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GSEF & ITC-ILO SSE Academy

English
Date: 
26 Jun 2017 to 30 Jun 2017
Category of project: 
Knowledge Exchange and Trainings

“Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies: A Contribution to the Future of Work”


 

Background

The 8th ILO Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) was held in Seoul, Korea from the 26th to 30th of June, 2017. This Academy is the first version of its kind in Asia after previous successful trainings in Europe, North America, Africa, and Latin America, which have taken place since 2010.

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) has a potentially important role to play in reorienting economies and societies toward greater social and ecological sustainability. Especially in Asia, where rapid urbanisation and migration have resulted in many urban issues including poverty and inequality, along with safety and environmental issues, the SSE has emerged as a tangible, alternative solution. In the last couple of decades, SSE in Asia has developed considerably in various fields and areas. SSE in Asia ranges from producers’ cooperatives as local development plans, consumers’ cooperatives in urban communities, workers’ unions and community businesses, to social ventures and impact investors. Beyond these voluntary movements, there have also been various efforts by the central and local governments to promote SSE as a tool for local economic development, to generate employment, or as an alternative for social services. Although in some Asian countries the term of SSE has not been recognised by the general public and policymakers, the tradition of collective entrepreneurship or co-ownership of public resources has existed for a long time.

This Academy aims to create an agora for discussion for all the diverse movements in Asia and an opportunity to share achievements and challenges amongst peers from other countries. Furthermore, it hopes to build a network of practitioners and get support and insights to develop initiatives, even after the event.

SSE in Seoul and Korea

Korea has received a lot of attention from the international community of SSE because of the rapid growth of SSE enterprises in the last decade, driven by strong governmental support. Notably, in Korea’s capital city, Seoul, the local government has strategically pursued its own social economy development plan for the last five years and has tried to build up a local ecosystem and supportive environment for SSE organisations based on a robust public-civil partnership. The number of SSE enterprises increased from 718 (in 2011) to 3,054 (in 2015), and these new enterprises have created over 17,900 new jobs. The annual revenue of these SSE enterprises was 1.28 billion dollars in 2014, which contributed to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) to the order of 0.4%.

It might be too early to evaluate policy impact at this time, but throughout the Academy, the trials and errors experienced by Korean practitioners of SSE will be shared, and participants will learn about the ecosystem being built. The experience of Seoul and Korea can then inspire other practitioners in not only Asia but those on different continents.

The Main Theme of the Academy

The central theme of the Academy is “Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies and their Contribution to The Future of Work.” Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promote SSE, it is essential to acknowledge that state intervention on any level including laws, policies or development plans is necessary to create an ecosystem that promotes SSE. ‘Ecosystems’ for SSE include laws and regulations, capitals and finance, markets, human resources, support systems, networks, etc. To build up a robust ecosystem for SSE, the co-construction of public policy and participatory governance is also a significant factor.

By promoting SSE through suitable ecosystems for SSE organisations, innovative ideas for the future of work can be realised. With their social and democratic values and equitable nature, SSE enterprises are showing what sustainable and inclusive workplaces look like despite the rising challenges of polarisation, technological innovation, unemployment and unstable jobs.

Sub-topics of the Academy

The sub-topics of the Academy cover each aspect of an innovative ecosystem for SSE, including the legal framework, social finance, networks, business development services and training, south-south and triangular cooperation, social innovation and the role of government, employers and workers’ organizations. Also, SSE potential in achieving SDGs will be covered through cases and evidence from the field, and the sharing of good practices.

The proposed sub-topics are:

  • Legal framework and certification system
  • Social finance and SSE
  • South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Experiences of Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies
  • SSE and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Networks, Business Development Services and Training
  • The Role of the Government, Employers and Workers Organizations in shaping innovative ecosystems for SSE public policies
  • Social Innovation through SSE
  • SSE and Youth

Objectives

The main aim of the SSE Academy will be to generate a better understanding of the concept of SSE and its possible contribution to social innovation in the world of work.

At the end of the academy, the participants will:

  • Have a better understanding of innovative ecosystems for SSE Public Policies.
  • Have been acquainted with a multitude of social and solidarity experiences, strategies and tools from around the world, including examples of South-South and triangular cooperation.
  • Have become part of a growing international network of policymakers and practitioners working on the SSE.