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The Contribution of the Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Finance to the Future of Work

Bénédicte Fonteneau & Ignace Pollet
International Labour Organization, 2019
Level: beginner
Topic: Crises, Innovation & Technology, Money & Debt, North-South Relations & Development, Social movements & Transformation
Format: Policy Paper & Advocacy


This study aims to provide insights on how the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is contributing to the future of work. And it is based on twelve cases-studies on SSE organisations and social finance mechanisms carried out in nine countries (Argentina, Belgium, France, Morocco, Senegal, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Philippines and South Korea). Case-studies are based on documentation reviews and on primary data collection. Data from case the studies have been complemented by a literature study on SSE addressing work-related issues. The report is concluded by some recommendations towards the ILO, the national governments and the SSE to strengthen the contribution of the SSE to the future of work.

What appears interesting are the main findings of this study. The paper concludes that the SSE allows economic actors to maintain and develop local economic activities in their own social context, making them less vulnerable and more able to contribute to regional development. Secondly SSE also provides participatory governance and renewed social dialogue which under certain conditions, participatory governance increases the efficacy and quality of services provided by enhancing cohesion and teamwork, or inducing more equity among workers. Another finding is that SSE is searching for sustainable economic performance while focusing on social purposes. In addition the paper cocludes that SSE contributes on finding meaningfulness in work and helps foreshadowing the network society. In doing so, the SSE also continues a long tradition of being a laboratory of practices and ideas often percolating into both the public and the private for-profit sectors. It is also a policy instrument and a policy partner and also a major source of innovation as regards the financing of social policies.

Comment from our editors:

Before the Covid crisis, people were looking for an alternative people-centred economic model. Can the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) improve the future of work at a time when more people are looking for employment, economic inequalities are higher than ever and significant economic, technological and demographic changes are threatening to reduce decent work opportunities? The material and its study concludes that the SSE could both positively anticipate and react in a more protective way to the changing world of work even in favourable or challenging environments. It is an important factor for the fast-changing world of work through business stakeholders or their impact on the societies. Also there are some recommendations how to use more and strengthen the contribution of the SSE to the future of work.

Go to: The Contribution of the Social and Solidarity Economy and Social Finance to the Future of Work

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