This paper aims to provide a snapshot of social and solidarity economy (SSE) institutions and activities in two very different regions in order to reflect on how SSE is being conceptualized and practiced in varying contexts and cultures, towards “sustainable consumption and production” transitions. The paper considers the case of Geneva, Switzerland—where the APRES Chamber federates more than 260 SSE enterprises—and that of Metro Manila, Philippines—where Asia’s solidarity economy council will be headquartered. The two regions are at very different stages when it comes to establishing their local SSE network, with actors in Geneva more focused on putting established SSE guiding principles into practice within their organizations, and actors in Metro Manila engaged in a broader vision of achieving solidarity across supply chains. One of the main findings is that greater coherence is needed, not only within organizations, but also between organizations and regions of the world.
Christophe Dunand is Director of Réalise, a work integration social enterprise in Geneva: He teaches at the Haute Ecole de Gestion and the Haute Ecole de Travail Social. He is also a founding member of Chambre de l’Economie Sociale et Solidaire Genève (APRES-GE) and has been active in this field for two decades, as a practitioner and an academic.
Marlyne Sahakian is currently Visiting Research Associate at Ateneo University in the Philippines. Her post-doctoral research is focused on more sustainable consumption practices. In 2013, she will be joining the University of Lausanne to study changing food consumption patterns, practices and policies in Bangalore and Metro Manila.