• "Our task is to find new ways of guaranteeing a plural economy within a framework of democracy.

    Instead of making an abstract appeal for an alternative economy, we should be devising fresh combinations within the field of economic possibilities open to us."

    Jean-Louis Laville: European Coordinator of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy

    What is Solidarity Economy?

    There are several definitions of the solidarity economy. However, we decided to assume the one by RIPESS, the international network for the social and solidarity economy:

    "The social and solidarity economy is a movement that aims to change the current social and economic system. Solidarity economic principles serve as the new basis – principles based on solidary exchange that connects individual needs with those of the community."

    This might sound quite complicated, but put simply it means to create decent living conditions for everyone around the world. It means that the economy should meet the needs of all people considering them as citizens and rightholders instead of just addressing them as consumers or stakeholders – and that national and international policy has to create the conditions to enable a supportive framework for this to succeed.

    How is solidarity economy working?

    In the current timeframe more and more people have been deciding to act differently by sharing, exchanging, using resources and producing sustainable products and services together. An innovative approach from below is building up a concrete alternative vision where people are involved in a new cooperative economy based on daily choices easy to be made: consuming sustainable goods, using fairtrade products, supporting local economy and farmers and making ecologic and social transition a reality for everyone.

    Who is Solidarity Economy?

    Thousands of cooperatives, grassroots organizations, social entreprises, small associations are the main infrastructure of the Social and Solidarity Economy movement worldwide. Self organized initiatives set up by ordinary people represent the main answer to a market-driven development model leading by provate interests instead of communities' rights and needs. Networks and horizontal platforms have been engaging in the last decades SSE experiences aiming to consolidate a new economic fabric and to stimulate policymakers to take into consideration innovative pathways to sustainability. Public entities could play a fundamental role in easing citizens' participation in the social change we need.



    What is SUSY?

    The SUSY project brings together and shows you examples of the solidarity economy, so that people involved and interested in solidarity-based initiatives can network and interact, and we can share and open up the idea of the solidarity economy to more and more people. By collecting and sharing these examples, we aim to gain new insights into the solidarity economy. We hope to enable reflection and discussion in order to discover and embark on more and more future opportunities and possibilities for the solidarity economy. At the same time – like other initiatives in the solidarity economy – we are building links with political decision makers so to increase their support for an alternative way of doing things.

    WE are a network of 26 associations in 23 European countries enhancing the competences of local actors that are engaged in the social and solidarity economy, supporting a new paradigm of economic development in order to fight poverty and to diffuse an equitable and sustainable way of living.

    This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the SUSY initiative and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.