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Published on 01/04/2020by redazione

Coronavirus and Third Sector

In this extraordinary time of suspension of our daily lives, in which many of the things we are used to taking for granted are missing, there is a general – albeit certainly not unanimous – rediscovery of values ​​to which our society and our lifestyles have given less and less weight: time for oneself, relationships with others, a sense of civic duty, solidarity. Paradoxically, just as interpersonal relationships are being limited to the maximum, we have rediscovered our sense of community. We have rediscovered that our destinies are inexorably intertwined, that what each of us does impacts our neighbors and vice versa. And that in an increasingly individualistic society, it is on the collective dimension that our future really depends.

So during this emergency situation emphasis is rightly given to solidarity behaviors: from solidarity between neighbors, in the concrete and symbolic gestures passing from one balcony to another, to solidarity with those who perform their duty “on the front lines” – whether doctors, nurses or cleaning staff in the intensive care units; to social solidarity in a broad sense towards people, businesses and organizations that are suffering from the economic consequences of the health crisis that is affecting the entire world.
As we stress the importance of solidarity, we must be careful not to forget those who have always practiced solidarity in their daily lives, to the point of making it the aim of their work. I am referring in particular to those organizations that find their raison d’etre in tending to relationships and providing social services. And that even now, in the midst of the health emergency, continue to engage and provide services amid a thousand difficulties and far from media attention: from associations assisting the homeless to social cooperatives whose workers are cleaning hospitals and retirement homes.

In other words, we must pay attention to the world of third sector organizations, which has been hit very hard by the ongoing state of emergency. When we talk about this world we talk about a collective asset made of resources, relationships, and skills on which we have all relied and on which our entire welfare system has come to depend. A heritage that risks being significantly compromised if urgent measures are not taken to protect it, and whose capacity must not be curtailed by the crisis because in the coming months and years we will need it more than ever.

It is thus necessary first of all that public bodies, from the national government to local administrations, be mindful of those who help design and provide services of general interest to their citizens, taking all the necessary measures to ensure that this ability to respond to needs (which are destined to increase following this crisis) does not fail. But we must also think about what can be done to mobilize private resources, in the most disparate forms: donations, bequests, investments, volunteering.
Here in Italy the national government has introduced some innovative support measures for third sector organizations, and it is now up to the local administrations to implement them, adapting them if necessary to the local context. One key aspect concerns public procurement contracts, which should be redesigned rather than suspended during the emergency, guaranteeing at least some continuity and income to the contract holders.

If we are able to learn from this emergency (which is not in any way a given) we may find ourselves living in a world that is more supportive, more attentive to the collective dimension (of problems and responses), and more balanced in its development model. The first test will be the care that we take in protecting the people and organizations that have always worked in this direction.

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Published on 26/02/2020by redazione

Maura Latini (Coop Italia) «Il mondo cooperativo? Ritrovi coerenza e avvii una strategia a lungo termine»

Maura Latini, amministratore delegato di Coop Italia, prima italiana nella classifica dell’ottavo World Cooperative Monitor, sottolinea: «Non ci può essere crescita economica se non garantendo occupazione sostenibile. Ogni giorno Coop si impegna a garantire la legalità del lavoro»

Il rapporto World Cooperative Monitor 2019 esplora l’impatto economico e sociale delle più grandi realtà cooperative in tutto il mondo, fornendo una classifica delle Top 300 e una analisi settoriale basata sui dati finanziari del 2017. La relazione di quest’anno presenta un’analisi speciale della Top 300 e dell’ottavo obiettivo di sviluppo sostenibile delle Nazioni Unite (crescita economica inclusiva e sostenibile, occupazione piena e produttiva e lavoro dignitoso per tutti – SDG 8). Coop Italia si piazza al 28° posto in classifica, occupando il primo posto tra le cooperative italiane. «Il mondo cooperativo deve ritrovare una maggiore coerenza interna e avviare una strategia di media lunga durata».Queste le parole di Maura Latini, amministratore delegato di Coop Italia, intervistata proprio n occasione della pubblicazione del rapporto.

Il WCM si occupa di stilare una classifica delle grandi cooperative nel mondo. Coop si posiziona al 28° posto. Cosa vuol dire far parte di una cooperativa così strutturata?

“Vuol dire far parte di un sistema complesso, ricco di corpi intermedi e di importanti ramificazioni territoriali. L’insegna è unica, ma Coop in Italia è un soggetto collettivo che aggrega un articolato insieme di imprese cooperative di dimensioni diverse (83 di cui 7 grandi Coop) che operano in contesti altrettanto diversi: da metropoli come Roma e Milano ai piccoli centri di provincia, a territori montani, al sud. Questo significa riuscire di volta in volta a trovare punti di equilibrio diversi fra l’essere un brand nazionale e il dare risposte a esigenze specifiche. Inoltre dallo storico e comune impegno in ambito distribuzione alimentare le attività di servizio ai soci e consumatori hanno progressivamente allargato la loro sfera d’azione, cercando di dare risposte nuove a nuove esigenze. E’ così che sono nate le diversificazioni in ambito turistico, le Librerie, le utilities e finanche Coop Voce il primo operatore mobile virtuale nato in Italia”.

I riflettori sono puntati sull’Agenda 2030 e sugli obiettivi di sviluppo sostenibile. Anche noi abbiamo voluto fare un focus su SDG 8: quali sono le misure che Coop può mettere in atto per il raggiungimento di forme di lavoro più dignitoso? Quali invece per una crescita economica?

“I due obiettivi per noi viaggiano all’unisono. Non ci può essere crescita economica se non garantendo occupazione sostenibile. Ogni giorno Coop si impegna a garantire la legalità del lavoro. Dal 1998 monitoriamo i fornitori di prodotto a marchio Coop nel rispetto dello standard SA8000 (ricordo che siamo stati i primi in Europa e gli ottavi nel mondo ad averlo adottato), chiedendo la sottoscrizione e l’applicazione di un Codice Etico e svolgendo adeguati controlli, con auditor qualificati e indipendenti. Nel tempo dai fornitori di prodotto a marchio si è passati a includere tutti i fornitori delle filiere “critiche”. Ma la battaglia non si vince solo coi controlli, è necessario evitare che la moneta cattiva scacci la buona e che la ricerca del prezzo più basso possibile faccia a pugni con i diritti delle persone. Per questo motivo non abbiamo mai fatto le aste al ribasso ed abbiamo relazioni stabili e di lungo periodo coi nostri fornitori. Il prezzo che assicuriamo a chi produce permette il rispetto della sicurezza e la giusta retribuzione ai lavoratori e alle imprese. Fare agricoltura nel rispetto delle regole e facendo in modo che siano coperti i costi di produzione non solo è possibile, ma è anche sostenibile”. 

MAURA LATINI DG COOP ITALIA

Si parla molto della situazione occupazionale in Italia, quale è la fotografia attuale di Coop e quale invece si prevede per il futuro?

“Coop è uno dei più grandi datori di lavoro in Italia; comprendendo franchising e diversificazioni sono 58.900 i dipendenti, nella maggioranza dei casi si tratta di contratti a tempo indeterminato (94,3%) che occupa in larga parte donne (69,3% è la percentuale di lavoratrici). Le cooperative hanno attraversato gli anni della crisi economica, che ha colpito inevitabilmente il potere d’acquisto delle famiglie, non senza ricevere contraccolpi in negativo, ma sostanzialmente resistendo, ottenendo comunque risultati imprenditoriali diversi. Nel 2019 abbiamo avviato come sistema una revisione profonda delle nostre politiche. Da un lato abbiamo fortemente potenziato le scelte consumeriste sull’ambiente, sul benessere alimentare e sulla convenienza dell’offerta, dall’altro si è realizzato un cambiamento negli assetti interni di Coop Italia (il consorzio di acquisti e marketing) e dell’Associazione Nazionale (il polo istituzionale) che pensiamo possa permetterci di affrontare con più forza i nodi strategici del futuro. Il Prodotto a Marchio Coop, che continua a crescere nelle quote, sarà il perno delle nostre azioni future e lavoriamo su questo in stretta correlazione con la propensione green degli italiani e le loro scelte d’acquisto. I nostri investimenti in questa fase si rivolgono soprattutto al miglioramento dell’offerta nell’attuale rete di punti vendita”.

Abbiamo fornito una scheda personalizzata con i dati relativi al 2019: cosa ne pensa della vostra situazione attuale? Le Nazioni Unite stanno promuovendo la raccolta dei dati per la diffusione di conoscenza sul mondo cooperativo, quale è il pensiero di Coop?

“Siamo in un momento decisivo per le cooperative di consumatori. In Italia (e non solo) assistiamo ogni giorno a grandi trasformazioni nel settore economico in cui lavoriamo: concentrazioni, crisi, l’espansione del digitale, il crescere della concorrenza dei discount. Il mondo cooperativo deve ritrovare una maggiore coerenza interna e avviare una strategia di media lunga durata. D’altro canto è innegabile la modernità del suo messaggio che deve solo essere meglio dispiegato. Faccio un esempio. Oggi quotidianamente assistiamo a campagne importanti volte a promuovere comportamenti di consumo ecologici, sostenibili, abbiamo sicuramente alzato l’attenzione di fronte a una emergenza tutti assieme, imprese e consumatori, e sono la prima a esserne felice. Ma mi corre l’obbligo qui di ricordare che nel 1986 (ovvero 34 anni fa) i soci di alcune Coop realizzarono una campagna di sensibilizzazione a punto vendita a dir poco profetica: un’immagine ritraeva un sacchetto di plastica gigante che contiene un mare al suo interno, con dentro un’isola e una barca a vela, e la scritta “Il mare nasconde i suoi tesori. E quando i sacchetti di plastica nasconderanno il mare?”. Stesso anno e stessa campagna: una cicogna che tiene nel becco un sacchetto di plastica con dentro un bebè e la scritta “I sacchetti di plastica non hanno età”. E l’ultimo con quattro tartarughe che passeggiando nel bosco finiscono dentro un sacchetto di plastica. Ecco già allora pensavamo a un mondo diverso, in questo sta la particolarità di essere Coop che dobbiamo soltanto ricordare e attualizzare”. 

Il rapporto completo si può scaricare sul sito https://monitor.coop/en.

Euricse sta già lavorando all’edizione 2020. Scrivi all’indirizzo monitor@monitor.coop se vuoi inviare i tuoi dati o se vuoi fornire un feedback. 

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Published on 31/01/2020by redazione

Social enterprises and their ecosystems in Europe: the Comparative Synthesis Report now online

The Comparative Sinthesis Report of EU Mapping Study is now available.

Drawing on the findings from the 35 national reports, this comparative synthesis report provides an overview of the social enterprise landscape in Europe based on information available as of January 2020. This comparative analysis goes beyond the observation of social enterprise in each country to identify traditions, trends and challenges across Europe.

Here the full report

Information on EU Mapping Study

Country reports

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Published on 23/01/2020by redazione

World Cooperative Monitor: new ranking of the largest cooperatives is now available. Focus on SDG 8.

The International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse) published today the 2019 issue of the World Cooperative Monitor, the eighth annual one. The report explores the economic and social impact of the largest cooperatives  and mutuals worldwide, providing a ranking of the Top 300, sector rankings, and an analysis of contributions to meeting the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2019 World Cooperative Monitor collected data for 4,575 organisations (1,152 from Europe, 3,218 from Americas, 197 from Asia-Pacific, and 8 from Africa) from 10 sectors of activity. The Top 300 cooperatives and mutuals report a total turnover of over two trillion USD (2,034.98 billion USD), based on 2017 financial data.

2019 Results – The world’s top 300 cooperatives and mutuals operate in various economic sectors, but this year’s results show a larger presence of the insurance sector in the Top 300: insurance is 39%, agriculture 31.7%, wholesale and retail trade 17.7%, banking and financial services 7%, industry and utilities 1%, health, education and social care 1%. New this year is data on employment and cooperative types.

This year’s results show the largest cooperatives performing well, with only slight variations in the top positions across the sectors. In the Top 300 ranking based on turnover Groupe Crédit Agricole and Groupe BPCE, both from France, are placed first and second respectively as they did last year, third is the German REWE Group. And in the Top 300 based on the ratio of turnover over gross domestic product (GDP) per capita ranking, two Indian producer cooperatives reach the second and third positions: Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Limited and IFFCO.

Focus on SDG 8. This year’s report has a special analysis of the Top 300 and the eighth United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (Inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all – SDG 8). 

Three cases in particular related to SDG 8 are explored in depth within the report: Up Groupe (France), KRIBHCO (India), and SOK (Finland). Along with this analysis, featured within the section there is an interview with the Secretary General of CICOPA, Diana Dovgan.

The contribution to the SDGs and the importance of the World Cooperative Monitor was cited by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres during the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York in September 2019.

This new edition of the World Cooperative Monitor goes beyond the Top 300 ranking based on turnover to further explore the dynamics of the cooperative movement. As  highlighted by the United Nations, cooperatives make a substantial contribution to achieving the 2030 UN Agenda on Sustainable Development. In this year’s report, we see concrete examples of specific action undertaken by some of the largest from around the worldIn this year’s report, we see concrete examples of specific actions taken by some of the largest from around the world.

Bruno Roelants, Director-General of the ICA

Euricse Secretary General, speaking to the role of cooperatives in achieving the UN 2030 agenda said:

Cooperatives must take on (and communicate) a strategy for sustainable development able to represent an effective alternative to the mainstream shareholder model, able to comprehensively respond to present challenges. In fact the more organisations participate in reporting initiatives that enable the collection of reliable and internationally comparable data, the more research and analysis can be done to demonstrate the social and economic impact of cooperatives.

Gianluca Salvatori, Euricse Secretary General

About WCM. The World Cooperative Monitor is a project designed to collect robust economic, organizational, and social data about cooperatives, mutual organisations and non-cooperative organisations controlled by cooperatives worldwide. It is the only report of its kind collecting annual quantitative data on the global cooperative movement. 2019 marks the eighth edition of the annual research report produced by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) with the scientific and technical support of the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (Euricse).


Download the World Cooperative Monitor 2019

Download the Executive Summary WCM 2019

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Published on 26/11/2019by redazione

Euricse in Costa Rica at Americas Regional Conference

The cooperative of the Americas XXI Regional Conference “Cooperatives, economic actors with a social and sustainable impact” took place in San Jose, Costa Rica from 18th to 20th November, 2019. Ilana Gotz of Euricse was invited to speak during the Cooperative Knowledge Economy panel to present the World Cooperative Monitor, specifically focusing on the Americas region and the contributions of the Top 300 to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The conference emphasized change, impact and sustainability and consisted in both plenary sessions and workshops designed to engage participants in critical thinking around the main topics of each day. The key focus throughout the 3 days was on the UN 2030 agenda and how cooperatives can contribute as economic actors with a social and sustainable impact. The speakers presented research, innovations, cases, and concrete tools for working towards meeting the objectives of the SDGs. The workshops provided participants with ideas and solutions to bring back to their home countries and cooperatives.

Ilana’s presentation included some preliminary results from the 2019 World Cooperative Monitor, providing details about the American organizations in the dataset, most of which come from the USA and Colombia. The Americas make up 33% of the Top 300 with a total turnover of approximately 500 billion USD from organizations primarily in the insurance and agriculture/food industries sectors. 

Ilana highlighted the need for data collection at the country level in order to be able to describe the economic and social impact of cooperatives. The research on the Top 300 and their contributions to the SDGs provides insights into the specific actions implemented, though the level of participation in the SDG reporting initiatives is relatively low amongst the largest cooperatives. As stated by the UN Secretary General, “without evidence  of  where  we  stand  now  we  cannot  confidently  chart  our path  forward  in  realizing  the  Sustainable  Development  Goals.” Cooperatives must therefore continue to collect data and use the SDG reporting tools available, including the GRI initiative and UN Global Compact.

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Published on by redazione

Social and solidarity economy, from Trento 30 recommendations for policy and research

The discussion about the study conducted by Euricse during the three-day conference organized by ILO

From 18th to 21st of November, a hundred experts on SSE from 26 States gathered in Mezzocorona (Trento) for the international conference “The SSE Momentum: finance for inclusion and the future of work. During 18 hours of plenary and parallel sessions, researchers, practitioners and representatives from governments and international organizations reflected on key drivers and trends, decent work and financial resources. On the last day, the final recommendations were presented to a high-level panel composed by government delegates from France, Luxembourg and Tunisia, the Latvian welfare minister and the chief secretary of the Italian Labour Ministry, Francesco Marsico. On 22nd and 23rd November there was the meeting of the UN Inter-agency Task force on social and solidarity economy (UNTFSSE) in Trento.

During the international conference “The SSE Momentum: Finance for Inclusion and the Future of Work”, ILO presented two ambitious, large-scale research projects involving 15 countries on 4 continents. “Contribution of the Social and Solidarity Economy and of Social Finance to the Future of Work”, conducted by HIVA and sponsored by the Government of France, and “Financial Mechanisms for Innovative Social and Solidarity Economy Ecosystems”, conducted by EURICSE and sponsored by the Government of Luxemburg were at the center of the participants’ debate.


The Director of the Enterprise Department at the ILO, Vic van Vuuren

On the last day of the conference, the outcomes of the sessions were condensed into a document that was presented and discussed by a high-level panel of experts and policy makers from national governments and international organizations, moderated by the Director of the Enterprise Department at the ILO, Vic van Vuuren.

The UN Inter-agency Task force on social and solidarity economy (UNTFSSE)

The conference in numbers

186 ILO Country members

100 people invited between researchers, policymakers, and SSE experts and practitioners from all over the world

35 speakers

30 members of UNSSE

30 recommendations for policy and research

26 participants’ countries of origin (10 European, 16 extra-European)

18 hours of conference in three languages (Italian, French and English)

9 parallel sessions, 4 plenary sessions, 1 group work and 1 high-level panel

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Published on 06/11/2019by redazione

The World Cooperative Monitor mentioned during the UN General Assembly

During the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York from 17 to 30 September, the Secretary-General António Guterres mentioned Euricse and the World Cooperative Monitor – published annually together with the ICA – in his report about cooperatives in social development. The report, requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 72/143, is focused on the role of cooperatives in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and includes an analysis of emerging issues and strategies for strengthening cooperatives in the light of the key challenges that they face in their pursuit of sustainable development for all. It also places particular attention on the role of cooperatives in provision of health care.

As the 10th anniversary of the International Year of Cooperatives approaches (2022), concrete examples of good practices of cooperatives working to implement the Sustainable Development Goals are also set out in the report.

The report mentioned our Top 300 ranking and the sectoral analysis based on financial data from 2016. In WCM 2018 we analyzed cooperatives on the basis of their contributions to the SDG as well, which the UN Secretary General also discusses in his report.

The 2019 Report will be released in December. Read the WCM report here

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Published on 10/10/2019by redazione

Euricse in Rwanda for #Coopconference19

From 14 to 17 October Euricse will participate in the global conference Cooperatives for Development and General Assembly of the International Cooperative Alliance in Kigali, Rwanda. The aim of the conference is to celebrate cooperatives’ vital contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and we are happy to guarantee our presence in such an important moment of sharing and debate.

The conference will show the contributions made by cooperatives in different sectors and regions to sustainable development, including economic, social and environmental impacts. The sessions will highlight not only the achievements to date, but also the untapped potential cooperatives bring to development.

Euricse’s Ilana Gotz, together with the Secretary General, Gianluca Salvatori, will attend the conference, bringing a preview of the 2019 World Cooperative Monitor (WCM) report. This year’s Top 300 ranking will be released in October along with a report on large cooperatives and their contribution to SDG 8 – Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (download the 2018 WCM here).

In Kigali we aim to share the work that goes into building the WCM and encourage further participation from cooperatives and federations from all around the world. We will also, as always, keep an eye out for new stories of cooperatives to include on Stories.coop.

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Published on 26/09/2019by redazione

Italian agrifoods cooperatives’ model explained in California

On September 13 our secretary general Gianluca Salvatori fled to California to help the Sacramento Natural Foods Coop, Valley Vision and UC David World Food Center to answer this question: “How can California lead in the development of a value-added agrifoods system blueprint?”.

The agri-food supply chain is a field of study that presents challenges for research. A fragmented approach still often prevails. Those involved in research in agriculture are not always in dialogue with those involved in distribution and consumption systems. The focus on individual segments and products sometimes loses sight of the overall picture. This is true even in the cooperative world, however paradoxical it may seem.

Therefore, the UCDavis & UC Cooperative Extension initiative to convene the various components of the agri-food ecosystem into a conversation on the potential of a cooperative model has been commendable. California is a state in which quality agriculture plays a primary role and the University of California Davis Campus is an ideal observatory for studying its dynamics and prospects.

In that area of ​​the United States, value-added agriculture and food products are increasingly popular and play a large role in community-based economic development. By this we refer to a broad array of products falling under the categories of specialty, local, sustainable, artisan, and organic, and may include an array of ownership models falling outside of the investor-owned category.

In recent years, there has been remarkable development in the awareness of the importance of a healthy diet produced with sustainable methods. And attention has also increased for the methods of agricultural production and transformation that support territorial development, in a virtuous link between places and agribusiness.

The Californian market has been at the forefront of this trend. But at the same time, the increase in this business area and in particular in the demand for organic products has led to the entry of new players, often coming from highly innovative sectors. This is exemplified by the rise of Amazon and its buyout of Whole Foods, a business platform that first empowered partnerships for local production and distribution. Amazon’s entry into the food retail sector specializing in organic and healthy products has the potential to transfer the same logic and methods that made it successful in e-commerce.

It follows that the pressure that this situation has generated on agri-food organizations providing goods and services produced by independent and co-op enterprise is considerable. The debate that has arisen between these actors is therefore particularly interesting, as they face a context that is both promising, due to the increased demand for quality food products, and challenging, with the entry into the scene of very powerful and potentially disruptive new competitors.

This was indeed discussed in the seminar organized by UC Davis in which Euricse participated, bringing the case of Italian cooperation in the agricultural sector and in the large-scale retail sector. The workshop convened and strategized around the role of key players – cooperatives and independents – in advancing a multi-stakeholder agri-foods value chain. The discussion focused on how the cooperative sector can successfully leverage their multi-billion-dollar networks of agricultural production, distribution, and consumer retail to further build a scalable community economic development framework with more equitable and sustainable food economies.

The meeting featured a keynote address by Euricse’s Gianluca Salvatori, who catalyzed the visioning conversation with the case of the Italian agri-foods cooperatives. In particular, the dialogue provided critical insights into: knowledge and technology transfer (from the producer level through the value chain to the retail level), the challenges and opportunities of going big and cheap (vs. scaling local and small), and the integration of agricultural activities with food processing and direct distribution (with a focus on value-add in the form of food origination and quality). 


The lively discussion – with the participation of entrepreneurs, food system experts, and community development thought leaders – contributed to uncovering the array of assets and opportunities available to California’s multi-stakeholder agri-foods system. Among the aspects that emerged, the interest in a greater collaboration – based on business but also scientific – with the Italian cooperative sector, especially related to the construction of production and distribution agri-foods chains.

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Published on 25/09/2019by redazione

11th International Workshop on Cooperative and Responsible Finance for Development: Call for papers

18-19 June 2020, Trento, Italy

The opening of the 10th Euricse International Workshop on Cooperative and Responsible Finance

Euricse announces the organization of the 11th Euricse International Workshop on Cooperative and Responsible Finance for Development. The workshop, organized in collaboration with the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Trento and Federcasse (Italian Federation of Cooperative Credit Banks), with the support of EACB (the European Association of Co-operative Banks), will be held in Trento, Italy on June 18th and 19th, 2020.

Introduction

The current capitalist phase is unbalanced on the financial side: capital allocation systems have progressively moved away from the real economy and are no longer performing effectively and efficiently their function. The growing separation between the prices of financial assets and the source of the underlying value has increased market risks: the higher the separation, the more difficult it is for markets to act in a morally responsible way. Together with the degeneration of finance, the world of the economy has shown a growing rapacity towards the other components of the ecosystem (the natural, social, family, political, cultural world), directing and exploiting it for their own purposes. Quite the reverse, a truly productive economy and finance should be responsible, that is, concerned about the consequences, i.e. the externalities, both negative and positive, not only immediate, but in the long-term, of their activities.

Meantime the increasing thoughtfulness towards an economy based not only on physical products, but also on relationships, combined with demographic changes and the state’s fiscal crisis, open growth prospects for activities requiring investments in health and healthcare, social and personal services, online assistance, green industry, environmental protection and property. This can lead also to a revaluation of the localized production and of the domestic and community dimensions as places of economic activity.

The renewal of financial intermediation must therefore go through the promotion of an economy where the value derives from relationships as well. This entails a new conception and a redesign of finance, where negative and positive externalities are included in the estimate of produced value, and thus favour social value and surplus with respect to a private one. Practically, this means to finance, besides technological innovation, also social innovation — i.e. new solutions that are more responsible and sustainable. Finance should therefore aim to strengthen the relationship between supply and demand for capital, overcoming the separation between investors and recipients that has been growing over the last decades. Investors should have more knowledge of specific investment fields: the more assets are aggregated by investment banks and global funds, the more it will be difficult for investors to become aware of and to be willing to risk on innovative and socially relevant projects. The ambition should be to channel capital to creativity and to utility calculated in a holistic way: finance must return to being “at the service” and not master. Hence, the need to spread ownership and control of financial capital and not to concentrate them is of outmost importance.

All this offers new potentials to cooperative and ethical banks and in general to alternative funds and financial institutions. However, during the twentieth century, governments and large private companies have often supplanted in this sector organizations with social participation, often accused, not always wrongly, of paternalism, non-professionalism or bureaucratization. Moreover, their growth in size and membership may undermine their values, dedication, and sense of belonging of the members. A consequent work of reengineering cooperative and ethical finance requires some choices and implementations within it that clearly signal: (i) what are its objectives, consequent to the evaluation of what is productive and what is predatory; (ii) which are its true stakeholders; (iii) which are its most appropriate forms of governance and what is the selection process of its leading cadres.

Research Themes

The organizers are then inviting papers that explore the following themes:

Workshop Scientific Committee

Workshop Methodology

The methodology of the workshop is interdisciplinary and integrative. There will be only plenary sessions in order to stimulate interaction, exchange of ideas and debate. The Scientific Committee will not only examine the papers by their scientific and innovative value but it will try to achieve a balance between the workshop themes. The accepted papers will be published in the site of Euricse.

 Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships designed to encourage participation will be offered. For more details please visit our web site www.euricse.eu or write to organizational secretary conference@euricse.eu after February 2020.

Important dates

All abstracts should be prepared in A4 format (Times New Roman, size 12 fonts, single-spaced) and be no more than 500 words length. Authors’ full title, name, address, organization and email address should be included at the end of the abstract. Abstracts are invited up to the end of December 2019 to the following email address: conference@euricse.eu. The Scientific Committee will carefully review the applications and advise the selected authors to extend the abstracts into the full papers, which must be sent to the organizers by the end of March 2020. The authors of accepted papers will be notified by the end of April 2020.

For more information about the Workshop please contact: conference@euricse.eu.

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Published on 30/07/2019by redazione

The new issue of JEOD is out

The new issue (Volume 8, Issue 1) of the international scientific Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity (JEOD) is now available online.

The new issue includes the following contributions:

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Published on 24/07/2019by redazione

EURICSE appointed as observer in the UN Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy

A recognition of the Trentino research center’s international work

Euricse has been admitted as observer to the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (TFSSE) founded in Geneva in 2013 to raise the visibility of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) both within the United Nations and beyond. As observer, Euricse will actively participate in the Task Force’s debates, and will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the topics discussed. This recognition is even more significant in anticipation of the international workshop that Euricse is organizing in Trento in November on behalf of the International Labour Organization (ILO) on financial instruments for the social and solidarity economy.

Euricse was officially presented as observer in the UN Task Force today during a meeting in Geneva, in which Euricse’s General Secretary, Gianluca Salvatori, participated. Euricse has been admitted to the TFSSE in light of the center’s ongoing international work and frequent relationships with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) and many other international agencies. Euricse has recently written two research reports for the ILO on social and solidarity economy, with a focus on future challenges in the world of work and innovative financial mechanisms for SSE development.

The meeting in Geneva on 23rd July

The TFSSE brings together UN agencies and other inter-governmental organizations, as well as umbrella associations of SSE networks as members and observers. Task Force activities include organizing events at UN and other international conferences, dialoguing with policy makers, preparing and disseminating publications through the newly created Knowledge Hub, and engaging in collaborative projects involving the TFSSE members and observers. The most recent achievement was the launch of the Knowledge Hub, a platform that gathers research on the potential of the SSE for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) put forward by the 2030 Agenda.

Euricse’s presence in the TFSSE is even more significant in anticipation of the international workshop that the research center is organizing in Trento from the 18th to 20th of November on behalf of the ILO, which will see the involvement of many international experts on financial tools for the SSE. During that same week, the Task Force will also gather in Trento.

“The relevance of the SSE is expanding beyond the niche in which it is usually confined and the UN is playing a lead role in this area. For this reason, Euricse wanted to closely follow the work of the UN agencies engaged in the development of the social economy and we are proud that our positions and contributions were deemed useful. As observer in the Task Force we will be able to broaden our international approach and discuss our activities with a group of prominent experts”

Euricse Secretary General, Gianluca Salvatori

“We are certain that Euricse, thanks to the center’s long and varied experience in Europe and beyond, will lend an important contribution to the initiatives the Task Force is undertaking to enhance the visibility and recognition of the Social and Solidarity Economy at the international level”

Vic van Vuuren, UNTFSSE chair
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