When social economy actors and local governments and decision makers work together to pursue the creation of quality jobs, fair growth, progress of grassroots democracy, and sustainable development they create the synergies that are needed change the citizens’ day-to-day life.

This is the ground on which the Global Social Economy Forum was founded in 2013 on the impulse of the Seoul Municipality. Since then the Forum was held four times in different cities around the world with the aim to gather local governments and civil society stakeholders that recognize the Social Economy as a key factor in local economic development.

This year’s 4th edition was held from the 1st to the 3rd of October 2018 in Bilbao (Spain) and saw the participation of the CECOP-CICOPA Europe President Giuseppe Guerini.

Mr Guerini took the floor in the framework of the session on “Cooperatives contribution to the collaborative economy” and highlighted the importance of agreeing on the very definition of the terms when it comes to collaborative economy: platform economy, sharing economy…

Far from being a mere terminological debate, these concepts tend to include very complex phenomena which often produce new forms of digital exploitation rather than representing innovative way to cooperate on digital platforms. On this basis, Mr Guerini insisted on the need to address the issue of the “digital welfare” which will be one of the hottest social topics of the next decade: “the organisations of the Social Economy and of course the cooperative enterprises can play a key role to keep the people at the centre of the digital innovation by combining the technological power and artificial intelligence with mutualism and social responsibility”.

The following edition of the Global Social Economy Forum will be held in Mexico City in 2020.