A sneak peek of the Solidarity Economy Fair in Madrid, June 14th 2015
By Gaia Paradisio
June 16, 2015 – The majority of times we think we are not free to think of the world as a unity of people all working towards human development, evolution and res-publica, which- as the Greeks taught us- means contributing to the development of the society’s state of the art.
I think the Greeks (along with the Romans) became the pioneers and the propellers of the management of “res publica”. Democracy for them meant taking care of the people and of the res-of the things- that the citizens created for the good and the progress of society’s hustle and bustle. Just think of horses and carriages, and of metro and cars. Two alternative and revolutionary ways, for the times, to facilitate transport and to allow people to freely move around the city and to get business and trade done, providing food and shelter to family and kids.
In modern times, I perceive and I see on a day to day basis that if we stand by the ideals of social justice, solidarity economy, participatory economics, the work of cooperatives, human dignity and equal rights between genders and at work, independent and free press, sustainable consumption, eco-markets and green economy, ethical banks, fair trade and food security and sovereignty, social inclusion and cultural diversity, sustainable development, ecological sustainability, corporate social responsibility in businesses, micro finance and micro-credit, we are not taking the res-management into consideration, but we only think of nature, utopia and social well-fare where people are at the center of the discourse.
Recently I visited the third edition of the Social and Solidarity Economy Fair, which took place at Matadero, an open, free and eco-cultural center in Madrid offering a wide variety of cultural events – including bike rentals and an impressive film library- aimed at raising awareness and stimulating debates around society’s problems and potentials solutions, powered by participatory mechanisms, constant dialogue, ideas and group brainstorming, critical thinking and new and better ways of imagining the future, and therefore of creating it.
Social Market is a system of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services that works by adopting ethical, just, democratic, ecological and solidarity principles, consisting of businesses and cooperatives, as well as groups of consumers, striving to pursue an economic activity that does not damage the environment and works for salary equality, gender policy and whose objective is to satisfy a good amount of the society’s needs within the community network, disconnecting the solidarity economy from the capitalist one. By re-adjusting the modern version of the economy, understood now as a vicious cycle of money and goods accumulation, we can manage to retrieve the first meaning of the economy to its real role of provider of the material ground to sustainably contribute to the personal, social and environmental development of the human being. (Continued)