Responsible Business Conference

Conference on Social and Solidarity Economy: Responsible Business in Practice
18-19 Aprıl 2019 Izmir Commodıty Exchange - Borsa Sarayı
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In partnership with the Izmir Commodity Exchange, Youth Deal Cooperative brings together leading cooperatives and private businesses to discuss how cooperatives can work with private sector in achieving responsible business.

Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) refers to “enterprises and organizations (cooperatives, mutual benefit societies, associations, foundations and social enterprises) which produce goods, services and knowledge that meet the needs of the community they serve, through the pursuit of specific social and environmental objectives and the fostering of solidarity” according to International Labour Organization.

Following the 2008-9 Global Financial Crisis, SSE has progressively gained impetus in societies that suffer from socioeconomic inequality, poverty and social exclusion. In response to these evolving challenges and solidarity-based reactions following the crisis, conventional businesses engaged and interacted with SSE specifically through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) schemes. By definition, CSR aims to “integrate an ethical approach into corporate practices” which is entirely consistent with SSE (RIPESS, 2013). Lack of knowledge or misinterpretation of SSE-related community needs and motivations may lead to “social-washing” of CSR and business practices.

Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS, 2013) informs that despite many commendable examples of CSR, “there is a very real danger that corporations (…) are branding themselves as champions of sustainability, local economic development, health promotion and community empowerment while at the same time engaging in practices that are harmful to workers, the environment and local communities, small businesses and family farmers”.

  • Greater dialogue/interaction is needed between corporations and SSE actors to better define social challenges, codesign CSR responses and implement responsible business practices.
  • Corporations need to have a better understanding of what SSE actors can offer in order to establish partnerships to address community needs.
  • SSE actors need to build a better understanding of CSR principles in order to more effectively support “responsible business” initiatives.
The Conference will bring together private businesses and cooperatives from Turkey and the USA on 18-19 April 2019 in Izmir, Turkey. The conference is hosted by Izmir Commodity Exchange and generously supported by the Hollings Center for International Dialogue and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Turkey.


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