From Global to Local; From UNRISD to You. Issue 41 August 2018
UNRISD is an autonomous institution within the UN system that carries out interdisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues.


Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture; in short, for social, human and economic development. They are also where two-thirds of the world population will be living by 2050. This makes them crucial for all development efforts, especially as a means of bringing global initiatives like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to fruition at the local level, as was recognized at this year’s HLPF where UNRISD was present with a side event on SSE in cities.

Cities are also crucibles for an integrated approach to development, as places where economic, social and environmental concerns are densely tangled up within one urban organism. Much of the UNRISD work highlighted in this eBulletin is illustrative of this: cities which rely on the energy industry need to manage responses to climate change to ensure not just new jobs but decent jobs, and not just in the energy sector but across all related areas of employment; city administrations provide a close-to-home opportunity to realize the rights of trans* people on a local scale; inequalities are often particularly acute in cities, but they are also spaces where actors, whether in institutions or as citizen activists, may have more leveraging power than at the national level to make real change.

Take a look through the different areas below to find out more. And finally, don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the Call for Papers Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy? that UNRISD is running for the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on SSE. We look forward to receiving your abstract by midnight (CEST) on 31 August 2018.


SSE Call for Papers: Last Chance to Participate!

We decided to extend the deadline of our Call for Papers for the UNTFSSE: Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: What Role for Social and Solidarity Economy? with a new deadline of midnight (CEST) on 31 August 2018. We're looking for papers that assess the contribution of SSE to inclusive and sustainable development, with a particular emphasis on local contexts. Take a look at the full Call for Papers here; share it with your friends and colleagues and maybe we'll see you at the conference we're planning for April 2019 in Geneva, when selected papers will be shared with a UN audience of policy makers and researchers.

UN Public Service Award Goes to Switzerland’s Federal Office for Gender Equality

UNRISD Board Member Sylvie Durrer was in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 23 June–UN Public Service Day—to accept the UN Public Service Award presented to Switzerland for the work of the Federal Office for Gender Equality, of which she is the Director. Find out more about the successful initiative to reduce the gender pay gap in Switzerland. And congratulations, Sylvie!

UNRISD Director Delivers Keynote at 2018 Social Economy Leaders Forum

Paul Ladd delivered the keynote speech at the 2018 Social Economy Leaders Forum, held on 15 June in Seoul, Republic of Korea. His presentation focused on the role of the social economy as a potential engine of inclusive growth and was enthusiastically received. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Employment and Labor and organized by the Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency.

Tweet Tweet Twitter!

You may have noticed some unfamiliar activity over on UNRISD's Twitter account recently - check out #SSEclass if you haven't, and look out for our #Worldcup tweets. Thanks to a new member of the comms team, we've been experimenting with some more interactive ways of using Twitter and we'd love to hear what you think. Have a look @UNRISD and join in! Looking forward to your re-tweet.

Two New Vacancies: Social and Solidarity Economy

We're renewing some of our SSE team, so if you're an early career researcher with one or two years of experience under your belt, or if you are looking for an internship in the area of research on SSE, hop over to our "Working at UNRISD" page to see if our vacancies match your profle. Closing dates are 2 September for the internship and 16 September for the Research Analyst post.


Mark Your Calendar: UNRISD Events September-December 2018

Here's a quick heads-up of the exciting line-up of Geneva events that UNRISD has planned so far until the end of the year. And if you can't make it to the ones that interest you, keep an eye out for the material from the events, whether it's Facebook live, on-demand video, or Event Briefs, that we'll be producing to make sure nobody misses out.
  • SEPTEMBER: Film screening on what new technologies mean for human rights, held to coincide with the 39th session of the Human Rights Council, scheduled for 10-28 September.
    September also sees UNRISD hosting the Geneva launch of the Spotlight on Sustainable Development report for 2018, a comprehensive independent assessment of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda carried out by a consortium of civil society organizations and trade unions. More details coming soon.
  • OCTOBER: Seminar on the development potential of blockchain, including critical perspectives, to be held on 24 October on the margins of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum.
  • NOVEMBER: Major international conference Overcoming Inequalities in a Fractured World: Between Elite Power and Social Mobilization, taking place on 8-9 November with a public round table on the evening of the 7th.
  • DECEMBER: Public round table and one-day research symposium on Life Along the Copper Value Chain: The Swiss Commodity Trading Hub and its Impact in the Global South, held on 10 and 11 December, to share the findings of the SNIS-funded Valueworks research project.

Localizing the SDGs through Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable and Resilient Societies: HLPF Side Event

Cities were key players at this year's HLPF where over 240 city representatives attended the first ever HLPF Local and Regional Governments' Forum. Many of them went to the UNRISD side event to find out what our latest research report says about how social and solidarity economy has helped the municipal government in Seoul, Republic of Korea, to achieve the city's localized Sustainable Development Goals. Watch the video of the event here.


Social and Solidarity Economy for the Sustainable Development Goals: Spotlight on the Social Economy in Seoul—Overview

How is the social economy (SE) in Seoul, Republic of Korea contributing to implementing and, ultimately, achieving the city’s “localized” Sustainable Development Goals? This is the key question answered by this Overview of major new UNRISD research, the full version of which is currently in the production pipeline. Characterized by a rapid development of proactive SE policies, dramatic growth of SE organizations and enterprises, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s strong commitment to the SDGs, the city’s experience offers a valuable opportunity to better understand how the social and solidarity economy could be an intelligent means of implementation of the SDGs.

The Social Economy in Seoul: Assessing the Economic, Social, Environmental and Political Impacts

Suyeon Lee Coming from the same project as the Overview above, this Brief looks specifically at what impact the social economy in Seoul has had across the economic, social, environmental and political dimensions, and relates these impacts to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Social and solidarity economy (SSE) has significant potential to contribute to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, given the commitment, common to both, to looking beyond economic development and seeking out ways to make social and environmental improvements in people’s lives.

Publication by Former UNRISD Board Member

Bina Agarwal. 2018. "Can Group Farms Outperform Individual Family Farms? Empirical Insights from India", World Development, 108: 57-73. Available on open access.


The Energy Transition in India: Creating Decent and Inclusive Green Jobs for All?

Joachim Roth Although the benefits of cheaper and cleaner energy are undeniable, it is important to consider the many social and political challenges that need to be addressed if green transitions from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources are to be effective and equitable. This think piece looks at the case of India to discuss how green jobs can become more decent and how to manage change in states that have depended on fossil fuels for their growth.

Join the Discussion on the Just Transition(s) Online Forum!

We've a few more contributions to the Just Transition(s) Online Forum, the discussion area where the Just Transition Research Collaborative digs deep and controversial into issues surrounding efforts to make sure the transition to low-carbon development is fair as well as green.
In this batch, Anabella Rosemberg responds to Tadzio Müller's provocative piece where he suggests that we're running out of time to keep playing Mr. Nice Guy, and read Diego Azzi's reality check on what both governments and the business community are prepared to commit to.

Winning Across the Agenda: Tackling Policy Incoherence to Localize the SDGs

Paul Ladd Trying to get global initiatives to gel with local needs and priorities, and make sure we leave no one behind across all dimensions of sustainable development, is an ongoing challenge. In this blog, UNRISD Director Paul Ladd thinks aloud about how the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is faring.

Overcoming Precarity and Ensuring Social Protection: What Role for SSE?

Ibrahim Saïd Social and solidarity economy (SSE) has received increased attention in recent years as a way to facilitate access to social protection, bolstered by the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. In this expert commentary on the Social Protection and Human Rights Platform, Ibrahim Saïd explores the transformative potential of SSE as well as apparent tensions.


Where Do We Go From Here? Safeguarding Trans* People's Rights

The podcast of our highly successful side event at the 38th session of the Human Rights Council is now available, and you can of course still access the Facebook live video version. Alternatively you can view the contributions one by one on our playlist. Re-live discussions between policy makers, influencers and practitioners on how to operationalize the SDGs for trans* people covering topics like:
  • safeguarding trans* people's rights through legislative and policy implementation in Malta
  • trans* activism for gender and social equality in Argentina
  • sexual and gender minorities and the humanitarian development sector
  • LGBTI Inclusion Index and the Sustainable Development Agenda

Localizing the SDGs through Social and Solidarity Economy for Sustainable Societies

If you couldn't be in New York for the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), where the UN reviews progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, you can catch up with this video of our side event. Find out more about social and solidarity economy as a means of localizing and implementing the SDGs from UNRISD Senior Research Coordinator Ilcheong Yi, and how co-construction of policies for SSE works in Quebec by Marguerite Mendell, Professor at Concordia University.

BONUS VIDEO: Indigenous Youth as Actors for More Inclusive Societies

To mark the UN's International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples, celebrated on August 9 each year, we'd like to share with you some insights on how indigenous youth become politically engaged, drawn on research done in Bolivia by Prof. Mark Goodale from Lausanne University. The video is from our recent event to celebrate World Social Work Day.

Banner: Photo by Hasan Alsami (Public Domain via Unsplash)


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