GSEF Regional Policy Dialogues have played a key role in promoting knowledge exchange between policymakers and practitioners towards identifying the best ways of co-constructing public policies and establishing eco-systems for the promotion of the Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation.

Since 2017, the GSEF Policy Dialogue series has been broadening its regional focus to other continents such as Europe, Africa and Latin America.



  • [upcoming] 2019 Asia Policy Dialogue, 28 October, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2018 Asia Policy Dialogue, 5-6 July, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2017 Asia Policy Dialogue, 30 June-1st July, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2016 Asia Policy Dialogue, 26 May, Hong Kong (in parallel with the AVPN Annual Conference)
  • 2015 Asia Policy Dialogue, 4 November, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2014 Asia Policy Dialogue, 17 November, Seoul, South Korea (in conjunction with GSEF2014)


  • [upcoming] 2019 Europe Policy Dialogue, 18-19 November, Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 2018 Europe Policy Dialogue, 7 November, Madrid, Spain
  • 2017 Europe Policy Dialogue, 5 December, Archamps, France (in conjunction with the 8th Mont-Blanc Meetings)


  • 2019 Africa Policy Dialogue, 25-26 April, Bamako, Mali
  • 2018 Africa Policy Dialogue, 2 October, Bilbao, Spain (in conjunction with GSEF2018)

Latin America

  • [upcoming] 2019 LAC Policy Dialogue, 1-2 December, Córdoba, Argentina
  • Africa Policy Dialogue 2019 25 Apr 2019 to 26 Apr 2019

    Theme: Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities      Venue: Bamako, Mali Following the inaugural edition organized in conjunction with GSEF2018 in Bilbao, the 2nd edition of the Africa Policy Dialogue took place in Bamako, Mali, around the theme "Social and Solidarity Economy for a controlled and inclusive urbanization of African cities". It was organized by GSEF in partnership with the City of Bamako, the National Network for the Promotion of Social and Solidarity Economy of Mali (RENAPESS), the African Network for Social and Solidarity Economy (RAESS), and the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF). [[{"fid":"3265","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false,"external_url":""}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]] This event gathered local governments and civil society organizations from about ten West African countries to discuss and undertake a deeper analysis of the key role social and solidarity economy can play in local economic development strategies, and towards building inclusive and sustainable cities. Panellists include Albert Anicet Akoa, Vice President, United Councils and Cities of Cameroon (CVUC); Harouna Arzika, Permanent Secretary, Association of Municipalities of Niger; Adjara Diouf, Program Specialist, International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF); Pascal Duforestel, Member of the Regional Council of Nouvelle-Acquitaine in charge of social and solidarity economy, France; Ichemkhou Eleydou, Regional Councillor, Nouakchott, Mauritania; Kémi Fakambi and Marx Abidji, Bénin Entreprendre Solidaire avec son Territoire (B’EST) program; Carlos de Freitas, Director of Programs, Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV); Séverin Komi d'Alveida, Deputy Mayor, Cotonou, Benin; Adama Sangaré, Mayor of Bamako, Mali; Bourahima Sanou, Mayor of Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso; and, Camara Aminata Touré, Executive Vice President, National Association of Guinean Municipalities (ANCG).  In recent years, the significance and scale of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) has increased in African countries. The contribution of SSE, which allows local development through tapping into existing knowledge and the potential of territories while answering citizens’ real needs, is being increasingly recognized. However, there are still barriers to the development of this alternative economic model. What state of play of SSE can be drawn up in West Africa? How can SSE contribute to local economic development and social inclusion in territories in which it is implemented? What can be done to better promote and enhance SSE, and share good practices in this area? How to develop a regulatory framework to increase the inclusion of this economic model in implementing public policies at local and national levels? These are some of the questions that were examined in this dialogue meeting. The speakers shared their experiences and ideas, and addressed key issues cities in Africa are facing: Controlled urbanization of African cities: responses from the social and solidarity economy The role of local governments in promoting the social and solidarity economy Social entrepreneurship as a lever for local economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa What strategic partnerships for the development of sustainable SSE ecosystems towards developing inclusive cities? The highlight of this Dialogue was the endorsement by all participants of the Bamako Declaration, which will serve as a road map for the development of the social and solidarity economy across the African continent, and which lays out specific recommendations to local and national governments and SSE actors towards this objective. Africa Policy Dialogue meetings are part of a long-running regional dialogue series, which aims to identify ways forward for developing inter-regional partnerships and cooperation based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. Past meetings took place in Asia (Seoul in 2014, 2015, 2017 and 2018; Hong Kong in 2016) and Europe (Archamps in 2017; Madrid in 2018).   Media & Resources French Network of Social Economy Territories (RTES): Deuxième Dialogue Afrique du GSEF Photos of the event Press release from the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF) (in French only) Video presentation of the Policy Dialogue in Bamako (courtesy of OIF)
  • Europe Policy Dialogue 2018 7 Nov 2018

    Theme: Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for a sustainable development through Social and Solidarity Economy Date & time: 7 November, from 11:00-13:00 Venue: CINETECA Plató, Matadero, Madrid, Spain Through collaborations between social economy organizations and local governments, GSEF pursues the creation of quality jobs, fair growth, the progress of grassroots democracy and sustainable development. This GSEF Session, which will also be our 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue, will link both themes of achieving peace and sustainable development through SSE. The program is available below. This 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue is organized as a thematic session in the framework of the 2nd World Forum on Urban Violence and Education for Coexistence and Peace (5-8 November 2018, Madrid, Spain).    Background The Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) brings together efforts from local governments and Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) organizations and networks for partnership and collaboration at the global level. In 2017, the 1st Europe Policy Dialogue (EPD) was organized by GSEF in Archamps, France as first of its kind as an open space inviting European members and partners as well as civil society actors from the sector. In 2018, to continue the momentum and build on important discussions around social policy and practices in Europe, GSEF plans to organize its 2nd Europe Policy Dialogue. In 2018, from the 1st to 3rd of October, GSEF organized its 4th Global Social Economy Forum in Bilbao (Spain) where more than 1,700 participants from 84 countries gathered and discussed the value of the social economy under the theme of 'Values and competitiveness for an inclusive and sustainable local development'. This was organized through plenary sessions, workshops and networking sessions by inviting city/local and central governments, social economy actors and networks, and universities and researchers. 
  • Africa Policy Dialogue 2018 2 Oct 2018

    Theme: Decent Work and Entrepreneurship for Social and Labour Inclusion in Africa     Date & time: 2 October 2018, 10:30am-12:30pm (2h) Venue: Conference Hall E, Euskalduna The 1st Africa Policy Dialogue (AfPD) - organised by GSEF as a side event to GSEF2018 - was held on 2 October in Bilbao  on the theme Decent work and Entrepreneurship for Social and Labour Inclusion in Africa. The Africa Policy Dialogue (AfPD) invited African local governments and civil society organisations to share and connect ideas from each part. Thirteen speakers, including Mr. Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi (UCLG Africa), Mr. Ronald Balimwezo (Mayor of the Nakawa Division, Kampala, Uganda) and Mr. Fabrice Adelphe BALOU (POJeT), had the opportunity to share their views on the main topic. AfPD constituted the first step to build a solid African network on SSE. The primary purpose of the AfPD was to identify ways of going forward to develop inter-regional partnerships and cooperation based on an international, innovative and supportive approach. In the African region, social economy plays an essential role and AfPD provided participants with a meaningful chance to understand the unique circumstances of each country and share information.   About 80% to 95% of the population in Africa is employed in the informal economy, and the population has sought out innovative solutions to their daily social and economic challenges. Ultimately, social economy in Africa has an important role to play in poverty eradication and should be recognised as an ally for inclusive development by the African authorities and the EU. AfPD presented various situations and existing challenges across Africa, and it was an opportunity to hear about these issues directly from African SSE actors. In that sense, the AfPD was a powerful channel for the GSEF network to connect with its African members and other actors that are advocating for social economy in the region.
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2018 5 Jul 2018 to 6 Jul 2018

    Theme: Public policies for financing the social and solidarity economy to strengthen its values and competitiveness Venue: Seoul City Hall & social economy sites, NPO Center, Korea APD 2018 is the 4th edition of the Asia Policy Dialogue (APD), the regional platform for promoting social economy public policies by bringing local authorities, practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the region. APD 2018 focused on different strategies of financing the social economy across ten different countries in Asia.     Objectives To interpret the theme of the GSEF2018, “Social Economy and Cities: Values and Competitiveness for an Inclusive and Sustainable Local Development” in the context of Asia, primarily focused on the financial system for supporting SSE organisations as a pre-discussion of the GSEF2018. To discuss what kind of policy measures should be adopted to expand the SSE organisations’ social impacts and competitiveness in the market and how the process of policymaking and implementation should be done. To offer opportunities for participating GSEF members and partners to brainstorm and search for a more specific and viable collaborative project through the network. To develop the Asia Policy Dialogue as a regular forum on social economy policies in Asia and a networking platform for policymakers, advocators, and practitioners of SSE, based on the evaluation and outcome of the last four policy dialogues of GSEF. Key Questions What are the characteristics of the social economy in Asia to be recognised in its social values and competitiveness for an inclusive and sustainable local development? How the funding and financial system to promote social economy could be established and strengthened? What are the suitable social finance schemes according to the stage of growth among Asian social economy enterprises in their local economic and social contexts? What kind of legal consideration and policy initiatives are required for the finance for the social economy to be managed adequately to maximise the social impacts of SSE enterprises? How can the cooperation between cities through international network strengthen each region’s social finance ecosystem? Participants of the APD2018 engaged in social finance study visits in Seoul, plenary sessions on social finance initiatives at both central and local government levels in Korea and were also able to engage in discussions through various workshops with particular focus on regions and different social finance policies at community, private and public levels in Asia. Coming from diverse backgrounds, participants were provided with a networking opportunity to exchange good practices in their respective country. At the closing roundtable session, they discussed how to enhance cooperation between cities through international networks such as GSEF and how international networks can assist in promoting the social finance and continue the momentum for the regional dialogue. You can access all APD resources such as PPT slides, programme, etc here (google drive link)   About APD Since 2014, the APD has played a key role in promoting knowledge exchanges between policymakers in searching for the best ways of co-constructing public policies, establishing eco-systems for supporting the Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation to tackle various societal and urban challenges in Asia wherein social enterprises are playing an increasingly pivotal role in the provision of social services as well as serving as a catalyst for industrial innovations.
  • Europe Policy Dialogue 2017 5 Dec 2017

    Theme: Transformative Partnerships between Local Governments and SSE actors    Venue: Centre de convention, Archamps, France *EPD was organized as a side event to the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings (6~8 December 2017) Format: Panel discussion (presentations followed by participants' comments and open discussions) Host: GSEF Secretariat (in partnership with ESSFI) Language: English Participants: 30 policy makers, researchers, practitioners, elected officials and civil servants Background Since 2014, the GSEF has annually hosted the Asia Policy Dialogue (APD) which has served as a regional platform for promoting co-construction of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) public policies. For the first time in its editions, the fifth 2017 GSEF policy dialogue will shift its regional focus onto Europe, where the most innovative public policy experiments are underway to tackle pressing socioeconomic issues such as widening inequality, regional disparity, unemployment and migration. In the process, SSE public policies- which encompass various initiatives such as community ownership, social finance, social enterprise, Fairtrade and cooperative- have been playing an increasingly pivotal role in conceptualising alternative ways of dealing with the current challenges and localising Sustainable Development Goals.  Through the fifth edition of the GSEF Policy Dialogue, GSEF seeks to establish a platform for knowledge exchanges by drawing lessons from the unique experiences of European countries. Through the collective efforts of identifying imminent policy challenges of Europe and its innovative solutions based on the SSE principles, Europe Policy Dialogue (EPD) will provide an ample opportunity for debates among policymakers, researchers and SSE stakeholders. Ultimately, the EPD aims to serve as a catalyst for encouraging cooperation among SSE stakeholders based in Europe and disseminating good practices to other continents. The outcome of the EPD will be reflected in the agenda formulation of GSEF’s forthcoming forum; GSEF2018 ‘Values and competitiveness: an inclusive & sustainable development (tentative)’ which will be taking place in Bilbao, Spain from 1st to 3rd October 2018. Goals Mapping current public policy issues in Europe (e.g. EU funds, the commons, remunicipalisation, migration/refugees, localisation) and identifying the potential of the SSE in a collective manner.  Defining a transformative partnership between local governments and SSE actors towards ‘the new efficiency (the central theme of the 8th Mont Blanc Meetings)’ in the context of Europe.    Providing networking opportunities for participating organisations. Delivering outcomes of the EPD discussions for constructing the theme of GSEF2018 Bilbao. Program [[{"fid":"1787","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"1":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"1"}}]][[{"fid":"1788","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false},"type":"media","field_deltas":{"2":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":false,"field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":false}},"link_text":null,"attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default","data-delta":"2"}}]]
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2017 30 Jun 2017 to 1 Jul 2017

    Theme: Effective public policy design for fostering social economy as leverage for inclusive and sustainable socio-economic development in Asia Venue: Seoul City Hall Co-organizers: GSEF and Seoul Metropolitan Government  Participants: 50~70 invitees including policy makers, elected officials, social entrepreneurs, practitioners and researchers from the Asia Pacific region.   Schedule:  30 Jun (Fri) - Seoul social economy week events and networking evening 1 Jul (Sat) - Roundtables, keynote speeches and group policy case study About APD As a continuation of the previous editions of APD at the GSEF forums (2014, 2015) and the first APD event outside of Korea; took place in Hong Kong (2016) in partnership with the Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (One of the Steering Committee of the GSEF), BMW foundation and British Council which attracted more than 80 delegates from 15 different countries in the region,  the 4th edition of APD 2017 will be held in Seoul as a back to back event with the GSEF-ILO SSE Academy ‘Innovative ecosystem for SSE public policies – a contribution to the future of work (26 ~ 30 Jun)’. The APD has played a key role in promoting knowledge exchanges between policymakers and practitioners in searching for the best ways of co-constructing public policies and establishing eco-systems for promoting the Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) and social innovation to tackle various societal and urban challenges in Asia wherein social enterprises are increasingly playing a pivotal role in the provision of social services as well as serving as a catalyst for industrial innovations. For two days, APD 2017 will offer participants from Asian-Pacific countries with diverse backgrounds the opportunity to discuss regional policy initiatives for resolving imminent urban challenges through various activities and debates at the heart of one of Asia’s most progressive cities of fostering SSE to achieve inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development.
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2016 26 May 2016

    Theme: The role of the government in enhancing impact in the Social Economy in Asia  Venue: Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Building Z, Level 2 Audience: 80 pax of government officials from 14 countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, India, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (the event was by invitation only)   In collaboration with AVPN, BMW Foundation, British Council, APD will provide a venue for policymakers in Asia to discuss how to effectively resolve various socio-economic issues in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through the social economy (social innovation/social finance/social enterprises) and multisector collaborations, APD will be an opportunity to define the specific issues that many Asian countries/local governments face today and will find tailored ways of achieving SDGs collectively in the context of Asia.    Background On 26th May 2016, the Asia Policy Dialogue convened at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, the day following the 4th AVPN Annual Conference. The Dialogue is supported by the BMW Foundation and British Council, and AVPN.  Policy makers from across Asia will gather for knowledge exchange on how to create a more conducive eco-system for social enterprise and social investment as well as how governments can support the creation of an enabling environment for innovation to happen. The dialogue further aims to explore how governments can contribute to the achievement of the SDGs through the promotion of social enterprise and social investment and seek to come up with a series of recommendations in this regard. It will also explore how governments can work together more collaboratively to achieve these goals. Event Structure Morning session: 0900 – 0940: Introduction speeches from 4 representatives of APD steering committee members: GSEF, BMW Foundation British Council and AVPN (10 minutes each) 940 – 1010: 15-min speeches from guest speakers Paul Carttar (former director of Obama’s Social Innovation Fund and Co-Founder of Bridgespan) and Cliff Prior (current CEO of UnLtd UK and incoming CEO of Big Society Capital) to set the tone and provide an overview on government policies and social investing eco-system relating to SDGs. 1010 – 1145: Presentations from regional representatives on each country’s programs pertaining to social investment or innovation (5 minutes each, estimated 12 representatives). 1145 – 1200: Morning session wrap up. Afternoon session: 1300 – 1345: Panel discussion on multi-sector collaboration success cases, focused on the housing sector. Speakers will reflect on project collaborations between governments, private sector (e.g. real estate developer) and the intermediary actors (an organization that brings the project together): e.g. cooperatives of community-owned housing project. 1345 – 1445: Facilitated discussion by Paul Carttar, assisted by partners from AVPN, British Council, BMW Foundation, on how each country can contribute towards the SDGs with multi-sector collaboration initiatives. 1445 – 1545: Groups will reconvene to present thoughts about each country’s possible policy and program initiatives. 1545 – 1630: Closing on future steps of Asia Policy Dialogue.
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2015 4 Nov 2015

    Theme: Multi Cross-sector Cooperation for Social Economy Policy in Asia: What is the Asian Model? Date: 4 November, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Venue: Multi-Purpose Hall (8F), Seoul City Hall, Seoul, South Korea The number of participants: Around 80 (Policymakers, researchers and intermediary organizations from Asia countries) Host: Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) Organiser: Seoul Social Economy Support Center, C. Supporting Network: Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, National Association of Local Governments for Social and Solidarity Economy    
  • Asia Policy Dialogue 2014 17 Nov 2014

    Theme: Social Economy in the 21st Century – The Asian Perspectives  Date: 17 Nov 2014 Venue: Seoul, Korea Organiser: British Council Host: Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) Themes for Discussion What constitutes social economy in Asia? What should be the policy objectives for the sound development of the social economy in Asia? Process 6 short presentations by Cliff Southcombe (Managing Director, Social Enterprise Europe), Muhammad Allah Malik Kazemi (Senior Policy Advisor to Governor, Bangladesh Bank),  Fiki Satari (Chairman, Bandung Creative City Forum), Grace Sai (Director, MalaysianGlobal Innovation & Creativity Centre), Dongrok Suh (Deputy Mayor for Economic Planning, Seoul Metropolitan Government), Nuttaphong Jaruwannaphong (Director, Thai Social Enterprise Office) In-depth discussion in 4 groups OPERA in Pairs and Plenary: Own thinking time / Discussion in pairs / Presentation of pairs of three main ideas / Scoring of the ideas by the group / Selection of the ideas to be put forward to the main conference   Main issues prioritised (in no specific order)  Direct investment(CSR) to young start-up social enterprises (being a hub between private and social sectors) Take the lead in the procurement and marketing of products and services of the social economy Pass a Social Value Act The government should empower grassroots intermediaries to engage in social enterprises and provide a supportive environment in which they can thrive and achieve sustainability Need for incentive and support for new social economy network The government should build common ground/assets to support social entrepreneurs Social Economy development needs to be inclusive - working on increasing solidarity and cooperation between different actors ranging from social sector to the government to the private sector Needs-based policy intervention to eliminate social exclusion Provide the regulatory framework to build equitable society through sustainable business Social and economic policies must be apolitically protected from government changes and favours Cooperation/co-ordination between enterprises and social organisations Greater awareness on SEs and third sector Recommendation to set up a fund for SE in Asia