EFSSE 2016 Conferences and Workshops main speakers

*The list may not be exhaustive
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Ourania Antonopoulou

Alternate Minister of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity
GREECE

Ourania Antonopoulou  is the Alternate Minister of the Greek Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. She specializes in macro-micro linkages of sectoral investment and their impact on reducing inequalities, international competition and globalization; job guarantee policies and their macroeconomic and employment impacts; social protection and poverty reduction; and the implications of paid and unpaid work on poverty measurement and poverty reduction policies. Antonopoulou has served as the macroeconomic policy adviser for UN Women and expert adviser and consultant for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). As a director of research at the Levy Economics Institute she coordinated policy analysis commissioned by several governments,  contributing to the adoption of employment creation policies with a special focus on gender equality.

Conference 3: Public policies matching the SSE needs and challenges

(13h30, venue: 6Q2 – Interpretation: ENG, FR, SPA)

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Nicolas Schmit

Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy
LUXEMBOURG

Following secondary school studies, Nicolas Schmit pursued higher education studies at the Institut d’études politiques of Aix-en-Provence, from which he graduated with a Master of Arts in 1977 and a DEA (post-graduate diploma of advanced studies) in international relations in 1978. He was also awarded a doctorate in economics from the Faculty of Law and Economics of Aix-Marseille in 1982.

In 1979, he started his political and diplomatic career as an attaché in the Prime Minister’s office in Luxembourg, followed by the Ministry of Foreign affairs. In 1989, he became Secretary to the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party delegation in the Chamber of Deputies.

From 1990 to 1992, Nicolas Schmit held the post of advisor to the Permanent Representation of Luxembourg to the European Union in Brussels.

From 1992 to 1998, he was head of the Department of International Economic Relations and Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Following the legislative elections of 13 June 2004, Nicolas Schmit joined the government as Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Immigration on 31 July 2004.

Upon the return of the coalition government formed by the Christian Social Party (CSV) and the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP) as a result of the legislative elections of 7 June 2009, Nicolas Schmit was appointed Minister of Labour, Employment and Immigration on 23 July 2009.

Following the legislative elections of 20 October 2013, Nicolas Schmit was appointed Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy on 4 December 2013 in the coalition government formed by the Democratic Party (DP), the LSAP and the Green Party (“déi gréng”).

Conference 3: Public policies matching the SSE needs and challenges

(13h30, venue: 6Q2 – Interpretation: ENG, FR, SPA)

 

rogerio roque amaro

Rogério Roque Amaro

RIPESS Advisory Board
PORTUGAL

He holds a graduate degree in Economics by ISEG (School of Economics and Management) of UTL (Technical University of Lisbon) in 1974 (final grade, 16/20). He was lecturer at ISCTE-IUL (University Institute of Lisbon) between 1974 and 1985, assistant professor between 1985-1990 and has since been associate professor at the same university. He was also lecturer at the Faculty of Human Sciences of the Portuguese Catholic University (Lisbon), between 1974 and 1977.

Then in 1980, he completed his PhD in Analysis and development planning at the University of Social Studies of Grenoble (Université de Sciences Sociales II de Grenoble, France).

He has been professor at undergraduate level in the degrees of Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, Management, Social Psychology and Modern and Contemporary History.

He is currently teaching Economics and Policies of Development and Social Solidarity Economy for undergraduates in Economics at ISCTE-IUL.

He has developed and has since been professor, at ISCTE-IUL  of the Masters (MSc) “Development: Local Diversities and Global Challenges” (since 2002-2003) and “Social and Solidarity Economy” (since 2005-2006). Currently, at the graduate level, he is responsible for the following  courses: Theories and Practices of Development; Seminar on Development; Development Intervention Methodologies; Research Methodologies for Development Studies; Seminar on Social and Solidarity Economy; Solidarity Economy, Welfare and Social Cohesion.

He also collaborates with the Masters of African Studies and Urban Design (ISCTE-IUL), Sociology – at FEUC – Faculty of Economics of Coimbra University and at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Evora, Social Service (at FEP – Faculty of Economics of the University of Oporto) and Local Development (at IDEGA – Instituto de Estudios y Desarrollo de Galicia, at Universidad de Santiago de Compostela).

He has been a thesis advisor for 124 master students, from which 16 correspond to the Master Degree in Social end Solidarity Economy and 15 are PhD thesis, three of which are in the same field of study.

Currently, Professor Roque Amaro is deputy-director of CEI (Centre for International Studies – ISCTE-IUL) and Chairman of the Scientific Committee of ACEESA (Centre for Solidarity Economy Studies of the Atlantic). He is a founding member of RIPESS-Europe (Réseau Intercontinental de Promotion de l’Économie Sociale et Solidaire – Europe), a member of RIUESS (Réseau Inter-Universitaire de l´Économie Sociale et Solidaire) and director and editor of Review of Solidarity Economy (ISSN 1647-5968) since 2009.

Rogério Roque Amaro is also a founding member of other Research Centers, namely: DINAMIA – Center for the Socioeconomic Change (1989) and PROACT – Research-Action Center for Local development, Environmental Valorization and Fight Against Social Exclusion (1997), both in ISCTE-IUL, and a member of CEA – Center for African Studies (ISCTE-IUL), since 1990.

Ha has also been a Consultant of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in the field of Development, of the International Labour Organization (ILO), on Social and Solidarity Economy and of the Regional Government of Açores – Social Action Institute, especially for the project and organizations of Solidarity Economy. He was the President of ANIMAR – Portuguese Network of Local Development (2009-2012).

Conference 1: The SSE in Europe: current status and trends

(9h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

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Alain Arnaud

President of CIRIEC International
FRANCE

Graduate of Higher Education in Economics and the National School of Customs, Alain Arnaud, 68, has dedicated his professional life to public service as Regional Director of the French Customs – and the social economy, including President Director General of the French Bank Mutualiste (BFM), President of the Civil Service Mutual (MFP), and Director of the French Mutuality (FNMF). He currently chairs CIRIEC international and CIRIEC France as well.

Conference 1: The SSE in Europe: current status and trends

(9h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

Jean-Louis-Cabrespines

Jean-Louis Cabrespines

President of the CNCRES (Conseil National des Chambres Régionales d’Economie Sociale et Solidaire)
FRANCE

Clinical psychologist and engineer in training and adult education , Jean-Louis Cabrespines, 65, made his career as director of professional organisations of the social economy federating associations in the branch of insertion economic and social action, having held responsibilities in the field and then in the central administration in the field of employment policies and the social and professional integration of young people, justice and policy the city. He is chairman of CNCRES since 2010. He chaired the CEGES from 2012-2014 and CRESS Burgundy from 2004 to 2014. He serves on the Supreme Council of the Social Solidarity Economy and the Economic, Social and Environmental his region Burgundy.

Conference 3: Public policies matching the SSE needs and challenges

(13h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

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Michel Catinat

Head of Unit, DG Enterprise and Industry, European Commission
EU

Michel CATINAT is a civil servant with the Commission of the European Union, having joined in 1986. Since the 1st of October 2010, Michel CATINAT is Head of Unit “ICT for Competitiveness and Industrial Innovation”, Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry. Amongst other duties, he is currently in charge of the European policy on “Key Enabling Technologies”.

Previously, Mr CATINAT was Head of Unit “Sustainable development, climate change and competitiveness”, Head of Unit  for  “Information Society and the Information Technologies”. He has been involved in the definition and implementation of measures to support the emergence of the Information Society in Europe. From 1986 to 1989, he has been appointed as Economic Adviser in the Directorate General for Economic and Financial Affairs, European Commission. He carried out the economic analysis of the European Single Market Policy.

Before joining the Commission, Mr CATINAT held a number of posts as economist in the French administration services in the Economic Planning Office (Prime Minister) and in the National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs).

Mr CATINAT attended the “Ecole Polytechnique” in Paris where he graduated with a Master of Science in Engineering. He is also graduated with a Master in Economics. He is former Fellow at the Centre for International Affairs at Harvard University (USA) and was professor at the College of Europe in Bruges, teaching “Information and Communication Technologies: Impact and Structure”.

Conference 4: The SSE and the role of the European Parliament

(15h00, venue: 6Q2 – Interpretation: ENG, FR, SPA)

Ann branch

Ann Branch

Head of Unit “Job Creation”, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission
EU

Ann Branch grew up in London in a mixed Anglo-Finnish family. She studied political science as an undergraduate at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and has a Master of Philosophy in European studies from Nuffield College, Oxford University. She has written numerous academic articles on European industrial relations and European social dialogue. She has been working for the European Union since 1999 and since 2008 she has been in charge of the unit in the European Commission responsible for the European Union’s Culture programme, four European Union cultulral prizes (for contemporary literature, contemporary architecture, cultural heritage, and rock, pop and dance music). She was also in charge of the European Capitals of Culture, and a new initiative for a European Heritage Label.

 

Conference 4: The SSE and the role of the European Parliament

(15h00, venue: 6Q2 – Interpretation: ENG, FR, SPA)

silvia ferreira

Silvia Ferreira

Professor and Researcher at University of Coimbra
PORTUGAL

She is an assistant professor in Sociology at the Faculty of Economics of Coimbra University, researcher at the Centre for Social Studies and at the Center for Cooperative and Social Economy Studies of the Faculty of Economics.

She holds a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University (UK). She has been involved in research on social security reform, third sector and social policy, gender equality in third sector organisations, social entrepreneurship and social innovation, volunteering, local governance through state/third sector partnerships. Her basic interest has been the evolving nature of the welfare state and of welfare mixes with particular emphasis on the role of the third sector/social economy.

Her extension work focuses the relation between the university and society, particularly the third sector.

Conference 1: The SSE in Europe: current status and trends

(9h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

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Mariana Vilnitzky

ALTERNATIVAS ECONÓMICAS S.COOP  SOCIA
SPAIN

Mariana Vilnitzky is a journalist with experience in social economy, and particularly on cooperative works.

Since 2012 she has formed and shaped, with other journalists , Economic Alternatives Magazine , sister of the historic French magazine Alternatives Economiques, who has 30 years of existence .

Shee has also worked with the Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives ( COCETA ) for over ten years in the journalistic approach to the dissemination of the cooperative; she has been responsible of Empresaytrabajo.coop, which gathers information on cooperative workers for all Spain.

 

Workshop 7: Communication; Education and training tools

(15h00, venue: Yehudi Menuhin PHS, 1st floor – Only ENG )

 
Goran-Jeras

Goran Jeras

CEO at Cooperative for Ethical Financing
CROATIA

After study of physics in Zagreb, Goran moved to The Netherlands and started working as a consultant for large financial institutions. For 7 years he was designing software solutions for various clients and analysing and developing risk models compliant with new regulatory framework. Frustrated with the behaviour and failings of commercial banks and economic system unable to ensure fair distribution of wealth, sustainable development and needs of people in general, in 2010 he started researching and developing alternative financial and business models for local communities based on the principles of economic democracy, trust, collaboration, solidarity, protection of commons and sustainable use of resources. In 2013 he moved back to Croatia and started the process of creation of an ethical bank based on innovative open-source platform, aiming to become financial backbone of the SSE in Croatia. Since July 2015, Goran is member of GECES (EC Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship).

Conference 3: Public policies matching the SSE needs and challenges. Experiences from the local level.

(13h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

Erdmuthe P

Erdmuthe Klaer

Deputy General Secretary of the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy (REVES)

Erdmuthe Klaer-Morselli is Deputy Secretary General at the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy (REVES, aisbl) and board member of Social Economy Europe. Since 2005 she is co-ordinating partnership-based activities of social economy and public authorities from different cities and regions all over Europe. She is also in charge of following related (legislative) initiatives of the various EU institutions and bodies. Erdmuthe has been active in the associative and solidarity-economy sectors in Germany and Belgium for many years. She studied communication and political science in Münster and Berlin (D) and holds a Master Degree in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe/Warsaw campus.

Conference 3: Public policies matching the SSE needs and challenges

(13h30, venue: 6Q2 – Interpretation: ENG, FR, SPA)

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Dr. Yiorgos Alexopoulos

Department of Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens
GREECE

Dr. Yiorgos Alexopoulos is Senior Researcher at the Department of Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece and Marie Curie Fellow at Euricse, Trento, Italy working on social finance solutions, mechanisms and instruments for financing social economy enterprises. He has worked with the OECD as an expert on social finance and social economy enterprise development. He is member of the Think Tank of the European Association of Co-operative Banks, member of the BoD and head of the Scientific Committee of the Greek Institute of Co-operation. Since June 2015 he is member of the Commission Expert Group on Social Entrepreneurship (GECES).

Workshop 2: Transformative instruments of finance and mutual aid financing

(11h00, venue: P1C051; -Only ENG)

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Peru Sasia

Member of board of Fiare Banca Etica
SPAIN

PhD in Chemistry from the University of the Basque Country. During 20 years developed his professional activity in the industrial sector, mainly in the fields of water treatment and occupational health. In 2004 took a position as researcher and professor of the Centre for Applied Ethics of the University of Deusto in Bilbao, responsible of the “organizational ethics” research line. In May 2013, become first Spanish member of the board of Banca Popolare Etica (www.bancaetica.org). He is also board member of the Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks (www.febea.org) and the Spanish Solidarity Economy Network (REAS) (www.economiasolidaria.org).

Workshop 2: Transformative instruments of finance and mutual aid financing

(11h00, venue: P1C051; – Only: ENG)

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Jean-Louis Laville

Professor at Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, Paris and Chair in Social Economy
FRANCE

Sociologist and economist, Jean-Louis Laville is a professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM). After being a researcher and leading a CNRS laboratory, he continued his research in economic sociology at the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Economic Sociology (Lise, CNAM-CNRS, Paris). Moreover he is the European coordinator of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy.

Editor in Brasil, France and Italy, he has recently published Sociologie des services, Erès, 2005 ; Action publique et économie solidaire, Erès, 2007 (codirigé avec J.P. Magnen, G.C. de França Filho et A. Medeiros ); Dictionnaire de l’autre économie, Gallimard, 2007 (dirigé avec A.D. Cattan i); Travail, une nouvelle question politique, Desclée de Brouwer, 2008; Politique de l’association, Paris, Seuil, 2010

Conference 1: The SSE in Europe: current status and trends

(9h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

For more information:

Blog – http://alternatives-economiques.fr/blogs/laville/

Website –http://www.jeanlouislaville.fr/

Monzon

José Luis Monzón Campos

Professor at University of Valencia and President of CIRIEC-Spain
SPAIN

University Professor of Applied Economics (Economic Policy and Social Economy), President of the Scientific Commission of CIRIEC-España and Vice-president of CIRIEC-International. Director of CIRIEC-España, a Public, Social and Cooperative Economy journal and member of the Editorial Board of several Spanish and international journals. Director of both the Spanish and the Ibero-American Social Economy Observatory. He has managed several Spanish and international research projects on Social and Cooperative Economy, professional training and labor market, having collaborated as an expert with the European Commission and with the Social and Economic European Committee. He is the author of numerous articles and books on social economy. Among the latest publications stand out The Social Economy in the European Union (co-directed with Professor Rafael Chaves, last update in 2012) and the European Commission´s Manual for drawing up cooperative and mutual society satellite accounts (co-directed with Professor Barea). He has directed The main figures of the social economy in Spain: cooperatives, employee-owned companies, social enterprises, associations, foundations (Las grandes cifras de la Economía Social en España), Cooperative, mutual society and mutual provident society satellite accounts in Spain 2008 (Las cuentas satélite de las cooperativas, mutuas y mutualidades de previsión social en España. Año 2008) and Foundation satellite accounts in Spain (Las cuentas satélite de las fundaciones en España). He also directed a report for promoting the development of a Spanish Social Economy law, for the Ministry of Employment. First José Barea Medal of the Spanish Fiscal Studies Institute and San Pablo CEU in 2014.

Conference 1: The SSE in Europe: current status and trends

(9h30, venue: JAN 6Q2 – Interpretation: All EU languages)

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Rafael Chaves

Professor at University of Valencia and President of the Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economics of CIRIEC- International
SPAIN

Rafael Chaves is Professor of Economic Policy and Social Economy at the University of Valencia and leader of the Spanish TSI team. He obtained a European Doctorate Laureate in Economics in 1995 and was Director of the Research Institute IUDESCOOP for ten years until he took on the position of Director of the Official Doctorate Program on Social Economics at the same university. He is President of the Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economics of CIRIEC-international. His research has focused on public policies towards the third sector, major figures in the field of social economy, and definitions and theories on the third sector and social economy.
He has published in journals such as The Service Industries Journal, Service Business, Management Decision, Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, CIRIEC-España revista de economia publica social y cooperativa, Economía Industrial, International journal of rural development, Revista de estudios cooperativos, Nouvelles pratiques sociales, Journal of Cooperative Studies and books in editorials as De Boeck and Peterlang.
He has extensive experience in leading international and national projects, financed by European Institutions as the European Economic and Social Committee or the DGV of the European Union, the scientific network CIRIEC-International and the Spanish Ministry of Science.

Workshop 9:  Mapping and measuring the SSE

(15:00, venue: TBC – Only ENG)

 

For more information:

http://thirdsectorimpact.eu/profile/chaves/

RP

Riccardo Petrella

Professor Emeritus, Catholic University of Louvain
BELGIUM

Riccardo Petrella, 1941, Italy,  Present positions Professor Emeritus, Catholic University of Louvain (B), Founder and president of IERPE (Institut Européen de Recherche sur la Politique de l’Eau), promoter of the international Initiative “Banning Poverty 2018”.Founder of the Association “Univesity for the Common Good” (Antwerpen and Verona/Sezano). From 1970 to 75  Director of the European Coordination  Research Center  in Vienna (A). From 1979 to 94, Director of FAST (Forecasting and Assessement in Science and Technology), Commission of the European Communities (B).  In 1993 he created the Group of Lisbon and in 1997 the International Committee for a World Water Contract. During 2005 and 2006 he was President of the Acquedotto Pugliese (Apulian Regional Water Production  and Distribution Enterprise).

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Conference 1:  The SSE in Europe: current status and trends  

(09:30, venue: 6Q2v – Only ENG)

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Marie-Adélaïde Matheï

Research Analyst, UNRISD
BELGIUM

Marie-Adélaïde Matheï is Research Analyst at UNRISD. She joined the institute as a Research Intern in 2013 to assist Peter Utting with the project on “Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy”. Since 2015, she is also the Research Coordinator of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy. She has previously interned at the Belgian embassy in Kuala Lumpur where she drafted a report on Islamic Finance in Malaysia. She was also a trainee with DG Research and Innovation at the European Commission and did an internship at the Private Sector Department of Oxfam America.

Marie-Adélaïde holds a master in Economics from the University of Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium), during which she conducted research on time banks and complementary currencies in Chile. She also holds a master in International Relations and Diplomacy from the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Her master dissertation compared the follow-up of the European external trade policy at the federal and regional levels in Belgium. She spent a term as a visiting student at St Antony’s College, Oxford University, where she took the tutorial course “Islam in the West”. 


Her research focuses on the tensions and potential associated with forms of social and solidarity economy and finance.

Conference 2: Promotion of the SSE in the EU and in the World: challenges and perspectives  

(11:00, venue: 6Q2v – Only ENG)

 

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Yvon Poirier

Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) and Member of the Board on the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS).
CANADA

After his studies in Political Science at Laval University (Québec City), he was a teacher in a CEGEP (an intermediary level between high school and university). During those years he was a union activist and was involved in many social movements such as opposing the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In 1994,  was founding President of the Community Economic Development Corporation (CDEC) an association for the revitalization of the poor urban of Québec City. After retiring as a teacher, he has been involved full time networking in Local Development, Community Economic Development ( CED) and SSE.

Since 2004, his main activity has been involvement in RIPESS. He is a member of the RIPESS delegation in the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on the Social and Solidarity Economy(TFSSE). He has written various papers on the origins of the SSE concepts and on the role of Québec trade unions in SSE. He has participated in many World Social Forums.

In September 2015, he represented RIPESS at the United Nations General Assembly that adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for the 2015-2030 period. Besides attending the UNGA, he was involved in having a RIPESS colleague from Africa chosen as a civil society speaker for the Interactive Dialogue on Inclusive Economies. This allowed SSE to be heard at the UNGA.

He also is a RIPESS delegate to the International Leading Group on SSE initiated by France and the Mont-Blanc-Meetings group.

Blog: https://ccednet-rcdec.ca/fr/blogs/yvon-poirier

Conference 2: Promotion of the SSE in the EU and in the World: challenges and perspectives  

(11:00, venue: 6Q2v – Only ENG)

JH

Judith Hitchman

RIPESS International

Judith Hitchman is Irish, of Austrian and Czech parentage, and is professionally based in France, where she has lived for many years. She has 40 years of international experience in interpersonal communication training and management. She is a long-standing facilitator in managing cultural differences in international teams and has worked as a consultant, coordinator and simultaneous interpreter & translator with international networks of sustainable local development as well as the World Social Forum process. In recent years she has focused on work as a food sovereignty activist, and is currently President of Urgenci, the global Community Supported Agriculture network, a social movement that today represents over 1.5 million people. She held the mandate as Consumer Constituency representative within the Civil Society Mechanism of the Committee for World Food Security and Nutrition until last October. She is also one of the two Board Members for Europe in the Intercontinental Social and Solidarity Economy network (RIPESS), where her contributions focus on promoting how solidarity economy can provide a genuine rights-based alternative to the existing economic paradigm. One of the core aspects of her recent work has been building bridges between food sovereignty and solidarity economy, the two pillars of Urgenci’s affiliation at UN level on the questions of global food policy.

 

Conference 2: Promotion of the SSE in the EU and in the World: challenges and perspectives  

(11:00, venue: 6Q2v – Only ENG)

Bill Kelly

The Urban Co-op   (aka The Limerick Community Grocery Ltd.) and Meitheal Mid West
IRELAND

Until December 2009 Bill worked in the ICT sector with Wang, Worldcom, Dell and Tecnomen. In 2010 Bill started the Speakers Corner in Limerick – a platform for city centre debate on topical socioeconomic & political issues. In 2011 Bill, with others, setup Meitheal Mid West, to promote the Sustainable Cooperative Social Business Model in Ireland – using the highly successful Mondragon Cooperative Corporation as the benchmark.

Having invited Mondragon to Limerick in August 2011 to meet with various socioeconomic stakeholders, Bill organised a field trip to Mondragon (Nov 2011) to enable Irish people to see the benefits of the Mondragon socio economic model at first hand.

In March 2012 Bill persuaded the Limerick County & City Councils to lead an Interreg application titled “Cooperatives for Growth” the purpose of which is to mobilise the contribution of the cooperative movement for growth and jobs. This project involves Cooperatives, Local Authorities, Development Agencies and Universities in Ireland, UK, Netherlands, France and Spain.

Moving from advocacy to action, in July 2013 Bill and 18 others setup the Limerick Community Grocery (aka The Urban Co-op). Our twin objectives are (a) to sell wholesome food at affordable prices and (b) to demonstrate to the public (in our city) that urban cooperatives can work – www.theurbanco-op.ie . We are adapting successful cooperative grocery models from the UK & USA for the Irish environment.

The trigger for the change of direction in Bill’s career was the December 2009 redundancies in Tecnomen which saw 60% of the workforce lose their jobs to India (75 jobs). The fact that a group of engineers living in the Mid West could conceive, design, build, test, deploy and support a mobile phone billing system which grew from 0 to 50 million+ subscribers in 15 years isn’t necessarily note worthy. However, the complete segregation of the Intellectual Property ownership rights & capital on one side with Labour (highly skilled and otherwise) on the other side epitomised the flaws in our current economic development model i.e. the ease with which jobs can be off shored and the socio economic dislocation left in its wake. If the provision of Labour does not equate to ownership rights (of some form) what chance to build a better society.

Ireland’s prolonged overreliance on the FDI (tax haven) model of economic development has bred a culture of dependence at the middle and upper levels of Irish society. This culture accords disproportionate power & influence to multinational corporations and considers large scale involuntary emigration and the two tier society as part of the natural order of things. Ireland as an international tax haven is damaging to both Irish society and the broader international community.

 

Workshop 7:  SSE and ecological challenges

(15:00, venue: TBC – Only ENG)

For more information:

www.mondragon-corporation.com/ENG.aspx