1st Solidarity Economy Conference – ‘Beyond the Social Economy – Capitalism’s Crises and the Solidarity Economy Alternative’

Date(s): 26 October, 2011 – 10:00 – 28 October, 2011 – 13:00
Location: WITS University

COPAC will be hosting the 1st international solidarity economy conference in South Africa. Participants include leading solidarity economy activists and thinkers from Brazil, Argentina, USA, UK and Italy. This conference will provide a platform for local movements and activists to engage in a comparative dialogue and learning process. The conversation will span discussion on the nature of the capitalist crisis, the importance for transformative alternatives like the solidarity economy, national experiences of solidarity economy and movement building, worker cooperatives and factory occupations and food sovereignty. The conference will discuss a national strategy for advancing and building the solidarity economy movement in South Africa and it will launch the South African solidarity economy forum. On the evening of the 26th from 6.30 pm there will be a public event. There will be a documentary screening on factory occupations in Argentina followed by a discussion. On the 27th October from 6.30pm there will be a second public event; a panel discussion on climate jobs. All are welcome to attend these public events. See attached.

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Building the Solidarity Economy and Movement in Ivory Park, Gauteng – Mapping Research Report 1

This is the first solidarity economy mapping report conducted in a township community. The survey covered households and enterprises that make up Ivory Park township. It also focused on the local solidarity economy cooperative movement. The report mapped the different issues facing households, the community, solidarity and non-solidarity economy enterprises. The report also highlights key solidarity economy solutions such as building local food sovereignty, worker cooperatives, a pre-figurative basic income grant and peoples budget amongst other bottom up solutions to advance the solidarity economy and movement from below in Ivory Park. Ivory Park is a crucial learning site for the solidarity economy. This process is led by the Ivory Park Solidarity Economy Education and Communication Cooperative. This report was launched at a public meeting in the community. At this meeting a community solidarity economy forum was also formed.

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Cooperating for Transformation: Cooperative Case Studies from the Amathole District, Eastern Cape

This is a study of 20 cooperatives that have been in existence in the rural Eastern Cape. The case studies identify various factors limiting the growth and development of the cooperatives. Central in the regard is the role of the state.

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