Europe Policy Dialogue 2019

18 Nov 2019 to 19 Nov 2019
Category of project: 
Regional Policy Dialogues

Theme: Building diversity and inclusion through the social and solidarity economy     
Venue: The Women’s Association, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Building on the previous Europe Policy Dialogue that looked at peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development through the SSE, the 3rd edition of the Europe Policy Dialogue took place in Liverpool, United Kingdom, around the theme ‘Building diversity and inclusion through the social and solidarity economy’. It was organized by GSEF in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and the University of Liverpool.


This event gathered local governments, civil society organizations, EU experts and activists from all over the United Kingdom and Europe to discuss how to action ideas about diversity, marginalisation and inclusion through the SSE.

Panellists included Kenny Clewett, Director, Hello Europe; Lynn Collins, Strategic Relations and Engagement Advisor, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, United Kingdom; Apostolos Ioakimidis, Social cooperative Wind of Renewal, Greece; Filareti Paka, European Projects' Communication Manager, Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (iED); Christiane Ram, Head, Office of Economic Development, City of Mannheim, Germany; Dražen Šimleša, Green Network of Activist Groups (ZMAG), General Coordinator of the International Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) EU; and, Derek Walker, Chief Executive, Wales Co-operative Centre (WCC), United Kingdom.

The theme of building diversity and inclusion in our economies takes on added importance as the rise in wealth inequalities within nations has intensified. Many existing problems, such as economic insecurity, homelessness, care for the elderly and general wellbeing have a common cause. We see also a huge rise in population shifts as war, hunger and drought have led to people losing their home with some estimates suggesting more than 1% of the total global population has been forced to move out of their home country. As a result of such global problems diversity and inclusion have become more important to local economies.

Many SSE organisations are better placed to challenge these problems. They are to be found in those communities where the market has failed or where the state has been cut back, working with local people who are often on the margins of society, or who have been openly discriminated against through structures of inequality. However, SSE organisations across Europe face many similar challenges. For example, where will the new leaders come from? How can they access resources and become more sustainable? How do they bring into the whole economy social justice, diversity and democracy? Can they influence policy change? These questions were posed and discussed by participants at this year’s Europe Policy Dialogue.

The speakers shared their experiences and ideas on the following topics:

  • Local governments advancing approaches for genuine inclusion
  • Moving beyond inclusion through innovative work-integration practices and policies
  • Social and Solidarity Economy: a driving force in enabling diverse future leaders

Below is a visual summary of the discussions that took place, and the highlights report is available in the download section of this page!

Participants also had the opportunity to visit SSE organisations and enterprises all over Liverpool, including the Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre, Baltic Creative CIC, and Homebaked.

GSEF Europe Policy Dialogue 2019

Europe Policy Dialogue meetings are part of a long-running regional dialogue series, which aims to identify ways forward for developing inter-regional partnerships and cooperation based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. Past meetings took place in Asia (Seoul in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018; Hong Kong in 2016), Europe (Archamps in 2017; Madrid in 2018) and Africa (Bilbao in 2018; Bamako in 2019).