How SE research and action can strengthen the

How SE research and action can strengthen the "values that are rooted in the cooperative model"

As the #8EMEStrainingschool approaches and the program consolidates, we will be unveiling bits and parts of it so you can have a taste of what this edition will bring. This eighth edition of International Training School devoted to “The key role of social enterprises and the social and solidarity economy in post-pandemic societies” will count on the presence of Susanne Westhausen, CEO of the Danish apex organisation for cooperatives since 2007, Kooperationen and the president of Cooperatives Europe since October 2021. During that time one of her main interests has been to explore and share the fantastic powers of the cooperative movement and the ability of the model to be a positive and real gamechanger for ordinary people in times of need.

As we exchanged in preparation for the training school, Susanne shared with us some of her thoughts regarding the proposed topic “SE as a field for transformative research and action”.

In the continuing debate about how to end poverty and build prosperity, economists have put forward powerful, often conflicting ideas. The impact of such ideas as central planning, Keynesianism and naïve cost-benefit analysis defined the wealth and fate of nations over the twentieth century. The ongoing battle of ideas will continue to shape our lives and society in this century. But the cooperative movement, as part of the social economy, must stand out as a viable business model in these dire straits.

Others have started to realise that values like cooperative values are both sound for business and appeal to customers. But such values cannot be owned. Therefore we need to demonstrate in our communications, our advocacy and of course in practice, that the cooperative values are rooted in the core of the business model and not something invented by external consultants and the HR department as a CSR policy.

Looking forward to meeting you in Seville!”

The EMES International Research Network and the University of Seville (US) jointly organise the #8EMEStrainingschool aimed at researchers at early career levels, PhDs or completing Masters program who are attracted to conduct research in the wide fields of social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, social economy and solidarity economy (the “SE field”).

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