SE Education and Events

Solidarity Economy Workshops, Presentations and Events

In Brief (For more details, see below)

SEN and our members have organized over 165 solidarity economy forums, workshops and presentations, reaching more than 4,200, including the first US Solidarity Economy Forum, a solidarity economy track of over 120 workshops, 2 week-long trainings, and 2 online SE courses.


Jan 29, Beyond Capitalism: New Economies for Maine, Augusta, ME.60 people.

March 18-20, Southern Grassroots Economies Project, HighlanderCenter, TN.30 activists from across the South and Appalachia.

March 20, Left Forum, NYC
   1)Solidarity Economy: Towards a Pluralist, Socialist, Anti-capitalist, Post-capitalist Unity? 15 people
   2)Solidarity Economy: Spain's Mondragon Cooperatives: How They Work, How They Can Help Us Here? 30 people
   3) Is Fair Trade a Viable Model of Solidarity Economics? 30 people

April 28, Introduction to the Solidarity Economy, Mt Holyoke College. 10 people

July 23, Green Solidarity Economy Conference, Worcester, MA. This regional gathering will build solidarity economy analysis, skills and strengthen networks through collective agenda setting. 150 people

July 29, Introduction to the Solidarity Economy, Northampton, MA. 12 people

July 30, Solidarity Economy Tour, Northampton, MA. 20 people


January 22-29, Presentations on SE movement building in the US at the Solidarity Economy Social Forum and World Fair, Santa Maria and Porto Alegre, Brazil. 200 people.

March 6, “Another Economy is Possible:  Introduction to the Solidarity  Economy,” New England Organic Farmers Association (NOFA), Concord, New Hampshire, 40 people

March 26, Presenter atCenter for Popular Economics’ 30th Anniversary Conference and Celebration, 80 people

March 29, Southeast Economic Justice and Solidarity Economy PMA. This people's movement assembly focused on Transforming Economic Infastructure in the South and Appalachia with groups from KY, KA, MS, NC, SC, TN and VA. The PMA supports the creation of action steps and plans that emerged from a THREADS economic jutice leadership school. 35 people

April 9, Invited speaker, New Leadership Networking Initiative, Civil Liberties and Public Policies, HampshireCollege, Amherst, MA,  60 people

April 20, Cambridge Sustainability Group, Greenport, MA, 15 people

April 22-23, “The Crisis and the Solidarity Economy,” St. Louis Justice & Peace Shares, 2 day workshop. 35 people

May 17-18, Invited speaker, “Class Crits” Conference on Law and Economics, Buffalo, NY, 50 people

May 30, Invited speaker, “National Summiton a People-Centered Economy,”Ottawa, Canada, Women’s meeting, 200 people

June 18, WILD (Women’s Institute for Leadership Development), Amherst, MA– keynote address, 200 people

June 22-26, US Social Forum, Detroit. Over 120 workshops in the solidarity economy track.

December 7, Introduction to the Solidarity Economy, UMass, Amherst, 30 people

2009-2010, ongoing workshops with Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperative to train community members to map solidarity economy practices and organize initiatives. This has sparked some projects to develop worker cooperatives. 10 people.



February, workshop at the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil(20 people)

February, workshop at Powershift, Wash.D.C. (100 people)

March,presentation at the New Strategies for the Obama Era, Boston(200 people)

March,U.S. Forum on the Solidarity Economy, Amherst (400 people)

April,presentation at the Lower Hudson Valley Social Forum, NY (100 people)

April,workshop at the United Association for Labor Educators, Wash. D.C. (12 people)

June-July,“The Economic Crisis and the Case for a Solidarity Economy,” CPEonline course (3 credits), 30 students

June,International Association for Feminist Economics, Annual Conference, Boston, Julie Matthaei “Beyond Economic Man:  Economic Crisis, Feminist Economics, and the Solidarity Economy”, 10 people

June,WILD (Women’s Institute for Leadership Development), two Intro to the Solidarity Economy workshops, 60 people

June,Knoxville Solidarity Economy Group, Tennessee, two intergenerational SE workshops. 40 people

June,  Federation of Community Development Credit Unions 35th Annual Conference -  led SE workshop track with youth and spoke at closing, Tempe, AZ,  20 and 100 people

July, Center for Popular Economics Summer Institute, “After the Economic Meltdown: Building a Solidarity Economy,” co-sponsored by NH AFSC and World Fellowship Center, NH - a week long residential program with a focus on the solidarity economy, 60 people

August, SpringfieldCollege, talk in Sarah Horsely’s Political Economy Class, 20 people

August, Kentucky Social Forum - a 2 hour workshop on the Solidarity Economy, in Berea, KY, 35 people

October, ILO Conference on the Social Economy- 15 minute presentation and 30 minute Q&A in Johannesburg, South Africa, 150 people

October, workshop at Responsible Endowments Coalition National Conference, Philadelphia, PA, 20 people

October, Massachusetts Relocalization Conference, Boston, Plenary Speaker, “Relocalization and the Solidarity Economy,” 400 people and workshop presenter;, 35 people

October,  Cambridge Time Trade Circle,15 people

October 7-9, 2 day workshop on the Crisis and the Solidarity Economy, Making Connections Louisville, KY, 30 people

November, Rethinking Marxism ’09, Amherst, Ma., presented paper, “Beyond Economic Man: Feminism and the Solidarity Economy,” 30 people, and Co-Chaired, “Roundtable Discussion on the Solidarity Economy,”  40 people

Nov. 16, Organizer and Panelist, “Capitalism, Crisis, and Transformation:  Critical Reflections on the Current Economic Conjuncture,” WellesleyCollege, 30 people

Nov. 21, Massachusetts Green Party Convention, Plenary Speaker, Worcester, MA, 100 people

November, NASCO (N. American Students of Cooperation) Conference, 50 people

November, workshop for AU Solidarity, American University, Washington, DC, 25 people

December 3, presentation, UMass in Prof. Julie Graham’s Diverse Economies seminar, 15 people



May:“What’s the Economy For Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy,” Springfield College, MA (30 people)

May 29-30, 2008: “What’s the Economy For, Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy and Social Wealth” Highlander Center, TN (25 people)

June 2-July 10:Online Course -  “What’s the Economy For, Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy and Social Wealth” (25 people)

June, Solidarity Economy workshop, Knoxville, TN(15 people)

June 20-22:“Solidarity Economy and Worker Cooperatives”, Democracy at Work Conference, New Orleans(100 people)

July, two workshops at CPE’s Summer Institute, Chicago (40 people)

August,workshop at the Unionfor Radical Political Economy, CT (12 people)

August,workshop at Holyoke High School, MA(20 students)

November, workshop at the Green-Rainbow Party State Convention, MA (20 people)

December,workshop for AFSC Economic Justice Strategy meeting, WV (30 people)

December, keynote at the Symposium on Fair Work: Solidarity Economy & Immigrant Cooperatives, Brooklyn, NY(200 people)


Workshops 2008-present with details


Beyond Capitalism: New Economies for Maine, January 29, Augusta, ME.Ethan Miller (former SENBoard member) and Olivia Geiger (CPE) facilitated a workshop on the solidarity economy with a focus on how to build on emergent strategies in Maine. Around 60 people attended.


Southern Grassroots Economies Project, March 18-20, Highlander Center, TN.More than 30 representatives from organizations from across the South and Appalachiacame together to consider the importance of developing cooperative economics as a part of their social justice work. The groups were as varied as Fuerza Unida, a sewing cooperative in San Antonia, TX that was developed after the fight to keep a Levi’s plant open was lost; ProSouth Lawn Care, a new lawn cooperative made up of youth from Project South’s youth program in Atlanta, GA; Third Coast Workers Cooperative, an organization in Austin, TX that develops cooperatives among people of color and poor folks; Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, a CFDI and community economic development group working in KY ; Southern Federation of Worker Cooperatives, a long time cooperative and credit union builder and network covering AL, GA, MS and SC; and the Highlander Research and Education Center in TN, a popular education center that is on the SENboard. A temporary coordinating committee has been formed and is working toward hosting a 2nd larger gathering in the Fall in Epps, AL at the Federation's Training Center, developing curriculum including a certification process and is looking at the multiple ways it will interact with the Solidarity Economy Network. As Niqua, a youth member of ProSouth Lawn Care said on the last of day of the meeting, “I feel like we are a part of history now.”


Left Forum,NYC, March 20, 2011 – there were several solidarity economy panels including 1)Solidarity Economy: Towards a Pluralist, Socialist, Anti-capitalist, Post-capitalist Unity? a discussion with other left strands to discuss differences, convergences and the potential of building a more unified movement. 2)Solidarity Economy: Spain's Mondragon Cooperatives: How They Work, How They Can Help Us Here, with a pretty self explanatory title, and 3) Is Fair Trade a Viable Model of Solidarity Economics? which explored instances where fair trade is aligned with the solidarity economy and when it isn’t.


Green Solidarity Economy Conference, July 23rd, Worcester, MA. This regional gathering will build solidarity economy analysis, skills and strengthen networks through collective agenda setting.


Introduction to the Solidarity Economy, July 29, Northampton, MA. CPEfacilitated an introductory workshop on the solidarity economy with around a dozen participants.


Solidarity Economy Tour, July 30, Northampton, MA. CPEorganized a tour of local solidarity economy initiatives in the Northampton area that included: Hungry Ghost Bakery’s project to re-introduce wheat growing in the Pioneer Valley through de-centralized participatory micro-wheat patches, Valley Time Trade, Dynamite Community Arts Space, Media Education Foundation, C3 (a network of , and the Montview permaculture farm.



NY Solidaritybased in NYC is working to identify and map the solidarity economy in the city ( They are working to bring together solidarity economy practitioners and movement builders to create connections and mutual support.


The Jersey Shore Neighborhood Cooperativeis a group that we have been working closely with to train community researchers to map the solidarity economy in their neighborhoods. The mapping process was used as an organizing tool to bring together some of the marginalized groups including formerly incarcerated, youth of color and immigrants. It has resulted in the establishment of several projects, including a wood working cooperative that already has an order for church pews.


Well Spring Initiative, in Springfield, MA, the Center for Popular Economics is working on a collaborative initiative to create jobs and revitalize low income neighborhoods by creating worker owned businesses, building on Cleveland’s Evergreen Cooperative model. Springfieldcommunity groups along with its major institutions – Baystate Health, Mass Mutual, UMass, and the Springfieldcolleges are enthusiastically on board. In November, we brought in Ted Howard, one of the architects of Evergreen Cooperative, to talk with the Well Spring stakeholders, as well as to speak at public events at UMass and Springfield.


BASEN(Boston Area Solidarity Economy Network) organizes an ongoing speaker series on issues such as building cooperatives, green jobs, and sustainable agriculture. Julie Matthaei, of BASEN was a keynote speaker at the Transition Town Conference held on March 28 at Tufts University, MA. Around 300 people were in attendance.



Beyond the Economic Fright Fest: Building a Sustainable and Just Economy including a See, Believe and Build tour, October 26-31, 2010

At the end of October, CPEand the Highlander Research and EducationCenter(both on the SENBoard) collaborated on a week-long Institute held at the HighlanderCenterin Tennessee.We combined classroom learning with a trip over the Smokey Mountains to Asheville, NC where we heard had lunch at a restaurant coop and community space, and heard from two immigrant women’s cooperatives including a housecleaning and a textile business. This was followed by a trip to a social enterprise that re-cycles waste for use by artists and craftspeople. This is the second time that we have done a training at Highlander and we are happy to have be involved in seeding a budding movement to connect and support the development of the solidarity economy in the south. There is a gathering of southern organization in March 2011 to strategize about how to create a sustainable economic base and to build on what already exists.


New Movements to Build Another World: the USSF and the Solidarity Economy, DrewUniversity, NJ, November 4, 2010. Emily Kawano and Maliha Safri spoke to a crowd of a hundred people about the solidarity economy framework and organizing, from the level of the U.S. Social Forum to local economic development in low income communities.



February:SEN participated in SE workshops and a RIPESS meeting at the World Social Forum in Belem.

February:  SEN workshop at Powershift

March:New Strategies for the Obama Era, Tufts University, MA. Presentation on the economic crisis and the case for the solidarity economy.

March 19-22, 2009: “U.S.Solidarity Economy Forum,”Universityof Massachusetts, Amherst, MAorganized by the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network.

This inaugural conference of U.S. SEN was co-sponsored by the Universidad de los Andes, Venezuelaand RIPESS-N. America. The Forum far exceeded out expectations. We had almost 400 people participate from around the U.S.and other countries. There was a tremendous buzz and energy, great workshops, plenaries and entertainment. Most of all, it was inspiring to meet hundreds of other people who are dedicated to building 'another world.' We also organized a tour of various solidarity economy initiatives that the PioneerValleyis quite rich with (see Pioneer Valley Solidarity Map). Some resources are posted on the Forum webpage.

April: Lower Hudson Valley Social Forum Keynote Panel

April: United Association for Labor Educators, WashingtonDC

SEN was invited to do a workshop about the solidarity economy at this annual gathering of labor educators. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard presented, although due to some miscommunication her time was very short. The follow up interest and discussions, however, were good. 

April: Building a Solidarity Economy in Boston: a Report-back & Visioning Session,  Radical Organizing Conference (ROC)

Sponsored by City Life, ACE, Hotel Workers 26 and other organizations to link effective, real day-to-day work on real problems to changing the system that caused those problemsIn March of this year, over 20 people from ROC attended the Forum on the Solidarity Economy. We wanted to ask: If the current economy isn't working for most of us, what are the alternatives? On April 25th, we came together to share together lessons learned and chart a vision for an economy that works for all of us.

April 29 - May 2, 2009: “International Forum on the Globalization of Solidarity”, Luxembourg,organized by RIPESS. This will be the 4th International Forum. The last one was held in Dakarin 2005 and drew together 1,200 participants from 63 countries. The Institut Europeen d’Economie Solidaire (INEES) has taken on the responsibility being the lead organization for the conference planning. See INEES Newsletter No. 10 for more information.


May 1, 2008: “What’s the Economy For Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy”, SpringfieldCollege, Springfield, MA

The Center for Popular Economics facilitated two workshops with around 60 students at SpringfieldCollege. We discussed what the economy should be for and looked at how the U.S.economy is failing to deliver in many important ways. We discussed the need for a different economy that promotes the welfare of people and planet. We looked at the principles and framework of the solidarity economy and used the Stepping Stone exercise to explore many of the real examples of the solidarity economy in action. One student commented after the workshop that this was the most interesting class of the semester! 

May 29-30, 2008: “What’s the Economy For, Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy and Social Wealth” Highlander Center, TN

We are really excited about this opportunity to work with the HighlanderResearch & EducationCenterwhich has a long and venerable history of bringing together generations of activists to share, learn and strategize. This regional workshop brought together organizations based in the South and Appalachiathat are involved in economic justice work. It provided an opportunity for these activists to share their experiences and challenges. We drew on these discussions to raise the question, What’s the economy for, anyway? We l introduce the solidarity economy as a framework that can bring together many of these struggles for a better world. The workshop focused also on social wealth and the common property resource management strategies, especially in light of how so many Appalachian communities have been heavily dependent on resource extraction. We ended with small group discussions of how to put what we talked about into practice and to identify next steps.  

There has already been a follow up Solidarity Economy meeting in Knoxville. See A Different Citizen Panel

Support provided by the Forum on Social Wealth and the Ford Foundation.

June 2-July 10, 2008: “What’s the Economy For, Anyway? The Case for a Solidarity Economy and Social Wealth”an online course offered by the Center for Popular Economics. “The Economy” is often portrayed in the media and by politicians as a force of nature that we must adapt to or perish. But we all make our economy tick. Shouldn’t we have a say in how it is run and to what purpose? This online course raises the question: what purpose do we want our economy to fulfill? We look at the emerging global solidarity economy movement and its potential to provide an alternative economic development framework. We’ll look at social wealth as a key component of the solidarity economy. Social wealth includes natural and social resources such as the air, the care economy and knowledge. For more information please visit:

Support provided by the Forum on Social Wealth and the Ford Foundation. 

June 20-22, 2008: “Solidarity Economy and Worker Cooperatives”, Democracy at Work Conference, New Orleans
We were involved in several events at this conference, organized by the U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives.  "Uplifting and Strengthening our Community: Through Alternative Economic Development and Action"Showcase of Cooperatives. Come learn about different kinds of cooperative businesses around the country, and how they serve or can serve communities of color and low income neighborhoods. SEN will join in on a Gulf Coast-wide discussion of alternative economic development strategies, the solidarity economy, and what it would take to pursue more alternative strategies for economic renewal in New Orleansand the GulfCoast.

Introduction to the Solidarity Economy

“What's the Economy For Anyway? Why We Need a Solidarity Economy” will provide participants with:
- A clearer understanding of the failures of the dominant economic model and the need for an alternative.
- Understanding of the solidarity economy (SE) - principles, the global SE movement including the U.S. Solidarity Economy Network, concrete examples of the SE.
- Exploration of the relationship between the SE and the cooperative movement

July 30 & 31, 2008: “The Solidarity Economy”, CPE Summer Institute, Chicago, Il.

The Center for Popular Economics facilitated two workshops on the solidarity economy that were each attended by fifteen to twenty activists from around the well as abroad. Participants were excited to hear about various pieces of the solidarity economy that already exist and thriving.