EtusivuUutisetSolidarity economy and sustainability – an international seminar presenting solidarity economy practice

Solidarity economy and sustainability – an international seminar presenting solidarity economy practice


Solidarity economy is an alternative economic model that focuses on the well-being of both people and the environment. International Solidarity Work organises an international seminar titled Reclaiming sustainability – alternative development through solidarity economy in Tieteiden talo (Kirkkokatu 6, Helsinki) on the 17 November 2014 at 13.15-18.00. In the seminar, visitors from Greece, Brazil, and Syrian Kurdistan Rojava share examples on solidarity economy from their respective countries.

In the seminar, Doctor Ahmad Yousef presents the situation of the social economy that is being built in the self-administration area of Rojava in the Syrian Kurdistan. Professor Antonio Cruz will share his experiences of the social technologies applied to support grassroots solidarity economy groups at the university-based solidarity economy incubators in Brazil. Georgia Bekridaki gives us an insight from Greece focusing on people’s reactions to the social and financial crisis and the emergence of solidarity economy initiatives.

Finnish solidarity economy experts, Ruby van der Wekken and Tuomo Alhojärvi, will speak about the topic of the seminar within the wider development agenda. We are also going to hear an additional commentary from Kepa, the Finnish umbrella organisation for development organisations.

The seminar is organised by International Solidarity Work (Kv-Solid) in cooperation with Helsingin yhteiskunnallinen opisto (HYO). The event is a part of Kv-solid’s communications project about solidarity economy. The purpose of the project is to bring solidarity economy into the discussions about the alternatives to the current development. The project is directed to gaining more knowledge about solidarity economy’s reality and it gathers together solidarity economy experiences of different countries. The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and it lasts until the beginning of the year 2015.

The possibilities of solidarity economy have been in discussions in international organisations, such as the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD). Many countries have also passed laws regarding solidarity economy. The solidarity economy movement is growing stronger all the time. Welcome to hear why solidarity economy is such an inspiration for many!

13.15-13.25 Opening words (Laura Tuominen, International Solidarity Work)
13.25-14.00 Introducing solidarity economy (Tuomo Alhojärvi, Solidarity Economy Network & Ruby van der Wekken, Siemenpuu Foundation)
14.00-14.45 Rojava experience of the social economy: reality and prospects (Dr. Ahmad Yousef, Rojava, Syria)
14.45-15.15 Coffee break
15.15-16.15 Social technologies and sustainability (Antonio Cruz, Brazil)
16.15-16.45 Challenges and prospects of the social solidarity economy movement in Greece (Georgia Bekridaki, Greece)
16.45-17.00 Commentary from Kepa
17.00-18.00 Questions and panel discussion

Georgia Bekridaki
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
Antonio Cruz has been working on issues related to solidarity economy since the 1990s. He is currently working as a coordinator in a solidarity economy incubator and as a professor at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. He has also coordinated the network of Brazilian university incubators.

Ahmad Yousef
Ahmad Yousef is a central figure in building a self-administration and social economy activities in the Syrian Kurdistan, Rojava. He also acts as the finance minister of the canton of Afrin.


The event is free of charge but please register your participation for the event by the 10 November. The event space is wheelchair-accessible. The language of the event is English.

For registrations and more information, contact:

Project coordinator Laura Kumpuniemi
Email: laura.kumpuniemi[at]
Telephone: +35850 350 1101



What is solidarity economy?

Cruz, Antonio (2005). By walking, we make the road – different methodologies of technology incubators of popular cooperatives in Brazil. 

Dr. Yusuf: Rojava’s economic model is a communal model.