts of different fields within the community and with the local government . We will attempt to brainstorm the best scenario for the present day crisis in the USA and the Global community. The challenges of centralized economies versus a decentralized one, an in-depth analysis.

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Reflections inspired by ASEF III

Posted by Admin on November 16, 2011

Yvon Poirier
Canadian Community Economic Development Network
Member of RIPESS North America
November 14, 2011

The promotion of Solidarity Economy in Asia has made great strides in the last years. Having had the privilege of attending ASEF I in Manila in 2007, and Tokyo in 2009; I fully agree with the Ben’s assessment of the progress made over the last years.
I am especially glad that at the October 2007, Ben agreed to formally join the RIPESS Board. Previously, only our Nepalese colleagues, with Sunil Chitrakar, were involved. Since then, the alliance with colleagues in other continents has grown and they now have conferred the task to the Asia Alliance for Solidarity Economy, now ASEC, to organise the 5th Global meeting.
Our movement is still young. The first meeting was held just 14 years ago in Peru. Since then, the movement has grown much, and with the deepening of the many crises of the neoliberal globalisation, and of that model itself, opportunities, and challenges, are greater than ever.
However, we are more prepared than ever to meet these challenges. The great group of young people from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, also gives us much hope for the future. I think we should thank all academics who made the presence of these students possible.
Like in other continents, women are at the core of building social solidarity economy. Over here in North America, over 60% of the workforce in social economy is women. And are more and more in leadership positions. This is huge progress. In the 1960’s, over here in Canada, practically all leadership positions were held by men.
ASEF III was also an important occasion to create relationships between Asia participants and people in other continents. I will mention just three examples:
• Ms Valerie, who is from Kenya, asked for connections in English speaking Africa. She had seen that the African network was planning a meeting in Tunisia in 2012. For different reasons (mainly lack of resources) the network in Africa only has French speaking people. Having had made many links in English speaking Africa, I sent a list of 25 contact persons so that she can do networking in Africa. A member of my network, Ethel Côté (she was on RIPESS Board), who like myself is bilingual French and English is now in contact with Valerie and she will make the links with our two African Board members, Madani Koumaré from Mali and Abdeljali Cherkaoui from Morocco.
• After hearing Prof Farok bin Zakaria from Kelantan Universiti explain what they were doing to help people in communities start social enterprises, I realised that it could be useful to connect with a network of 14 Universities doing this in Brazil. Over there, they call it «Technological Incubators for Popular Cooperatives». There work in poor communities, including shantytowns. I suggested to Farok the name of one of the members of this network, Ana Dubeux, who I recently met at the FIESS meeting in Montreal.
• Noor Zanariah Mohamad who works at the Malaysian Central Bank asked if we had a website with examples of practices in different countries that could be accessed. I explained that we had a mapping of nine social/solidarity economy activities/organisations, but that we were working on this and that her request was important. Some websites have some examples, but we need to see how we can bring this together. As Ben and Nancy know, preliminary work is underway for such a project, supported by the FPH.
All this to mention that besides continental networking, we also need to address the issue of horizontal networking, across continents and sectors, namely in knowledge exchange, including research. This challenge by itself is huge, and with the different languages involved, even more so. However, much of the knowledge exists. We need to organise and systematize.
Closing remarks
I consider myself a privileged person to be involved in a movement that is focused on the people’s needs, in a sustainable manner. The last meeting in KL, and the meeting in Montreal, confirm that all over the world, people – men and women on an equal basis – are deeply committed to building this other world that all people in the world are yearning for.
In his presentation, Paul Sinnappan spoke of how inspired he had been by William Coady (Coady Institute is in Nova Scotia in Canada). His book, «Master’s of there own destiny», published in 1939, is still an inspiration and worthy reading. Our way is not really new. We must always remember that similar minded people have been struggling to build a better future for centuries. This is even more inspiring for me since I was brought up in a community that used the teachings of Coady to build there own future. They created cooperatives to satisfy most of there needs.
Coady dedicated his book «To all those unnamed noble souls who without remuneration are working overtime in the cause of humanity»

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REFLECTIONS ON ASEF KL 2011

Posted by Admin on November 16, 2011

by Benjamin R. Quiñones, Jr.
Chairman, CSRSME Asia
November 9, 2011

The Third Asian Solidarity Economy Forum (ASEF) held in Kuala Lumpur on October 31 – November 2, 2011 was a turning point for a number of reasons.

First, ASEF KL 2011 was marked with great diversity in participation. In terms of country representation, ASEF KL 2011 gathered delegates from 33 countries compared to 27 in ASEF I and 18 in ASEF II. Cheaper airfares and room sharing in an affordable hotel helped attract a great number of participants from neighboring countries. This was the first time in the short history of ASEF that foreign participants outnumbered the local participants, at a ratio of almost 3 to 1. The largest foreign delegation came from neighboring Singapore, followed by Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Women comprised some 44 percent of the total number of participants.
Around one-third of the 353 participants were young people, mostly university students. The large turn out of youth delegates provided ASEF a fresh supply of potential advocates and practitioners who could continue to build alternative economies and sustainable societies in the future.

Second, ASEF KL 2011 marks the first occasion when participants had the opportunity to share with one another individual reflections on the thematic issues of the day right after the plenary sessions in the morning. Resource persons elaborated six (6) thematic issues in 6 plenary sessions. Seating participants in a roundtable provided a convenient arrangement for a group of eight (8) people to reflect and share their thoughts on each thematic issue. While the theatre type of seating arrangement constrains people from engaging in dialogue and discussions, the roundtable encourages people to talk to one another.

Third, ASEF KL 2011 envisaged a semi-structured learning journey where a participant can follow through a thematic issue from inception, to elaboration and understanding, to proposal generation and action planning. Thus, participants at registration were asked to choose the thematic workshops they prefer to join, viz: microfinance/social finance, fair trade, value chain development, green initiatives, Islamic initiatives, and CSR & Community based enterprises.

During the first three sessions, the desired progression of the learning journey did not fully take off as planned inasmuch as resource speakers focused on describing what they do while participants wanted to get a better understanding of the projects or programmes being described. This was corrected in the subsequent sessions when moderators introduced the methodology of ‘dotmocracy’ where participants identified the constraints to the development of solidarity economy initiatives and proposed actions to overcome them. The ‘dotmocracy’ method allowed participants to prioritize the constraints according to their perceived importance as well as to streamline the proposed actions. It helped focus the reflections of workshop groups on the steps forward that may be undertaken individually or collectively towards advancing solidarity economy in respective countries.

Fourth, on a more fundamental note, ASEF KL 2011 ushered in a much deeper reflection on what keynote speaker Pierre Calame calls the “great transition”, which requires a more participatory development model towards the co-creation of sustainable societies. There was a general realization that the world has reached a crucial crossroad, where the development initiative and growth potentials have shifted to Asia and yet the dominant development model generally known and widely practiced even in Asia is outmoded. More significantly, such outmoded development model is precisely the one that has brought the world to the global crisis it is currently reeling from.

ASEF KL 2011 raised greater awareness of the reality that solidarity economy initiatives at the micro level are not enough to overcome the overarching and constraining framework of the old development model. The solidarity economy movement, represented in Asia by the newly established Asian Solidarity Economy Coalition (ASEC), must forge alliances at the local, national, continental and international levels to bring about a paradigm shift in people’s perception and application of solidarity, interdependencies, and responsibilities.

The culminating session in the evening of the third and last day of the forum pointed the way to the alliance building work of ASEC in the coming years. Pierre Calame highlighted four major components of the “great transition” that need to be acted upon:

First, we need to build greater awareness of the interdependencies of people in various parts of the globe. Such awareness of interdependencies must be strong enough to overcome our prejudices or to accept sacrifices in the name of the interests of others. We need to contribute to and help sustain a global dialogue of all stakeholders of our societies towards this end.

Second, we need to create the concepts, the culture and the institutions of interdependence and a way of life of inter-relatedness to manage our global society. ASEC is a modest step forward. Linking ASEC to RIPESS (Inter-continental Association for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy) is a leap forward.

Third, we need to heighten people’s awareness of the fact that the UN Charter which mainly deals with peace and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not provide sufficient framework for building and strengthening interdependencies of people. We need a third pillar that focuses on responsibilities, inasmuch as responsibility is the direct corollary of interdependence but also the corollary of freedom, power, knowledge and rights. We need a Charter of Universal Responsibilities.

Fourth and finally, we need to rise above the concept of sustainable development and focus on the concept of sustainable societies. ‘Development’ implies an ongoing progressive movement which requires a given amount of resource to sustain. This is a central concern because the very concept of development predisposes peoples and nations to compete for precious resources, a good portion of which are non-renewable. In contrast, many indigenous societies have remained sustainable even at near zero economic growth. We must learn from the local people how to build sustainable societies and be happy.

At the closing session, we have outlined a three-point action plan which we hope to revisit on the occasion of ASEF 2013.

First, we agreed that partner organizations of ASEC should organize and conduct their own local/ country level solidarity economy forums. In designing these local forums, we need to take into consideration the above 4 components of the “great transition”.

Second, we agreed that ASEC partner organizations should compliment their joint reflections (through the solidarity economy forums) with action research aimed at integrating solidarity economy initiatives. Notably, the integrative action research projects would inevitably require the development of multi-level governance/ management of production and exchanges.

Third and lastly, we need to exchange information and experiences to deepen awareness of our interdependencies. We must always strive to strengthen our interdependencies in order to overcome our prejudices or to accept sacrifices for the sake of others. We need to contribute to each other’s reflections and help sustain a global dialogue of all stakeholders of a sustainable society.

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BRIEF REPORT ON THE ASIAN SOLIDARITY ECONOMY FORUM

Posted by Admin on November 16, 2011

Brief Reflections by ASEF KL2011 Chair
Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria
November 5, 2011

We very successfully hosted the 3rd Asian Solidarity Economy Forum from Oct 31 to Nov 2, 2011 at Kuala Lumpur. I am deeply grateful to all the volunteers who worked hard and the 100 over people who served as moderators, speakers, taking notes and providing summary of the key discussions. We had a packed program and a very interesting range of speakers and moderators who facilitated discussions and interactions.
We were deeply honored by the presence of Mr Pierre Calame who devoted three full days with us sharing his views in so many formal sessions and spending hours with different people in informal discussions. I am personally impressed with his vast knowledge and humility as he does not talk down on us but encouraged, motive and inspired us to think big. That solidarity economy is not in the sideline line or a complementary to market capitalism but must be the dominant economic model which can foster the solutions to current global crises.

Participation
A total of 351 people participated at ASEFKL2011 from 33 countries from around the world. Seventeen Asian countries were represented with the largest delegation of 123 from Malaysia, 70 from Singapore, 40 from Indonesia, 36 from Philippines and 18 from India
We had the strong support of regional and national organizations such as the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO-Asia), APPEND from Philippines and COMMACT International to cit some examples. This is a very a very positive development as we had people from different streams now identifying under the solidarity economy agenda such as micro finance, cooperatives, fair trade and community based initiatives.
For the first time in solidarity economy forum, we have introduced faith based initiatives. Asia is rich in religious and spiritual traditions and people’s trust and confidence in these institutions is high. We had a special workshop on Islamic Initiatives as this approach has not been introduced to the solidarity forum.
There was a very good representation of young people from 4 universities in the region namely Binary University College, University Kelantan Malaysia, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore and the Sam Ratulangi University from Indonesia. This is one dimension that we need to strengthen for the future as the networking with universities will be very essential. Students in economy, business and entrepreneurship schools including social sciences could have interest in solidarity economy
Immediate Follow up to ASEF KL2011
Ms Valerie A Siganga (of the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Binary University College) has agreed with her team of Binary student volunteers to set up a Face Book page and establish email links with all. They agreed to create special groups/pages by workshop groups so as to continue the discussions and sharing. This is one cost effective way of networking and keeping in touch. We are really hoping that all the young people especially from the four universities in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia will continue this forum and learning journey.
The DVD’s on all the plenary sessions and some selected workshops sessions has come out very well and serves as a very good record of the ASEF KL2011 even. We are sorry that the DVD’s arrived late and many were unable to collect your set. Please liase with Ms Valerie (email- valerie@binary.edu.my) on this. The quality is good. We are exploring the possibility of down loading all of the major presentations in the u-tube and will keep u informed. We have a CD of photos. This will be down loaded in the Facebook
We also plan to print a book on ASEF KL2011 by February 2012. Therefore we encourage all paper writers to write a 4 page essay of your presentation in the light of the Asian Forum. We cannot use power point presentation as the text. Please link all writings:
• To the theme of solidarity economy, namely how do you see your project or thoughts linked to solidarity economy and
• To how your project/ thoughts is a vehicle for socio-economic transformation.
We give you four weeks from now. Due date is Dec 5, 2011. Please email me your write up for publication to : asefkl2011@gmail.com

Beyond KL2011 towards Manila 2013
Eighteen organizations undertook the signing of the Kuala Lumpur – Memorandum of Agreement to institutionalize the Asian Solidarity Economy Coalition (ASEC). Earlier it was more a lose group of individuals, however during the 2011 Asian forum this partnership and friendship was formalized through the signing of a MOA among the organizations.
This is a commitment pledge to work through the as Partner organizations for concerted and collective action towards advancing solidarity economy in Asia. ASEC is open for more organizations/institutions to pledge support for the common course.
In a discussion with Mr Ben Quinones we have agreed to focus attending on strengthening national setups in Asia through our regional partners and universities. We are asking all our partners in Asia to give us major dates of their national workshops or forums so that we can encourage solidarity leaders from with Asian to participate.
For 2012 we already know that India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea are hosting National events. Please email details early so that we could encourage partners from within Asia to join. Between Ben and myself we will also try and visit. In the case of Malaysia we will be hosting a national meeting of our major partners to consolidate the Malaysian national coalition. In a similar way we will seek to support the formation or strengthening of national coalitions.
We hold to target Asia from three geographical grouping namely South Asia, South East Asia/ASEAN and the Far East. We will work closely with existing networks such as WFTO and COMMACT International and others like Ethons Asian and China, Beyond Network and PARC, Pacific Asia Resource Centre Japan. We also have strong partners in Indonesia like Bina Swadaya and ASKI- Association of Social Enterprises in Indonesia. In Philippines we got both CSRSME Asia and APPEND and Work Together Foundation, South Korea
We will need to strengthen our networks in India and South Asian countries and also in China. Our new partner, Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises could assist us to enhance links with mainland China, Taiwan and Macaw
On the final plenary of Day Three, we heard Mr Brigido Simion, Chair of the National Organising committee of Manila 2013 speak. He announced that the next Global and Asian regional gathering will be held together in Manila. He also called for joint partnership and collaboration.
Another major development was the passing of the baton of leadership from North America to Asia as Mr Benjamin Quiones becomes the next RIPESS Coordinator taking over from Ms Nancy Neamtan. RIPESS is the Inter-continental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy.
At the last Asian meeting (held on Nov. 1, 2011) I was also selected to be the second Asian representative along with Mr Ben Quiones to RIPESS Inter-continental Board taking over from Mr Sunil Chitrakar of Nepal.
Ben and I have been friends for a longtime and it was he to introduced me firstly to micro finance network via Banking for the poor conference and later to solidarity economy. We have a major task not just in Asia but also at a global level.
The global coordination of RIPESS has now shifted to Kuala Lumpur with the establishment of RIPESS Sdn Bhd. A company incorporated in Malaysia to undertake coordination work. Based on the RIPESS Board decision held on Oct 31, 2011 the following were appointed as Director namely Mr Ben Quiones, Ms Nancy Neamtan, Ms Emily Kawano, Mr Eric Lavilluniere, Mr David Thompson and two Malaysian Directors Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria and Prof Dr Chris Shun.
It is indeed timely for Malaysia, ASEAN and Asia to play a global role as these is also a global shift of the economy to Asia. We hope to work very closely with Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah (our ASEF KL2011 Patron/Advisor and deputy Higher Education Minister, Government of Malaysia) together with Dato Dr Michael Yeoh (of Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute and Malaysian representative to Asian Higher level Task Force on ASEAN Connectivity) for policy advocacy to secure the support of the Malaysian and ASEAN governments.
We have appointed Prof Dr John Clammer (Institute for Sustainability & Peace, UN University, Japan) to head an academic research committee to undertake a study of terms and concepts including indicators, characteristic and distinctive of solidarity economy from other forms of social development projects including drafting a social solidarity economy curriculum for university education. A core group of academics will meet in early March 2012. Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has agreed to host this three day workshop for academics in Malaysia.

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International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy

Posted by Admin on September 22, 2011

The final program for the International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy, Montreal October 17 to 20, is now on-line. The Workshops program is also available.

http://www.fiess2011.org/en/

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Press release / Communiqué

Posted by Admin on April 8, 2011

«English»

April 6th, 2011
From March 28 to 31, in Paris, the Board of Directors of RIPESS (Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy) met and took note of the significant advances of the social and solidarity economy movement in all the continents… During the meeting, the Board confirmed its determination to pursue and reinforce the promotion of the social and solidarity economy as an answer to the crisis facing our countries.

RIPESS, a network based on the dynamics of five continental networks, brings together thousands of social and solidarity organisations and enterprises… During the four day meeting, the Board reiterated its belief that, more than ever, the social and solidarity economy (SSE) is a necessary alternative to the dominant development model which continues to generate poverty and exclusion and has lead the world into a deep environmental crisis..

Information sharing permitted the Board to observe that continental networks are consolidating themselves in Africa, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, Asia and North America. The Board adopted a strategy to facilitate communications and pursue the work to build strong continental networks.

Representatives from different continents brought to the Board’s attention situations which require both immediate support and a long term reflection… The mass movements in Arabic countries raise the question of the path and the economic strategies necessary to respond to the aspirations expressed by these popular uprising. Beyond the immediate and concrete solidarity that we must express to our Japanese brothers and sisters, how must we respond to the questions about our development model that this nuclear crisis has raised? Finally, the current repression against the popular movement in Honduras reminds us that the development of a social and solidarity economy must go hand in hand with the respect of human rights and the exercise of democracy.

In the next months, the RIPESS Board agreed to profit from several international events to continue its work of promotion, collaboration and proposition of the social and solidarity economy. The first event will be the International Forum on the social and solidarity economy (FIESS), which will take place in Montreal, Canada, October 17th to 20th 2011. This forum will bring together representatives of governments and civil society, to reflect on the policies needed to support the development of the social and solidarity economy… The Asian Solidarity Economy Forum, which will take place in November 2011 in Kuala Lumpur, will allow representatives from several Asian countries to give themselves a common strategy for the development of the social and solidarity economy in Asia. In 2012, it will be in Tunisia where the African network will meet to consolidate a SSE rooted in Africa’s realities… Finally, in response to an the invitation from RIPESS Latin-America and Caribbean (RIPESS-LAC), RIPESS agreed to meet again in RIO, during the RIO+20 event, to reinforce the contribution of social and solidarity economy to a larger movement for a more human, more sustainable and more equitable development model.

In conclusion, the RIPESS meeting in Paris underlined the fact that, in spite of different realities, social and solidarity economy actors around the world share a common vision and values. They are determined to continue the deepen their exchanges in order to better articulate and above all build a social and solidarity economy which places people and the future of our planet at the centre of its concerns.

For more information:

Maude Brossard
Chantier de l’économie sociale-Canada-Amérique du Nord
maude.brossard@chantier.qc.ca

«Français»

Paris, 6 avril 2011

Le Conseil d’administration du RIPESS (Réseau Intercontinental pour la Promotion de l’économie sociale et solidaire), réuni à Paris du 28 au 31 mars 2011, a pris acte des avancées significatives du mouvement de l’économie sociale et solidaire sur tous les continents et a confirmé sa détermination à poursuivre et renforcer son travail de promotion de l’économie sociale et solidaire comme réponse à la crise que traverse nos pays!

Le RIPESS, qui s’appuie avant tout sur les dynamiques de cinq réseaux continentaux, regroupent des milliers d’organisations et d’entreprises d’économie sociale et solidaire. Le Conseil a profité d’une rencontre de quatre jours à Paris pour déclarer que plus que jamais l’économie sociale et solidaire (ESS) est une alternative nécessaire au modèle dominant de développement qui continue à générer de la pauvreté et de l’exclusion et qui a mené notre planète à une crise environnementale aigüe.

Cette rencontre a permis de relever le fait que les réseaux continentaux se consolident en Afrique, en Europe, en Amérique Latine et dans les Caraïbes, en Asie de même qu’en Amérique du Nord. Le Conseil s’est donné une stratégie pour faciliter les communications et poursuivre le travail de construction de réseaux continentaux solides.

Les représentants de différents continents ont porté à l’attention du Conseil des situations qui exigent un appui immédiat et une réflexion à plus long terme. Les révoltes des peuples arabes soulèvent la question de la voie à suivre et de la stratégie économique à faire valoir pour répondre aux aspirations exprimées par ces soulèvements populaires. Au-delà de la solidarité immédiate et concrète qu’on se doit d’exprimer envers nos frères et sœurs japonais, comment répondre aux questions soulevées par cette catastrophe nucléaire en regard de notre modèle de développement? Finalement, la répression en cours contre les mouvements populaires au Honduras nous rappelle que le développement d’une économie sociale et solidaire doit aller de pair avec le respect des droits humains et l’exercice de la démocratie.

Pendant les prochains mois, le Conseil du RIPESS a convenu de profiter de plusieurs événements internationaux pour poursuivre son travail de promotion, concertation et de propositions pour l’économie sociale et solidaire. Le prochain rendez-vous sera le Forum international de l’économie sociale et solidaire (FIESS), qui aura lieu à Montréal, Canada, du 17 au 20 octobre 2011. Cette rencontre sera l’occasion de réfléchir ensemble, pouvoirs publics et société civile, sur les politiques nécessaires au développement de l’économie sociale et solidaire. La rencontre Asian Solidarity Economy Forum, qui aura lieu en novembre 2011 à Kuala Lumpur, permettra à des représentants de plusieurs pays asiatiques de se donner une stratégie commune pour le développement de l’économie sociale et solidaire en Asie. En 2012, ce sera en Tunisie que le Réseau africain se rencontrera pour consolider une ESS à la couleur de l’Afrique. Finalement, à l’invitation du RIPESS Latino-Américain et Caraïbes (RIPESS-LAC), le RIPESS s’est donné rendez-vous à Rio, dans le cadre de Rio +20, pour renforcer la contribution de l’économie sociale et solidaire à un mouvement plus large pour un développement plus humain, plus durable et plus équitable.

En dernier lieu, la rencontre de RIPESS à Paris a permis de constater que, malgré les réalités très diverses, les acteurs de l’économie sociale et solidaire partout sur la planète partagent une vision et des valeurs communes. Ils entendent continuer à approfondir les échanges afin de mieux articuler et surtout construire cette économie sociale et solidaire qui met l’humain et l’avenir de notre planète au cœur de ses préoccupations.

Pour plus d’informations :
Maude Brossard
Chantier de l’économie sociale –Canada-Amérique du Nord
maude.brossard@chantier.qc.ca

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Solidarity Economy: Origins and development of the concept and the movement

Posted by Admin on November 3, 2010

«English»
«Français»

The expression «Social economy» goes back to the mid 19th Century. Historians consider that the first modern example of social economy is the creation of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society in the United Kingdom (1844). The concept itself became known in France with Charles Dunoyer who published in 1830 Nouveau traité d’économie sociale and through activities of the the Société internationale des études pratiques d’économie sociale founded by Le Play in 1854. In general, «social economy» generally refers to a cooperative or a mutual association. The concept has been in general use in academic circles, namely in French and Spanish speaking countries.

Much more recently, the concept of «solidarity economy (SE) » or «social solidarity economy (SSE) » has emerged in Europe and in South America, and more recently in other continents. There are many different definitions and visions of what exactly this newer concept is. However, this will not be explored in this article.

Since there is some confusion about the origins of this new concept, this short article is an attempt to shed a little bit of light on the origins. The idea for this article goes back to the 2nd Asia Solidarity Economy Forum (Tokyo, November 2009) where was affirmed that the concept mentioned emerged from World Social Forum (WSF) process. Since Solidarity Economy was a well known concept before the first WSF in 2001, this is an attempt to give share information gathered over the years on the origins.

Since SE concepts are inseparable from movement building, this is also an attempt to show the two have grown together.

Early origins: 1986 to 1997
Even if the expression was used for the first time in 1937 by Felipe Lorda Aliaz in Por une economía solidaria entre el campo y la cuidad (For a solidarity economy between the rural and the city) Barcelona-CNT FAI, the concept only started being used in South America and in France, at about the same time, 1985 or 1986.

The exact origins in South America are known. Luis Rozetto from Chile is regarded as the author who has made the concept well known in South America (1986). In his website (in Spanish only), http://www.economiasolidaria.net/, he has many publications on this subject. He even mentions that the Pope John Paul II said in a speech in his trip to South America «An economy of solidarity is a great hope for South America». This website is dedicated to an online Masters on «Solidarity Economy and Sustainable Development».

At about the same time, the expression became known in France. Jean-Louis Laville is regarded by many as one or the first who spoke about the concept. However, it has not been possible to identify the origins as exactly as in South America. One thing is sure. Different activists in France confirm that the concept spread much in the late eighties.

The concept started being used in a fairly large scale by practitioners, in France and in South America in the nineties. In France, a non-profit calling itself REAS (Réseau de l’économie Alternative et solidaire) started in 1990 or 1991. The acronym in English would be «Alternative and Solidarity Economy Network». They had members in many regions in France. In 1993, I visited the headquarters in Paris (established in an abandoned factory). They were running different businesses such as a restaurant training young people who were on welfare, a Fair Trade shop, an incubator for small businesses, microfinance activities, etc. Even if they went bankrupt in 1998, they had a large impact. For examples, a REAS exists today in Spain.

Again in France, in October 1995, a half page advertisement was published in the newspaper Le Monde. It was called «Appeal for a Solidarity Economy». This appeal was signed by hundreds of leading Solidarity Economy practitioners and intellectuals. At about the same time, the expression became known in the French speaking province of Quebec in Canada, since extensive links exist with France.

In March 1997, a group of University people, from French and Spanish speaking countries, met at Leuven University in Belgium. They decided the time was ripe to organise international meetings.

Promoting Solidarity Economy: 1997 to 2010
Three initiatives that complement each other.

A- Globalisation of Solidarity meetings
A first meeting was held in Lima, Peru, in September 1997. They were expecting 175 participants. Much to their surprise, they had almost 400, from about 35 countries. Considering this success, and the growing interest of networking in an era of building alternatives to counter neoliberal globalisation, decided to organise other meetings.

Since then the International Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) has held international meetings every four years, alternating South-North. In October 2001 in Quebec City (over 400 participants), in Dakar Senegal in November 2005 (1200 participants) and in Luxemburg April 2009 (700 participants). At the first two meetings, almost all participants were either, French, Spanish or Portuguese, speaking. At the 2005 and 2009 meetings, there have been more and more participants from other countries, including Asian countries. The next global meeting is planned for Asia in 2013.

In most continents, continental meetings have been organised since 2005. Latin America has had four (4) continental meetings and now Asia has had two (2).

B- The Workshop on Social Solidarity Economy (WSSE) and ALOE
After a world meeting on an agenda for the 21st Century organised by the FPH (Foundation for the Progress of Humankind) in 2001 in France, the FPH supported the creation of different work groups (over 20). One of them, the WSSE, became quite dynamic in promoting Social Solidarity Economy. The WSSE became a sort of think tank of SSE, made up of individuals from different continents, including some members of organisations involved in RIPESS. In 2007, the WSSE became ALOE: Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and Solidarity Economy. The ALOE was formally launched in October 2007. http://aloe.socioeco.org/

C- The WSF events: 2001-2010
Solidarity Economy activists have been attending WSF events since the first Forum in 2001. The process of the WSF needs to be explained. The organisers, in respecting the Charter they have, let different movements organise themselves workshops and other activities.
In other words, the WSF does not organise activities on SSE (or any other subject). The initiatives come exclusively come the social movements themselves.

The WSF was a great opportunity for Brazilian SE activists. At the first Forum (2001) they decided to set up the Brazilian Solidarity Economy Forum (FBES). At the 2003 Forum in Brazil and at the 2004 event in Mumbai, many workshops on SSE were organised by activists. At the 2005 event in Porto Alegre, «economic alternatives» was one of the 11 themes. Together, RIPESS and ALOE organised different workshops in 2005. At the last WSF in Belém (January 2009), there were again many workshops organised SE and SSE organisations.

RIPESS is not a member of the WSF International Council. This possibly explains why SE/ SSE has mot yet become a main thematic at the different WSF meetings. . However, since SE and SSE activists self-organise large sets of activities, the «space» has been well occupied, and has grown at each event.

At the seam time, SE or SSE workshops and meetings are held in all continental of country Forums. For example, both in the 1st United States Social Forum (USSF) in Atlanta in 2007 and the 2nd USSF in Detroit in June 2010, more that 50 workshops in each event were devoted to this theme. The same is true for the different European Social Forums (ESF) and the Americas Social Forums.

To conclude
The promotion and use of Solidarity Economy has grown through a complex and interrelated process. The above three related initiatives have been intertwined in good part. Often, the same individuals and organisations have participated directly within the three initiatives. Since the RIPESS meetings are held every four years, the annual and now bi-annual events of the WSF have been of strategic importance to meet regularly. The WSSE, now ALOE has also helped extensively in elaborating the concept, and in its promotion.

This article has been written according to the knowledge gathered over the years. A note of caution. There are certainly many missing facts and information. And the above analysis is certainly an interpretation on my part.

However, I hope that it will contribute to telling the story, and that one day a more complete history and analyses is written.

Yvon Poirier
October 2010

Économie solidaire : Origines et développement du concept et du mouvement
L’expression «économie sociale» remonte au milieu du 19ème siècle. Les historiens considèrent que le premier exemple moderne de l’économie sociale est la création de la société des Pionniers de Rochdale au Royaume-Uni (1844). Le concept lui-même s’est fait connaître en France avec Charles Dunoyer avec la publication en 1830 du Nouveau Traité d’économie sociale et par des activités de la Société des Pratiques internationale des études d’économie sociale fondée par Le Play en 1854. Généralement «économie sociale» renvoie à une coopérative ou une association mutuelle. Le concept a été généralement utilisé dans les milieux universitaires, principalement dans les pays francophones et hispanophones.

Beaucoup plus récemment, le concept de «l’économie solidaire (ÉS)» ou «économie sociale et solidaire (ÉSS)» a vu le jour en Europe et en Amérique du Sud, et plus récemment dans d’autres continents. Il existe de nombreuses définitions et de visions de ce qu’est exactement cette nouvelle notion. Toutefois, ce ne sera pas exploré dans cet article.

Comme il ya une certaine confusion sur l’origine de ce nouveau concept, ce court article est une tentative de jeter un peu de lumière sur les origines. L’idée de cet article remonte au 2e Forum Asie d’économie solidaire tenu à Tokyo en novembre 2009. Lors de ce Forum, il a été affirmé que ce concept à émergé à travers le processus du Forum social mondial (FSM). Comme le concept d’économie solidaire était déjà bien connu avant que le premier FSM en 2001, cet article veut apporter des informations recueillies au fil des ans sur les origines.

Comme le concept d’ÉS est indissociable de la construction du mouvement, c’est aussi une tentative de montrer que les deux ont grandi ensemble.

Les origines: de 1986 à 1997
Même si l’expression a été utilisée pour la première fois en 1937 par Felipe Lorda Aliaz dans Por une economía solidaria entre el campo y la cuidad (Pour une économie solidaire entre le rural et la ville) Barcelone-CNT FAI, c’est en Amérique du Sud et en France, à peu près au même temps, soit vers 1985 et 1986 que le concept à commencé à être utilisé couramment.

Les origines exactes en Amérique du Sud sont connues. Luis Rozetto du Chili est considéré comme l’auteur qui a qui à fait connaître le concept (1986). Dans son site Web (en espagnol seulement), http://www.economiasolidaria.net/, il a de nombreuses publications sur ce sujet. Il mentionne même que le Pape Jean-Paul II a déclaré dans un discours lors d’un voyage en Amérique du Sud «L’économie solidaire est un grand espoir pour l’Amérique du Sud». Ce site est dédié à un Masters en ligne sur «l’économie solidaire et du développement durable».

À peu près au même moment, l’expression s’est fait connaître en France. Jean-Louis Laville est considérée par beaucoup comme l’un, ou le premier à l’avoir utilisée. Toutefois, il n’a pas été possible d’identifier les origines aussi exactement qu’en l’Amérique du Sud. Une chose est sûre. Différents militants en France confirment que la connaissance de cette notion était déjà assez répandue vers la fin des années 80 en France.

Le concept a commencé à être utilisé dans une assez grande échelle par les praticiens, en France et en Amérique du Sud dans les années quatre-vingt dix. En France, à but non lucratif qui se fait appeler REAS (Réseau de l’économie alternative et solidaire) a commencé en 1990 ou 1991. Ils avaient des membres dans de nombreuses régions en France. En 1993, j’ai visité le siège à Paris (installé dans une usine désaffectée). Ils géraient des entreprises différentes, comme un restaurant avec jeunes en insertion, une boutique de commerce équitable, un incubateur pour les petites entreprises, les activités de microcrédit etc. Même s’ils ont fait faillite en 1998, ils ont eu un grand impact. Un REAS existe toujours aujourd’hui en Espagne.

Encore une fois en France, en Octobre 1995, une publicité demi-page a été publiée dans le journal Le Monde. C’était un «Appel pour une Economie Solidaire». Cet appel était signé par des centaines de praticiens et intellectuels de premier plan de l’économie solidaire française. À peu près au même moment, l’expression est devenue connue au Québec, province francophone du Canada, en vertu de nombreux liens existants avec la France.

En mars 1997, un groupe d’universitaires, principalement francophones et hispanophones, se sont réunis à l’Université de Louvain en Belgique. Ils décidèrent que le moment était venu d’organiser des réunions internationales.

La promotion de l’économie solidaire : 1997 à 2010
Trois initiatives qui se complètent mutuellement.

A-Rencontres de globalisation de la solidarité
Une première réunion a eu lieu à Lima, au Pérou, en Septembre 1997. Ils s’attendaient à 175 participants. À leur grande surprise, il y avait avaient près de 400 participants, en provenance d’environ 35 pays. Compte tenu de ce succès, et l’intérêt croissant de construire des réseaux à l’ère de la construction d’alternatives pour lutter contre la mondialisation néolibérale, il a été décidé d’organiser d’autres réunions.

Depuis lors, le Réseau international pour la promotion de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire (RIPESS) a tenu des réunions internationales, tous les quatre ans, en alternance Nord-Sud. En Octobre 2001, à Québec (plus de 400 participants), à Dakar au Sénégal en Novembre 2005 (1200 participants) et au Luxembourg en avril 2009 (700 participants). Lors des deux premières réunions, presque tous les participants étaient soi de langue française, espagnole ou portugaise. A la 2005 et 2009 des réunions, il ya eu plus de plus de participants de d’autres pays, y compris d’Asie. La prochaine réunion mondiale est prévue pour l’Asie en 2013. Ces rencontres internationales sont de moments forts pour répandre les notions d’ESS. Par exemple, dans le cadre des préparatifs de la rencontre de Dakar en 2005, plusieurs réseaux se sont constitués en Afrique de l’ouest francophone, comme le Réseau national d’appui à la promotion de l’économie solidaire et solidaire (RENAPESS) au Mali crée en 2003.

Dans la plupart des continents, des rencontres continentales ont été organisées depuis 2005. L’Amérique latine a eu quatre (4) rencontres continentales et maintenant l’Asie a eu deux (2).

L’ensemble de ces rencontres contribuent à la fois au développement et la promotion du concept qu’à la construction du mouvement.

B-Pôle économie sociale et solidaire (PSES) et ALOE
Après une réunion mondiale sur un agenda pour le 21e siècle organisée par la FPH (Fondation pour le Progrès de l’Homme) en 2001 en France, la FPH a appuyé la création de différents groupes de travail (plus de 20). L’un d’eux, le PSES, est devenu très dynamique dans la promotion de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire. Le PSES est devenu une sorte de «think tank» de l’ESS, composé de personnes de différents continents, y compris certains membres des organisations impliquées dans RIPESS. En 2007, le PSES devenu ALOE: Alliance pour un monde responsable, pluriel et Economie Solidaire. L’ALOE a été officiellement lancé en Octobre 2007. http://aloe.socioeco.org/

C- Les rencontres du FSM: 2001-2010
Les militants de l’économie solidaire assistent aux rencontres du FSM depuis le premier Forum en 2001. Le processus du FSM a besoin d’être expliqué. Les organisateurs, dans le respect de la Charte qu’ils ont, s’occupent uniquement d’organiser les espaces. Ce sont les différents mouvements qui organisent leurs ateliers et autres activités.

En d’autres termes, le FSM n’est pas organisateur d’activités sur l’ÉSS (ni sur tout autre thème). Les initiatives proviennent exclusivement des mouvements sociaux eux-mêmes.

Le FSM a été une excellente occasion pour les militants de l‘économie solidaire brésilienne. Au premier Forum (2001), ils ont décidé de mettre en place le Forum brésilien d’économie solidaire (FBES). Lors du Forum de 2003 au Brésil et à celui de Mumbai en 2004, de nombreux ateliers sur l’ÉSS ont été organisées par les militants. Lors de l’événement 2005 à Porto Alegre, la question des «alternatives économiques» a été l’un des 11 thèmes du Forum. Ensemble, le RIPESS et le PSES ont organisé divers ateliers en 2005. Lors de la dernière édition du FSM à Belém (Janvier 2009), il y avait toujours de nombreux ateliers organisés par les organisations d’ÉS et d’ÉSS.

Le RIPESS n’est pas membre du Conseil International du FSM. Ceci explique peut-être pourquoi l’SE / SSE n’est pas encore devenu une thématique principale lors des différentes rencontres Toutefois, comme les militants de l’ÉS/ÉSS y auto-organisent un grand nombre d’activités, l’«espace» a été bien occupé, et a grandi à chaque événement.

Des ateliers d’ÉS/ESS ont également été organisés lors des Forum continentaux ou dans divers pays. Par exemple, à la fois dans du premier Forum social des États-Unis (USSF) à Atlanta en 2007 et lors du 2e USSF à Detroit en Juin 2010, plus de 50 ateliers ont été consacrés à ce thème. La même chose est vraie pour les différents Forums Sociaux Européens (FSE) et les Forums sociaux des Amériques.

Pour conclure
La promotion et l’utilisation de l’Economie Solidaire a grandi à travers un processus complexe et interdépendant. Ces trois initiatives sont en bonne partie liées. Souvent, les mêmes personnes et organisations ont participé directement dans les trois initiatives. Comme les réunions du RIPESS ne sont organisées qu’aux quatre ans, les événements annuels et maintenant biannuelles du FSM ont été d’une importance stratégique pour se rencontrer régulièrement. Le PSES, maintenant ALOE a également contribué largement à l’élaboration du concept, et sa promotion.

Cet article a été rédigé, a partir les connaissances acquises au fil des ans. Une note de prudence. Il ya certainement de nombreux faits et informations qui sont manquantes. Et l’analyse qui précède est certainement une interprétation de ma part.

Cependant, j’espère que cela contribuera à raconter l’histoire, et que un jour une histoire et des analyses plus complètes seront écrites.

Yvon Poirier
Octobre 2010

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