Forum on the Solidarity Economy - 2009

Building Another World
Forum on the Solidarity Economy:
Building Another World
March 19-22, 2009
Isenberg SOM Building & Mahar Auditorium
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Co-convened with Universidad de los Andes (Venezuela)
& RIPESS-NA (Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy - North America)

An Historic Opportunity

The current economic crisis and the possible death throes of neoliberalism (corporate-led globalization), offers us an historic opening to advance a new framework for economic development. We have an opportunity to push for a fundamental transformation in our economic and social system, one that puts people and planet before private profits and power.

This four day conference included an inspiring range of solidarity economy tours, workshops, plenaries and cultural events. We invited solidarity economy practitioners and resource organizations, social movement activists, workers, academics, students, researchers, cultural workers, journalists and other fellow travelers, to come and be part of the growing global movement to build the solidarity economy.

What is the Solidarity Economy?

The Solidarity Economy (SE) is an alternative framework for economic development that is grounded in principles of solidarity, equity in all dimensions, participatory democracy, sustainability and pluralism. The solidarity economy framework seeks transformation rather than band-aid solutions, yet rejects one-size-fits-all blueprints. It isn't abstract theory nor pie-in-the-sky utopianism. Rather, it pulls together and builds upon the many elements of the solidarity economy that already exist. Some are new innovations, some are old. Other elements have yet to be realized or even imagined, and the journey of creation is ongoing.

The time to advance real solutions, built on real experiences and successes is now. Another world is possible and necessary. Join the movement and together, we can build upon the foundation that already exists to make that 'other world' a reality.

Solidarity Economy Tours

Southbound to Holyoke: Simple Gifts CSA, Pioneer Valley Co-housing, Food for Thought Books (worker collective), Collective Copies (worker co-operative), Nuestras Raices (urban agric. & economic development in Latino Community)

Northbound to Greenfield: Simple Gifts CSA, Pioneer Valley Co-housing, Greenfields Market Co-operative, Franklin County Community Development Corporation (commercial kitchen, business incubator), Co-op Power (alternative energy co-op), PVSquared (photo-voltaic co-op)

Saturday night cabaret

Featured the Raging Grannies, Red Valley Fog, Hay Market/May Day excerpt, Hip Hop for a Cool Planet, Jay Mankita, Improv. theater from the Villa Jidiots, and Ethan Miller

Many thanks to the generous support of Forum co-sponsors

Canadian Center for Community Renewal
Center for Global Justice
Center for Popular Economics
Center for Labor & Community Research
Charter of Human Responsibilities
Collective Copies
Community Services Unlimited
Co-op Power
Cooperative Development Institute
Cooperative Fund of New England
Common Good Finance
Dean's Beans
Grassroots Economic Organizing/Ecological Democracy Institute of North America
Good Work
Guramylay: Growing the Green Economy
Highlander Research & Education Center
Jubiliee Economics Ministries
La Veracruzana
National Association of Student Cooperatives

National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
On the Commons
Sabbath Economics Collaborative
School of Community Economic Development, SNHU
Sea Change Radio
U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives

This Forum was made possible with the generous support of:
Frances Fund, Inc.
Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation
Jewish Funds for Justice
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
UMass. Student Gov. Assoc. Programing Board