Colloquium Preparation Reader

In the run-up to the colloquium, the Verein zur Förderung der Sozialen Ökonomie e.V. (Association for the Promotion of the Social Economy) developed a preparatory reader. In cooperation with many actors and partners from the field of solidarity-based economy, a publication has emerged in which regional responses to food sovereignty and the climate crisis are described and a wide range of social solidarity-based enterprises - non-profit associations and centres, SEEs and cooperatives - are presented.

Kooperative Akteure im Dialog: Ost-West und West-Ost zur Praxis der Europäischen Sozialen Solidarischen Ökonomie.
Editor: Verein zur Förderung der Sozialen Ökonomie e.V. Kassel University Press 2021.

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What do we mean by Social Solidarity Economy? Social Solidarity Economy is a worldwide movement that promotes and strengthens democratisation processes. By aiming for long-term sustainable nature, it supports the resilience of ecosystems. Its historical roots exist throughout Europe, but today it can be found in very diverse new forms. However, solidarity-based economic enterprises basically have some characteristics in common: their enterprise is self-managed. The workers cooperate internally with each other and externally with other Solidarity Business Enterprises. The members are characterised by ecological awareness and always have the regional common good in mind. They are self-determined solidarity-based economic enterprises. They form solidarity-based networks and value chains. In some regions where people have migrated, Solidarity Business Enterprises have proven their capacity for inclusion and have created jobs in their regions again, turning them into immigration regions. People are part of nature. If they take this into account, protect soils and waters, they can live well in harmony with nature, that is, as part of it. However, it leads to crises when humans destroy the resilience of ecosystems and thus endanger waters, the atmosphere and soils as well as flora and fauna. When the connection to nature is destroyed and the profit motive determines human actions unilaterally, a health crisis occurs and the natural living conditions, the global commons, are endangered.
The Solidarity Business Enterprises in our dialogue have already found answers to food sovereignty and climate crisis in this sense by producing in small cycles. The self-managed enterprises represent a democratic force in their regions and have initiated movements through their chains and networks that provide solutions to the existing crises. It will now be about strengthening the actors of transformation by expanding the spaces of communication between European regions, hence our dialogue East-West.
In this publication, we show the possibilities of collective actors who want to work across borders for a democratic awakening in favour of relating to nature and social inclusion for the common good.

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