12th Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy - Elective 6: SSE, Local Economic Development and social innovation

News | 10 January 2022
The elective courses of the SSE Academy were designed for practitioners from around the world, to debate and share good practices, ideas and models for SSE action in specific areas.

The sixth elective of the academy took place on 22, 23 and 24 November 2021 and it focused on analysing and highlighting the nexus between Local Economic Development, Social Innovation and the SSE. It was made available for participants in English, French and Portuguese. The elective was prepared, coordinated and facilitated by Mr. Martin Gasser (ITCILO).

This elective offered an opportunity to reflect on cooperation for social change at the local level. The participants were exposed to a variety of cases that have social change as their objective, and that are trying to reach this objective in different ways.

The first day of the elective focused on the introduction of alternative platforms for social and environmental transition. The participants were encouraged to explore how the digital economy may be related to goals of transformation to sustain social and environmental justice. The first presentation was made by Ms. Laura Aufrère, a PhD student at University Sorbonne Paris Nord University and member of the EU Scientific Committee of RIPESS. She briefly introduced how to frame social innovation and the SSE for social and environmental change and justice. Eventually, Ms. Corinne Vercher-Chaptal, professor of Sorbonne Paris Nord University and coordinator of the research program TAPAS – There Are Platforms as Alternatives, took the floor. She presented the role of Alternative Platforms, in particular through the case study of CoopCycle. CoopCycle is a service of sustainable transportation and logistics in close proximity. It offers an open source delivery software designed as an alternative platform to those of large food tech companies. This software allows delivery drivers to organise their work autonomously and to set up the tool in such a way that it serves their uses and needs. CoopCycle is developing as a federation of logistics cooperatives of delivery drivers specializing in last-mile bicycle delivery. This guarantees a fair remuneration and the benefit of a mutualised social protection.

The presentation of Ms. Aufrère is available here: en - fr - pt
The presentation of Ms. Vercher-Captal is available here: en - fr - pt

During the second day, the participants of the elective were presented with two examples of social innovation through social enterprise incubation. Through the examples, participants explored what is at stake at the local level for social and environmental justice and what tools can help to assess social justice emancipation from social business. Ms. Inês Sequeira, founder and director of the Casa do Impacto (Portugal), presented the case of her organisation and its social impact. The second presentation was provided by Ms. Corinne Hartmann and Mr. Abdoul Alpha Dia, members of the SOS group. Initially, they explained what SOS Group is and what are its main activities in the field of local economic development and sustainability in Africa. They focused in particular on the research on «SSE and Social innovation in Africa» with the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit and Social Finance programme. They also focused on a case study from Senegal which provided an example of social innovation brought by traditional SSE practices in the country. During this presentation, Mr. Dia outlined the new legal framework on SSE in Senegal, and provided key recommendations for supporting SSE and social innovation in the country.

The presentation of Ms. Hartmann and Mr. Dia is available here: fr - pt

The third day of the elective focused on public procurement with social impact at the local level. Mr. Jason Nardi, coordinator for RIPESS EU and representative for RIPESS intercontinental, provided a presentation and some international examples of public procurement with social impact at the local level. Following his presentation, Ms. Gabriella D’Amico, representative of the Rome Social Solidarity Economy District, presented the case of the Local Food Policy Councils in Rome and their relations with public procurement.

The presentation of Ms. D’Amico is available here: en - fr - pt.

The elective benefited from the active participation of participants in groupwork and Q&A sessions.

For more information on the 12th edition of the SSE Academy, click here.