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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

Solidarity Economy and Alternative Finance: A Different Development Model? A Side Event at the UN Human Rights Council's 2012 Social Forum

Date: 3 Oct 2012

Social and Solidarity Economy

During the People's Summit at Rio+20 in June 2012, civil society and social movements called for a new development model based on the "social and solidarity economy" centred on the values of cooperation, complementarity, mutual support, human rights and democratic principles. There are myriad initiatives taking place on the ground on different continents that demonstrate the potential of these new forms of economic relations. Some Member States at the official conference also echoed this call for giving much more visibility to the solidarity economy in official policy discussions, including at the United Nations.

This side event will examine the potential and challenges of the solidarity economy and how alternative finance can support and help scale up this new development model. UNRISD Deputy Director Peter Utting will speak on the panel addressing general trends in Solidarity Economy and Alternative Finance, and will provide a brief introduction to the upcoming UNRISD inquiry on the topic of Social and Solidarity Economy.


  • Peter Utting, Deputy Director, UNRISD
  • Frederic Lapeyre, International Labour Organization
  • Thomas Greco, Community Information Resource Center , USA

Moderated by Hamish Jenkins, Senior Programme Officer, Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)

This event is jointly organized by the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS) and UNRISD as part of the UN Human Rights Council's 2012 Social Forum.

About the Human Rights Council's Social Forum

The United Nations Human Rights Social Forum is a subsidiary body of the United Nations Human Rights Council. It serves as a unique space for open and interactive dialogue between the representatives of Member States, civil society, including grass-roots organizations, and intergovernmental organizations on issues linked to creating a national and international environment for the promotion of the enjoyment of all human rights by all. The theme of the 2012 Social Forum is “people-centred development and globalization.”

The 2012 Social Forum will address:
  • People-centred development and global governance in an era of multiple challenges and social transformation
  • Promoting measures and actions for participatory development and democratic governance
  • Enhancing a globally enabling environment for development

For a summary report of the event., as well as the informal transcripts, go to the NGLS website.


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