Care and circular economy on the agenda at International School of Social Cooperatives

Held in Naples, the sixth edition of the event for social co-op managers gathered 36 participants from eight countries

The International School of Social Cooperatives, held on 5-8 October in Naples, Italy, gathered co-operators from around the world to discuss issues ranging from legislative frameworks to care provision and the circular economy.

Now on its sixth edition, the event for social co-op managers gathered 36 participants from eight countries. Speakers included experts and representatives from European and international organisations, such as Eurofound, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Local social co-operatives Vesti Solidale and La Spiga di Grano shared best practices around recycling used clothes and other materials, and providing work opportunities to disadvantaged people. 

Centro Papa Giovanni XXIII, a co-op that runs daycare centres for disabled people, and La Meridiana, which offers social housing and care services for the elderly, also delivered presentations about their work.

Participants were invited to share their experience, exploring joint challenges and potential solutions.

With the conference taking place in Naples, participants could visit some of the local sights, such as the church Sant’Anna dei Lombardi, whose museum is managed by a social co-operative; the Center Ciro Colonna, a social and cultural project to tackle the unemployment and early dropout among disadvantaged groups by helping them gain new skills, and Villa Fernandes, a historic villa confiscated from the mafia that is managed by a social co-operative providing services for the community.

The conference was organised by Confcooperative Federsolidarietà, Italy’s largest federation of social co-operatives, representing over 6,250 social co-operatives with more than 230,000 workers and 220,000 members. Confcooperative Federsolidarietà is a member of the European confederation of industrial and service co-operatives (Cecop).