RIPESS is a global network of continental networks committed to the promotion of Social Solidarity Economy. The member networks themselves (Latin America and the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania) bring together national and sectorial networks, thus ensuring strong territorial anchoring. In recent years, international SSE organisations, active in at least three continents, have joined RIPESS: Urgenci, GSEF and INAISE. The combined global and local scope gives RIPESS legitimacy to promote SSE, foster intercontinental cooperation, and advocate at different levels.
The inherent nature of RIPESS includes the objective of contributing to systemic, transformative change. It does this by demonstrating how much SSE contributes in terms of real answers at local level to the existing system that is clearly showing its limits. RIPESS members believe in the importance of the globalisation of solidarity, and the ability to build and strengthen an economy that places people and planet at the centre of its activities.
In the process of building our network, we held global meetings in all continents: Lima in 1997, Quebec in 2001, Dakar in 2005, Luxemburg in 2009 and Manila in 2013. During this process, RIPESS was formally created in 2002. After 2013, with the changes at the global level such as sustainable development, climate change, increasing economic inequality, RIPESS has decided to engage itself in the promotion of SSE at the international and continental levels building alliances with many other SSE and civil society organisations.
In the current global context, RIPESS raises the voice and thematic proposals for SSE. This includes themes as vital as food sovereignty, public policy that supports SSE, implementation of the SDGs through SSE, the role of women in SSE, ethical finance, inclusive local development etc.
Since RIO+20, held in June 2012, RIPESS has relentlessly participated in developing the transformative development agenda that constitute Agenda 2030 adopted by the United Nations in September 2015. The implementation of the 2030 Agenda to its full potential is possible only if all countries of the world, and all international institutions, adopt a people’s centered development approach in which the full potential of SSE will deploy.
Towards this end, RIPESS has actively participated in the UNTFSSE as an Observer since the beginning. We are proud to promote the work of the UNTFSSE and its publications.
We also engage in promoting SSE approaches in international fora such as the annual meetings of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) held in July at the UN in New York, the LED World Forums, UNCTAD every four years, Habitat III and others.
RIPESS is also a reference regarding documentation on SSE: the RIPESS website gathers documents going back to the first global meeting held in 1997. RIPESS has also a specific resource website on social solidarity economy: SOCIOECO.org, that has over 10 000 documents of different types related to SSE, local development, food sovereignty and other subjects associated to SSE. Most documents are available in three languages (English, French and Spanish, and recently in Portuguese and in Italian, progressively opening to other languages).
RIPESS has an NGO accreditation with UNCTAD and with ECOSOC.