The 1st GSEF Global Youth Camp for SSE Sketch

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The 1st Edition of the GSEF Global Youth Camp for SSE




Sponsored by the City of Seoul and jointly organised with GSEF, iCOOP, HBM, MTA, Underdogs, CHNGR and Happy Coop Tour, the 1st edition of GSEF Global Youth Camp for SSE successfully took place from 22nd to 25th of August in Seoul and Gurye, South Korea. For four days, over 100 youth social economy actors from 25 different countries identified current social challenges and discussed ways of resolving the problems through seminars, on-site workshops and working group discussions facilitated by the co-organisers of the camp. The camp was a follow up efforts of the GSEF 2016 Montreal Declaration (Resolution No.6: Recognise and support youth as important actors for the future of the SSE movement).

On the first day of the camp, in plenary I, youth representative panelists from various sectors ranging from social enterprise (Korea), cooperative networks (South Africa), student networks (Canada) explored potentials of SSE in generating positive impacts on our community. Also, participants engaged in on-site workshops in the field of social innovation, social financing, housing cooperatives and urban regeneration. Throughout the first day of the camp, participants were able to acquaint with other participants from diverse backgrounds and working in various spectrums of social economy initiatives.

<Plenary I: Action of Youth: Changing the Society through SSE, 22 Aug, Seoul City Hall>

From the second day of the camp, all programmes were offered in Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP, which is the one of the biggest consumer cooperative in Korea. In the plenary II session, young social entrepreneurs shared their experiences of leveraging social entrepreneurship. 4 panelists from the UK, Australia, India and Korea shared their stories of empowering local communities and engaging with social movements through various initiatives.

<Plenary II: Case Studies: Young Social Entrepreneurs, 23 August, Gurye>

After the plenary session, all participants were divided into 5 thematic working groups according to their interested topics such as decent work (I and II), housing, social finance and local community. Throughout the facilitated working group discussions, participants were able to better understand the topic and exchange their experience with other participants of the working group who are working in or planning to engage in the sectors.

<Elective Session I: Working Group Discussion, 23 Aug, Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP>

<Elective Session I: working group discussion, 23 Aug, Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP>

On the second day of the camp, all youth participants visited the Korean temple ‘Hwaeomsa’ and then get to know more about other participants through 'Culture Night' event.

<Hwaeomsa Temple visit: 23 Aug, Gurye>

<Culture Night opening by Phare, the Cambodian Circus, 23 Aug, Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP>

<Global Culture Night, 23 Aug, Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP>

On the third day of the camp, whole camp programmes were offered by different groups to deepen the understanding of the topic as well as about their group. Also, there was a chance for all the participants to explore one of the largest consumer cooperatives in Korea, iCOOP’s production facilities to learn about how consumer cooperatives can produce and distribute organic food while supporting local farmers for the benefit of consumers. In the evening, participants teamed up with participants outside of their working group to engage in group project called ‘Birthgiving’ to come up with innovative projects to change the society.

<Birthgiving Activities, 24 August, Gurye Naturaldream Park of iCOOP>

On the last day, all youth participants’ wrapped up past three days of discussions and contributed to writing up the Global Youth Declaration which identifies current challenges for youth and how to promote SSE as a means to overcome the hurdles and make positive changes in our society. You can read the full youth declaration here.

* All photos taken by photographer Sangjun Kim (