MESSAGE FROM Secretary General | Laurence Kwark

As it happened previously during the 19th century, growing concern for the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has emerged since the late 20th century, illustrating that an economic system which is overly centered on growth and profit making no longer responds to the aspirations of human beings and communities of our time.

And this has become even more obvious since the economic and financial crisis of 2007-2008.

In September 2015, when the world’s governments approved the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York, it became clearer that we need to mainstream SSE if we wish to achieve this 15-year plan of action for “people, planet and prosperity.”

Several key goals of this 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are directly linked to the vision and mission of multiple sectors of SSE, which strives for the fundamental shifts in the way our societies produce and consume goods and services. Therefore, SSE needs to become one of the main concerns for effectively implementing this 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

To enable this to happen, the GSEF was launched in 2014 in Seoul, South Korea, as a platform to foster a triple partnership between all stakeholders, particularly among decision-makers of cities and local governments, civil actors and researchers, and communities engaged in SSE.

As we aspire to build a world solidarity partnership among those engaged in SSE to seek and develop new ways of developing our economy with more human, social and environmental concerns, it has become urgent to innovate policies and programs to transform our economy on a large scale.

To achieve this, we call for greater solidarity among all actors engaged with SSE in order to look for alternative development pathways through the sharing of good practices and success stories. In addition, challenges and obstacles also need to be overcome together by building a new global partnership through the GSEF.

The 2016 GSEF General Assembly in Montreal will be a milestone in this direction.

This message is therefore an open invitation to all those who wish to contribute to implement this new model of sustainable development and to build an economy that is more caring for our human and environmental communities with shared social and solidarity values.

Let’s build a global partnership with your contribution to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in a more balanced and integrated manner. Join us!


Laurence KWARK
GSEF Secretary-General