Article by Françoise Wautiez and Jason Nardi, Ripess Europe

Solecopedia, the SSE wiki, is a tool for collective intelligence. It is intended for RIPESS members who can contribute and for the general public. It is not a research tool (research documents on SSE can already be found in but rather a dissemination in concise and clear terms of SSE concepts and how they relate to each other (hence the interest of using a wiki).

Like Wikipedia, it will initially be fed by our members either spontaneously or as part of a European project that will have as a product “definitions” and examples. Showing variations of the same theme in several countries in Europe and other countries of the world (especially not being Eurocentric!) is of enormous importance for our movement.

Prolonged incubation

Solecopedia was created in 2011, at the suggestion of Pierre Johnson. Thought as a wikipedia for the solidarity economy in 7 languages, it benefited from the work of Françoise Wautiez, Pierre Johnson and others. However, the momentum ran out quite quickly. Despite a meeting at about the same time, with representatives of Wikipedia France who would have found interesting a preliminary work of the definitions of the concepts associated with the SSE on Solecopedia, then returned to Wikipedia for a wider dissemination.

During several General Assemblies of RIPESS Europe, the need to develop shared definitions on the concepts that connect us was once again manifested. At the beginning of 2022, Andrea Rodriguez from RIPESS Europe and Françoise Wautiez who takes care of took over and started a new version of Solecopedia, this time in the three languages of the network: French English, and Spanish.

More than “definitions” strictly speaking, as Elisabeth Voss pointed out, Solecopedia wants to show “common understandings”, ways in which the network addresses different topics related to SSE.

To begin with, Solecopedia is mainly in English: we are seeing different approaches for other languages – translations of the same texts or different versions? We will probably have to find a middle way that allows us to take into account the different approaches in different contexts and countries.

A prototype work has been launched that you can find here: (temporary address)

Launch a dynamic around Solecopedia

If there is already Wikipedia and other wikis and sites where you can find information about SSE, why create a new one? We talked to various other organizations that have created wiki-based sites (from the P2P Foundation at Remix the Commons, ECOLISE, Sustainable Just Cities) and the possibility of using technologies such as the semantic web today to link and integrate these collective databases through conceptual clouds – and thus link them to Wikipedia and Wikimedia, which certainly have a wider audience.

When we do trainings (online and face-to-face) or presentations on the solidarity economy and the infinity of related topics, we have to give references that are often scattered on many different sites and publications. A shared place of co-construction of meaning is more necessary than ever to have a common and plural vocabulary – and which makes it possible to distinguish them from the terminologies used to make green- and social-washing in today’s world.

That’s why we want to involve experts in different disciplines, researchers, students, trainers, practitioners, activists, cooperators, legislators and politicians … to collaborate with what they are already doing and use this tool as a common good.

How is it structured?

To start, a home page, whose structure has been defined as follows in agreement with the communication team of Ripess Europe:

An introduction

A summary containing:

    • An attempt at a “shared definition”,
    • history,
    • the principles of SSE,
    • SSE structures,
    • practices;
    • transformative public policies and existing legislation,
    • A guide for users.

As mentioned above, Solecopedia is in the prototype phase. The structure and contents may change in accordance with members’ contributions. The shared definition of SSE and its principles will be discussed in the framework of a commission intended to provide by September 2023 a new Charter for Ripess Europe; once the result is decided, vision and principles will be returned to Solecopedia.

The content on ” Responsible Public Procurement ” could be revised, corrected and supplemented by the RTES or REAS for example. ” Local partnerships around food ” by Urgenci, etc.

The structure of a concept page

For example, if you go to the “Shared housing” page, you will see that the following structure has been used:

    • An introduction to the theme
    • Equivalent concepts
    • The history of the concept
    • Associated public policies
    • Shared housing in Europe (or in the world)
    • The main networks working on this theme
    • Links
  • with the documentation contained in
  • with articles from Ripess Europe’s monthly newsletters
  • with existing maps
  • with educational tools (not yet available in this case)
  • with online training (not yet available in this case)
  • with other wikis (not yet available in this case)

As you can see, the link with the other RIPESS dissemination tools is strong – link with, with online training (moodle), RIPESS Europe newsletters that disseminate descriptions of experiences from different countries, etc. The link with RIPESS members as the first source of information is also important. Later, when we have a more complete version, Solecopedia will be disseminated to the other SSE networks to solicit their contributions.

If you would like to contribute, please contact Françoise Wautiez: