12th Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy - Elective 2: Towards an inclusive and gender-transformative SSE: a thinking lab

News | 21 January 2022
The elective courses of the SSE Academy were designed for practitioners from around the world, to debate and share good SSE practices in specific areas.

The second elective of the academy took place in English, Spanish and Portuguese on 16, 17 and 18 November 2021. It focused on exploring and framing trajectories, experiences and organisational models that can make the SSE more inclusive and gender-transformative. The elective was coordinated and prepared by Mr. Valentina Verze (ILO) and Ms. Francesca Biasiato (ITCILO). The sessions were facilitated by Ms. Francesca Biasiato (ITCILO).

It presented tools, inputs and good practices to participants interested in exploring the role that SSE units can play for social inclusion of more vulnerable populations through employment inclusion, service provision, capacity-building, and other services. A “gender lens” was applied, with a particular attention to intersectionalities between different vulnerabilities and gender. Pathways and organizational models of the SSE, that offer tools and opportunities for effective social inclusion, were presented. The capacity of the SSE units to design, apply and adapt strategies of inclusion based on the needs of the different vulnerable groups (e.g. people with disabilities, elderly people, youth, indigenous communities, etc.) was highlighted with an emphasis on their diversity and specificities. The workshop was structured as a “thinking lab” to reflect, exchange ideas, network and get inspired to take action towards inclusiveness and equity. The session started with an ice-breaker exercise where the participants were asked to explore the physical space around them, in search of “gendered objects” surrounding them.

The first speaker Mr. Alessandro Valera, Global Impact and Evidence Director of Ashoka Italy, made a presentation on “Social innovation as system change” focusing on social innovation and the need for a systemic approach to innovation. He reflected on how to activate social inclusion from a gender perspective.

The second presenter was Mr. Manuel de Lemos, President of the National Secretariat of the União das Misericórdias Portuguesas (UMP). His presentation focused on the role of the SSE units in the inclusion of elderly people and in tackling active ageing population strategies, such as social action, continuous care, social services and education.

The presentation of Mr. Valera is available here: en - es - pt

The second session focused on the sharing of experiences from the Lusophone SSE. The first presentation was provided by Mr. Marco Domingues, President of Animar (Portuguese Association for Local Development). He reflected on the role of the SSE as a basis for social inclusion and gender equality.

The presentation of Mr. Domingues is available here: en - es - pt.

The second presentation was given by Ms. Idalina Freire Gonçalves, President of the Organização Mulheres Cabo Verde (OMCV). She focused on skills training towards acquiring access to microcredit. After these two presentations, the participants engaged in the Thinking Lab in small groups to reflect and exchange on specific topics related to gender and inclusion.

The third and final session of the elective aimed at reflecting on the role of the SSE in shaping gender-responsive policy-making. Ms. Vanessa Pillay, Organization & Representation Programme Coordinator for Africa at WIEGO reflected on what women’s empowerment, agency, leadership and representation must look like in the context of the SSE.

After the presentation of Ms. Pillay, the participants were engaged in small groups in the Thinking Lab, and then a restitution of their discussions was presented in plenary.

The presentation of Ms. Pillay is available here: en - pt

The elective benefited from active engagement of participants in group work and Q&A sessions.

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