The Massachusetts Solidarity Economy Network is the first statewide solidarity economy network in the U.S. Our mission is to build and strengthen the solidarity economy in the state as part of the broader national and international movement to move beyond capitalism to a just and sustainable economy and world.
In April 2018, a group of 35 people representing various sectors of the solidarity economy (SE) across the state came together in Springfield, MA to strategize about how to connect, grow, and strengthen the SE in Massachusetts. “Resist and Build was centered in our discussions. Solidarity economy A number of working groups emerged from that meeting and work in each area has been ongoing.
In March 2019, we organized a two day, statewide Worker Co-op & Solidarity Economy gathering in Worcester which was attended by over 70 people representing grassroots and community organizations that are building the solidarity economy and fighting for social and economic justice, particularly in frontline communities. Day 1 focused on worker co-ops and fed into Day 2 which focused on the solidarity economy as a whole. The two days of work culminated with enthusiastic support for the formation of the Massachusetts Solidarity Economy Network (MA SEN), the first statewide solidarity economy network in the country!
During the second half of Day 2, we used a world cafe format to further advance and develop work in five SE Strategy areas.
- Worker Co-ops
- SE Education/Training
- SE Mapping/Value Chains
- SE & Social Movements/10 Year Agenda
- Community Land Trusts/Affordable Housing
With the exception of the last strategy area, which emerged out of participant interest on the day of, there had been statewide meetings throughout the year that informed each roundtable discussion. The participatory exercise was full of energy, excitement and great actionable ideas. Working groups in each of these five strategy areas are responsible for setting their objectives, priorities and strategies for advancement within their strategy area, as well as cross collaboration with the rest of MA SEN.