Webinar: The Social and Solidarity Economy (“SSE”) and Worker Co-ops

The slide deck and audio recording of the webinar are available below.

Co-ops inevitably overlap with other movements and in this webinar we will explore how worker co-ops fit into the Social and Solidarity Economy and with social enterprises. We invite participants to come with ideas of how to better partner in these spaces for mutual benefit, and have ideas on how CWCF can partner for the benefit of the worker co-op movement.

Given that collaboration with the social and solidarity economy is a significant aspect of our strategic plan, we would like to provide the opportunity for more members to attend this session.  This presentation is quite similar to what was offered at our fall Conference.   Here are a few comments from the Conference session:

  • “With her vantage point as chair of the International Co-op Alliance Research Committee, Sonja explains this important topic with clarity and pragmatism.”
  • “Great to learn more on this topic.”
  • “Learned a lot in this forum.”
  • “Well put together for themes and in terms of the process for learning.”


Definitions: What is the Social Economy? What is the Solidarity Economy? What are Social Enterprises?

How do worker co-ops fit into each of these?

What is the value of having worker co-ops link with the Social and Solidarity Economy?

Where is this collaboration working well?

Group Discussion:

  1. What are the ways in which your worker co-op already collaborates in the Social & Solidarity Economy?  With Social Enterprises or other enterprises / organizations?  What are the challenges, and the benefits?
  2. What are some additional ways you think that your worker co-op may be able to partner in these spaces?  What would your co-op hope to obtain, and what can it give, in such a partnership(s)? 
  3. CWCF has partnered in the past most significantly with co-op associations (CMC, provincial co-op associations, CICOPA).  What other entities in the Social & Solidarity Economy do you think CWCF should consider collaborating?  For what purpose?

*About the Presenter:

Sonja Novkovic is a Professor of Economics and Academic director of the International Centre for Co-operative Management at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. She is Chair of the International Co-operative Alliance Research Committee, past president of the International Association for the Economics of Participation (IAFEP) and a member of the NCBA Council of Economists.

Her research interests are in the field of economic democracy, including labor-managed and cooperative firms, social economy, and comparative economic systems. She is involved in the development of the CoopIndex diagnostic tool for worker cooperatives, and a four year research project on co-operative governance funded by FWO – Belgium. Her co-edited volumes include Co-operatives and the World of Work (Routledge, 2019); Cooperativism and Local Development in Cuba: An agenda for Democratic Transformation (Brill, 2018); and Co-operative Governance Fit to Build Resilience in the Face of Complexity (ICA, Brussels 2015).

Download the poster

View the presentation slides

Listen to the webinar audio recording