Conferences presentations and workshops

The Erasmus Mundus social economy project consortium has presented papers, led workshops and written articles about the project and the methodology used in working within a multicultural and multidisciplinary team.

These have been in English, in Spanish and in Portuguese. The language of the summary reflects the language in which the intervention took place.

Conference presentations and workshops

The Global Social Economy

Social Enterprise Yorkshire and the Humber

York St John University, UK

20 November 2014

Keynote address: Building trading opportunities from a workers' cooperative perspective

Speaker: Saioa Arando, Mondragon University/MIK



Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas de la Universidad Nacional Autónomo de México

Del 28 al 29 de agosto de 2014

Ponencia Principal: Autonomía y Autogestión en la Economía Social

El caso de las organizaciones económicas campesinas (OECAS) en el departamento de Cochabamba Bolivia".Se caracterizan tres sentidos de la autonomía: como la capacidad del sujeto, individual o colectivo, para darse normas a uno mismo, tomar decisiones sin influencia de presiones externas o internas; la capacidad de resilencia de un sistema parautilizar su propia información y modificarse a sí mismo y su entorno/ambiente; finalmente, la autonomía como dominio de las interacciones. El dominio de las interacciones demanda “el gobierno de si” (Foucault, 1987), por tanto la autonomía se expresa en la autogestión; en las OECAS del departamento de Cochabamba, la autonomía de funcionamiento está vinculado al grado de autogestión de sus prácticas. Se evidencia que la autogestión y la autonomía son ideales de funcionamiento, que en algún momento de la vida del emprendimiento se alcanzará, antes que una metodología de trabajo e intervención. De esta manera, la dependencia de la cooperación internacional y del estado, de hecho se convierten en dispositivos permanentes de soporte a estos emprendimientos asociativos y cooperativos.

Ponencia: Carlos Crespo, CESU - Universidad Mayor San Simón - Bolivia; Socio Proyecto Erasmus Mundus sobre Economía Social y Solidaria en Educación Superior


Initiatives of Change, Impact Initiative for Change Conference and Training 2014 

Caux, Switzerland, 3 - 8 August, 2014

The programme was the first of its kind within the annual series of conferences organised by the Swiss NGO Initiative of Change.  The programme  consisted of a start up with a five-day intensive training course and one year of follow up .

A follow-up plan is in place by which all participants are being coached by facilitators and social entrepreneurs for a year.  The aim is to empower them towards their commitment for personal growth and social entrepreneurial attitude to carry out their plans. 

The Social Economy in Higher Education project had a visible exposure in the main hall of the venue and its aims and purpose were shared with many participants.

A five-day training model was trialled and its impact on participants is being assessed as part of the one-year follow-up

Interviews were carried out for the project with successful social entrepreneurs, Fairphone and Chocotelonely and scholars from Said Business School, University of Oxford.

Facilitators and entrepreneur mentors: Catalina Quiroz Niño, York St John University, UK; La Salete Coelho and Miguel Filipe Silva, Centre for African Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal.


International colloquium Epistemologies of the South: South - South, South - North and North - South global learning

University of Coimbra, Portugal

10 - 12 July 2014


In a time marked by challenges such as globalisation, economic and financial crises, social inequalities and environmental problems, amongst others, the present dissertation deals with concepts and practices that propose alternative visions of the world. We directed ourselves, therefore, to the analysis of the relations between Social Economy and Solidarity Economy and of these with Development Education (ED) and about the way how this relationship is perceived and transmitted in projects of ED that express and mobilize principles and contents of Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS). In methodological terms the investigation was carried out through a case study from the Non Governmental Organisation CIDAC - Amílcar Cabral Centre of Intervention for Development. The study was carried out with a base on the contents´ analysis of interviews and documents from a project of the referred entity dedicated to Fair Trade, a theme easily identified within the scope of the ESS, that project having been approved for financial support destined for the ED. We argue in the sense of ED whilst a process of training of the citizen, as a tool that proposes a way of looking at the world applicable in different dominions of social life, and in this sense, we consider the ESS is one of the forms of expressing ED in the economic field. These relations were deepened from the following analytical categories: fundamental concepts and values, problematic issues that confront, conception of globalisation, conception of economy, conception of development, conception of citizenship, conception of education, methodologies used, players involved and routes proposed. From this analysis, we concluded there are similarities in the areas studied, namely at the fundamental levels, values, concepts, methodologies and proposals, and that both mutually provide enrichment.

Keywords: Social Economy; Solidarity Economy; Development Education; Global Citizenship; Global Education

Presentation by: La Salete Coelho, Centre for African Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal


III Jornadas sobre Emprendimiento Social y Colectivo

Universitat Politècnica de València

8 de Mayo 2014

Mesa Redonda: Retos y experiencias de la docencia en materia de empresas sociales.

Saioa Arando, MIK, Universidad de Mondragón


First European Conference on Citizen Initiatives for Global Solidarity, Brussels

Mobilising European Citizens for Global Development

30 - 31 January 2014


'Political choice instead of charity: involving citizens in solidarity economy'

'There is no alternative', we are used to hearing. How can we have just one choice, how can there be just one way, when we are surrounded by difference and by multiplicity?

Should citizens be stimulated to set up projects to help the poor, or should they be prepared to fight against the system that creates global poverty and injustice?

When citizens engage to deeply understand the reality, when they engage to deeply analyse the causes, when they engage to deeply find solutions, they become aware of their power, they assume a role in society, they propose creative solutions, and they build alternative models, based on other kinds of values, human values, like solidarity.

Our workshop will reflect upon these issues, will discuss some concepts, will present some examples from different parts of the world and will stimulate a debate about the role of the citizens in economic issues.

Workshop led by La Salete Coelho, Centre for African Studies, University of Oporto / Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo, Portugal


DEEEP European Research Conference, Brussels 

Global Justice through Global Citizenship

20-21 Nov 2013


'Building bridges, Interlacing Futures and Constructing Alternatives: Social and Solidarity Economy as Practice(s) of Development Education'

In this workshop, the participants were offered the opportunity of discussing and deepening the concepts of Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) and Development Education (DE). The main objective was to establish points of contact between the two concepts in order to better understand the contribution of DE in the actual crisis and in the actual debate on alternative economical and development models.

Workshop led by: La Salete Coelho, Centre for African Studies, University of Oporto, Portugal

European Educational Research Association EERA/ECER, Istanbul, Turkey

'Creativity and Innovation in Educational Research'

9 - 13 Sept 2013

Poster presentation:

'Bringing people-centred models of economic activity to the higher education curriculum'

This poster discussed early findings from the empirical research and reported issues arising from the research methods in a worldwide context. It considered how these are beginning to inform the development of the handbook for higher education curriculum design on the social economy.

Poster designed and presented by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St. John University, UK


2013 Value and Virtue in Practice-Based Research Conference, York, UK

'Influencing Policy through Enhancing Professionalism'

9 - 10 July 2013


'How can multicultural, multidisciplinary research teams work together, and what are the pitfalls?'

This paper considers an aspect of professionalism as ‘engaging in collegial practices and checking ideas with others’ (McNiff 2010). In order to draw upon the knowledge and experience of the social economy project consortium partners, ways must be found to create a common ground of dialogue and parameters upon which the research is based. Issues around whose knowledge is given precedence and the perceptions of power relationships within the group must therefore be confronted (Foucault 1980). The need to find agreement within the group must also be balanced with the danger of ‘groupthink’, a ‘mode of thinking that persons engage in when concurrence-seeking becomes so dominant in a cohesive ingroup that it tends to override realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action’ (Janis 1971), and which would neutralise any wider influence the team may have in its aim of curriculum development. This presentation explained the structures and processes which have facilitated and promoted constructive engagement within the team.

Paper presented by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St. John University,


12th European Affective Education Network (EAEN)Conference

York St John University, York, UK

2 – 4 July 2013


'How can Higher Education respond to an economic crisis?'

The presentation drew attention to the affective dimension of the social economy project research and the importance of the affective domain in learning, drawing upon Krathwohl's (1964) affective learning taxonomy. This taxonomy synthesises the importance of a learning process that social entrepreneurs need to engage in as they develop their professionalism within the field. Any possible social economy curriculum also needs to balance the cognitive and affective learning dimensions of human wellbeing.  

Paper presented by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St. John University, UK


International Network of Innovators in Education conference, Lisbon

'Extending Boundaries'

17 - 18 June 2013


'The Curriculum - How can we Build a Common Body of Knowledge & Practice from Diverse Perspectives?'

If Higher Education is to remain relevant in a time of crisis it needs to review its ethos, purpose and curricula. In a changing world with competing interests and priorities it is reasonable to ask the questions ‘who decides what is relevant’? and ‘how can agreement be reached within a multidisciplinary curriculum design group’?

This workshop used and explained a participatory organisational methodology for drawing upon the experience, knowledge and wisdom of the group to arrive at answers to questions considered important by the group. Named the ‘consensus method’, from the “Technology of Participation” (ToP) developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (, it has a long track record of successful use with diverse groups worldwide and for a wide variety of purposes. It is particularly effective in situations where it is important to arrive at solutions and generate ideas which encompass each participant’s perspective. It uses a dialogic approach, where dialogism is understood to look upon knowledge as constructed, negotiated, and (re)contextualised in situ and in socio-cultural traditions; and in dialogue with others (Linel 2003).

The method is being used in the three year Erasmus Mundus curriculum design project ‘Enhancing Studies and Practice of the Social Economy and Social Capital in Higher Education’ which aims to gain an in-depth understanding of the social economy system within an international context and to promote systematic studies of this within Higher Education. The project is driven by the conviction that Higher Education should consider economic models and their philosophies from a human-centred approach and to consider human well-being as well as wealth creation

Workshop led by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St. John University, UK


XIII Congreso Internacional IBERCOM, Santiago de Compostela, Spain:

'Communication, Culture and Spheres of Power'

29 - 31 May 2013


'Understanding dialogism in practice for intercultural and interdisciplinary research team work'

This presentation explained the participatory organizational methodology (developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs in the 1960s) which draws upon a comprehensive hermeneutic and dialogic approach.  The presentation draws on a case study of a week long participatory strategic planning meeting within the project. It described the importance of dialogism and a structured process used in which researchers from European and Latin American universities set the framework and processes to reach a common understanding about what the social economy is in their first face-to-face meeting.

Paper presented by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St. John University, UK


Society for research into higher education (SRHE), Edinburgh, UK

Higher Education as if the World Mattered

25 - 26 April 2013


'The curriculum: including the voice of experience'

In this presentation we explained the commitment of the social economy project to the contribution of Higher Education to the promotion of economic activity which considers the common good – the ‘social economy’. The methodology to be used for the empirical research was presented and the importance of giving a voice to those working in the social economy to inform curriculum design was highlighted.

Paper presented by: Catalina Quiroz Niño and Margaret Meredith, York St John University, UK

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