UNTFSSE second technical symposium

The second technical symposium of the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) took place in Trento (Italy) on 21 and 22 November 2019. It was organized by the International Labour Organization and facilitated by the ILO International Training Centre, co-sponsored by the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy of the Luxembourg Government and hosted by EURICSE.

Thirty-six participants took part in the event which included resource persons and representatives of 6 members (ILO, OECD, UNCTAD, UNDESA, UNDP, UNRISD and 9 observers (CSEND, CIRIEC, Euclid Network, EURICSE, FMDV, GSEF, ICA, SSE International Forum, RIPESS).

The event was an opportunity to reflect on achievements since its establishment in 2013, challenges ahead and strategies for the future. As main result, the Task Force agreed upon key actions to be jointly undertaken by its members and observers in the next biennium.

🔍 Check the Brief_Report_UNTFSSE Technical Symposium.

#4EMESPolanyi Seminar | Submission deadline approaching soon

Abstracts for the next 4th EMES-Polanyi International Seminar are due on December 15th, 2019.
This international seminar will be held at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS)Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme!

🔍 Check the call for papers, submission link, registration and important dates.

📚 Download the 48 papers published so far from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd EMES-Polanyi seminars.

This seminar is a co-organized COST Empower-SE Action, so funding will be available to selected participating authors with accepted papers (see the call for papers for eligibility).


Policy Analyst – Social Economy and Entrepreneurship at OECD

The Local Employment, Skills and Social Innovation Division (LESI) advises governments on policies and programmes on a range of issues, notably to enhance the effectiveness of labour and skills policies in different local labour markets, local economic development opportunities, and the social inclusion of vulnerable groups through various strategies, including social entrepreneurship. LESI serves the Directing Committee of the Co-operative Action Programme for Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED) and manages the Committee’s annual OECD Local Development Forum to engage a wider range of stakeholders in its work, including social enterprises and social innovators.

The LESI Division is looking for a Policy Analyst to work on policies for the social economy, social entrepreneurship and social innovation. The work will include analysis of policies and programmes that promote inclusive growth by overcoming barriers to social entrepreneurship and the social economy, as well as inclusive entrepreneurship, at national and local levels.

For details please access the full call for proposals here in English and French.

The deadline for submission is 16 October 2019.

Junior Technical Officer on Social and Solidarity Economy at ILO Geneva

A Development Cooperation programme was developed by the ILO that is financially supported by the Korean Government in order to leverage their potential comparative advantages with a vision toward advancing SSE in the Asian context. The project aims to enhance the understanding on the SSE in Asia and the Pacific region and provide technical support to countries in need to develop/strengthen their SSE policy. The Technical Officer (P1) for this project will assist the coordination of the overall activities of the above programme by providing technical support to the project and contribute to the expected outcomes. The incumbent will promote ILO policies in the project related technical areas and other components of the ILO decent work agenda through the mandate of the Unit. Good command of Korean is required.

For details please access the full call for proposals here.

The deadline for submission is 13 October 2019.

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy? International Conference

Date: 25 – 26 June 2019

  • Time: 9.00-17.00
  • Location: Room II, III and IV at R3 South, ILO, Geneva. Enter through gate 4 (R2 North)
  • Donor(s): Government of the Republic of Korea, represented by Statistics Korea; Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social Economy and Economic Solidarity of Luxembourg; UNRISD; ILO

Reema Nanavaty, General Secretary of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), addresses conference in a video message after illness prevented her from participating in person.

This event was part of a series of conferences resulting from the Call for Papers “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” launched by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2018. It aimed to identify and mobilize research from different regions and territories which, by critically examining the role of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), can contribute to the UNTFSSE’s efforts to scale up and promote SSE as means of implementation of the SDGs. 

A detailed programme is available here, and the Conference Summary can be downloaded here.

This two-day conference would:

  • provide a space for researchers, practitioners and policy decision-makers to share and exchange evidence and ideas about the connections between SSE and people, planet, prosperity, participation and partnerships in different local contexts;
  • demonstrate, through evidence-based analysis, concrete ways in which SSE contributes to sustainable development, and to the implementation and achievement of the SDGs; and
  • contribute to enhancing the visibility of SSE as a means of implementation of the SDGs within and beyond the UN system.

Invited speakers included 43 paper presenters (identified through the Call for Papers that generated proposals from more than 320 researchers from 60 countries); personnel from UN agencies, particularly the members of the UNTFSSE; and representatives of civil society organizations.

The Conference was carried out with the support of seed funding from the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social Economy and Economic Solidarity of Luxembourg and the Republic of Korea in addition to ILO and UNRISD institutional funds.

Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy? Asia Edition

Date: 24 Feb 2019

  • Time: 11.30 – 16.30
  • Location: Wonju Campus, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea

This event is part of a series of conferences resulting from the Call for Papers “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” which was launched by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2018 and organized by UNRISD. With the Call for Papers, the UNTFSSE aims to identify and mobilize research from different regions and territories which, by critically examining the role of SSE, can contribute to the Task Force’s efforts to scale up and promote SSE as means of implementation of the SDGs.

Asia Edition

Special Session at the International Conference on the Localization of the SDGs and the Co-Construction of the Means of Implementation.

This session, co-hosted by the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF), will discuss ways in which SSE, broadly conceptualized, impacts our ability to implement and localize the crosscutting nature of the SDGs in the Asian context. The papers will be made available to policy makers, SSE and development practitioners, researchers and UN entities on the UNTFSSE’s Knowledge Hub for the SGDs (hosted by UNRISD).

Part 1
Laurence Kwark—Secretary General, Global Social Economy Forum, Seoul – Republic of Korea
Anup Kumar Dash—Board Member, Development Bank of India, Bhubaneswar – India

  • SSE as a driving force in localizing the SDGs and scaling up impact: The case of women’s SHG in India.

Chaminda Hettiarachchi—Director of the Fablanka Foundation, Colombo – Sri Lanka
Pubudu Senaratne

  • Digital Fabrication Labs for implementing SDGs in SSE in Sri Lanka.

Kanak Kanti Bagchi—Professor of Economics at University of North Bengal, Darjeeling – India

  • Cooperatives as a means of fostering integrated and sustainable development – a case study of Nepal.

Rolan Literatus—Tenured Instructor and Lecturer at Xavier University, Ateneo de Cagayan – the Philippines

  • Health maintenance cooperative: an alternative model to universal health coverage in the Philippines.

Caitlyn Bentley—Research Fellow at the Agency and Assurance Institute, Australian National University, Canberra – Australia

  • Can the platform economy scale the social and solidarity economy? The role of digital platforms in Indonesia’s tourism sector.

Part II
Ilcheong Yi—UNRISD, Geneva – Switzerland
Garam Lee—Doctoral Candidate, Yonsei University, Seoul – Republic of Korea

  • Rise of Social and Solidarity Economy in South Korea and its role for social inclusion and social empowerment.

Tahsina Khan—Associate Professor at the American International University, Dhaka – Bangladesh
Wahed-ul Huq Khandkar

  • Micro-finance interventions in renewable energy: promoting sustainable rural development through solar electrification.

Rufus Kamran—Executive Director, Society for Peace and Sustainable Development, Islamabad – Pakistan

  • Enhancing food security, nutrition and poverty reduction through SHGs. An experience from Pakistan.

Preethi Solomon—Ph.D. Scholar at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai – India

  • Social and Solidarity economy as a tool for sustainable marine fishery: An illustration based on fishermen’s cooperatives in Kerala, India.

The Call for Papers was carried out with the support of seed funding from the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Social Economy and Economic Solidarity of Luxembourg, in addition to UNRISD institutional funds.

The present event has received additional support for participant travel from Yonsei University.


Localizing the SDGs through Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable and Resilient Societies—An Official Side Event of the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

The UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), member of the UNTFSSE is organizing this side event to the 2018 High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York.

  • Date: 17 July 2018
  • Time: 10.00-12.00
  • Location: Church Center of the United Nations (2nd Floor), 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
  • Donor(s): Global Social Economy Forum
  • Counterpart(s): UN-DESA Department for Inclusive Social Development, Global Social Economy Forum
  • This event is open to the public.


As an integrated and balanced approach to development, social and solidarity economy (SSE) has the potential to function as an intelligent means of localizing the 2030 Agenda.

At this side event, speakers will discuss new research evidence and local government experience of SSE, and the enabling conditions—such as institutional arrangements, political forces and economic possibilities—which are needed for it to succeed in diverse contexts.
In keeping with the mandate of the HPLF to provide guidance and recommendations on implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the panellists at this event will share knowledge and experience on how SE is contributing to realizing the 2030 Agenda’s vision of transformation, and achieving the goals and targets at the local level, in particular in cities.
For the programme and more details, click here.

Call for Proposals – Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?

The United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) is launching a Call for Papers to assess the contribution of SSE to inclusive and sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on local contexts. Organized by UNRISD, in its role as coordinator of the Task Force’s recently established Knowledge Hub, the Call for Papers aims to identify and mobilize research from different regions and territories that critically examines the role of SSE as a means of implementation for the SDGs.

Authors of the selected papers will be invited to present their work at a conference at the United Nations in Geneva, planned for April 2019. Selected submissions will also gain visibility through publication as working papers and think pieces. As publications under the banner of the Task Force’s Knowledge Hub, the pieces selected will have international impact and will contribute to UN efforts to scale up and promote SSE as means of implementation of the SDGs.

Access the full Call for Papers here

Research Themes and Questions

The Call invites researchers and practitioners to submit proposals for papers related to two main issue areas:

i. SSE as a means of implementation for the SDGs. Of interest are the ways in which SSE actors and institutions can facilitate the implementation of goals and targets associated with the SDGs, particularly in local settings. What works and why? What is the comparative advantage of SSE in relation to other forms of economy, in terms of minimizing trade-offs between different dimensions of development and promoting a more integrated approach? What actors and institutions are key for creating an enabling environment for SDG implementation through SSE? What is the scope for replicating positive initiatives in other local settings?

ii. Measuring SSE, its scale and impact. In a context where systematic data on SSE are still scarce, where definitions and indicators vary, and where statistics often fail to capture the diversity of SSE actors and impacts, the Call aims to identify robust methodologies and innovative solutions for measuring SSE and its impacts.

The submission process for the Call for Papers is open from 1 June until midnight CEST on 2 August 2018. To participate, please read the full Call for Papers and then follow the instructions.

Remembering Jens Nilsson & Paul Singer

The UNTFSSE wishes to honour the lives of two colleagues, Jens Nilsson and Paul Singer, who regrettably passed away in March and April, respectively. They both in their own way contributed to the Social and Solidarity Economy as we know it. They each leave behind a legacy for those presently working in the field and for future generation of SSE leaders. Our thoughts are with their loved ones and all those who knew them.


Jens Nilsson (1948-2018)

By Miguel Ángel Cabra de Luna, Member of the European Economic and Social Committee in representation of the Spanish Business Confederation of the Social Economy


It is with immense sadness that we learned of the early passing of Jens Nilsson, chair of the European Parliament’s Social Economy Intergroup, on 13th March at the age of 69.  Jens has been a driving force in the promotion of Social Economy across Europe and will be greatly missed.

A convinced social democrat, before becoming a politician, Jens worked as an ombudsman and communicator. Prior to becoming a Member of the European Parliament in 2009, he was Mayor of the city of Östersund 1994-2010, from where he initiated the European Network of Cities and Regions for the Social Economy (REVES), of which he was its first President during 1997-2001. He was also a member of the EU’s Committee of the Regions (1999-2010) and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (2007-2010). In all these capacities Jens cooperated with different UN agencies and tirelessly worked to bring the local, national and international governance levels together.

The UN family would like to honor Jens by recognizing and remembering his strong commitment to the promotion of the social and solidarity economy model as a driver for inclusive growth and social justice.

His passing leaves a great emptiness for his family and for all who knew and appreciated working with him. Yet his ideas and vision will stay alive.


Paul Singer (1932-2018)

By Peter Utting, International Coordinator at the Center for Social Economy (Centro para la Economía Social) based in Managua, Nicaragua, and Senior Research Associate with the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).


It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Paul Singer, former head of Brazil’s National Secretariat for Solidarity Economy (SENAES), on 16 April 2018.  Paul both supported and inspired the work of UNRISD and the ILO in this field. In 2013 he opened the international conference we co-organized on the Potential and Limits of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE), out of which emerged the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE.

His ideas and work were informed by his academic background as an economist, sociologist, university professor and researcher; his political activism as a founder and member the Workers’ Party; and his policy making experience as Municipal Secretary of Planning of São Paulo.

He skillfully brought together theory and practice to craft a comprehensive strategy for social change in Brazil that positioned SSE as a central player.  The potential of SSE, he believed, resides in the way it connects different dimensions of development:

“Social and solidarity economy refer to collective practices of sustainable development that contribute to building a more just and egalitarian world(…) by linking economy to society, local to global, labour to investment, and production, consumption and the environment.” (Paul Singer, Secretary for Solidarity Economy, Ministry of Labour and Employment, in PARDEV Newsletter No. 30, June 2012.

This strategy recognized that an effective enabling environment for SSE must go beyond a narrow range of financial and fiscal incentives. He emphasized the importance of strengthening the capacities of SSE enterprises through technology and skills development. To this end he involved the universities in the programmes of SENAES, notably through the promotion of over 100 incubators.  Under Paul’s tenure as National Secretary, solidarity economy became a key element in the poverty eradication programme, Brasil Sem Miséria. State institutions supported solidarity organizations and enterprises through their procurement policies and initiatives to create and strengthen cooperatives. And crucially, he knew that effective policy making required the active participation of SSE actors and social movements, as well as participatory governance structures that spanned national, regional and local levels.

In later life, Paul increasingly engaged with intellectuals, activists and policy makers in other countries that were promoting SSE. He was convinced that the strengthening of SSE in his country was part and parcel of a global movement for change – a movement that today draws heavily on the concept of solidarity economy that he developed and the experience of Brazil where he played such a pivotal role.

For more on Paul’s ideas and professional and political life we invite you to read an interview published in 2016 in Global Dialogue, the magazine of the International Sociological Association.