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APAY's ECM Learning Session

English
날짜: 
15 Mar 2018
Category of project: 
Knowledge Exchange and Trainings

The GSEF was invited by the Asia Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY) for a special lecture on the Social and Solidarity Economy which was delivered to around 100 members of APAY's Executive Committee on the 15th of March, 2018 at the YMCA City View Hotel in Hong Kong. As part of their annual executive committee meeting, the APAY, a GSEF Steering Committee Member, addressed this topic as part of a special learning session in order to draw their members’ attention to it and include it into the action plan on youth and social entrepreneurship for each of their member's country chapter.


 

As the network is based on Christian values, Rev. Song started his lecture by highlighting the important role of Christian leaders during the early stage of SSE movements by mentioning exemplary figures such as Father Jose Maria Arizmendiarietta from Mondragon, Catholic leaders in Emilia-Romagna, Italy, Pastor Kagawa Toyohiko as a father of the cooperative movement in Kobe, Japan, or the role of YMCAs in early consumer cooperative movements in Korea.

He then focused on why this alternative economic movement has reemerged after the financial crisis of the last decade. Since most of the audience came from the Asia Pacific Region, an emphasis was put on social and environmental issues of Asia - including unfair distribution of wealth, natural disasters due to the climate change, aging population, etc. – and the potential of SSE as a viable strategy to tackle those imminent issues.

As evidence for the argument that the SSE can be a powerful solution for current issues in Asia, various cases of SSE initiatives were introduced, most of which were led by young practitioners in Asia. From a social housing project to fair trade groups, in many countries of the Asia-pacific region, the youth are making changes in their communities and societies through SSE activities and are drivers of innovation for a more sustainable and inclusive future.

To wrap up the session, a series of questions were asked to the audience. How far have we come since the industrial revolution, the starting point of the SSE movement? How much freedom have we earned? How equal have we become? How much are we in solidarity with neighbors and how much are we responsible for each other? Rev. Song then gave a closing statement in which he says that the SSE movement still has a long way to go before the center of the economy moves back to the people from profit-making, and asked for the APAY members’ participation in the GSEF network.

During the Q&A session which followed the lecture, many APAY members asked for future cooperation through GSEF. A representative from Penang, Malaysia, introduced community-based business ideas that allow locals to make use of their campsites, and asked for more specialized consulting from other SSE actors in other countries. Mr. Nam Boo Won, the secretary general of APAY, suggested a social business plan such as a collaborative training project for their young members which could help them find their social purpose and develop ideas . Rev. Song gladly received these valuable suggestions and promised to include them in future GSEF action plans.