We’re excited to announce that we are officially relaunching ourselves today as the Solidarity Economy Association.
The Solidarity Economy Association (SEA) is a not-for-profit, multi-stakeholder co-operative working to support the Solidarity Economy movement in the UK – a grassroots movement that is building a fair and ecological alternative to Capitalism – one that puts the real needs of people and the planet above profit.
Our vision remains the same – to support economic alternatives that embody the values of economic and social justice, diversity and pluralism, co-operation, self-management and ecological sustainability. We’ll be continuing to work on research, education projects and other activity that directly supports the growth of the movement.
So, why the change?
We were extremely fortunate to receive a one-off endowment from an individual donor to get the idea for the Institute for Solidarity Economics off the ground. This endowment allowed us to spend time speaking with and listening to the wider Solidarity Economy community about their needs, and to explore the best ways to support the movement.
During this time we were operating informally as a co-operative, and reflecting the values of the Solidarity Economy in all of our endeavours, so we decided that, in addition to our formal incorporation as a co-operative, we should also change our name to better reflect our membership-based structure.
We have two membership types – supporter members and worker members – and we’re governed by a board of directors consisting of representatives from both of these member categories. We’ll be sharing more information about how to become a supporter member for those who are interested, or how to support our work in other ways, soon.
We operate in a non-hierarchical way, meaning that all worker members share responsibility and have an equal say in decisions. We chose this model and way of working because we wanted to reflect our commitment to the values of the Solidarity Economy in our daily working lives.
We’ve got a brand new website – www.solidarityeconomy.coop – which we’ll be continuing to work on and update, and you’ll also notice that we’ve got new email addresses. Some of you may have seen our new hummingbird logo, which we also started using recently. We’re still based in Oxford, and we’re largely the same team – although, sadly, we’ve said goodbye to our colleague Dan Whiteley, who has decided to go back to university. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dan for being such a great member of the team, and for all of his work over the past two years.
In parallel to getting the Solidarity Economy Association formally established, we’ve been working on updating our strategy, and we’ll be sharing that soon – watch this space!
Since our inception we’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with a fantastic range of partners, meet some incredible individuals and support some really transformative projects, and we look forward to continuing to do that into the future.
Colm, Clara, Kat, and Matt
The SEA Team