The 8th ILO SSE Academy Outcomes

Date of Publication: 
July 2017
Publication Type: 
Article/Policy paper

Organised by the GSEF, Seoul Metropolitan Government ITC, and ILO, the 8th ILO SSE Academy was held in Seoul from June 26-30, 2017. This was the first ILO Academy held in Asia. 

The purpose of the 8th ILO SSE Academy was to provide a platform for international SSE actors, researchers and policy makers to come together to share their experiences and to stimulate a learning process led by international experts. Officially launched in 2010 under the supervision of the International Training Centre (hereon ITC), ILO Academies reflect the growing demand for a high level of the capacity building program for SSE as a strategy for ‘Decent Work Agenda,’ the academy was organised by ITC and has been conducted in seven countries. The 8th ILO SSE Academy was held in Seoul this time and numerous SSE activists, researchers, governments and international organisations from across the globe attended the event.

The 8th ILO SSE Academy began with opening remarks from the GSEF Secretariat’s co-chairpersons, Mayor Won-Soon Park and Rev. Kyong Yong Song. ILO Director-General Guy Rider also provided a welcoming remark via video to greet the participants of the academy. Following the opening remarks, participants were given the opportunity to diagnose one another’s thoughts on SSE. Over 200 participants were present this day to discuss the effect that SSE has on public policies through the “fish bowl” method. The following image displays a typical “fish bowl” session. The outcomes of this method depend heavily on the active participation of the participants but are a successful method to engage over 200 people in an active discussion. 

During the ILO SSE Academy, plenary sessions were allocated in the morning times, providing an opportunity to learn more about SSE public policies, governance and ecosystems of various nations. As the speakers at the academy have gathered from all around the world, this presented an opportunity to learn more about the current status of SSE in many countries.

One of the plenary sessions was on “Co-constructing SSE public policies and participatory governance.” In this session, Mr. Leandro Morais (UNESP) provided the case of Brazil, underscoring specifically on “Necessity of participation of the local community in governance in order to ensure the community’s rights.” Mr. Pascal Duforestel (RTES) presented the case of France and the efforts adopted by the regional French government to establish a proper network to cultivate SSE concerning the role of public policies. Mr. Nuttaphong Jaruwannaphong (Thailand Social Enterprise Office) presented the current status of Thailand regarding its institutional environment for the development of social enterprises. Korea’s case was presented by Seongdong-gu’s Mayor Won O Jung, presented the case of  Understand Avenue in Seongdong-Gu, stressing the significant role of the local government in creating public spaces with social values.

On the 3rd and 4th day of the Academy, participants were given the opportunity to attend two of the following seven electives. The topics of the electives were: “Legal framework and public procurement,” “Social finance,” “South-south and triangular cooperation: experiences of innovative ecosystems for SSE public policies,” “SSE and sustainable development goals (SDGs),” “Networks and Fair Trade,” “Social innovation through SSE,” and “SSE and Youth.” Each elective presented a platform for participants to discuss different SSE policies at the national and local level, and how to put these ideas to practice.

Participants were given the opportunity to choose the elective they wish to attend based on their interests. “Legal framework and public procurement” and “Social finance” were one of the most popular elective sessions. For example, the “Social finance” elective discussed the ways of social finance to pursue SSE values, the limitations of social finance, and how social finance can supply decent employment. Furthermore, the ways to measure the impact of social finance were discussed in detail amongst the speaker and the participants. The elective session included presentation of projects, organizations and local governments on the development of social finance, and its success and limitation cases. SIDI, Korea Social Investment and INAISE were central in this discussion.

Besides case studies and discussions, the 8th ILO SSE Academy also offered various field visits, giving participants the opportunity to experience Korea’s SSE sites. The site visits were divided into four groups: Seoul Innovation Park, which encompasses social enterprises, cooperatives, social ventures and institutions that support SSE organisations; Guemcheon site visit with region-based workers cooperative; Seun Arcade and Jangsu Village representing urban regeneration and formation of local community through SSE; Happy Bridge, originally a corporation that later switched to workers’ cooperative and Korea Social Investment; and finally senior SSE agriculture group, Baeksuk Olmi Agriculture Cooperative and Hongdong Village in Chungnam. Each site visit cases showed participants how Korean SSE sectors developed and gave them the ability to interact actively with each site. 

For more information on the participants’ feedback on the site visit, please access the following video: 


The last day of the event began with the final plenary session on “Innovative ecosystem for SSE policies—the way forward towards the future of work” by Costa Rica’s vice-minister on economy, industry and commerce, Mr. Carlos Mora Gomez. the vice-minister presented Costa Rica’s current status and development plan of SSE.

The last day of the 8th ILO SSE Academy in Seoul began and closed with participants engaging in active discussion and sharing one another’s cases and experiences with SSE. At the end of the event, participants delivered the Academy certificate to one another, closing in a truly dynamic sense.

If you wish to know more about the 8th ILO SSE Academy, access the video below.

* You can also access to all the materials of SSE at: ILO collective brain of the SSE Academy:

* More in-depth report about the Academy will be uploaded on the GSEF homepage in the upcoming month.