Introduction to Solidarity Economy


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A presentation I gave at Binary Univ. College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14th Feb 2011.

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Introduction to Solidarity Economy

  1. 1. Introduction to solidarity economy - Another economy is possible - Miguel Yasuyuki Hirota [email_address] Kuala Lumpur, 14 th Feb 2011
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>Self-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Solidarity Economy (SE)?: Democratisation of our economy </li></ul><ul><li>SE’s development all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Key strategies for SE’s further development </li></ul>
  3. 3. Contents <ul><li>Self-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Solidarity Economy (SE)?: Democratisation of our economy </li></ul><ul><li>SE’s development all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Key strategies for SE’s further development </li></ul>
  4. 4. My self-introduction <ul><li>Originally student of Latin America: good at Spanish and Portuguese </li></ul><ul><li>1999: learned about complementary currencies > Researches on global experiences, 3 books already published in Japanese </li></ul><ul><li>2001: visited Argentina and learned about barter clubs: a local professor taught me SE </li></ul><ul><li>Have given presentations in different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, France, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand) </li></ul><ul><li>OLCCJP: </li></ul><ul><li>Also work for SE’s promotion </li></ul>
  5. 5. OLCCJP <ul><li> </li></ul>
  6. 6. Contents <ul><li>Self-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Solidarity Economy (SE)?: Democratisation of our economy </li></ul><ul><li>SE’s development all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Key strategies for SE’s further development </li></ul>
  7. 7. What is Solidarity? (1) <ul><li>What does “solidarity” mean? </li></ul><ul><li>Solidarity: a word quite commonly used in French, Spanish and Portuguese but not so much in English </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning: ”Circumstantial adhesion to others’ cause or enterprise” (Real Academia Española) </li></ul><ul><li>Other definitions: ”A horizontal relationship among those who build up a group, an association or a community under the conditions of equality” which is built ”because of the force or intensity of mutual cohesion” , i.e. ”particularly committed and determined bond” (Luis Razeto) </li></ul>
  8. 8. What is Solidarity? (2) <ul><li>Some people have gone away from the original meaning: What is the original use for the word “solidarity”? (Luis Razeto) </li></ul><ul><li>a) solidness of the group’s interaction which leads to build the fact or the reality of solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>b) equal situation and commitment or duty among all the solidarity-based participants </li></ul><ul><li>c) everybody’s relationship through mutuality, reciprocity and participation in a group or community </li></ul><ul><li>d) intensity of mutual union as something strong, defined, established by true causes </li></ul><ul><li>e) the stable (not occasional) and permanent character of solidarity-based cohesion </li></ul>
  9. 9. False-friends of Solidarity <ul><li>“ False-friends” of solidarity: understanding them as solidarity undermines the very principle of solidarity </li></ul><ul><li>Excessive assistance: disturbs people’s autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Charity donations: occasional and not based on the principle of equal commitment </li></ul>
  10. 10. Use of the word Solidarity in the Western history <ul><li>Middle Ages: Only meant the strong relationship within a guild </li></ul><ul><li>19th and 20th century: Used both by labour unions (for common cause and shared interested on the basis of mutual help) and the Church (fraternity among “children of God”) </li></ul><ul><li>Sociology: Durkheim found out that the more individualist the modern society turns to be, the more solidarity are sought for as we’re getting more and more interdependent </li></ul>
  11. 11. What’s solidarity economy? <ul><li>What is the non-solidarity economy (capitalism)? </li></ul><ul><li>Maximisation of profits for shareholders > environmental protection and workers are of secondary importance, strengthened by the neoliberalism </li></ul><ul><li>G. Soros: “International trade and global financial markets are very good at generating wealth, but they cannot take care of other social needs , such as the preservation of peace, alleviation of poverty, protection of the environment, labour conditions, or human rights – what are generally called ‘public goods’ ” (On Globalization, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>SE: economy which allows workers and consumers to take part in its management (civil society economy) > democratisation of economy </li></ul>
  12. 12. Democratisation of labour <ul><li>Workers’ coop : businesses possessed and run horizontally by their own workers. No employer hires no employee there </li></ul><ul><li>Social enterprises : those businesses which preferentially employ the handicapped, long-term unemployed people and others who find it hard to get hired, although as wholly democratised as workers’ coops </li></ul>
  13. 13. Democratisation of consumption <ul><li>Shopping huge corporations’ goods at malls : cheap and convenient, but… </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers’ coop : allows consumers to get what they want (especially organic food) </li></ul><ul><li>Teikei (CSA) : a system in which consumers help farmers in different ways (sometimes they visit farms to work there) </li></ul><ul><li>Fair trade : improvement of farmers’ life standard by paying a fair price for their produces </li></ul>
  14. 14. Democratisation of finance / money <ul><li>Where will our money go when we deposit it at commercial banks? : You’ll never know which businesses are financed by the bank you put money </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical banks : savers can decide which project to finance </li></ul><ul><li>Social currencies : use of parallel means of exchange to stimulate local economy </li></ul>
  15. 15. Democratisation of the public sector’s budget <ul><li>To whom does the money at KL City Hall belong? </li></ul><ul><li>Of course residents at KL </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory budget : KL residents make decisions on how to spend the KL City Hall’s budget!! </li></ul><ul><li>Started in Porto Alegre, Brazil and later spread into other Latin American and European countries </li></ul>
  16. 16. Democratisation of knowledge <ul><li>Different IT : stimulates access to a bunch of information and international intellectual exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Basic software such as OS (especially Microsoft Windows) and Microsoft Office : Microsoft enjoys the monopoly on what is essential for our digital life </li></ul><ul><li>Freeware : software produced without the aim to make profits > introduction of IT in a more democratic way </li></ul>
  17. 17. Summary <ul><li>Ethical banks: savers decide whom to finance </li></ul><ul><li>Workers’ coop: workers = owners run the business </li></ul><ul><li>Consumers’ coop: provides what members want </li></ul><ul><li>Social enterprises: hires the handicapped, long-term unemployed etc. for their social inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>Fair trade: consumers support economic activities without exploiting farmers </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory budget: KL people decide how to spend KL City Hall’s budget </li></ul><ul><li>Social currency: civil society control money = means of exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Freeware: indispensable software (like OS and Open Office) available for free </li></ul>
  18. 18. Contents <ul><li>Self-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Solidarity Economy (SE)?: Democratisation of our economy </li></ul><ul><li>SE’s development all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Key strategies for SE’s further development </li></ul>
  19. 19. Global development <ul><li>Latin Europe (France, Italy & Spain), Québec: the concept of social economy (coops, non-profits, mutual unions, foundations) exists since 1960s, allowing some room for non-capitalist economies </li></ul><ul><li>Latin America: neoliberalism since 1980s > widening income gap > different economic activities to struggle against poverty > SE </li></ul><ul><li>RIPESS ( 1997-), World Social Forum (2001-), Alliance 21 > ALOE(2001-): strengthens exchanges between Latin Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world </li></ul><ul><li>Extension to non-Latin countries: Asia, Africa, Canada, US, Germany, Austria </li></ul>
  20. 20. Regional developments <ul><li>Brazil: National Secretary of Solidarity Economy (SENAES) and Brazilian Forum of Solidarity Economy (FBES) promotes SE </li></ul><ul><li>Asia: 1 st Forum in Oct 2007 at Manila, 2 nd Forum in Nov 2009 at Tokyo and 3 rd Forum in Nov 2011 at KL. Asian Alliance for Solidarity Economy (AA4SE) </li></ul><ul><li>US: the 1 st US Social Forum in June 2007 at Atlanta highlighted SE, 1 st US Forum of SE at Amherst, MA in March 2009, some discussions at the 2 nd US Social Forum at Detroit last June </li></ul><ul><li>Spain: REAS provides information about SE in Spain and Latin America </li></ul>
  21. 21. FBES <ul><li> ( in Portuguese) </li></ul>
  22. 22. CIRANDAS <ul><li>A SNS for SE players in Brazil. ( in Portuguese ) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Dilma Roussef (president of Brazil)
  24. 24. Dilma’s promises (1) <ul><li>1: Consolidate the integration of the National Policy of Solidarity Economy with Brazil’s sustainable development strategies </li></ul><ul><li>2: Constitute the National System of Solidarity Economy to stimulate the strengthening of SE and to enable the articulation among different levels of the government </li></ul><ul><li>3: Ensure resources for financing programmes and actions to SE enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>4: Complete legal instruments which make SE enterprises feasible and facilitate their formalisation </li></ul><ul><li>5: Promote an institutional atmosphere favourable for the development of SE, completing the procedure to access to public resources, credit and formalisation of enterprises </li></ul>
  25. 25. Dilma’s promises (2) <ul><li>6: Complete the access to the knowledge and to the technology: - Nurture technology and innovation targeted for the SE, underlining social technology projects; - Promote policies of training, technical assessment and professional qualification which are adequate to the SE enterprises; - Broaden the access to the education, at all the levels, of the workers of SE enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>7: Develop and nurture mechanisms of solidarity finance which are adequate to the financing of working capital, of costs and for the purchase of equips and infrastructure of SE enterprises </li></ul><ul><li>8: Nurture initiatives of SE commercialisation and strengthen mechanisms which facilitate the access to the public purchases of goods and services </li></ul>
  26. 26. Dilma’s compromises (3) <ul><li>9: Develop the SE as policy for productive inclusion, economic emancipation and generation of work and income targeted to the public benefitting from social programmes </li></ul><ul><li>10: Recognise and nurture the SE in the strategies of international integration, especially in Latin America (Mercosur and Unasur) and Africa </li></ul><ul><li>11: Strengthen the interdisciplinarity of public policies of the SE in articulation with the different sectors and policies of the government </li></ul><ul><li>12: Give continuity to the completion of government policies for the SE, warranting resources and investing in the capacity for the elaboration, management and execution of public policies for this sector </li></ul><ul><li>13: Strengthen the National Council of Solidarity Economy as promoter of the National Conferences of Solidarity Economy and of the participation, of the social control and accompanying of policies and programmes of SE </li></ul>
  27. 27. Asian Alliance for Solidarity Economy (AA4SE) <ul><li> </li></ul>
  28. 28. U.S. Solidarity Economy Network (SEN) <ul><li> </li></ul>
  29. 29. REAS (Spain) <ul><li> (in Spanish) </li></ul>
  30. 30. 1 st SE Social Forum <ul><li>Took place from 22 nd to 24 th Jan 2010 at Santa Maria, RS, Brazil, followed by the World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, RS </li></ul><ul><li>Hundreds of participants, mainly from Brazil and neighbouring countries but also from US and Europe </li></ul><ul><li>WSF and SE : have grown by reciprocal exchanges </li></ul><ul><li>Brazil is leading SE: neighbours asking for help </li></ul><ul><li>South-South fair trade: not only North-South </li></ul><ul><li>Coordination of public policies: to promote SE </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping of practices: what is practiced where? </li></ul><ul><li>2 nd Forum: to take place in July 2012 </li></ul>
  31. 31. 1 st SE Social Forum
  32. 32. 1 st SE Social Forum
  33. 33. 1 st SE Social Forum
  34. 34. 1 st SE Social Forum
  35. 35. SE in Japan <ul><li>Consumer’s coops: annual turnover of 3.4 trillion yen (125 billion ringgits, 2.82% of retail industry) </li></ul><ul><li>Workers’ coops: hires 11,000 people all over Japan, annual turnover of 25.7 billion yen (about 950 million ringgits) </li></ul><ul><li>Food security: CSA, nutrition-education programmes, local production and consumption </li></ul><ul><li>Elderly care: non-profits all over the country </li></ul>
  36. 36. What’s at stake in Japan <ul><li>Lack of self-identity as SE players: no promotional activities by SE players > lack of relationship with international movements </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of national network: there exists no network to include the whole SE players > virtually no influence at all on the Japanese society </li></ul><ul><li>SE by the high-middle class: plenty of activities by the well-off (consumers’ coop and elderly care) while little is done against poverty </li></ul>
  37. 37. Social enterprises in East Asia <ul><li>South Korea: Social Enterprise Promotion Act implemented in 2007, with hundreds of social enterprises being recognised by the gov’t </li></ul><ul><li>Hong Kong: organises Social Enterprise Summit since 2008 / </li></ul>
  38. 38. Contents <ul><li>Self-introduction </li></ul><ul><li>What is the Solidarity Economy (SE)?: Democratisation of our economy </li></ul><ul><li>SE’s development all over the world </li></ul><ul><li>Key strategies for SE’s further development </li></ul>
  39. 39. For further development of SE in Asia <ul><li>Need for national networks: to link different stakeholders and share the identity of “SE players” </li></ul><ul><li>SOLECOPEDIA: a wiki on SE </li></ul><ul><li>Linkage with Latin America: South-South cooperation </li></ul>
  40. 40. Need for national networks <ul><li>Identity as SE player: need to work not only at their own field (fair trade, ethical finance etc.) but also for a wider perspective of SE </li></ul><ul><li>Sharing info: sharing news on what’s happening all over the world, such as webinar </li></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary exchanges: ethical banks, fair trade, consumers’ coops, workers’ coops etc. exchange to build cooperations </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies and action plans to promote SE: presentation of SE at related conferences, movements to formulate laws to promote SE, etc. </li></ul>
  41. 41. SOLECOPEDIA <ul><li> </li></ul>
  42. 42. Linkage with Latin America <ul><li>Latin America: where SE has been recognised more and more, with supports from gov’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish and Portuguese: fundamental in keeping in touch with Latin Americans </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention!! </li></ul><ul><li>e-mail: </li></ul><ul><li>skype: migjp2003 </li></ul><ul><li>URL: </li></ul>
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