The conference was concluded with a clear 28_1.gsef2016-declaration-montreal.pdf.
We were very impressed by the offered programme, the number of participant – 1,400 visitors from 65 countries and 33 representatives of cities (mayors, aldermen, councilors) such as New York, Paris, Gothenburg and Seoul as well as many smaller cities in Europe, Africa and Asia – and we soon realised that Amsterdam belongs to this list as well.
The organising cities – both the mayor of Montreal and Seoul – stressed how cities have an important role in the development of the social economy. A social and fair economy was unanimously seen as the answer to the global economic crisis. Cooperative initiatives concerning housing, environment and inclusion can make a difference; we can achieve improvements in social and circular economy. It was very clearly emphasised that urban development has a leading role, as a locomotive.
Global Social Economy Forum and Amsterdam
At the forum, we were asked to present the initiatives that the city of Amsterdam has taken to strengthen the sector of social firms, as an example of good policy. Together with Nienke Boesveldt, researcher at the University of Utrecht, we showed and explained the outcome of the public-private partnership between the City of Amsterdam and De Omslag since 2012: good initiatives and shared responsibility and commitment (support and procurement) between the various portfolios in the municipality .
We found many beautiful examples of initiatives in which the inclusive thought is the motor of the social economy. We will be happy to translate these to a local level and share what we have learned.