The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream

Event Agenda

Day 1 :

13th September 2021
11:00 - 12:00
Opening remarks
The social and solidarity economy is gaining attention both nationally and internationally as a driver of inclusive and sustainable economic development and recovery. There is strong political momentum to support it further. Governments can count on the social and solidarity economy to meet their broader policy goals by unleashing its potential. This session will present the strategies that some governments are adopting to support the social and solidarity economy, the actions that international organisations are undertaking to raise its visibility, and how tapping into the expertise of the social economy can help policy makers improve people’s lives and stimulate innovation. (To access the French interpretation, please click on the information icon and select "FR")
12:00 - 13:30
Building back better: the social economy as a driving force for change
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant global economic and social disruption. As our economies recover, with global growth projected to reach 5.8% in 2021, the time is right to reflect on the lessons of the crisis and the important role the social and solidarity economy can play in building back better. Among these lessons, is the importance of the social economy, which accounts, only in EU countries, for 6-8% of GDP. The social and solidarity economy can support efficiency and resilience, and act as a strong vehicle for social innovation. It can also transform society, including by inspiring mainstream businesses to adopt more inclusive and responsible practices and models. This session will bring together international social and solidarity economy networks to envision what policy actions are needed to ensure the social and solidarity economy contributes to recovery. Key questions: • How concretely can the social and solidarity economy help build back in a more inclusive and sustainable way? • What policy actions are needed to support and stimulate the social and solidarity economy going forward? • How can policy makers and social and solidarity economy networks work together to unleash the transformational power of the social and solidarity economy? (To access the French interpretation, please click on the information icon and select "FR")

Day 2 :

14th September 2021
11:00 - 12:30
How to make the most of legal frameworks?
The social and solidarity economy has gained strong political momentum around the world and will play an even greater role in the future. National and local governments recognise the critical contribution of social economy organisations to economic and inclusive growth and sustainable development. The social and solidarity economy typically covers a wide variety of legal and organisational forms. Almost all countries have some form of legislation governing social economy organisations: associations, co-operatives, mutual organisations and foundations. Some countries, including 16 EU countries, have introduced specific legal frameworks to support the development of social enterprises, which are also part of the social economy. Legal frameworks can have a significant impact on the visibility, recognition, credibility and development of the field and can facilitate application of targeted public support schemes (financial and non-financial, tax incentives, etc.). This session will showcase new OECD work on how to leverage the potential of the social and solidarity economy through legal frameworks to achieve strategic priorities such as social inclusion, job creation and green transition, and share experience from leading experts, policy makers and practitioners in the field. Key questions: • To what extent can legal frameworks help the recognition and visibility of the social and solidarity economy? • Do we absolutely need legal frameworks to build a strategic vision for the development of the social and solidarity economy? • What other strategies besides legal frameworks are used to promote the social and solidarity economy?
12:30 - 12:45
Break
Speed networking
If you wish to connect with other participants via video chat, you will have the opportunity to participate in 3-minute speed networking sessions during this break. When you join the session, you will be randomly connected with another participant who also wishes to network and you will be free to chat for 3 minutes. Please make sure to activate the option “Allow networking” in your profile to be able to participate.
12:45 - 13:45
Raising visibility post-COVID: lessons learnt
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, many social and solidarity economy actors emerged as important drivers of resilience and inclusiveness. Building on their success, there is an opportunity for policy makers to raise the visibility of the social and solidarity economy and mainstream the good practices it promotes. During this session, policy makers and inspiring practitioners from around the world will discuss the lessons learnt from the crisis and provide suggestions on how to raise social and solidarity economy visibility after COVID.

Day 3 :

15th September 2021
11:00 - 12:30
Partnering with peers for change
Peer learning is a powerful way to stimulate collective thinking and develop innovative solutions to the social and environmental challenges we now face. As part of the OECD Global Action, Peer-learning Partnerships (PLPs) have been set up to promote knowledge exchange and experience sharing on policies and practices for social and solidarity economy development. During this session, the six PLPs selected will showcase the work they have conducted so far and share lessons learnt, challenges and success factors to support and stimulate social and solidarity economy development. Key questions: • What are we learning from the experience of PLPs to boost social and solidarity economy development? • What is working and what needs to be improved in the actions they are taking? • What role can international peer learning play in promoting social and solidarity economy development going forward?
12:30 - 12:45
Break
Speed networking
If you wish to connect with other participants via video chat, you will have the opportunity to participate in 3-minute speed networking sessions during this break. When you join the session, you will be randomly connected with another participant who also wishes to network and you will be free to chat for 3 minutes. Please make sure to activate the option “Allow networking” in your profile to be able to participate.
12:45 - 13:45
Mainstreaming gender equality in the social and solidarity economy
The drive for gender equality in social and solidarity economy organisations is strong, and in some countries, women make up more than 60% of the workforce in the field. While women play many leadership roles, more could be done for gender parity. How can policy makers help remove the barriers preventing women from accessing social and solidarity economy leadership roles? What measures can be taken to give women social entrepreneurs greater access to finance and resources? How can better data underpin policy making unleash the full potential of social economy women leaders? Inspiring international practitioners will lead a session on how to ensure equal opportunity for women in the social and solidarity economy.
Promoting the internationalisation of the social and solidarity economy
Internationalisation is a common strategy for social and solidarity economy organisations to scale and therefore increase their social impact. However, while internationalisation strategies differ, there are some common challenges preventing those social and solidarity economy organisations who want to internationalise from doing so, including the lack of financing, limited management skills, the lack of knowledge about modes of internationalisation, among others. During this session, international practitioners will discuss challenges and key success factors to promote the internationalisation of social and solidarity economy organisations.

Day 4 :

16th September 2021
11:00 - 12:30
Social impact measurement: friend or foe?
Social and solidarity economy organisations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their social and wellbeing outcomes. Still, the lack of a clear and agreed definition of social value creation makes it difficult to translate social value into meaningful practices for measuring, managing and reporting impact. Social and solidarity economy organisations can choose to proactively and voluntarily embrace social impact measurement for learning and promotional purposes. Yet, research shows that institutional demands, particularly from external funders, are the main factor affecting their methodological choices. Hence, there is a need to mainstream social impact measurement approaches among social and solidarity economy organisations as well as to adapt them to their capacities and needs, which may be different from traditional impact investing metrics. This session will showcase new OECD work in the field and discuss with leading experts and practitioners how to ensure effective social impact measurement for the social and solidarity economy. Key questions: • Why is it important that the social and solidarity economy more widely adopts a social impact measurement culture? How can policy makers and others facilitate and support this? • Which methodologies are better suited to fully capture the multiple impacts of the social and solidarity economy while allowing for greater and more comparable evidence? • How are current social impact measurement practices helping social and solidarity economy organisations make their impact credible and visible? To what extent are the existing methods and tools adapted to their capacity and needs?
12:30 - 13:30
Charting the way forward: mainstreaming the social and solidarity economy
Mainstreaming social economy means both recognising its role as a full economic agent of systemic change and innovation, and expanding and multiplying its social impact for the benefit of the whole society. Building back better implies injecting more social responsibility into the economic sphere. Social economy organisations can inspire new business models to include more responsible practices and behaviours. What can countries do to bring the social and solidarity economy to the next level? How can the OECD support this shift? This session will chart the way forward for sustained support of social and solidarity economy development. (To access the French interpretation, please click on the information icon and select "FR")