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Solidarity Economy is an alternative development framework that is grounded in practice and the in the principles of: solidarity, mutualism, and cooperation; equity in all dimensions (race/ethnicity/ nationality, class, gender); social well-being over profit and the unfettered rule of the market; sustainability; social and economic democracy; and pluralism, allowing for different forms in different contexts, open to continual change and driven from the bottom-up.
Definitions of "solidarity economy" are diverse.
For the Asian Alliance for Solidarity Economy:
Solidarity Economy is a socio-economic order and new way of life that deliberately chooses serving the needs of people and ecological sustainability as the goal of economic activity rather than maximization of profits under the unfettered rule of the market. It places economic and technological development at the service of social and human development rather than the pursuit of narrow, individual self-interest.
Solidarity Economy is an alternative economic model to neo-liberal capitalism. This alternative socio-economic order and new way of life inspires attitudes and behaviors with values such as sharing, co-responsibility, Reciprocity, Plurality, respect for diversity, freedom, equality, ethics, brotherhood, and sisterhood / .
The Chantier Economie Sociale of Quebec cites five key principles to distinguish solidarity economy initiatives. These are /:
(1) the objective is to serve its members or the community, instead of simply striving for financial profit;
(2) the economic enterprise is autonomous of the State;
(3) in its statute and code of conduct, a democratic decision-making process is established that implies the necessary participation of users and workers;
(4) it gives priority to people and work over capital in the distribution of revenue and surplus; and
(5) its activities are based on principles of participation, empowerment, and individual and collective responsibility.
Solidarity Economy adopts conscious altruism and solidarity, not extreme individualism, as the core of the new socioeconomic culture. It tends to favor cooperation, not competition, as the main form of relationship among humans and between them and Nature /.
Solidarity Economy does not constitute a SECTOR of the mainstream economy. It is rather a global APPROACH encompassing initiatives in most sectors of the economy. This alternative approach to socio-economic development operates side by side with the market economy and is capable of sustaining its initiatives and competing in the market logic of traditional markets for as long as its approaches continue to be innovativ.
 Marcos Arruda. “Views on Solidarity Economy”. Interview conducted in conjunction with the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy, Phiippines, Oct 2007. Arruda is founder and Director of PACS (Institute of Alternative Policies for Southern Cone of Latin America), Brazil and Member of the Coordination and Facilitation Committee (CFC) of the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and Solidarity-based Economy (ALOE).
 Cited in Yvon Poirer. “Views on Solidarity Economy”. Interview conducted in conjunction with the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy, Phiippines, Oct 2007. Poirer is a Member of the Coordination Committee of the North American Network for Solidarity Economy (NANSE), and Board Member of RIPESS (Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Solidarity Economy).
 Poirer, op. cit.
 Kyoko Sakuma. ““Views on Solidarity Economy”. Interview conducted in conjunction with the Asian Forum for Solidarity Economy, Phiippines, Oct 2007. Sakuma is the Founder and Executive Director of Sustainability Analysis and Consulting (Belgium).
A more formal definition:
The solidarity economy can be seen a) as part of the "Third sector" in which economic activity is aimed at expressing practical Solidarity with disadvantaged groups of people, which contrasts with the Private sector, where economic activity is aimed at generating profits, and the Public sector, where economic activity is directed at Public policy objectives, or b) as a struggle seeking to build an economy and culture of solidarity beyond capitalism in the present.
The still evolving term "solidarity economy" is an English translation of a concept represented by the French "économie solidaire" and similar terms in several other languages. As such it is sometimes translated by other expressions such as "solidarity-based economy".
Social and solidarity economy
The solidarity economy is often considered part of the Social economy, forming what might be termed the "social and solidarity economy" (from the French "économie sociale et solidaire"). The concepts are still under development and the difference between the two terms is gradually being clarified. An organisation seeing itself as part of the solidarity economy generally goes beyond achieving purely social aims: it aims to put right an injustice by expressing solidarity. For example, a local sports club has a social aim and so can be considered part of the social economy, but would not normally be considered part of the solidarity economy except in special circumstances (e.g. a township sports club in South Africa in the days of Apartheid).
- The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network
- The U.S. Solidarity Economy NetworkThe Intercontinental Network of Promoters of Solidarity Economy
Examples of solidarity economy organisations
- Fair trade organisations form part of the solidarity economy as their aim is to express practical solidarity with small-scale producers in the developing world by paying them fair prices for their produce
- Community Supported Agriculture
- Self-help organisations also form part of the solidarity economy as members support each other in dealing with their problems as a practical form of solidarity.
- Co-operatives and especially Worker cooperatives form part of the solidarity economy if their aims include a commitment to solidarity in some form.
- Trade unions are often considered a key part of the solidarity economy as they are based on the principle of solidarity between workers.
- Open source development and other forms of Commons-based peer production.
- Social center
- Give-away shops and other forms of Gift economy
- Local Exchange Trading Systems (LETS).
- Solidarity lending
- Ethical purchasing
- Miller, Ethan. Solidarity Economics. Strategies for Building New Economies from the Bottom-Up and the Inside-Out - February 2004
- Miller, Ethan. Other Economies are Possible!, ZNet
- Miller, Ethan. Elements of a Solidarity Economy, [GEO]
- Euclides André Mance. Solidarity economics, Turbulence
- Solidarity Economics
- German Conference on Solidarity Economy held in Berlin on 24-26 November 2006
- Grassroots Economic Organizing
- Euclides André Mance Archives
- The U.S. Solidarity Economy Network
- Portal de Economía solidaria (in Spanish)
- Solidarische Ökonomie (in German)
- Different articles available in english, french and spanish (MIJARC)Nl:Solidaire economie
--WikiWiseco 08:42, 10 December 2009 (UTC)