Edito by Josette Combes, Ripess Europe

First of all, let’s celebrate that the worst did not happen in the Americas. Young people saved democracy by preventing Trump’s triumphalism and the political hardening that was coming for women, non-whites and all those who would have wanted to go against an orientation that was problematic to say the least. Similarly, Bolsonaro was dismissed to the great relief of the same with a fundamental stake, the rescue of the Amazon rainforest. Let us therefore rejoice while knowing that these are short victories that place the two Presidents in an explosive situation because their opposition is supported by investor lobbies who seem to be working hard to seize the land and continue their work of destruction.

Meanwhile, in France, it is the month of the social and solidarity economy. We have therefore chosen, after Poland, to put France in the spotlight, especially since the Movement for the Solidarity Economy (MES) celebrates its 20th anniversary and publishes on this occasion a book  (article in French) bringing together more than 40 contributors, actors and researchers, who have actively developed the SSE in France but also in Europe and around the world. This event is backed by the Regional Forum of SSE (FRESS) in Toulouse entitled A citizen and united Europe”.  Just before the publication of this newsletter, the 20th anniversary of the European Social Forum was held in Florence. You will find a short report in this edition. We are pleased that Austria is organizing its first SSE conference, which shows that SSE is gaining ground in Europe. By the way, Drazen Simlesa – coordinator of the network – will be present.

The MES also presents the ongoing research-action : social and solidarity innovation at the service of the development of territories towards the ecological and citizen transition, a support to better articulate the work of members and an extremely fruitful cooperation between researchers and actors.

Still in France, an atypical but innovative alliance between the Post Office service and a Cooperative that works for work integration. A rewarding experience for employees.

Currently there is a lot of debate around the concept of a food social security. Urgenci is at the forefront of the issue of food quality and accessibility See the article by Kevin Flanaghan and Jocelyn Parrot and if you are a CSA member, do participate in the Urgenci survey on CSA shares.

RIPESS Europe plans to revisit the charter developed at its creation. The manifesto published by REAS will undoubtedly be an inspiring document for this process. It is possible to sign in approval of this manifesto. The link is at the bottom of their article.

In Romania Mihaela Vetan hosted the 6th session of the Coopter project whose participants benefited from the holding of the PAS a festival organized by CRIES. A very rich session.

Not to be missed is the article on the Mumbuca Community Currency, both a basic income and a local currency that is accepted by more than ten thousand companies in Maricá, Brazil. Let’s bet that this system should grow, it makes it possible to fight against the poverty that has increased under Bolsonaro.

Finally the agenda is full of upcoming events, as it is the SSE month in France.

Before closing this editorial, I will highlight an event that took place in Metz, France (this month’s dossier), the first national meeting of Tiers Lieux in October. This concept was born in recent years to designate places that are established by displaying the project of mixing several activities in the service of the citizens of a given territory. The State has decided to focus on these hybrid forms of economic activity that are offering products to be commodified and social relations and are managed by those who work there and those who benefit from the activity. They have grown exponentially in the wake of Covid by offering co-working spaces, setting up fablab, often coupled with a bar and/or restaurant and cultural activities. There is a wide variety of formulas and some regions have been proactive in encouraging initiators (see figures in the report) in French. These are places where you can see solidarity economy in action. It will be important to make a real connection with this movement and perhaps to examine how they resonate with what is happening elsewhere.

It remains for us to hope that in the future, there will no longer be a need for “SSE months” because SSE will be everywhere. Let’s move forward!