November 24-26, 2006
German Conference on Solidarity Economy

Under the theme of How do we want to produce and live? The Solidarity-Based Economy in a Globalized Capitalism, a First National Congress (with international participation) will be held from the November 24th - 26th at Berlin’s Technical University.

The Solidarity-Based Economy is a growing worldwide movement, but yet not well known and acknowledged in Germany, although there is a growing sector of social and solidarity based activities in existence already: Old and new types of cooperatives, charities, social and solidarity enterprises, self managed and alternative enterprises, collective housing initiatives, local exchange and trading systems, fair trade organisations, solidarity finance institutions, producer and consumer and other rural initiatives, integration enterprises and other forms of economic self-help initiatives for and with unemployed, women, ethnic minorities or otherwise socially and/or economically disadvantaged. Although the sector employs almost two million people in Germany, it is not yet visible as such, because it is split up in a number of diverse milieus or approaches which do not know much about each other.

Therefore, the congress will bring together these different activists, exchange experiences and organise a theoretical as well as practical debate about the underlying concepts and strategies. Furthermore, the congress will bridge the gap between economic self-help initiatives and the more politically oriented activists from other social movements. The time has come to work together for another type of economy based on democratic, social and/or ecological values aiming at socially useful products and services for the common good in an empowering, peaceful and socially just environment. To achieve this, the congress will offer an open space for exchange of experiences, controversial debate and learning from each other, including examples from abroad, representing Africa, Asia, Latin and Northern America, Eastern and Western Europe.

The programme is designed around 9 Forums with plenary sessions and workshops:

  1. Good practise in the solidarity based economy: room for presentations and exchange of practical experiences
  2. The solidarity based economy in education and training, science and research
  3. The solidarity based economy and neo-liberalism: precarious jobs, individualisation and social decline; privatisation of services for the common good; ambivalence of the self-help concept; basic income strategies
  4. Perspectives, opportunities and constraints of the solidarity based economy within the context of globalisation
  5. Lifestyle and the solidarity based economy – from an individual perspective
  6. Who owns the world? – The role of ownership in the solidarity based economy
  7. The solidarity based economy – a worldwide movement: international experiences and co-operations
  8. Working differently – practical tools for enterprises in the solidarity based economy
  9. Political framework and necessary support structures for the solidarity based economy

Note: The term solidarity based economy is used here synonymously for related terms like social economy, community economy, third system, economía popular, people centred development etc.

Contact: Dagmar Embshoff, Bewegungsakademie e.V., Artilleriestr. 6, D-27283 Verden, Tel.: +49-4231-957 512, Email:,


ou: Karl Birkhölzer, TU Berlin, FR 4-8, Franklinstr. 28/29, D-10587 Berlin, Tel.: +49-30-314 73394 Email:

Source: Sustainable Local Development : Newsletter # 30