New International Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer on the Social and Solidarity Economy to be Based in Montréal

September 13, 2016

The Ville de Montréal and the Chantier de l’économie sociale, co-organizers of the Global Social Economy Forum – GSEF2016, ­are proud of this third meeting, which brought together more than 1,400 participants from about 60 countries. In total, some 200 social and solidarity economy (SSE) initiatives from Québec and elsewhere were presented in and around the GSEF2016. Montréal is the first North American host city of the forum since the founding of the GSEF in Seoul in 2013.

C.I.T.I.E.S.At the closing plenary session of the GSEF2016, the mayor of Montréal, Mr. Denis Coderre, unveiled the creation of a new international organization based in Montréal in partnership with Seoul, Mondragón, and Barcelona: the International Centre for Innovation and Knowledge Transfer on the Social and Solidarity Economy (C.I.T.I.E.S.). As a support to the GSEF association and its mission to foster collaboration between local governments and civil society, C.I.T.I.E.S.’ mission will be to facilitate the international dissemination and transmission of practices and knowledge of the social and solidarity economy.

“This centre is, in many regards, an important legacy of this Global Social Economy Forum – GSEF2016. It’s also wonderful news for all cities of the world and for Montréal, which will be able to see its many initiatives spread throughout the world. We are very proud to host this new organization. We believe that cities are always on the cutting edge of the future and that the social economy, by mobilizing collective entrepreneurship, is a key tool for the development of urban centres,” said Mr. Coderre.

GSEF2016 Declaration in Montreal: 6 Resolutions for the Sustainable Development of Cities

“All participants reaffirmed the importance of making the social economy’s collective knowledge accessible to help face the growing challenges of the 21st century with the dissemination of information, the exchange of best practices, and the mutual support that can extend to financial assistance. To this end, four resolutions were drafted that express the international solidarity of SSE organizations,” said Mr. Jean-Martin Aussant, executive director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale.

The participants of the GSEF2016 Forum in Montréal are committed to working on the sustainable development of cities and to:

  1. Recognize the central role of SSE organizations to overcome the current challenges and to promote a renewed participatory democracy
  2. Multiply participatory governance spaces
  3. Build an inclusive movement for all men and women of all ages and origins.
  4. Build public-private-community partnerships to meet the needs and aspirations of our communities
  5. Share our visions, experiences and achievements to promote social innovation, including through CITIES, a strategic partner of GSEF
  6. Recognize and support youth as important actors for the future of the SSE movement.

Toward the GSEF2018

The GSEF Association met today in its General Assembly where they, among other items, agreed on the location of the next Forum. The SSE community will meet again in two years to take stock of the situation and discuss the best practices to adopt to ensure that the SSE takes its place alongside the private and public sectors.

“I hope that the commitment to the SSE mentioned in the Montréal Declaration makes a significant contribution that allows us to find solutions to the challenges that we all face,” said Mr. Park Won Soon, mayor of the Metropolitan Government of Seoul and GSEF co-chair. I am pleased to announce that the city of Bilbao, Spain, has been chosen to host the GSEF2018. Bilbao, the economic capital of the Basque Country, is a model that will certainly inspire many other large cities by encouraging them to join the movement and make the social and solidarity economy a priority,” he added.

Ms. Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, and Minister Responsible for the Digital Strategy for Quebec stated : “The Government of Québec is very active in the development of the social economy. The Government Social Economy Action Plan 2015–2020 will direct our actions in this area over the next few years. This plan contains concrete measures to help collective enterprises at all steps of their growth so that they can fully contribute to Québec’s socioeconomic development,” stated.

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development for Canada, Mr. Jean-Yves Duclos concluded with, “I would like to congratulate all participants and the organizers of this forum. It was a tremendous success. Clearly, the discussions that took place here have been productive and fruitful. What is important now is that these ideas develop and gain traction in contemporary thought.”

The global social economy forum – GSEF2016 has been made possible thanks to the financial participation of the Government ofCanada, the Government of Québec, and affiliated partners. 

About the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF)

The Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) is an international association bringing together local governments and civil society stakeholders committed to supporting the development of the social and solidarity economy (SSE). Its mission is to promote cooperation among social and solidarity economy organizations and local governments to stimulate the creation of quality jobs, equitable growth, and the advancement of participatory democracy and sustainable development. During the association’s founding meeting in 2013, its members issued a declaration laying out their intentions and objectives. In 2014, members adopted a charter establishing its principles and operations, including the holding of a forum every two years.

The first two editions of the GSEF took place in Seoul in 2013 and 2014 respectively and each brought more than 1,000 people together.

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*** GSEF2016 photos are available here:

For further information: Amély Tremblay/Mélodie Ménard/Isabelle Paquette, Morin Relations Publiques, amely at / melodie at / isabelle at, 514 774-8522 / 514 561-1966 / 514 581-8981

SOURCE: CNW Newswire