1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policies for Inclusive and Sustainable Development

Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy

Date: 6 - 8 May 2013





This event has taken place. Watch the newsreel video of the conference.

Conference outputspapers, presentations, podcastsnow available.

Read the Event Brief of the conference.

As interest in alternative production, finance and consumption grows in the face of global crises, this conference explores the potential and limits of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) — organizations such as cooperatives, women’s self-help groups, social enterprise and associations of informal workers that have explicit social and economic objectives, and involve various forms of cooperation and solidarity.

Through this event UNRISD aims to raise the visibility of debates about SSE within the United Nations system and beyond, and contribute to thinking in international policy circles about a post-2015 development agenda.

This conference is being co-hosted with the ILO in partnership with UN-NGLS, Hivos, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Ville de Genève.

Note that the languages for which simultaneous translation were provided were English and French.

Key questions

  • Can SSE make a real difference to food security, rural development, gender equality and decent work?
  • What is the role of governments, civil society and the private sector?
  • Can SSE expand while remaining integrative and rights-based?

Sessions include

  • Conceptualizing SSE
  • SSE, Welfare Regimes and Social Service Provisioning
  • SSE and Local Development
  • SSE, Public Policy and Law
  • SSE and Gender Dynamics
  • Political Economy of SSE and Collective Action
  • Scaling up SSE through the Market
  • SSE, Resilience and Sustainability
  • Priorities for Research, Policy and Action

Side events

  • Poster Session for PhD Candidates
  • Practitioners' Forum
  • Screening of SSE films

More information



Related events

  • UN-NGLS (UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service) organized a special session on alternative finance and complementary currencies during the afternoon of 8 May 2013 following the end of this conference. See the link to the flyer located just before the comments below.
  • From 8-12 April 2013, the International Labour Organization held the third edition of the Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy in Agadir, Morocco. For more information please see the website.
  • International Journal of Labour Research Seminar: "Trade unions and cooperatives: Challenges and Perspectives", which took place on 9 May at the ILO in Geneva. For more information please contact Pierre Laliberté at laliberte (a) ilo . org.



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