For a generation, while a "free market" ideology has gained a grip on humanity's activities world-wide, initiatives have also been growing to realize equitable and sustainable livelihoods. This panoply of alternatives is coming to be known as the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE).
In 1997 SSE practitioners, researchers, and activists from Europe, South America, and Québec met in Lima, Peru to discover just how much they had in common. In 2002, they created a co-ordinating body and took the name Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy. April 22-25 in Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg, RIPESS will hold its fourth meeting, this time to explore the theme "Another Economy Exists: The Innovations of the Social and Solidarity Economy."
Lux'09 will be an excellent opportunity to connect with and learn from 1,200 other practitioners from practically every continent. Another good reason to attend is timing. The failure of the free market ideology to live up to its promises of prosperity for all countries and all populations is now unmistakeable. There hardly could be a better time to articulate and reinforce the possibility of a just, people-centered approach to the economy and to all of society.