Ecosocial Innovations in Europe: How Social and Solidarity Economy Actors Can Promote the Sustainable Development Goals

Abstract - EN

This paper focuses on small-scale social and solidarity economy (SSE) actors for a transformation towards sustainable societies. These actors’ ecosocial innovations (ESIs)—for example, food cooperatives, reuse centres, and alternative mobility projects—successfully combine all dimensions of sustainability in new ecosocial practices. By inventing and establishing these practices on the local level, the ESIs promote Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8 on employment and decent work, and also strengthen the implementation of other goals. The empirical part of this paper is based on a Finnish social work research project that examines multiple ESIs in four different European countries. The main hypothesis is that these innovations and their successfully implemented ecosocial practices as part of SSE are undervalued actors regarding the promotion and implementation of SDG 8 and sustainable development in general. The study shows the high potential of ESIs on the local level, as well as the obstacles and limitations that should be overcome to improve the transformative power of ESIs.

SDGs in this paper:

08. Decent Work and Economic Growth