• "The social and solidarity economy is a dream that we are dreaming for 200 years. [...] It's up to us to combine our skills and bring together our efforts."

    - Paul Singer, National Secretary of the Solidarity Economy in Brazil

    What is the solidarity economy?


    There are several definitions of the solidarity economy. However, we find this one by RIPESS, the international network for the social and solidarity economy, particularly useful: 

    "The social and solidarity economy is a movement that aims to change the current social and economic system. Solidarity economic principles serve as the new basis – principles based on solidary exchange that connects individual needs with those of the community."

    This might sound quite complicated, but put simply it means to create decent living conditions for everyone around the world. It means that the economy meets the needs of all people instead of just creating more needs – and that national and international policy creates the conditions to enable a supportive framework for this to succeed.

    Who is involved in the solidarity economy?

    The people who lose out in the current system, or people who just want to act differently by exchanging, sharing, using and producing resources together. Alternatives to the dominant economic system are as old as the system itself. People who are involved in the solidarity economy might use Fairtrade products, produce goods and services together or own assets and resources collectively. They might get together in local exchange trading systems, or make use of networks to organise and inform themselves.

    What is SUSY?

    The SUSY project brings together and shows you examples of the solidarity economy, so that people involved and interested in solidarity-based initiatives can network and interact, and we can share and open up the idea of the solidarity economy to more and more people. By collecting and sharing these examples, we aim to gain new insights into the solidarity economy. We hope to enable reflection and discussion in order to discover and embark on more and more future opportunities and possibilities for the solidarity economy. At the same time – like other initiatives in the solidarity economy – we are building links with political decision makers so to increase their support for an alternative way of doing things.

    WE are a network of 26 associations in 23 European countries enhancing the competences of local actors that are engaged in the social and solidarity economy, supporting a new paradigm of economic development in order to fight poverty and to diffuse an equitable and sustainable way of living.


    SUSY PARTNERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM

    The Co-operative College

    The Co-operative College is an educational charity based in Manchester which is dedicated to the promotion of co-operative values, ideas and principles within co-operatives, communities and society. The College brings to the project extensive experience working to capacity-build among co-operatives in the developing world, as well as its involvement in international co-operative networks and partnerships with transnational bodies.

    The College is compiling best case studies of co-operatives and social enterprises in the North West and North East of England, as well as overseeing best practice case studies in the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

     

    Think Global

    Think Global is an education charity based in London which helps people to understand global issues and stands for a more just and sustainable world. Think Global’s work includes working to raise teachers’ awareness and effectiveness in development education, and creating global learning resources for schools.

    For SUSY, Think Global is compiling case studies of co-operatives and social enterprises in London and the South East of England.

     

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