SDGs and the Social and Solidarity Economy

Implementing the SDGs

From 24 to 26 June, Stephen Healy and Maliha Safri attended the International Conference “Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy?” held at the International Labour Office in Geneva.

This was part of a series of conferences launched by the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) in 2018 and organized by United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD).

The conference focused on the contribution of the social and solidarity economy towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Stephen delivered a paper entitled “More than Monitoring: Developing Impact Measures for Transformative Social Enterprise”, on behalf of a research team which includes Community Economy Institute (CEI) members Gradon Diprose, Joanne McNeill and Kelly Dombroski, along with Alison Watkins and David Conradson.

The paper was based on research conducted with Cultivate, a social enterprise in Christchurch, New Zealand that was developed as part of the response to the 2010/11 Canterbury earthquakes and that works with vulnerable youth to transform donated compost into garden vegetables for local restaurants and businesses.

The research engaged Cultivate staff and youth-workers to generate meaningful ways of measuring impact drawing on the Community Economy Return on Investment tool (CEROI) introduced in Take Back the Economy: An Ethical Guide to Transforming our Communities.

Maliha presented a paper entitled “Mapping Solidarity in the Economy in the United States”, based on the results of five years of National Science Foundation-funded interdisciplinary research which constructed a national US database of multiple Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) entities such as cooperatives, land trusts, credit unions, etc., and generated a more detailed spatial database in New York City, Philadelphia, and Worcester, MA.

The research, undertaken by CEI and CERN members Maliha Safri, Stephen Healy, Craig Borowiak, and Marianna Pavlovskaya, aimed to contribute to the constitution of the SSE as a new object of research for the US context, since such collective identification is just emerging in the US, and to a better understanding of the challenges of economic solidarity in deeply divided societies.