• "The social and solidarity economy is a dream that we are dreaming for 200 years. [...] It's up to us to combine our skills and bring together our efforts."

    - Paul Singer, National Secretary of the Solidarity Economy in Brazil

    What is Solidarity Economy?

    There are several definitions of the solidarity economy. However, we find this one by RIPESS, the international network for the social and solidarity economy, particularly useful: 

    "The social and solidarity economy is a movement that aims to change the current social and economic system. Solidarity economic principles serve as the new basis – principles based on solidary exchange that connects individual needs with those of the community."

    This might sound quite complicated, but put simply it means to create decent living conditions for everyone around the world. It means that the economy meets the needs of all people instead of just creating more needs – and that national and international policy creates the conditions to enable a supportive framework for this to succeed.

    Who is solidarity economy?

    The people who lose out in the current system, or people who just want to act differently by exchanging, sharing, using or producing resources together. Alternatives to the dominant economic system are as old as the system itself. People who are involved in the social economy might use Fair Trade products, produce goods and services together or own assets and resources collectively. They might get together in local exchange trading systems, or make use of networks to organize and inform themselves.

    What is SUSY?

    The SUSY project brings together and shows examples of the social economy, so that people involved and interested in solidarity-based initiatives can network and interact, and we can share and open up the idea of the social economy to more and more people. By collecting and sharing these examples, we aim to gain new insights into the social economy. We hope to enable reflection and discussion in order to discover and embark on more and more future opportunities and possibilities. At the same time – like other initiatives in the social economy – we are building links with political decision makers so to increase their support for an alternative way of doing things.

    We are a network of 26 associations in 23 European countries enhancing the competences of local actors that are engaged in the social and solidarity economy, supporting a new paradigm of economic development in order to fight poverty and to diffuse an equitable and sustainable way of living.



    This website has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of the SUSY initiative and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.