Editorial by Josette Combes, Ripess Europe
This is the last newsletter of the year 2021. First of all, let’s hope that 2022 will be a little more pleasant than the last two years. To conclude this year, we will take stock of what has been positive. First and foremost, the emergence of a more widespread awareness of the importance of changing our economic software if we want to tackle the three current scourges: the climate threat, the pandemic threat, the tragedy of migrants and other victims of a particularly iniquitous system, including women who remain the poorest of the poor and suffer patriarchal violence in their flesh.
COP 26 did not produce the expected results, but the mobilisation of civil society is growing and the initiatives we are relaying here bear witness to this. RIPESS EU considers that training is the most effective weapon, perfectly peaceful, to advance this change of imagination necessary for a generalized evolution towards a system adapted to human needs. Thus, two new projects are underway that continue the work begun in an earlier project. (See hati-SOS and COOP4Future). Similarly, food sovereignty remains a key element in improving living conditions on the planet and Urgenci, our active member in this field, is working intensively on this.
Our partners are mobilised to promote responsible procurement. In 2021 ENSIE led a campaign on sustainable procurement. Transformative Cities is launching the fourth edition of the award rewarding (and therefore encouraging) cities (in the broadest sense) for equity and participation, ability to inspire collective action, sustainability and efficiency, solidarity and public ethics, impact, transferability and replicability, accountability and transparency, democratic participation, ecological and just transitions, fair working conditions and recognition of domestic work and care. This is indeed quite an agenda.
Young people are increasingly involved in our work. Thus ESS’plicite announces the creation of ACCESS, a student coop in the New Aquitaine region (France) and ATES gives its point of view on the educational impact of solidarity tourism on young people.
The social economy will meet on 17 and 18 February in Strasbourg to discover and appropriate the European Commission’s action plan. The title “Social economy, the future of Europe” confirms that the social economy is starting to be taken a little more seriously, if such meetings lead to real results. It will be an opportunity to present the Manifesto for a citizenship favouring economic democracy issued by 10 French SSE networks. See Jason Nardi’s text.
Laure Jongejans, Executive Secretary of RIPESS Intercontinental will leave this position at the end of December. We would like to thank her for the energy she has deployed over the past five years at our side to make a synergy between the continental networks work and wish her all the best for her future projects. She joined us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of RIPESS Europe, and we invite you to meet her in the video produced for this occasion.
Let us conclude with a wish at the end of this year: that humanity will escape the three scourges already mentioned and that the level of wisdom will eventually overwhelm the various waves of obscurantism that blind many of the pilots of our planetary vessel. As the feminists proclaim in their communiqué, and including all men of good will, “together we are unstoppable.