Sarah de Heusch appointed director of Social Economy Europe

Joining the organisation from platform co-op Smart, de Heusch pledges to grow the network and keep the social economy high on the EU agenda

Social Economy Europe (SEE) has appointed a new director, Sarah de Heusch, who joins from freelancers’ platform co-op Smart.

De Heusch takes over the role from Victor Meseguer, who has joined the Spanish government as special commissioner for the social economy.

She had worked at Smart, a cross-sector network of 80,000 autonomous workers and freelancers, since 2008. Joining as a researcher, she took the role of international project manager in 2009, and in 2015 was made public affairs officer for its general management and development unit.

Through these roles she contributed to the development of Smart’s participatory working groups presided over its ethical committee, which she helped to set up.

At Smart, she became involved in the wider platform co-op movement, chaired the working group on atypical employment, platform workers and co-ops of the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives (Cecop) and the working group on the Future of Work of the International Cooperative Entrepreneurship Think Tank (ICETT).

As a board member of La Coop des Communs, she worked to improve collaboration between co-ops, the commons movement, unions and cities.

Before joining Smart she was assistant to the secretary general of the University Network of Capitals of Europe.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I take on the role of director of SEE,” she said, “as I believe the world needs an economy that puts people and the environment before profit. The EU, UN and International Labour Organization have acknowledged the added value of social economy in promoting a fairer economy, sustainable development and decent work. It is our role to make sure adapted policies are put into place for this type of economy to strive.”

De Heusch says she wants SEE to maintain pivotal role in implementing the EU’s new Social Economy Action Plan and empowering its members to make the best use of it. 

“I look forward to pursuing the work that the team and members of the network have led until now, to keep social economy high on the EU agenda, to grow the network and make it a key player of the twin transition,” she added.