Global Social Economy Forum

About

GSEF is an international association of local governments and civil society networks, promoting the social economy to achieve inclusive and sustainable local development. GSEF promotes various forms of social economy, including social enterprises, cooperatives, foundations, mutuals and self-help groups that put people over profit. GSEF believes that systemic changes start first at the local level based on the partnership between civil society, and the public and private sectors. Thus, the GSEF is co-chaired by both local government (represented by the mayor of the chair city) and a representative of civil society networks. As of December 2018, GSEF brings together 49 cities and social economy networks coming from 29 countries around the world. 

Find out more about GSEF members

Main activities

In between the biannual forum on social economy, which has grown to become one of the biggest international social economy gatherings in the world, GSEF operates in 5 key areas :


  1. Capacity Building & Training

  2. Knowledge Exchange 

  3. Research and Publication

  4. Networking

  5. International Advocacy 

Forums

GSEF organises biannual international forums with its member cities across the continents. It is one of the most prestigious international gatherings on social economy, bringing together all stakeholders from international organisations, local/central governments and civil society networks. GSEF forums serve as a platform for mutual learning, agenda setting and knowledge exchange. 

  • GSEF 2013: ‘New Discovery of Collaboration’ (Seoul, Korea 5-7 Nov 2013)
  • GSEF 2014: (Inaugural meeting) ‘Solidarity for Change’ (Seoul, Korea 17-19 Nov 2014)
  • GSEF 2015: Steering Committee meeting (Seoul, Korea 4-5 2015)
  • GSEF 2016: ‘Local Governments and Social Economy Stakeholders – Allies for the intelligent and sustainable development of cities’ (Montreal, Canada 7-9 2016)
  • GSEF 2018: ‘Social Economy and Cities – Values and competitiveness for an inclusive and sustainable local development’ (Bilbao, Spain 1-3 October 2018)
  • GSEF 2020: (to be held in Mexico City)

 

What is the Social Economy (Social and Solidarity Economy?)

(Source: UNTFSSE - United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy)

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) refers to the production of goods and services by a broad range of organizations and enterprises that have explicit social and often environmental objectives, and are guided by principles and practices of cooperation, solidarity, equity and democratic self-management. SSE, therefore, is fundamentally about crafting a form of economy that is centred on social protection and equality. The SSE movement that is growing worldwide is attempting to reassert social control over the economy by prioritizing social objectives above profit maximization, recognizing the key role of collective action and active citizenship for both economic and political empowerment of disadvantaged groups in society, and reintroducing notions of ethics, sharing, equity and democracy in economic activity.