International Newsletter on Sustainable Local Development
Newsletter #78 – May 1st, 2011
Message from the Editorial Team
RIPESS - Press Release
FIESS – Programme and registration
The Board meeting of RIPESS national that was held in Paris from March 28th – 31st is the basis of the main news item for the 78th number of our Newsletter. This was the first time since 2009 that almost all the Board members had been able to get together for long enough to have time to become familiar with each others’ activities and discuss fundamental questions and stakes. This was all possible thanks to the invitation extended by the FPH (Fondation pour le Progrès de l’Homme) in the context of their partnership with the RIPESS coordination; Nancy Neamtan of the Chantier de l’Economie Sociale du Québec currently takes rsponsibility for duties of the secretariat.. It flags an important moment that marks both the conclusion and a fresh starting point for the solidarity economy movement as a whole. Key issues were ironed out, ensuring that values are genuinely shared. There was agreement on the roadmap for the collective project of the next two years; it will be carried forward by a truly international team, grounded in concrete practice and implemented at intercontinental level. A work procedure and timeline were built around an international citizens’ agenda. The first stages are included in the Press Release published on April 6th. We have included it in this issue.
For all three of us, this was a particularly satisfying moment, as our ongoing involvement enabled us to participate in the non-official business of the Board’s exchange. It is also very encouraging, and helps inspire us to continue our work of sharing information on community and local initiatives, as well as events in the networks we are in contact with at global level. There is a clear commitment to mutualisation and proving what works by illustrating through existing examples, as well as organising new forms and levels of solidarity. The approach includes a clearer perspective of how to link the global to the local, and to reconstruct an economy that is grounded in our respective local territories. And far from being a contradiction, the global dimension is present in the local. This is all very concrete; it is still however very complex to gain acceptance for democratic complementarities and cooperation in terms of local practice, general organisation, regulation and behaviour... It involves huge challenges to achieve a peaceful shift to new development perspectives, to reduce inequalities, stop the destruction of natural resources, move away from nuclear energy and gain acceptance for the idea of transforming the dominant growth model that is not a viable one. How can we manage to move forward from the current situation to a planet that will be viable for us all to share?
Two requests that were made during the meeting focus on the alternative dimension that solidarity economy has already considered in recent decades. Members of RIPESS whose countries are in Regions that are currently witnessing popular uprisings against dictatorships wonder how they can help the democratic culture of their societies to develop. Our networks have accumulated collective learning experiences, but we have yet to invent ways and means for supporting transfers of this scale; it is a real challenge for citizenship and global peace. Our Japanese friends have also sent us an appeal. They are coping with the consequences of a situation that is not of their making: they have requested we revive discussion on the nuclear issue, as nuclear disasters are destructive of all the most fundamental aspects of life. For aid to be effective, local solidarity is the first essential step; but medium and long term perspectives for developing the kind of world we want for future generations, means reopening discussion on these issues. If we fail to discuss the kind of future we want, how can we achieve a strong enough consensus to stay the course? And given our experience and outcomes we have already achieved, if we don’t take up these issues, who else will do so?
Our Newsletter hopes to contribute to these perspectives through its ongoing editorial line: independent, bottom-up, our modest voluntary contribution to a commitment to share concrete examples and collective convergence that will help us all become more influential and develop our ability to speak up. We remain convinced that alternative approaches are a more realistic option today, that they are more desirable than the current irresponsibility, accelerated by its own impetus, and that reigns at the highest levels and is driving us all towards destruction. We have always attached great importance since we started publishing our Newsletter, to building solidarity that reaches across cultural and linguistic divides. That is why we publish in four languages, because there is still far too little exchange of knowledge and too few horizontal relationships between local inhabitants wherever they happen to live, with those in other countries, who speak other languages, at different levels of society, with those who are also trying to build and gain recognition for new forms of solidarity, aimed at changing our current model of society.
So we would like to call on all of you, as subscribers to this Newsletter, to express your opinion on the usefulness, the subjects and content, as well as sending us your ideas for increasing and multiplying the impacts...so that we can all join in helping these objectives to develop in the current difficult times. And publish more of your stories in the various parts of the world.
Participants at the RIPESS meeting in Paris
RIPESS - Press release
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 (ASEF), 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 to 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:
Chantier de l’économie sociale-Canada-Amérique du Nord
FIESS – Program and Registration
Dear colleagues, collaborators, partners and friends,
We are extremely pleased and enthusiastic to announce that the Program of the International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy (FIESS) is now available online, and the Registration is now open.
All registration to the event, which will take place in Montreal from the 17th to the 20th October 2011, will be done online at www.fiess2011.orgWhen registering, you will also be able to reserve a hotel room for your stay and enrol in other activities organized around the FIESS, in particular field trips to visit local social economy organisations.
On the website, you will also fin detailed information on the activities and presentations that will take place during the FIESS, practical information on Montreal and the Palais des Congrès where the event will be held, and a FAQ section to answer any other eventual questions you may have.
We look forward to seeing you in great numbers this October!
Le Chantier de l’économie sociale
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Our thanks to:
Paula Garuz Naval (Ireland) for the Spanish translation
Michel Colin (Brazil) for the Portuguese translation
Judith Hitchman (France / Ireland) for the English translation
Évéline Poirier (Canada) for proof reading (FR-EN)
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