In 2013, Mayor Won-soon Park from Seoul brought together more than 1,000 social economy activists and local government officials from around the world to discuss job creation, fair growth and sustainable development. The event was the first Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF).
Next September, GSEF 2016 takes place in Montreal. Co-hosted by the City of Montreal and the Chantier de L’économie Sociale, the event is expected to bring 2,000 participants together to “work on the collaboration between local governments and the social and solidarity economy (SSE) organizations for the development of cities.”
Event organizers have issued a call for proposals to showcase existing projects that represent the best practices of collaboration between public authorities and social economy organizations. Projects from other organizations, including citizen's initiatives, private and hybrid enterprises, and universities, in collaboration with the SSE and/or local governments, will also be considered. The call for proposals is open until January 3, 2016.
Here are ideas from GSEF about who they're looking for:
- Local governments – Have you co-developed an innovative initiative with actors of the social and solidarity economy that have had an impact on the development of your community?
- Social and solidarity economy stakeholders – Have you co-developed an innovative initiative with public agencies of your community that have had an impact on the development of your city?
- Civil society stakeholders – Have you developed an innovative citizen initiative in collaboration with actors of the social and solidarity economy and/or public agencies in your community? Does it contribute to the social and solidarity economy?
- Private sector representatives – Has your enterprise developed an innovative initiative in collaboration with actors of the social and solidarity economy, for the development of cities? Does it contribute to the social and solidarity economy?
Reflecting on the importance of the SSE on economic, social, cultural and environmental levels, event organizers aim to highlight social innovations that help address the challenges city officials face. Topic to be covered include housing, food security, quality of life, cultural activities, recreational services, employment, social cohesion, and more. The goal of GSEF2016 is to "facilitate collaboration among public administrators and SSE actors by presenting best practices, whether they be processes, tools, or innovative results emerging from co-constructed public policies. These best practices will be presented mainly by SSE and local government actors, though innovative citizen initiatives and private sector projects developed with the SSE will also be brought to the fore."