The Global Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy (GSEF)

The Global Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy (GSEF) is a global social and solidarity economy network that aims to serve as a hub for sharing visions and experiences through cross-border collaboration and cooperation based on multilateral (public-private-community) partnerships for an inclusive, equitable and human centered world for all of us.

The development of the GSEF began following the Seoul Declaration, which was adopted by eight local governments and nine social economy organizations during GSEF 2013, held in Seoul on November 5 - 7, 2013 on the theme 'New Discovery of Collaboration' (

The Seoul Declaration was the outcome of the determination of local governments and social organizations who recognized the need for global solidarity in the area of social economy.

Following this first successful event, GSEF2014 ( was held simultaneously with the foundation general assembly of GSEF. It included the participation of 18 local governments and 43 international SSE organizations pursuing the expansion of knowledge-sharing and cooperative relationships among global social economy actors. Under the slogan ‘solidarity for change,’ the GSEF2014 inaugural meeting led to the permanent creation of an international association of SSE based on the adoption of the GSEF Charter.

The third edition of GSEF, GSEF2016 ( took place outside Korea for the first time in Montreal with the theme ‘local governments and social economy stakeholders – allies for the intelligent and sustainable development of cities.’

The C.I.T.I.E.S (International Center for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer on the Social and Solidarity Economy) forum was officially launched at GSEF2016. The ‘Montreal Declaration’ was also adopted to affirm the commitment of participants to the promotion of the social economy.

The fourth edition of the forum, GSEF 2018 (, took place in the city of Bilbao. We hope that the GSEF will now be open to become a more dynamic and active solidarity body based on the consent of the participating entities.


GSEF aims for the harmonious progress of the market economy, public economy, social economy, and ecology in general. This progress will make the best use of an individual’s ability and solve social problems through solidarity among social economy subjects. Therefore, GSEF will serve as a global solidarity network to achieve these goals.


Through collaboration between social economy organizations and local governments, GSEF pursues creation of quality jobs, fair growth, progress of grassroots democracy, and sustainable development. Values such as human dignity and sustainable ecology are to be the underlying principles for every GSEF activity.

The GSEF contributes to enhancing the quality and quantity of shared resources and promotes the fair approach and the use of such resources. The key to reclaiming the commons is trust and cooperation, which are the fundamentals for SSE. Ecosystem, culture, knowledge, and historical resources of all local communities are all important objectives of GSEF activities


  1. GSEF promotes both personal and material exchanges and sharing among major global social economy actors. To this end, GSEF will establish an on/off platform and create diverse programs to activate the personal and material exchanges.

  2. GSEF supports local government and non-government agencies in the creation of a stable social economy network through the public-private-community partnerships

  3. GSEF supports every effort to form social economy associations and social economy support bodies in each region. Through these organizations, GSEF promotes various joint projects to spread the ecology of social economy on a global scale

  4. GSEF acknowledges a responsibility to support developing countries which suffer from poverty and serious underdevelopment, thereby promoting global solidarity and cooperation in the field of social economy to enhance the environment, economy, society, and culture of those countries. 

  5. GSEF supports various global movements that are compatible with the social value we uphold and furthermore promotes collective actions to solve problems and global challenges that humanity faces.