GSEF Regional Policy Dialogues have played a key role in promoting knowledge exchange between policymakers and practitioners towards identifying the best ways of co-constructing public policies and establishing eco-systems for the promotion of the Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation.

Since 2017, the GSEF Policy Dialogue has been broadening its regional focus to other continents such as Europe, Africa and Latin America.



  • [upcoming] 2019 Asia Policy Dialogue, 28 October, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2018 Asia Policy Dialogue, 5-6 July, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2017 Asia Policy Dialogue, 30 June-1st July, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2016 Asia Policy Dialogue, 26 May, Hong Kong (in parallel with the AVPN Annual Conference)
  • 2015 Asia Policy Dialogue, 4 November, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2014 Asia Policy Dialogue, 17 November, Seoul, South Korea (in conjunction with GSEF2014)


  • [upcoming] 2019 Europe Policy Dialogue, 19-20 November, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 2018 Europe Policy Dialogue, 7 November, Madrid, Spain
  • 2017 Europe Policy Dialogue, 5 December, Archamps, France (in conjunction with the 8th Mont-Blanc Meetings)


  • 2019 Africa Policy Dialogue, 25-26 April, Bamako, Mali
  • 2018 Africa Policy Dialogue, 2 October, Bilbao, Spain (in conjunction with GSEF2018)

Latin America

  • [upcoming] 2019 LAC Policy Dialogue, 1-2 December, Córdoba, Argentina
  • Africa Policy Dialogue 2019 25. Apr. 2019

    Theme: Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities      Date: 25-26 April 2019 Venue: Bamako, Mali Following the inaugural edition organized in conjunction with GSEF2018 in Bilbao, the 2nd edition of the Africa Policy Dialogue took place in Bamako, Mali, around the theme "Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities". It was organized by GSEF in partnership with the City of Bamako, the National Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy of Mali (RENAPESS), the African Network for Social and Solidarity Economy (RAESS), and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF).   [[{"fid":"3265","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]] This event gathered local governments and civil society organizations from about ten West African countries to discuss and undertake a deeper analysis of the key role social and solidarity economy can play in local economic development strategies, and towards building inclusive and sustainable cities. Panellists include Albert Anicet Akoa, Vice President, United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (CVUC); Harouna Arzika, Permanent Secretary, Association of Municipalities of Niger; Adjara Diouf, Program Specialist, International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF); Pascal Duforestel, Member of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Acquitaine in charge of social and solidarity economy, France; Ichemkhou Eleydou, Regional Councillor, Nouakchott, Mauritania; Kémi Fakambi and Marx Abidji, Bénin Entreprendre Solidaire avec son Territoire (B’EST) program; Carlos de Freitas, Director of Programs, Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV); Séverin Komi d'Alveida, Deputy Mayor, Cotonou, Benin; Adama Sangaré, Mayor of Bamako, Mali; Bourahima Sanou, Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; and, Camara Aminata Touré, Executive Vice President, National Association of Guinean Municipalities (ANCG).  In recent years, the significance and scale of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has increased in African countries. The contribution of SSE, which allows local development through tapping into existing knowledge and the potential of territories while answering citizens’ real needs, is increasingly recognized. However, there are still barriers to the development of this alternative economic model. What state of play of SSE can be drawn up in West Africa? How can SSE contribute to local economic development and social inclusion in territories in which it is implemented? What can be done to better promote and enhance SSE, and share good practices in this area? How to develop a regulatory framework to increase the inclusion of this economic model in implementing public policies at local and national levels? These are some of the questions that were examined in this dialogue meeting. The speakers shared their experiences and ideas, and addressed key issues faced by cities in Africa: Controlled urbanization of African cities: responses from the social and solidarity economy The role of local governments in promoting the social and solidarity economy Social entrepreneurship as a lever for local economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa What strategic partnerships for the development of sustainable SSE ecosystems towards developing inclusive cities? The highlight of this Dialogue was the endorsement by all participants of the Bamako Declaration, which will serve as a road map for the development of the social and solidarity economy across the African continent, and which lays out specific recommendations to local and national governments and SSE actors towards this objective. Africa Policy Dialogue meetings are part of a long-running regional dialogue series, which aims to identify ways forward for developing inter-regional partnerships and cooperations based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. Past meetings took place in Asia (Seoul in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018; Hong Kong in 2016) and Europe (Archamps in 2017; Madrid in 2018).   Media & Resources French Network of Social Economy Territories (RTES): Deuxième Dialogue Afrique du GSEF Photos of the event Press release from the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) (in French only) Video presentation of the Policy Dialogue in Bamako (courtesy of OIF)
  • Africa Policy Dialogue 2018 02. Oct. 2018

    GSEF2018 Africa Policy Dialogue (as part of GSEF2018) Theme: "Decent Work and Entrepreneurship for Social and Labour Inclusion in Africa"      Date & time: Tuesday, October 2, 2018 10:30am-12:30pm (2h) Venue: Conference Hall E, Euskalduna The 1st Africa Policy Dialogue (AfPD) organised by GSEF took place during GSEF2018 on the theme "Decent work and Entrepreneurship for Social and Labour Inclusion in Africa". Africa Policy Dialogue (AfPD) invited African local governments and civil society organisations to share and connect ideas from each part. The AfPD session took place on 2nd October (Tue) in Bilbao. 13 speakers, including Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi (UCLG Africa), Mr. Ronald Balimwezo (Mayor of the Nakawa Division) and Mr. Fabrice Adelphe BALOU (Pojet), each had the opportunity to share their views on the main topic. AfPD constituted the first step to build a solid African network on SSE. The primary purpose of the AfPD is to identify ways of going forward to develop inter-regional partnerships and cooperation based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. In the African region, social economy plays an essential role, and AfPD will provide participants with a meaningful chance to understand the unique circumstances of each country and share information.   About 80% to 95% of the population in Africa is employed in the informal economy, and the population has sought out innovative solutions to their daily social and economic challenges. Ultimately, social economy in Africa has an important role to play in poverty eradication and should be recognised as an ally for inclusive development by the African authorities and the EU. AfPD presented various situations and existing challenges across Africa, and it was an opportunity to hear about these issues directly from African SSE actors. In that sense, the AfPD was a powerful channel for the GSEF network to connect with its African members and other actors that are advocating for social economy in the region.
  • Europe Policy Dialogue 2018 07. Nov. 2018

     Europe Policy Dialogue 2018 Theme: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development through Social and Solidarity Economy Date and time: Wednesday 7th November from 11:00-13:00 Venue: CINETECA Plató, Matadero, Madrid, Spain Through collaboration between social economy organizations and local governments, GSEF pursues the creation of quality jobs, fair growth, the progress of grassroots democracy, and sustainable development. This GSEF Session, which will also be our 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue, will be able to bring both themes of achieving peace and sustainable development through SSE. Find attached the program for our session. Background:  The Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) brings together efforts from Local Governments and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) organizations and networks for partnership and collaboration at the global level. In 2017, the 1st Europe Policy Dialogue (EPD) was organized by GSEF in Archamps, France as first of its kind as a neutral space inviting European members and partners as well as civil society actors in the sector in Europe. In 2018, to continue the momentum and importance of the discussions in Europe around social policy and practices, GSEF plans to organize its 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue. In 2018 GSEF organized its 4th International Global Social Economy Forum in Bilbao, Spain, where more than 1,700 participants from 84 countries gathered and shared the value of the social economy under the theme of “Values and competitiveness for an inclusive and sustainable local development” from the 1st to 3rd of October through plenary sessions, workshops and networking sessions by inviting cities and local and central governments, social economy actors and networks, universities and researchers and individuals.  Through collaboration between social economy organizations and local governments, GSEF pursues the creation of quality jobs, fair growth, the progress of grassroots democracy, and sustainable development. The 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue is organised as a thematic session within the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace to be able to bring both themes of achieving peace and sustainable development through the SSE. 
  • Europe Policy Dialogue 2017 05. Dec. 2017

    Europe Policy Dialogue 2017 Date: 5th Dec 2017          Venue: Centre de convention, Archamps, France Theme: Transformative Partnerships between Local Governments and SSE actors * EPD is organised as a side event to the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings (6 ~ 8 Dec) Format: Panel discussion (presentations followed by participants' comments and open discussions) Host: GSEF Secretariat (in partnership with ESSFI) Language: English Participants: 30 policy makers, researchers, practitioners, elected officials and civil servants BACKGROUND Since 2014, the GSEF has hosted annually ‘the Asia Policy Dialogue (APD)' which has served as a regional platform for promoting co-construction of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) public policies. For the first time in its editions, the fifth 2017 GSEF policy dialogue will shift its regional focus onto Europe, where the most innovative public policy experiments are underway to tackle pressing socioeconomic issues such as widening inequality, regional disparity, unemployment and migration. In the process, SSE public policies- which encompass various initiatives such as community ownership, social finance, social enterprise, Fairtrade and cooperative- have been playing an increasingly pivotal role in conceptualising alternative ways of dealing with the current challenges and localising Sustainable Development Goals.  Through the fifth edition of the GSEF Policy Dialogue, GSEF seeks to establish a platform for knowledge exchanges by drawing lessons from the unique experiences of European countries. Through the collective efforts of identifying imminent policy challenges of Europe and its innovative solutions based on the SSE principles, Europe Policy Dialogue (EPD) will provide an ample opportunity for debates among policymakers, researchers and SSE stakeholders. Ultimately The EPD aims to serve as a catalyst for encouraging cooperation among SSE stakeholders based in Europe and disseminating good practices to other continents. The outcome of the EPD will be reflected in the agenda formulation of GSEF’s forthcoming forum; GSEF2018 ‘Values and competitiveness: an inclusive & sustainable development (tentative)’ which will be taking place in Bilbao, Spain from 1st to 3rd October 2018. GOALS Mapping current public policy issues in Europe (e.g. EU funds, the commons, remunicipalisation, migration/refugees, localisation) and identifying the potential of the SSE in a collective manner.  Defining a transformative partnership between local governments and SSE actors towards ‘the new efficiency (the central theme of the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings)’ in the context of Europe.    Providing networking opportunities for participating organisations. Delivering outcomes of the EPD discussions for constructing the theme of GSEF2018 Bilbao. PROGRAMME [[{"fid":"1787","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]][[{"fid":"1788","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"2"}}]]
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2017 30. Jun. 2017

    The Asia Policy Dialogue (APD) 2017 Date: 30 Jun – 1 Jul 2017 Theme: ‘Effective public policy design for fostering social economy as leverage for inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development in Asia’ Venue: Seoul City Hall Organiser: GSEF and Seoul Metropolitan Government  Participants: 50~70 invitees including policy makers, elected officials, social entrepreneurs, practitioners and researchers from the Asia Pacific region. *(APD 2017 is by invitation only event) Schedule:  30 Jun (Fri) - Seoul social economy week events and networking evening 1 Jul (Sat) - Roundtables, keynote speeches and group policy case study Language: English About APD As a continuation of the previous editions of APD at the GSEF forums (2014, 2015) and the first APD event outside of Korea; took place in Hong Kong (2016) in partnership with the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (One of the Steering Committee of the GSEF), BMW foundation and British Council which attracted more than 80 delegates from 15 different countries in the region,  the 4th edition of APD 2017 will be held in Seoul as back to back event with the GSEF-ILO SSE Academy ‘Innovative ecosystem for SSE public policies – a contribution to the future of work (26 ~ 30 Jun)’. The APD has played a key role in promoting knowledge exchanges between policymakers and practitioners in searching for the best ways of co-constructing public policies and establishing eco-systems for promoting the Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation to tackle various societal and urban challenges in Asia wherein social enterprises are increasingly playing a pivotal role in the provision of social services as well as serving as a catalyst for industrial innovations. For two days, APD 2017 will offer participants from Asian-Pacific countries with diverse backgrounds to discuss regional policy initiatives for resolving imminent urban challenges through various activities and debates at the heart of one of Asia’s most progressive cities of fostering SSE to achieve inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development.
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2016 26. May. 2016

    Date: 26th May 2016 Central Theme: 'The role of government in enhancing impact in the Social Economy in Asia'. In collaboration with AVPN, BMW Foundation, British Council, APD will provide a venue for policymakers in Asia to discuss how to effectively resolve various socio-economic issues in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the social economy (social innovation/social finance/social enterprises) and multisector collaborations, APD will be an opportunity to define the specific issues that many Asian countries/local governments face today and will find tailored ways of achieving SDGs collectively in the context of Asia.  Venue: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Building Z, Level 2 Time: 9am – 5pm (one day event) Audience: 80 pax of government officials from 14 countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (the event was by invitation only) Background: On 26th May 2016, the Asia Policy Dialogue convened at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the day following the 4thAVPN Annual Conference. The Dialogue is supported by the BMW Foundation and British Council, and AVPN. Policy makers from across Asia will gather for knowledge exchange on how to create a more conducive eco-system for social enterprise and social investment as well as how governments can support the creation of an enabling environment for innovation to happen. APD 2016 is a by-invitation-only event. The dialogue further aims to explore how governments can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through the promotion of social enterprise and social investment and seek to come up with a series of recommendations in this regard. It will also explore how governments can work together more collaboratively to achieve these goals. Event Structure Morning session: 0900 – 0940hr: Introduction speeches from 4 representatives of APD steering committee members: GSEF, BMW Foundation British Council and AVPN (10 minutes each) 940 – 1010hr: 15-min speeches from guest speakers Paul Carttar (former director of Obama’s Social Innovation Fund and Co-Founder of Bridgespan) and Cliff Prior (current CEO of UnLtd UK and incoming CEO of Big Society Capital) to set the tone and provide an overview on government policies and social investing eco-system relating to SDGs. 1010 – 1145hr: Presentations from regional representatives on each country’s programs pertaining to social investment or innovation (5 minutes each, estimated 12 representatives). 1145 – 1200hr: Wrap up morning session. Afternoon session: 1300 – 1345hr: a panel discussion on multi-sector collaboration success cases, focused on the housing sector. Speakers will reflect project collaborations between government, private sector (e.g. real estate developer) and the intermediary (an organization that brings the project together): e.g. cooperatives of community-owned housing project. 1345 – 1445hr: Facilitated discussion by Paul Carttar, assisted by partners from AVPN, British Council, BMW Foundation, on how each country can contribute towards the SDGs with multi-sector collaboration initiatives. 1445 – 1545hr: Group will reconvene to present thoughts about each country’s possible policy and program initiatives. 1545 – 1630hr: Closing on future steps of Asia Policy Dialogue.
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2015 04. Nov. 2015

    Asia Policy Dialogue 2015 Theme: Multi cross-sector Cooperation of Social Economy Policy in Asia: What is Asian Model? Date: 4 November, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Venue: Multi-Purpose Hall (8F), Seoul City Hall, Seoul, South Korea The number of participants: Around 80 (Policymakers, researchers and intermediary organizations from Asia countries) Korean-English simultaneous interpretation is provided. Host: Global Social Economy Forum Organiser: Seoul Social Economy Support Center, C. Supporting Network: Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, National Association of Local Governments for Social and Solidarity Economy  
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2014 17. Nov. 2017

    Asia Policy Dialogue 2014 Theme: Social Economy in the 21st Century – The Asian Perspectives  Date: 17 Nov 2014,  Venue: Seoul, Korea Organiser: British Council Host: Global Social Economy Forum Themes for Discussion • What constitutes social economy in Asia? • What should be the policy objectives for the sound development of the social economy in Asia? Process 1) 6 short presentations by Cliff Southcombe (Managing Director, Social Enterprise Europe), Muhammad Allah Malik Kazemi (Senior Policy Advisor to Governor, Bangladesh Bank),  Fiki Satari (Chairman, Bandung Creative City Forum), Grace Sai (Director, MalaysianGlobal Innovation & Creativity Centre), Dongrok Suh (Deputy Mayor for Economic Planning, Seoul Metropolitan Government), Nuttaphong Jaruwannaphong (Director, Thai Social Enterprise Office) 2) In-depth discussion in 4 groups 3) OPERA in Pairs and Plenary: Own thinking time / Discussion in pairs / Presentation of pairs of three main ideas / Scoring of the ideas by the group / Selection of the ideas to be put forward to the main conference Main issues prioritised (in no specific order)  • Direct investment(CSR) to young start-up social enterprises(being a hub between private and social sectors) • Take the lead in the procurement and marketing of products and services of the social economy • Pass a Social Value Act • The government should empower grassroots intermediaries to engage in social enterprises and provide the enabling environment in which they can thrive and achieve sustainability • Need to have incentive and support for new social economy network • The government should build common ground/assets to support social entrepreneurs • Social Economy development needs to be inclusive - working on increasing solidarity and cooperation between different actors ranging from social sector to the government to the private sector • Needs-based policy intervention to eliminate social exclusion • Provide the regulatory framework to build equitable society through sustainable business • Social, economic policies must be apolitically protected from government changes and favours • Cooperation/co-ordination between enterprises and social organisations • Greater awareness on SEs and third sector • Recommend to set up the fund for SE in Asia