For the Co-operative and Solidarity Economy in Ireland
Co-designed in September 2020
We are an all-island network for the co-operative, social, and solidarity economy.
We are a diverse group that includes co-operators, social entrepreneurs, activists, and trade unionists coming together to meet our common needs.
We are committed to a vision of social and economic life in which communities, workers, and consumers are empowered to play an active role in meeting their own local needs and addressing our common social, economic, and environmental challenges.
As a network, we believe we are stronger when we stand together, show solidarity, share knowledge and experience, provide mutual support, and create opportunities to collaborate and work with one another.
Our purpose is to provide a space for members of the network to connect with one another and enable them to:-
discover new opportunities for co-operation and collaboration;
seek and provide guidance, advice, mutual support and solidarity through
sharing skills, experience and knowledge;
promote the co-operative model, and other models consistent with our
co-operate with each other to undertake activities that serve our common
needs through the network.
We hope to enable greater collective action by our members, complementing rather than duplicating the work of existing networks, federations and organisations.
Our values are complementary and strengthen each other. We are all committed to creating fairer and more sustainable communities based on the values of co-operation, care, and solidarity, where both people and the planet are cared for. We are a non-partisan and non-sectarian network where people from different traditions and viewpoints are welcomed, can expect to be treated as equals and have the same opportunities to meet their individual and common needs.
For us, solidarity is identification with others and the recognition of our common needs. We express this value through both unities of action and providing mutual support to one another. We express this value by acting in solidarity with one another, we uphold, support, and promote co-operation, sharing, reciprocity, altruism, love, and caring over individualism, competitiveness, and division.
For us, the ethic of care is at the centre of our social, economic and political commitments and practice. We express this value by recognising the care we provide and valuing the often invisible economies of care within our communities.
For us, equality is the demand for equal access for all and which seeks to eliminate differences in material conditions between individuals through redistribution and democratic ownership.
We express this value by actively seeking to recognise all members in our governance, and our economics.
For us, democracy guarantees openness, inclusivity, and participation to all our members. We express this value through our commitment to democratic values within our network, and by fostering a democratic culture in our workplaces and our communities.
For us, cooperation is the basis of cooperativism and mutualism, based on the belief that people are naturally co-operative and that cooperation is a valuable skill. We express this value through our commitment to co-operative values and principles, as outlined in the statement of co-operative identity.
For us, pluralism is the belief that a diversity of voices, viewpoints and traditions is of value in itself. We express this value by opening our network's membership to all that are committed to our purpose and our values.
For us, sustainability is about the transformation of our systems so that they care for the earth and future generations, our communities, workers, and the voices of those most affected by climate change.
For us, subsidiarity is the importance of placing decision-making and control at the most immediate level practicable. We express this value by respecting and valuing our members' autonomy and encouraging co-operation in local, regional, national, and international networks where appropriate.