[by Josette Combes, co-president of the MES (Movement pour l’Économie Solidaire)]

A symposium called “Another world is being built, theory and practice” was held at the University of Rennes 2 from 26th-28th October. The objective was to “identify the state of play of the convivialist project, including the international dimension in Germany, Brazil, India, Japan and Italy”.

Convivialism is based on a Manifesto that proposes the convergence of movements to create a convivial society based on a “shared doctrinal basis” to “create a new way of living together that valorises relations and cooperation” and “enables people to disagree without killing one another, caring for others and for nature (…) a sustainable basis that is both ethical, based on ecological economy and politics”.

The Manifesto is the work of a collective of university lecturers, researchers and others working with Marc Humbert for PEKEA (a Political and Ethical Knowledge on Economic Activities), and Alain Caillé, founder of MAUSS (Mouvement Anti Utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales) and director of the eponymous review.

The symposium brought together a certain umber of actors involved in the manifesto (cf programme), most of whom are well-known for their world social forum commitments (as a movement opposed to the globalisation of financialised economy and the hubris of the oligarchs to the detriment of the three billion poor of our planet).

Here is my conclusion for the whole symposium: “We need to modify all existing parameters if the world is to evolve, especially in terms of economic democracy. It is important to revisit the figure of providential man, acting to the detriment of assemblies that are truly deliberative in nature and where citizens develop projects of collective interest, the reflection on what falls in the public domain, and what in the private. It is also necessary to revise the scale of values, hierarchy of so-called noble tasks versus those that are considered degrading and carried out by sub-human species, particularly the care of others that is relegated to women. The highly preoccupying situation of climate change means we must take decisions that are no longer the prerogative of the club of decision-makers, but belong to all citizens. Finally it is essential for the evolutions to be considered together with a new way of considering ‘good living’”.

The full version of all texts presented by speakers can be found on the Convivialist site: http://altersocietal.org/colloque2015txt