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The role of social economy & civil society in the fight against COVID-19

Social economy and civil society are key actors when it comes to quick and local responses to crises like that inflicted by the COVID-19 outbreak. These responses often come in the shape of ad-hoc solutions and social innovations, building on the foundations of their everyday activities:

  1. Local social services of aid and support: food-banks, mobilizing volunteers, setting up platforms (offline and digital) for specific social services, aid and solutions, education continuity and technologic assistance for locals;
  2. Local trade initiatives to ensure continuity of 'broken' or 'disturbed' value chains: aligning local trade patterns and reorganizing business chains to maintain provision for essential goods (mainly food and basic goods or services such as mobility, internet access, etc.);
  3. Quick response production of specific (medical) materials: solidarity efforts to start production in cooperation with SMEs, citylabs, fablabs, research and social enterprises of essential goods (medical equipment and basic protective equipment). The digital commons world is one of the main drivers behind this proces.

Further information about social economy best practices, links to initiatives (webinars, platform, digital services, volunteer projects, social enterprise action, funding, policy reaction, sector statements and research), as well as materials of online sessions (minutes, links and recordings) can be found here.

To discuss this topic in the COVID-19 Forum, please follow this link.

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