Academy on Social and Solidarity economy (12th edition)

Social and Solidarity Economy

Academy on Social and Solidarity economy (12th edition)

Building back better: the role of Social and Solidarity Economy in a human-centred and planet-sensitive recovery



15–26 Novembre 2021
Il corso è disponibile in English, Français, Español, Português



Key features

Innovative training methodologies and integrated use of digital learning technology.


Learn and exchange with high-level policy makers and practitioners through interactive “real time” plenaries and elective sessions.


Participate in SSE Marketplace sessions and become part of a global network of SSE experts.



Engage with virtual study visits, learning from good practices and exchanging with SSE practitioners in the field.

Presentazione del corso

The social and solidarity economy seeks to balance economic viability with social justice, from the local to the global levels. This Academy offers practical insights on how to boost inclusive and sustainable development and enhance the Decent Work Agenda in different countries and regions. Are you ready to build more resilient societies?

Chi si iscrive a questo corso?

The Academy targets ILO's tripartite constituents, policy makers involved in SSE, practitioners from development partner agencies and international organizations, SSE entrepreneurs and practitioners, and members from academia and researchers. Participants from all over the world are welcome to join the event!


The recent global crisis, a consequence of the COVID19 global pandemic, has accentuated the need for a new paradigm of production and consumption that is more inclusive and sustainable. Growing problems such as unemployment, precarious employment, climate change and inequality are forcing a rethink of conventional approaches.

In March 2021, the 341st Governing Body of the ILO decided to place on the agenda of the 110th Session (2022) of the International Labour Conference (ILC) an item related to Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) for general discussion. This is a historic decision and it presents a unique opportunity, among others, to provide a universal definition of the term “social and solidarity economy”, including its associated principles and to provide policy guidelines for member States wishing to establish a conducive environment for national development of SSE. In this context, the 12th edition of the ILO SSE Academy provides a global space for policy makers and practitioners to exchange and learn from innovative SSE policies and practices all over the world. 

This year’s host of the Academy will be Portugal, where the SSE has been growing and developing consistently during recent years. With 3% of Gross Value Added and 6.1% of paid employment in the country, the SSE in Portugal has become more prominent, both in its universe and in its weight vis-à-vis the Portuguese economy as a whole.

At policy level, Portugal has established a common legal and institutional framework for promotion and development of the sector through the “Framework Law on Social Economy” and the three institutional pillars: the Cooperative António Sérgio for Social Economy (CASES), the National Council for Social Economy (CNES) and the Portuguese Confederation of Social Economy (CPES). Moreover, beyond its national boundaries, Portugal has highlighted the SSE during its Presidency of the EU Council (PPUE21) and  during its Presidency of the Monitoring Committee of the Luxembourg Declaration, a group of member states of the European Union committed to the promotion and recognition of to the Social Economy. As a consequence, a network of 5 Portuguese cities have been awarded the prestigious status of “European Capital of Social Economy”. 

On this basis, CASES has partnered with the ILO to design the 12th edition of the ILO's Academy on Social and Solidarity Economy, which will have a special focus on the role of ESS in the face of the challenges and opportunities posed by the rapidly changing world of work in the context of the crises generated by the COVID19 global pandemic.

Why should you join?

The Academy stimulates sharing of experiences from different regions on the latest approaches, policies, initiatives and partnerships that promote SSE as a tool for promoting decent work in human-centred recovery and building back better from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, participants will be able to:

  • Explore innovative policies and practices for promoting social innovation through the Social and Solidarity Economy;
  • Become acquainted with a multitude of social and solidarity experiences, strategies and tools to better face the future challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of a dynamic world of work;
  • Join  a growing international network of policy makers, social partners and practitioners working on the Social and Solidarity Economy.
What topics does this Academy cover?

The ILO SSE Academy covers a wide variety of issues related to human-centred recovery for building back better and the role of SSE. The main objective of the Academy will be to generate a better understanding of the concept of SSE and its contribution to the creation of decent work. 

The programme is built around plenaries and elective courses, in which cutting-edge topics are presented and discussed, facilitated by experts from the ILO and key UN Agencies, as well as by other leading regional and international experts. It will also provide structured knowledge-sharing opportunities through virtual study visits and informal networking, making use of interactive learning methodologies.

Plenary sessions

The plenary sessions are offered on most mornings, with the aim of creating a common level of knowledge and understanding among all participants and across the different thematic and policy areas covered by the Academy. They include topics such as SSE main principles and values; SSE main trends in the different regions and recent development on SSE policies; overview of the existing international and regional alliances and movements on SSE;  contribution to Agenda 2030 and creation of decent work; main trends in the world of work and the future of work for all; SSE statistics; financial mechanism for innovative SSE ecosystems; ILO work on SSE and upcoming ILC discussion.  The impact of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic will be a cross-cutting theme across the sessions.

Elective courses

Participants will choose one additional elective course in both weeks. These electives will provide a more focused and in-depth understanding on specific topics, while offering the opportunity to share knowledge, discuss concrete applications of SSE at national and regional levels and draw up lessons for future research, projects and policy-making. They consist of a total of 4,5 hours of online learning with experts from ILO and other organizations in topics such as fundamental principles,  rights at work for the SSEOs; Youth, education and new skills; formalization of informal economy; social innovation; gender equality and women’s empowerment; social inclusion, gender equality, empowerment and social cohesion; South-South and triangular cooperation; just transition and circular economy. Dedicated electives will be devoted to exploring topics of particular concern to trade unions, employers organisations and governments.

Virtual Study visits

The participants will have the opportunity of an in-depth knowledge of good practices and initiatives in the field of SSE through virtual study visits in Portugal and other experiences.

Informal networking sessions and Community of Practice 

Beyond the plenary and elective sessions, the Academy will offer its participants the opportunity to network:

  • Through the use of interactive platforms and technologies;
  • By becoming members of the “SSE Collective Brain”, a network of hundreds of SSE policy makers and practitioners who have been participating in the 12 editions of the Academy. The full agenda will be made available closer to the event.
Learning modality

The course will take place through virtual sessions (webinars) delivered via the ITCILO e-Campus online platform during the two weeks, 15 to 26 November 2021. The morning sessions will take place from Monday to Friday at 13:00 – 14:30 (CET); while the afternoon sessions are at either 15:30-17:00 (CET). Participants are expected to attend the sessions across the two weeks.

Language requirements

The Academy will be offered in English, Portuguese, French and Spanish. All plenary sessions and most elective sessions will be offered with simultaneous interpretation.

Costs and payment 

This Academy is co-financed by CASES Portugal, ILO and ITC-ILO. Prospective participants are invited to explain their motivation for participating and to commit for their active participation during 3 hours per day for the duration of the Academy. Participation is free of charge for selected candidates. A committee composed by CASES, ILO and ITC-ILO will evaluate the proposals and select the most suitable candidates.


Participants will obtain an ITCILO Certificate of Participationsubject to their consistent and active participation during the two weeks of the Academy. 80% participation is required to obtain the certificate.


Apply here to participate in the Academy.

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