Let's build together a common knowledge base for a solidarity economy
Solecopedia is a collective and participative project from Ripess Europe of a free and multilingual wiki, which aims to make the different concepts of the social solidarity economy (SSE) accessible to all. Without pretending to use the grandiloquent words of the academic world, this Glossary of concepts is a small contribution to order all our ideas of the SSE and aims to help the actors of this economy to elaborate together a common frame of reference, which allows to overcome the problems of communication from one country, one language, or one sector to another. We chose to use the wiki as a means to have a collective evolving knowledge that is enriched by the collaboration of several different approaches.
These concepts are the result of different projects, works or activities in which different people from different organisations, movements, initiatives, etc. have participated. Of course, there are no absolute truths and there will certainly be many incomplete definitions, but little by little and thanks to the participation of the members, we will be able to establish shared understandings (rather than definitions) that include all the diversities that cross between us.
Basis of participation in Solecopedia: Anyone with experience in the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is invited to participate and add concepts and proposals to Solecopedia, always with a collective responsibility; it is a project of all of us. We are aware of the symbolic charge that the creation of knowledge represents and the way it has always been articulated from the West, constructing colonial, patriarchal, formative, adult-centred realities and so on. Solecopedia seeks to value other ways of creating knowledge by actively encouraging the participation of other continents.
Comments that are sexist, racist, xenophobic, LGTBIQ-phobic or include any form of discrimination will be censored in this collective wikipedia.
Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) is part of the broader vision of transformative economies, movements, paradigms, initiatives that bring elements of criticism of the dominant economic framework into play and seek to implement real and concrete alternatives to transform the economy, towards a fairer, peaceful, more socially and environmentally sustainable world. It includes:
- Ecofeminism, Feminist Economy and the Care Economy
- The Commons
- Agroecology and Food sovereignty
- Community-led Initiatives
- Ecological Transition
- Political Ecology
- Three theoretical approaches - Third sector/Non profit sector; Social Economy; Solidarity Economy
- The synthesis: Social and Solidarity Economy
- Possible definitions by Ripess and its members
Social Solidarity Economy rights, values and principles
- Equality, equity and Justice
- Sumak Kawsay/Buen vivir
- Economic democracy and economic citizenship
Structures of Social Solidarity Economy (SSE)
- Social Enterprises
- Solidarity-based entrepreneurship
- Informal groups and initiatives
- SSE networks
- Free-software/opensource platforms
- Ethical banks
Practices of Social Solidarity Economy (SSE)
Largely used by various transformative economies movements (see above), the notion of initiative makes it possible to grasp the political and citizen dimension of the SSE, which cannot be fully grasped by the notion of enterprise alone (even a solidarity-based enterprise).
- Solidarity initiatives are the result of bottom-up collective dynamics taken by non-institutional players.
- They refer both to a capacity to act or to undertake collectively and to the beginning of an action.
- They are approaches to socialisation and the territorialised organisation of reciprocal practices and commitments that are rooted in people's daily lives and test their lifestyles.
- They make it easier for citizens to reappropriate global issues (global warming, sustainable food, cultural diversity, empowerment of residents, etc.) on the basis of concrete, local experiments.
- The initiatives are based on solidarity and encourage mutual support between peers, cooperation between stakeholders and collective expression between involved people who share common experiences and concerns.
- The organisational dimension of the initiatives is indeterminate and plural. It does not necessarily ultimately take the form of a company to be developed. The notion of initiative allows us to grasp the process of creating an activity - "from idea to project" - upstream of the formalisation of an organisation. It also covers local networking and cooperation between different organisations and local players (from producer to consumer) downstream of business management.
- Initiatives are based on collectives combining personal and citizen commitment, productive organisations and political action. The notion of initiative makes it possible to take account of the dual economic and political dimensions of multi-stakeholder dynamics. These initiatives, which create economic activity and local wealth, can also aim to bring about social change.
Solidarity initiatives are at the heart of :
- Alternative local food networks
- Alternative Housing
- Another way to produce: Supply chains, Tourism, Fair Trade
- Access to resources: Land, water, etc.
- Local renewable energy: energy resources, mobility
- Territorial embeddedness : citizens initiatives and local public policies
Transformative Public Policies (SSE) and existing legislations
Evaluation tools for SSE/labels/criteria/indicators
A simple users'guide
- How to add contents?
- How to add a picture
- How to reference another page in Solecopedia
- How to add references
- Definitions from Appui à l’émergence et au développement d’initiatives d’économie solidaire, MES, 2023