For the exchange of knowledge and experiences among members, the GSEF provides various opportunities for capacity-building training, regional policy dialogues, or learning sessions and works with the specialised organisation in international knowledge transfer on SSE.


  • GSEF Capacity Building Programme on SSE 2019 28 Oct 2019 to 1 Nov 2019

    Background: Growth of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in Asia The importance of social and solidarity economy in contributing an equitable and inclusive economic development has been recognized in many Asian cities. Many cities leverage the characteristic of SSE on social and environmental consideration during economic development rather than profit maximization which is believed to be the cause of many urban problems such as environmental degradation, natural disasters, increasing gap between the rich and the poor etc. In some mega cities, the grave challenges are more critical to the marginalized group such as elderly, disabilities, youth, women, illiterate group and urban poor due to discrimination, poorly planned education and wealth inequality. Although the format varies in different cities, it is encouraging to seeing the overall supportive policies for the growth of the SSE like seed capital, tax incentive and establishing social enterprise (SE) intermediaries.   The role of local governments in promoting social and solidarity economy   There have been several attempts to make a platform to discuss public policies on SSE for more vibrant and powerful ecosystem for SE in Asia. Because the phase of development in social economy in each country in Asia varies and also the used terms and definitions related to SSE are different from each region in their historical, cultural, and socio-economic context, the need for a common ground of interregional dialogues has continuously raised in the region. Some cities have successfully issued relevant public policies to support the development of SSE with the SSE actors. This co-creation practice enhances the legitimacy of the policies and consolidates support from other stakeholders including citizens. GSEF Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) is a global network that currently brings together local governments and networks of local governments, and organizations and networks of social economy. GSEF is currently co-chaired by Seoul City under Mayor Park Won-Soon and Seoul Social Economy Network under Mr. KIM Joung-Youl. It shows the collaboration between local government and civil society network. GSEF has been focusing on the role of the local governments, since the maximum impact of social economy come from the local community when its activities are deeply rooted in the region and strongly supported by the citizens. Also the SE enterprises could make meaningful changes in the lives of citizens-regional production, consumption patterns, quality of employment, or regional development, if the local government, the closest public office to the citizens’ lives, are trying to build a supporting network for SE enterprises and raise awareness on the potential of SSE to the local people. GSEF will organize a  capacity building training for local government aiming to provide the space for open discussion and mutual learning for government officials with SSE actors and specialists and to expand the impact of SSE as an innovative strategy to achieve SDGs at the local level.   Objectives: To foster a common understanding and appreciation of the role of SSE among policy makers and practitioners in Asia To provide a platform for learning and exchanging of ideas and experiences for an effective and vibrant social and solidarity economy To define the role of government in supporting the development of SSE and what kind of policy measures to be adopted in order to expand the SSE organizations’ social impacts and competitiveness in the market and how the process of policy making, and implementation should be done. To offer opportunities for participating GSEF members and partners to brainstorm and search for a more specific and viable collaborative project through the network. To discuss to what extent local government should provide necessary support to promote and develop SSE To find out the possible strategies for a successful collaboration between local government and SSE actors on public policies on SSE To understand how SSE can enhance the wellbeing of citizens  Key Questions: What are the characteristics of the social economy in Asia to be recognized in its social values and competitiveness for and inclusive and sustainable local development? How can a city government co-create public policies on SEE together with SSE actors for maximizing the impact? What are the characteristics of public policies on SSE based on the successful experience from the region? How can the cooperation between local government and SE intermediaries through international network could strengthen each region’s SE development? Application Deadline: 29 September 2019 Only government officials are eligible for the training, and the selected trainees' traveling and accommodation cost will be covered by the Seoul Metropolitan Government.  *The whole training will be conducted in English and no interpretation service will be provided.* Time & Venue: -  Training: October 28(Mon), October 29 (Tue) 2019, October 31 (Thur) and November 1 (Fri), 2019 @ Seoul Metropolis International Training Institute  
  • GSEF Training & Workshop Series: East Africa Training in Uganda 21 Aug 2019 to 23 Aug 2019

    Coorganized by GSEF and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), a Training Programme for Local Leaders and Practitioners in Uganda and the East African Region took place between the 21st and 23rd of August in Kampala, Uganda. This training programme was part of the GSEF Training & Workshop Series - a series of regular capacity-building events aiming to identify common issues, share best practices, and allow knowledge exchange and partnership-building between practitioners, while taking into consideration the needs and context of each territory. Over 60 participants among Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) stakeholders in the region joined this training and most of them found it informative and useful for their future manoeuvre to develop SSE in their country/city. The Kampala Declaration Promoting the culture and practice of SSE in East Africa was also adopted to show the participants' determination in promoting the SSE in the region.  The purposes of the training was twofold: Equip participants with a better understanding of the SSE, knowledge to better sustain and improve the economic and social conditions of their communities through SSE, competitiveness and contribution to local economic development.  Provide a space for networking and partnership-building between local and regional SSE practitioners, policymakers and representatives of international organizations, and allow for a better understanding of the role of SSE in the current development frameworks e.g. the UN 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063 of the African Union based on knowledge gained at previous regional exchanges, seminars, workshops and academies.  Mr. Joungyoul Kim (GSEF's Co-Chair) and Ms. Laurence Kwark (GSEF's Secretary General) also took this opportunity to pay courtesy calls to Ms. Rebecca Kadaga (Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda), Mr. Charles Mayiga (Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Buganda) and Mr. Erias Lukwago (Lord Mayor of Kampala). The Delegation of GSEF shared the GSEF vision during the meetings. They agreed to have further engagements to explore the practicability of the SSE on both city and national level, especially in terms of legal framework and introduction of relevant public policies. The SSE training program for local leaders and practitioners in Uganda and the EAC region constituted a unique opportunity for policy makers, SSE practitioners, representation from NGOs and international organizations in the East African region to build a common understanding and advance the development of the social economy. A Kampala Declaration was also adopted to mark the participants' commitment toward this objective. Once their final text is ready for publication, it will be shared in here and submitted to the local council for future action.   Media & Resources Photos of the event
  • GSEF Training & Workshop Series: National Training in Senegal 1 May 2019 to 3 May 2019

    Venue: Saly, Senegal Organized by GSEF in partnership with Dakar Metropolitan Government, the Platform of Senegalese Non-State Stakeholders (PFAnE), and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), a national capacity-building training took place in Senegal from 1-3 May 2019. This event gathered representatives from local governments, NGOs, SSE organizations, and the private sector from all over the country.    [[{"fid":"3310","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]] As part of the Training, workshops were organized around each of the following topics: Legal framework and instruments & public policies Capacity building Governance of SSE organizations Financing for the SSE Access to markets Awareness raising and promotion of SSE at territorial level Exchanges and discussions led to drawing up specific recommendations and an action plan towards the development of SSE and the further structuring of SSE actors in the country. For more information, refer to the final report available in the download section of this page. This training in Senegal is the first in a series of regular capacity-building events aiming to identify common issues, share best practices, and allow knowledge exchange and partnership building between practitioners, while taking into consideration the needs and context of each territory. Future meetings will take place in Uganda, Mexico City and Seoul.   Media & Resources Photos of the event Press release from the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) (in French only) Message from Ms Laurence Kwark (in French only) Interview with Pr Babacar Gueye, President of the Platform of Senegalese Non-State Stakeholders (in French only) Interview with Mr Mourad Dieye Gueye, Secretary General of the City of Dakar and President of CEPEM (Business Incubator for the promotion of Employment through Microenterprise) (in French only) Interview with Mr Cheickh Gueye, Mayor of the commune of Dieppeul-Derklé and Member of the High Council of Local Government Authorities (HCCT) of Senegal (in French only) Interview with Mr Jean Goepp, Founder and Director of Nebeday (in French only) Interview with Ms Mame Saye Seck, Project Coordinator for the SSE, National Union of Senegalese Autonomous Trade Unions (UNSAS) (in French only)
  • C.I.T.I.E.S Learning Session 17 Apr 2018 to 20 Apr 2018

    As a part of joint activities between C.I.T.I.E.S and GSEF, C.I.T.I.E.S' team - which consists of experts from Quebec-based leading social finance organisations such as RISQ, MCE Conseils and CAP Finance - visited Korea from 17~20 April 2018 to enhance knowledge transfer efforts between the two regions. During their stay in Korea, the team led workshops for Seoul’s social finance practitioners on the experience of Quebec in promoting social finance as a pivot to the promotion of social and solidarity economy. The workshops presented methodological frameworks for analysing social economy organisations with particular reference to Quebec-based financial organisations’ know-how for fostering them.
  • APAY's ECM Learning Session 15 Mar 2018

    The GSEF was invited by the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) for a special lecture on the Social and Solidarity Economy which was delivered to around 100 members of APAY's Executive Committee on the 15th of March, 2018 at the YMCA City View Hotel in Hong Kong. As part of their annual executive committee meeting, the APAY, a GSEF Steering Committee Member, addressed this topic as part of a special learning session in order to draw their members’ attention to it and include it into the action plan on youth and social entrepreneurship for each of their member's country chapter.   As the network is based on Christian values, Rev. Song started his lecture by highlighting the important role of Christian leaders during the early stage of SSE movements by mentioning exemplary figures such as Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarietta from Mondragon, Catholic leaders in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Pastor Kagawa Toyohiko as a father of the cooperative movement in Kobe, Japan, or the role of YMCAs in early consumer cooperative movements in Korea. He then focused on why this alternative economic movement has reemerged after the financial crisis of the last decade. Since most of the audience came from the Asia Pacific Region, an emphasis was put on social and environmental issues of Asia - including unfair distribution of wealth, natural disasters due to the climate change, aging population, etc. – and the potential of SSE as a viable strategy to tackle those imminent issues. As evidence for the argument that the SSE can be a powerful solution for current issues in Asia, various cases of SSE initiatives were introduced, most of which were led by young practitioners in Asia. From a social housing project to fair trade groups, in many countries of the Asia-pacific region, the youth are making changes in their communities and societies through SSE activities and are drivers of innovation for a more sustainable and inclusive future. To wrap up the session, a series of questions were asked to the audience. How far have we come since the industrial revolution, the starting point of the SSE movement? How much freedom have we earned? How equal have we become? How much are we in solidarity with neighbors and how much are we responsible for each other? Rev. Song then gave a closing statement in which he says that the SSE movement still has a long way to go before the center of the economy moves back to the people from profit-making, and asked for the APAY members’ participation in the GSEF network. During the Q&A session which followed the lecture, many APAY members asked for future cooperation through GSEF. A representative from Penang, Malaysia, introduced community-based business ideas that allow locals to make use of their campsites, and asked for more specialized consulting from other SSE actors in other countries. Mr. Nam Boo Won, the secretary general of APAY, suggested a social business plan such as a collaborative training project for their young members which could help them find their social purpose and develop ideas . Rev. Song gladly received these valuable suggestions and promised to include them in future GSEF action plans.
  • UCLG Learning Session 19 Jun 2017

    The GSEF, in collaboration with the UCLG (United Cities of Local Government), SACN (South African Cities Network), City of Montreal, Barcelona Activa and C.I.T.I.E.S, organised a peer learning session at the Metropolis Congress on the 19th of June in Montreal. The central theme of the workshop was on ‘Vital Neighborhoods in Metropolitan Cities-Power of Urban Transformation through Social and Solidarity Economy,’ and various urban regeneration initiatives based on the SSE principles from different cities were presented through the workshop.
  • GSEF & ITC-ILO SSE Academy 26 Jun 2017 to 30 Jun 2017

    “Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies: A Contribution to the Future of Work”   Background The 8th ILO Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) was held in Seoul, Korea from the 26th to 30th of June, 2017. This Academy is the first version of its kind in Asia after previous successful trainings in Europe, North America, Africa, and Latin America, which have taken place since 2010. Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) has a potentially important role to play in reorienting economies and societies toward greater social and ecological sustainability. Especially in Asia, where rapid urbanisation and migration have resulted in many urban issues including poverty and inequality, along with safety and environmental issues, the SSE has emerged as a tangible, alternative solution. In the last couple of decades, SSE in Asia has developed considerably in various fields and areas. SSE in Asia ranges from producers’ cooperatives as local development plans, consumers’ cooperatives in urban communities, workers’ unions and community businesses, to social ventures and impact investors. Beyond these voluntary movements, there have also been various efforts by the central and local governments to promote SSE as a tool for local economic development, to generate employment, or as an alternative for social services. Although in some Asian countries the term of SSE has not been recognised by the general public and policymakers, the tradition of collective entrepreneurship or co-ownership of public resources has existed for a long time. This Academy aims to create an agora for discussion for all the diverse movements in Asia and an opportunity to share achievements and challenges amongst peers from other countries. Furthermore, it hopes to build a network of practitioners and get support and insights to develop initiatives, even after the event. SSE in Seoul and Korea Korea has received a lot of attention from the international community of SSE because of the rapid growth of SSE enterprises in the last decade, driven by strong governmental support. Notably, in Korea’s capital city, Seoul, the local government has strategically pursued its own social economy development plan for the last five years and has tried to build up a local ecosystem and supportive environment for SSE organisations based on a robust public-civil partnership. The number of SSE enterprises increased from 718 (in 2011) to 3,054 (in 2015), and these new enterprises have created over 17,900 new jobs. The annual revenue of these SSE enterprises was 1.28 billion dollars in 2014, which contributed to the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) to the order of 0.4%. It might be too early to evaluate policy impact at this time, but throughout the Academy, the trials and errors experienced by Korean practitioners of SSE will be shared, and participants will learn about the ecosystem being built. The experience of Seoul and Korea can then inspire other practitioners in not only Asia but those on different continents. The Main Theme of the Academy The central theme of the Academy is “Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies and their Contribution to The Future of Work.” Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to promote SSE, it is essential to acknowledge that state intervention on any level including laws, policies or development plans is necessary to create an ecosystem that promotes SSE. ‘Ecosystems’ for SSE include laws and regulations, capitals and finance, markets, human resources, support systems, networks, etc. To build up a robust ecosystem for SSE, the co-construction of public policy and participatory governance is also a significant factor. By promoting SSE through suitable ecosystems for SSE organisations, innovative ideas for the future of work can be realised. With their social and democratic values and equitable nature, SSE enterprises are showing what sustainable and inclusive workplaces look like despite the rising challenges of polarisation, technological innovation, unemployment and unstable jobs. Sub-topics of the Academy The sub-topics of the Academy cover each aspect of an innovative ecosystem for SSE, including the legal framework, social finance, networks, business development services and training, south-south and triangular cooperation, social innovation and the role of government, employers and workers’ organizations. Also, SSE potential in achieving SDGs will be covered through cases and evidence from the field, and the sharing of good practices. The proposed sub-topics are: Legal framework and certification system Social finance and SSE South-South and Triangular Cooperation: Experiences of Innovative Ecosystems for SSE Public Policies SSE and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Networks, Business Development Services and Training The Role of the Government, Employers and Workers Organizations in shaping innovative ecosystems for SSE public policies Social Innovation through SSE SSE and Youth Objectives The main aim of the SSE Academy will be to generate a better understanding of the concept of SSE and its possible contribution to social innovation in the world of work. At the end of the academy, the participants will: Have a better understanding of innovative ecosystems for SSE Public Policies. Have been acquainted with a multitude of social and solidarity experiences, strategies and tools from around the world, including examples of South-South and triangular cooperation. Have become part of a growing international network of policymakers and practitioners working on the SSE.
  • Joint Session with the Asia Foundation on Economic Development for Inclusive Cities at the 8th CityNet Congress 6 Nov 2017

    Economic Development for Inclusive Cities with Asia Foundation at CityNet Congress (6 November 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka) In collaboration with the Asia Foundation, GSEF organised a session on ‘Economic Development for Inclusive Cities’ on November 6th, at the 8th Congress in Colombo, Sri Lanka (5 ~ 8 Nov 2017). Various innovative urban initiatives were presented during the session by municipal representatives of Suwon (Korea), Seberang Perai (Malaysia) and Jaffina (Sri Lanka) as well as by urban experts based in Sri Lanka. Below is the summary of the session. Around 30 government officials, civil practitioners, and academics participated in the audience.   [[{"fid":"3533","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]] The session consisted mainly of two parts. The first part comprised of the case presentations of two cities, Suwon and Seberang Perai. Mayor Tae Young Yeom of Suwon city spoke about the city’s strategy of promoting social economy, starting with the candlelight protest last year in Korea, and the role of city government to protect the citizens’ spirit of democracy and their participation in every step of policy-making and implementation. Their efforts for the democratization of the economy have resulted in the rapid increase of social enterprises and the reduction of social issues such as the lack of employment for youth, people with disability, and the high cost of energy, etc. The second presentation was by Mayor Dato’ Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud, regarding social and economic inclusion of the city. He explained how the city’s 5-year strategic plan was citizen-led and introduced their gender-responsive participatory budgeting as well as the local development plan of New Butterworth region as examples. The second part of the session was a roundtable of three experts from Sri Lanka who discussed inclusiveness in the development strategy of Sri Lanka 30 years after the end of the war. Consisting of a policy expert, a civic analyst, and a local government official, these three panellists discussed the governments’ preparation of legal frameworks on inclusive social and economic development and came to the conclusion that if the system wishes to fulfill the needs of local communities, local governments should be guaranteed a certain amount of autonomy to build the local foundation and develop inclusive development policies. In the following Q&A session, city representatives from Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam commented on and questionned the two case presentations of Suwon and Seberang Perai in regards to solutions to tackle poverty in the region and discussed the level of citizens’ participation in the governance of public policies, and the level of the central government’s control over local governments’ budget and programs.  Category Speaker Contents addressed Part I   Moderated by Laurence Kwark Tae Young Yeom (Mayor, Suwon City) Suwon’s participatory policy-making process budgeting and citizen-led governance. Suwon’s Social Economy Support Center for promoting social enterprises to address youth unemployment and marginalised groups. Dato’ Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud (Mayor, Seberang Perai) Seberang Perai’s strategic development plan co-constructed by citizens. Participatory and gender responsive city budgeting with urban regeneration project ‘New Butterworth Project’ for revitalizing public spaces. Part II   Moderated by Gopa Kumar Thampi   (Director of Economic Governance, The Asia Foundation) A. Subakaran (Chief Technical Advisor, Centre for Governance Innovations) The inclusive development plan of Sri Lanka is well equipped regarding laws and policies. However, the voice of the communities has not yet reached policymakers. To combat this, the regional council should be given more power. N. Liyanage (Research Professional, Centre for Poverty Analysis) In the government’s megapolis development strategy, inequality of land ownership becomes an obstacle of inclusive development. The government should be more aware of who must be included in the development strategy and the current situation in the field. P. Vegeshan (Commissioner, Jaffina Municipal Council) As a local government officer, Mr. Vegeshan highlighted how peoples’ desire to make a small change at the local level became important after the war. As a result, Jaffina City focuses on equal access to ICT for policy making and administration.