One June 23rd, the project partners met in Dublin, Ireland, for their 4th project meeting, and for the first time, most of the partners were able to be in presence! This day, we were lucky to be invited at Trinity College as the meeting took place in Trinity Business School!
During the morning, Gemma Donnelly-Cox, Assistant Professor in Business at Trinity Business School came to explain their actions to integrate social economy in MBA curricula. Indeed, as all the partners underlined in the following discussion, one of the main issues the social economy sector is facing is the lack of knowledge from students and from the general public about its existance and activities. Mainstreaming teachings about what is the social economy, encouraging students from business background to connect with a social enterprise are first necessary steps to encourage working in the sector.
The partners exchanging their latest news and, in particular, the latest legislative changes in their countries regarding the social economy. Indeed, in Romania discussions took place in the last months over a new law that would not have been good for the sector, according to project partner AFF, but after lobbying on their side, the law did not pas. Ireland was interested by this as debates as a new law on social economy will soon be under consideration there.
The partners then discussed about building networks. It is a topical issue as, in the Social economy action plan launched by the European Commission, support the development social economy networks at national level is foreseen. They exchanged about their experiences at national level regarding support to network creations and about the necessity or not to have a legal structure to be a network. This discussion is crucial and will feed the partners until the end of the project, which aims, partly to support the development of new national networks.
The partners then started talking about the latest news from the project, in particular regarding the MOOC. Indeed, a MOOC foreseen on building networks of social economy organisations is under preparation and it is currently the main subject of the partners attention and most of the discussions were around it. The partners are starting to test it and the goal is to put it online by the end of the year. The partners are also working on two important subject, improving communication for social economy networks and develop networks financial sustainability.
We will soon be able to share with you more results of this project !