Why a resource site?
Information on the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is spread across many different websites in various languages. Researchers have not reached a consensus on definitions, and terms are used differently depending on which continent you are on, ranging from popular economy and solidarity economy to social economy and social and solidarity economy (the term we will use on this site). Realities and practices differ. Our aim is to provide a degree of coherence by bringing together as many documents as possible on this site, including case studies, analyses, interviews, accounts of initiatives and proposals, in French, English, Spanish and Portuguese (with the option of adding other languages), from all four corners of the world.
In addition to the ideas and concepts that traverse the broad field of the SSE, we also want to highlight the projects and actors that make the sector a real instrument of social transformation throughout the world. By creating a collective resource site with an international reach, we will be demonstrating the comprehensive nature and relevance of the economic paradigm promoted by the SSE.
What sort of resources?
This is a document-based resource site designed to give citizens, researchers, journalists and local councillors easier access to information on the SSE. It will also demonstrate the SSE’s potential to change our development practices. The site will not try to blur contributing sites’ individual identities, but rather to train the spotlight on the plurality of SSE approaches and to pool document-based resources.
In addition to providing a range of documents, the site also aims to highlight concrete SSE initiatives from around the world:
• the SSE Initiatives section contains a link to projects for mapping the SSE that present SSE actors in different countries. A link has already been set up with the BDIS (Database of Economic and Solidarity-based Initiatives), which maps initiatives registered in France. By clicking on the map, you will have access to information on each initiative and thus be able to link up with SSE actors;
• an international SSE calendar provides the dates of SSE-related events.
• a SSE Encyclopedia section, where you will find a glossary with a wide range of definitions of SSE concepts. Solecopedia is designed as a wiki in 7 languages explaining the terminology associated with the SSE and providing translations in other languages. You can then look for the corresponding keywords and documents, analyses or case studies, that further illustrate the definitions.
Different ways to access documents
The site is designed to provide a whole series of entry points for accessing the documents.
• The me-based access with different sections containing documents that tackle the same theme.
• Access via keywords with a list of pre-defined keywords.
• Geographical access per country.
• Access via author.
• Access via organism.
• A search engine.
The idea is to offer site users the chance to see who the different SSE actors are, provide them with content, definitions and proposals for a deeper exploration of SSE issues, a calendar to help get involved and share ideas with other people, descriptions of innovative projects that they may or may not wish to recreate, and a map of initiatives so they can apply the SSE to their daily lives.