Opening Event for the UNTFSSE Conference Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?
How can the social and solidarity economy (SSE) effectively contribute to the integration of those left behind by declining social assistance and create solidarity for these vulnerable groups?
Since 2008, many countries in Europe have been battered by a series of crises—economic crisis, debt crisis, refugee crisis. With the financial crises came austerity policies and cuts in social spending, weakening the social protection systems relied upon by societies’ most vulnerable members, from unemployed native-born residents, to migrants and newly arrived refugees. At the same time xenophobia and populist politics have gained strength, with a discourse blaming migrants and refugees for economic upheaval and other difficulties experienced by local communities.
What is the role of social and solidarity economy (SSE) in fostering the social inclusion of those left behind by declining social aid, and creating solidarity for the most vulnerable? How can SSE most effectively contribute to building solidarity, protecting unemployed native-born people, migrants and refugees, and integrating them into local communities and labour markets? What kinds of policy ecosystems are required to support this potentially transformative role of SSE?
This roundtable discussion will provide insights into these questions based on ongoing research in the specific cases of Geneva (Switzerland), Bergamo (Italy) and Heraklion (Greece), as well as more broadly. Speakers include researchers from the project Protecting Vulnerable Urban Groups in Contentious Times: The Role of SSE
, experts from the ILO and from academia.
- Marco Giugni, Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations; Director, Institute of Citizenship Studies (InCite), University of Geneva
- Chiara Aurora Demaldè, Research Assistant, University of Trento (Italy)
- Maria Mexi, Member, InCite, University of Geneva; Senior Research Fellow, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)
- Simel Esim, Head and Senior Technical Specialist, Cooperatives Unit, International Labour Organization (ILO)
- Christophe Dunand, Director, Réalise Genève; Lecturer, Haute École de Gestion, Geneva, Switzerland (TBC)
Photo by SNPS by Jules, public domain via Unsplash
- Ilcheong Yi, Senior Research Coordinator, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD)