The Institute for Solidarity Economics has transitioned to a multi-stakeholder co-operative and relaunched as the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA).
Founded in Oxford in 2014, the organisation is dedicated to researching ways of bringing together organisations, initiatives and movements who are working to change the current economic system to address pressing social and environmental issues.
“The aim of the organisation has always been to find ways of bringing together the diverse range of movements within the UK working to create a fairer, more democratic society that works for everyone,” said SEA chair and co-founder, Colm Massey. “Now is a really exciting time to be relaunching ourselves, and to be clear about who we are and who we represent.”
The SEA broadly defines the solidarity economy as being “a diverse, values-centred, alternative economy built by the people, for the people and the planet”. The movement draws many of its values directly from co-operatives and is made up of grassroots economic activity which includes much of the informal economy.
“After talking to our partners and wider networks, it’s clear that there’s a real sense of urgency to address the growing inequality that’s affecting not just the UK, but is a global problem caused by capitalism,” adds Mr Massey.
“We all know that when we work together we can bring about real change, and as Solidarity Economy Association, a key element of our new strategy will be making sure the UK is part of international solidarity economy networks.”
The Solidarity Economy Association formally became a not-for-profit co-operative in April 2017 and the organisation says the new name and governance structure reflects the co-operative values at its heart, as it extends its research work to focus on furthering education around economic democracy and the solidarity economy, and supporting the creation of a UK-wide network.