The International Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer on the Social and Solidarity Economy (C.I.T.I.E.S.) has opened its new headquarters at the Maison de l’économie sociale in Montréal’s Centre-Sud district.
With more than one hundred guests in attendance—including local and foreign government representatives, Gerardo Pisarello, deputy mayor of Barcelona, and Alvaro Porro, Barcelona’s political commissioner responsible for the social economy—C.I.T.I.E.S. presented the vision and policies that will position it as a tool for international collaboration serving innovative cities that are committed to the social economy, also marking the official launch of the organization’s activities in Montréal.
C.I.T.I.E.S. supports territorial development and promotes the social economy through cooperation, sharing of knowledge and adoption of good practices at an international level. The centre fosters the emergence of common and multi-territorial projects through exchange, transfer, training and consultation on public policy and mechanisms for collaboration between local governments and civil society.
The organization is comprised of government, academic and practitioner members from Seoul (South Korea), Barcelona (Spain), Bilbao (Spain) and Montréal.
These territories are internationally recognized for their social and solidarity economy practices. C.I.T.I.E.S. also works with stakeholders in other territories that are seeking to improve their practices.
Implemented to capitalize on the mobilization that resulted from GSEF2016—the third Global Social Economy Forum co-organized by the City of Montréal and the Chantier de l’économie sociale—the decision to set up the organization’s headquarters in Montréal was a logical move for the founding partners.
“Not only will the city benefit from recognized social economy expertise and leadership, its cultural diversity, its status as a world-class university hub and its tradition of cooperation between governments and civil society were also considered when selecting a location for the C.I.T.I.E.S. headquarters. The financial support of the governments of Canada and Québec and the City of Montréal also played a key role in launching the organization ,” said Martin Van Den Borre, Executive Director of C.I.T.I.E.S.
C.I.T.I.E.S. mobilizes the expertise of partners in different territories to develop and adapt validated practices conducive to social economic development, including the production and adaptation of public policies. In addition to transfer and support activities, it is also a useful tool for international solidarity, fostering inclusive and sustainable development for communities. “Our transfer activities with Seoul and Barcelona are already underway, and thus far have focused on solidarity lending, housing and youth entrepreneurship. Our team is also in discussions with other cities in Asia, the Americas and Europe that are looking to become an active part of our network,” explained Béatrice Alain, President of C.I.T.I.E.S.
“Montréal is already home to 65 international organizations—the largest such community in Canada and North America, after Washington, D.C., and New York City. The arrival of a leading organization such as C.I.T.I.E.S. helps strengthen and promote this unique ecosystem, and boosts Montréal’s profile in international discussions on the social and solidarity economy ,” said Hubert Bolduc, President and CEO of Montréal International. “We understand just how strategic international organizations are to Montréal, and we are determined to help them expand in our region.”
Source: Montreal International