18/02/21 Social Economy Intergroup’s Public Hearing on Skills and Digitalisation

18.02 SEIG event skills

An important Public Hearing of the Social Economy Intergroup is taking place on the February 18 from 11.00 – 13.00h.

You can find the agenda here.

You can register for the event here.

Who is Speaking at the Event?

Important speakers at the event include: Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights , Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of SEE, Patrizia Toia MEP, Sven Giegold, MEP, Giuseppe Guerini, President of CECOP, Laura Peracaula, Co-Director General of Suara Cooperativa – A new vision for a quality and fair caring economy, Sibylle Reichert, Executive Director of AIM (International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies), Patrizia Bussi, Director of ENSIE (European Network of Social Integration Enterprises) and Jordi Cañas MEP and Lina Gálvez, MEP.

You can find speaker bios here.

About the Event

The event entitled “Skills and digitalisation Investing in the Social Economy as tomorrow’s economy” comes at an important moment  when digitalisation and skills are high on the European agenda. For example, among the 6 Priorities for 2019 – 2024 is Europe Fit for the Digital Age. Additionally, the Commission´s explanation of “Shaping Europe´s Digital Future” highlights a digital transition that will put people first to:

  1. open up new opportunities for businesses
  2. encourage the development of trustworthy technology
  3. foster an open and democratic society
  4. enable a vibrant and sustainable economy
  5. help fight climate change and achieve the green transition

To achieve the digital strategy´s three pillars of technology that works for the people, fair and competitive digital economy and and open, democratic and sustainable society; an important gap in digital skills needs to be filled. One important EU initiative to address this is the Pact for Skills, one of 12 actions of the European Skills Agenda. Upskilling and reskilling are therefore of paramount importance and the social economy, once again, proves itself as being ahead of the game when it comes to providing training, education, apprenticeships which are available to all people, through in-house innovative training or more inclusive opportunities in general.

The Social Economy and Skills

In this public hearing you will hear from  a wide variety of speakers on how the social economy provides upskilling and reskilling opportunities, which will leave no-one behind in this fast and inevitable digital transition. The values of the social economy of putting people over profit, democratic governance and re-investment of all or most of its profits in training or in the community (among other things) solidifies the social economy as a vital means to keep this transition fair. For example:

Platform cooperatives

Platform cooperatives are businesses that use a website, mobile app, or protocol to sell goods or services. They rely on democratic decision-making and shared ownership of the platform by workers and users. These can help to digitalise services, making them more readily available to users and consumers while ensuring the rights of workers and consumers are protected

The Caring economy

Childcare, inclusion of vulnerable people at risk or social exclusion, work with families to increase parenting skills, education and occupation and services aimed at the elderly like residential services and home care services are highly prominent in the social economy. Suara Coop is creating digital transformation plans through an information technology area focussing on enterprise resource planning. These promote digital participation and access.

Mutual benefit Societies

Many members of AIM Mutuals (The International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies) already provide ample training towards the skills needed for the digital transition, including data modelling, software training, data security and business analysis. This can be through in-house training, professionalisation contracts, certification, through exchange of good practices and employing blended learning.


Cooperative schools, from younger years though to adult education, professional and vocational programmes and universities work on the cooperative model of Voluntary and open membership, democratic, management by members, economic participation of the partners, autonomy and independence, education, training and information, cooperation between cooperatives, interest in the community.

Work Integration Social Enterprises

ENSIE represents national and regional networks of Work Integration Social Enterprises, also known with the acronym WISEs. These are enterprises, which through training and inclusion practices and principles, for example, use social and professional requalification training to restore to individuals at risk, individuals that are vulnerable and have become marginal, the status of gainfully employed workers.


We look forward to seeing you there!

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