GSEF members' 2017 seasonal greetings

Friday, December 29, 2017

1. [Chantier économie sociale]







Retrospective of 2017

In 2017 the Chantier produced new strategic orientations that will lead us until 2020. We continued to strive to promote the social economy, or collective entrepreneurship as it is also known in Quebec, as a natural response to the two biggest challenges faced by humanity: the rise in inequalities and environmental degradation. Given the province-wide municipal elections this year, work was particularly focused on what local governments can and should do to support the social economy as well as innovative ways to answer new or unmet community needs and aspirations. Internationally, we worked with local and international partners to support the strengthening of C.I.T.I.E.S., the international transfer center created at GSEF2016. We also continued to host visiting international delegations and exchange with practitioners from all over the world that share our interest in increasing the solidarity, equity and transparency of our current economic development model.

Wishes for 2018

We are hoping for a 2018 filled with enthusiastic and constructive exchanges between practitioners, researchers and government actors on all continents, particularly at GSEF2018 in Bilbao. We are enthusiastic about attending GSEF2018, and about supporting its success by mobilising a wide array of actors from Quebec and elsewhere. We are looking forward to see how the local reality in the Basque region will translate into the program of activities and how C.I.T.I.E.S. will be able to contribute to the exchanges. Closer to home, this year we hope to see the government of Canada launch an ambitious social innovation strategy; a newly elected Quebec government strengthen and expand its support for the social economy; and an increasing number local governments work in partnership with social economy actors in favour of the economic, social, environmental and cultural development of their community.


2. [Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy]

Dear GSEF friends and colleagues,

As the year 2017 comes to end, I reflect on the many activities and achievements of GSEF, some of which I was fortunate to attend and in which I could actively participate. I wish to congratulate the entire GSEF team for its excellent work. It seems like yesterday that we launched GSEF together in Seoul; its accomplishments since then have been remarkable. Collaboration with the ILO Academy in 2017 was a great success. I was able to participate in several sessions and plenaries and met with participants from many countries in the North and the South, each and all of whom are contributing to the growth of the social and solidarity economy globally. The exchange and sharing of experiences and expertise provided by the ILO Academy are invaluable to build the SSE internationally. Co-hosting this with GSEF in 2017,  brought the Academy to Seoul and allowed for discussions for further collaboration. In October, the Karl Polanyi Institute Asia (KPIA) hosted the 13th International Karl Polanyi Conference, another great success. Once again, GSEF collaborated in an important international event that brought together many researchers and practitioners from numerous countries to discuss the challenges facing contemporary society. And it provided an extraordinary opportunity to bring Asian Polanyi scholars and practitioners together for the first time. GSEF’s support for the KPIA provided an important opportunity to widen the discussion on SSE throughout Asia. For 2018, as Director of the Karl Polanyi Institute at Concordia University in Montreal and as a partner of both the KPIA and GSEF, I look forward to pursuing the dialogue begun in Seoul in October 2017, a great event and an even greater opportunity for the future.
Internationally, GSEF was present in numerous events and activities throughout 2017. It is recognized as an important international network by international organizations and governments throughout the world, especially at the local and regional level but also nationally as it becomes well known for its role in representing and promoting the SSE. 
All eyes are on Bilbao for 2018. As GSEF meets for the 3rd time, following its very successful 2016 forum in Montreal, I look forward to working with GSEF members on this event and, of course, I will attend. We have many challenges ahead, not the least of which is the increasingly important role of cities in meeting the many challenges ahead. The SSE is recognized for its contribution to an inclusive and sustainable future, for its capacity to contribute effectively to the United Nations SDG goals for 2030. We will have our work cut out for us in 2018, but with actively engaged members and an efficient and highly competent team under the extraordinary leadership of Laurence Kwark,  and its co-Chairs, Won Soon Park, Mayor o Seoul and Reverend Kyong Yong Song, GSEF will continue to demonstrate its critical role internationally.
I wish all my GSEF friends and colleagues and the very large international SSE network reached by GSEF,  a very happy holiday season and best wishes for the New Year. 
Margie Mendell
Director, Karl Polanyi Institute
Concordia University, 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3. <Human Resource Development Foundation>
4. [Conflict Victim & Single Women Development Centre: CVSWDC]
As we are working for single and conflict affect women for their socio-economic development, we would like to send the following greeting message. "Women Entrepreneurship and Empowerment for Heaven Homes" Once again, Happy New Year 2018 and wishing GSEF progress and prosperity in coming days on this occasion. 


5. <Seoul Metropolitan Government>

In 2017, Seoul Metropolitan Government successfully launched the 8th SSE Academy with ILO and it demonstrates our efforts of implementing new projects in cooperation with international organisations including ILO, UNRISD and C.I.T.I.E.S. We believe that it is crucial to promote SSE through international networking and we will put our utmost efforts on extending the scale of SSE in Seoul through international cooperation for the coming year. Societal problems we are facing today, such as youth unemployment, widening inequality and ageing population require to come up with sustainable ways of development that can achieve both economic and social values.

The SSE has been emerged as an alternative in tackling the issues and not only Seoul but also Korean central government are establishing mid-long term plans for promoting the SSE. Seoul believes that improving public well-being through the SSE will enable to improve citizens’ quality of life and genuine happiness. Seoul hopes the successful launch of the GSEF 2018 Bilbao and continuous growth of GSEF’s network as a core international SSE association.


6. <PhilSEN: Philippine Social Enterprise Network>

017 has been exciting for the Philippine Social Enterprise Network as we deepened our reach in the Philippines and Asia as we work closely with civil society and social entrepreneurs, including cooperatives, government agencies, chambers of commerce and inter-government platforms to solidify the foundations of a robust social enterprise- social solidarity economy ecosystem while remaining true to certain causes such as poverty alleviation, gender empowerment, social inclusion, environment awareness, local economic development, among others. PhilSEN has been humbled and inspired by the work of existing and new partners as we build on our gains this year as we forge on the next year towards sustainable development and a just society.

We enjoin all partners in welcoming the New Year and we look forward to supporting and contributing into social solidarity economy activities in 2018. As we always say in PhilSEN, let’s DO WELL, DO GOOD and DO RIGHT!


7. <Association of the Seoul Declaration Japan>


We are very glad to introduce our message to the GSEF members. Our  2017 year review  and  2018 objective is as follows;

2017 year review
We, the Association of the Seoul Declaration" Japan (ASDJ), were established in June 2014 as an outcome of  GSEF start congress in 2013 and since then ASDJ has participated in GSEF 2014 Seoul and 2016 Montreal organizing our delegation of above 30 members.
What we have done this year are mainly 1) to manage involve local governments into SSE, 2) to begin preparation for our participation in GSEF 2018 Bilbao Conference.
Although there are a lot of SSE activities in various sectors in Japan, they do not have real social influence to transform Japanese society since they are not yet highlighted in general and do not have a nationwide organization and/or a platform of SSE practice. Therefore we organized several meetings in Tokyo, Osaka, and other cities to report the fruits of GSEF Montreal Conference to share successes stories in the world of SSE with Conference participants as well as actors of local SSE activities. Still we have not yet succeeded to establish relationship for SSE with any local government.
To promote corporation with local government, we translated "Status of Social Economy Development in Seoul" as a useful tool for local government to take SSE into consideration and started to use it.
2018 year objective
In 2018, there will be GSEF Bilbao Conference and we want to participate again with much wider range of members. For this purpose, we will try to organize an executive committee comprising not only ASDJ but also various SSE players such as cooperatives, think tanks, and professors. This executive committee will aim followings; Fortunately, as we have contacted various SSE agents/actors, we are optimistic to start up the executive committee successfully. We hope this executive committee will be able to become a base of common platform and network for Japanese SSE in future.
1)     To enhance level of general recognition for SSE
2)    To make common platform and/or network for  SSE  actors as wide as possible
3)    To pursue continuously corporation with any local governments
4)    To legislate law/emulation to assure various supports for SSE
5)    To pursue fostering young actors and hand over initiative to them


8.  <La Cuadra Provoca Ciudad A.C>

Que tal mucho gusto, nos da alegría que les interese las actividades que hacemos desde nuestro proyecto "Huerto Roma Verde", sería genial que pudieran venir a visitar el espacio y el equipo que trabaja día con día en impulsar el Bienestar Común Socioambiental y la solidaridad económica. -Te mando una propuesta escrita con no más de 150 palabras en este correo y también lo podemos mandar en audio y/o vídeo.

A) Les saludamos desde la Ciudad de México, este año ha sido particularmente complicado por el terremoto que afectó a toda la región centro y sur de México, lo cual también fue una situación para donde se mostró la gran resiliencia y solidaridad de los mexicanos, el espacio que tenemos, se convirtió en un centro ciudadano de apoyo a la emergencia y damnificados, donde hubo refugio temporal, comedor comunitario, centro de acopio, atención médica, entregas a zonas de rescate con brigadas de ciclistas, se inscribieron en el Huerto Roma más de 5 mil voluntarios, todo ello nos demostró que la organización social y la solidaridad es capaz de levantar a un país, y seguimos en ello con proyectos de Bio- Reconstrucción para las personas que se quedaron sin vivienda y estamos colaborando en regenerar la economía local a través de la solidaridad económica a través del proyecto “Valor Semilla”.

B) Para el año 2018 tenemos el objetivo de concluir el desarrollo de “Mercado Local” junto la Red “Valor Semilla” el cual es un corredor de economía local, donde se conectan comerciantes con productores locales los cuales comparten valores y buenas prácticas que ayudan al Desarrollo Social, Cultural, Cuidado de la Salud Humana y de la Tierra. Donde estarán usando valores alternativos para generar economía al mismo tiempo que fomentan un comercio y consumo consciente de las necesidades socioambientales. Nuestra expectativa para este año en el GSEF es generar los vínculos suficientemente fuertes para comenzar a trabajar en red y que el movimiento de la solidaridad económica sea cada vez mayor para afrontar con resiliencia la crisis civilizatoria y ambiental que vivimos.


9. <APAY: Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs> 


The year 2017 in retrospect was a memorable one for the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs. We have been relentlessly working in implementing the mandates of the APAY General Assembly and we rejoice on our achievements. Social and Solidarity Economy is one of the eight focus areas of APAY earmarked as the main thrusts of this quadrennial. In 2016 we initiated the process with an intensive workshop for the CEOs of the national YMCA movements of our region to introduce social economy to them. During this year we have been proactively encouraging the YMCA movements of our region of Asia Pacific situated in 24 countries and territories to promote social entrepreneurship in their respective constituencies. We emphasized on the meaningful engagement of youths in social enterprises through various trainings and with support of resources. APAY envisions social economy as an important tool for economic emancipation through creating employment opportunities for the youths with dignity and respect.

We will continue to work on promoting social economy initiatives in the New Year with trainings as well as resource mobilizing and look forward to seeing youth-led social economy programs emerging in the YMCAs of our region. In 2018 year we plan to organize a regional conference on Social and Solidarity Economy with participation of the YMCAs who are the major players in promoting social economy in our region, with a view to exchanging rich experiences on social economy initiatives and also sharing best practices which would encourage other YMCAs to be involved in social economy initiatives.

We wish all who are associated with GSEF in various ways a Happy and Prosperous New Year. We recall the support of GSEF in all our endeavors on social economy. May all our concerted efforts in promoting social economy become as an alternative economic tool to bring succor to all who suffer under the pangs of neo-liberal globalization.

With warm regards,

Nam Boo Won

General Secretary


These greeting messages are sent by some of our members who kindly respond our request despite of short notice, we appreciate the members who kindly taking time for writing up the messages.