The ILO Social and Solidarity Economy Academy (SSE Academy)

The ILO SSE Academy is an interregional training opportunity gathering practitioners and policymakers from all around the world, to share their experiences, best practices and challenges from their work in the SSE.


The concept of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) cuts across all four dimensions of the Decent Work Agenda. A high level capacity building programme on SSE was proposed by more than 200 practitioners on the occasion of the ILO Regional Conference on Social Economy held in Johannesburg, in October 2009. This proposal was then further discussed during the ILO task force meeting on social economy in February 2010. The ILO task force members agreed to support an annual “Social Economy Academy” whose first edition would be organized in October 2010 by the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO).

Organized together with the ITC-ILO, the training seeks to provide a better understanding of the concept of SSE, discuss the relevance of SSE as a development alternative and its relation to the ILO’s Decent Work Agenda, and further build and strengthen networks of SSE practitioners. The first SSE Academy took place in Turin (Italy) in 2010. Since then, twelve SSE Academies have taken place in Montreal (Canada), Agadir (Morocco), Campinas (Brazil), Johannesburg (South Africa), Puebla (Mexico), San José (Costa Rica), Seoul (Republic of Korea) and Luxembourg City (Luxembourg), Turin (Italy), Madrid (Spain) and Portugal (online).


The objectives of the ILO SSE Academy are:
  • Contribute to a better understanding of the concept of Social and Solidarity Economy;
  • Discuss the relevance of SSE as a new development alternative and how to relate it to ILO’s Decent Work Agenda;
  • Strengthen the impact of SSE through the creation of a community of practice.
The Academy will enable participants to:
  • have a better understanding of the different areas where the SSE can play a role (employment creation, social protection, social dialogue, innovation, environment, green jobs, informal economy, local economic development, etc.);
  • refer to SSE legal and policy frameworks from around the world;
  • identify the key features of an enabling environment for an effective SSE;
  • refer to experiences of successful SSE initiatives from different areas of practice;
  • make use of tools and approaches to effectively promote SSE and take actions within the context of such initiatives.

The Collective Brain

The Collective Brain is a virtual multilingual interactive space which aims to enrich the ILO Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy and to facilitate exchanges and cooperation beyond the face-to-face interactions during the academy. Its main purpose is to allow current, former and future participants and other key players in the field of SSE to remain engaged, cooperate and deepen their knowledge through an online platform in spite of geographical distances and language barriers. A forum is available to all users. Various documents and publications on the SSE are available, along with the SSE Academy Collections. News is also shared on the platform.

Past Academy editions: