Representatives of the world’s most innovative social economy cities and organizations are set to gather in Seoul to share their visions concerning the realization of the ‘social economy’ and their experiences in the pursuit of social economy in their respective areas.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will host the GSEF 2013 (Global Social Economy Forum 2013) in central Seoul, including the multipurpose halls of the New City Hall and Seoul Citizens Hall, from Wednesday November 6th to Thursday November 7th.
‘Social economy’ refers to an economic system that is focused on improving the quality of life of every member of society using approaches centered on human-centered economy, mutual benefits and full cooperation, rather than fierce competition and the pursuit of profits. The organizations that drive the social economy include social enterprises, cooperatives and community (i.e. villages in Korea) enterprises.
The Seoul forum, the largest international event of its kind, will be attended by eight internationally renowned cities and regions including Bologna (Italy), Emilia Romagna (Italy), Quebec (Canada), Kyoto (Japan), Yokohama (Japan), Quezon (the Philippines), Bangkok (Thailand), and Seoul (South Korea); more than thirty overseas socioeconomic institutions including Lega Coop (an Italian cooperative federation), HKCSS (the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which is responsible for coordinating NGOs in the social service field in Hong Kong), Social Traders Australia (an organization that supports the development of social enterprises), and France’s largest social enterprise SOS group; as well as more than 100 domestic socioeconomic institutions.
The forum will kick off with an opening ceremony launched in the multipurpose hall in New City Hall on the morning of November 6. It will be followed by diverse enlightening programs including plenary sessions, invited sessions and breakout sessions, as well as exhibitions and hands-on experiences in which citizens are invited to take part.
Towards the end of the forum, the participants will put their heads together and make ‘the Seoul Solidarity Declaration’ in a bid to reconfirm their commitment to the establishment of a strong global network for the realization of social economy across the globe.
The plenary session on November 6 will address “the role of social economy in urban regeneration and its impact on societal well-being” while the plenary session on the following day will hear the case studies of Quebec and London (two speakers), with an emphasis on crisis solutions and sustainable development through public-private joint governance. More than twenty invited sessions and breakout sessions will address a great variety of issues including urban agriculture, environmentally-friendly energy, consumer collaboration and GMOs (genetically modified organisms), fair trade, micro financing and corporate social contributions. Most notably, each of the nineteen breakout sessions will be moderated by experts representing a domestic and an overseas organization, respectively.
Seoul Metropolitan Government officials preparing for the international event say that social economy is emerging as a powerful means of social integration and local and regional economic reinvigoration. They went on to say that they expect the international event will serve as a very significant occasion for a number of influential players in social economy movements across the globe to share their valuable experiences and visions for the movements.
Those who are interested in the GSEF 2013 can register online at the GSEF 2013 website (firstname.lastname@example.org) until Tuesday, October 29th.
1) Regular: KRW 30,000 per day / KRW 50,000 for 2 days
2) Social Economy Organizations and Students: KRW 10,000 per day / KRW 20,000 for 2 days
* On-site registration is also possible.