International Solidarity Work organised a seminar called Reclaiming sustainability – alternative development through solidarity economy on 17th of November 2014 in Tieteiden talo (Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki). The seminar hosted speakers from Greece, Brazil and the Syrian Kurdish area Rojava. The speakers shared their experiences on solidarity economy in their respective countries.
Doctor Ahmad Yousef introduced the social economy in Rojava where social economy has been declared as a mission of the self-administration in an area that used to be discriminated by the Syrian regime. Antonio Cruz from the Federal University of Pelotas shared his experiences about solidarity economy and the social technologies used for facilitating solidarity initiatives’ spreading in Brazil. Georgia Bekridaki from Solidarity 4 All organisation presented examples from the Greek solidarity economy movement that has made people help each other for example through food and pharmacy banks especially since the beginning of the financial crisis.
In addition to the foreign speakers, Tuomo Alhojärvi from the Solidarity Economy Network and Ruby van der Wekken from Siemenpuu Foundation and Outi Hakkarainen from Kepa gave their insights to the topic.
The seminar was streamed to YouTube and you can find the videos through the following links:
Laura Tuominen (International Solidarity Work): Opening words
Tuomo Alhojärvi (Solidarity Economy Network) & Ruby van der Wekken (Siemenpuu Foundation): Tuomo Alhojärvi and Ruby van der Wekken
Doctor Ahmad Yousef (Minister of finance, Afrin canton, Rojava): Dr. Ahmad Yousef – Social economy in Rojava
Antonio Cruz (Federal University of Pelotas, Brazil): Antonio Cruz Social economy and social technologies
Georgia Bekridaki (Solidarity 4 All, Greece): Challenges and prospects of the social solidarity economy movement in Greece
Outi Hakkarainen (Kepa): Commentary
Georgia Bekridaki has been active in social movements for ten years. She is a founding member of a Greek organisation Solidarity 4 All. The organisation is a collective that gives practical support to various solidarity initiatives. She has also been involved in local time banks and other alternative economy initiatives.
Antonio Cruz has been working on issues related to solidarity economy since the 1990s. He is currently working as a coordinator and a professor in a solidarity economy incubator at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. He has also coordinated the network of Brazilian university incubators.
Ahmad Yousef is a central figure in building a self-administration and social economy activities in the Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava. He acts as the finance minister of Rojava’s Afrin canton.