June 2022
This is the fourth edition of the SE4Ces European project newsletter.
Project meetings
      The co-creation phase
     Output highlights
      Review Greece workshop
      Review Italy workshop
      Review UK workshop
Participation to upcoming events
     ICA CCR Research Conference
Wow, we’ve been so busy! April, May, and June passed already.
The SE4Ces project now runs at full speed. At this moment we are gathering numerous wonderful ideas about what our educational material in the social economy should look like and what it might include. Co-creation! Inspiration! Collaboration! A golden recipe that bears fruit.

After carrying out the living labs in our target countries (UK, Greece, Italy, and Spain) that you learned all about in the previous newsletter, we proceeded with the actual co-creation workshops. We organized two co-creation workshops in each of the target countries. Some of these workshops were less populated but that did not affect the quality. On the contrary, a wealth of beautiful ideas were concretized. In this edition, we take a closer look at the first outputs.

The first goal of the co-creation workshops was to brainstorm and develop ideas for innovative and participatory educational material in a way that pulls together and reflects different stakeholders’ expertise, perspectives and needs. We are happy to say that this was achieved!

Now the focus is on the second goal, which is to turn these ideas into building blocks for the SE4Ces educational material on the Social Economy. Turning all these beautiful ideas into rewarding, inspiring and enjoyable education material is a great challenge, but we have the golden recipe, remember?
The co-creation workshops resulted in various great ideas on how to organise dynamic and interactive learning moments. The living labs preceding the workshops showed us that our educational material should better be structured in four broad themes:
1) Running a social economy enterprise,
2) Cultivating skills for contributing to the social economy,
3) Support structure for social economy,
4) Creating and assessing value/ impact.


- So what were some highlight ideas in the workshops? -

On creating and assessing values/impact

What could an educational scenario that teaches about underlying values look like?

An educational scenario could consist of 6 main steps:
  1. Brainstorming session about the values (social, economic, environmental, etc.)
  2. A visit to Social Economy enterprises by the students and them taking pictures or shooting videos about the values reflected in reality, especially in relation to problems and how these are addressed.
  3. Second brainstorming session based on the material gathered and reviewing what else is also available on the internet and in literature.
  4. Return to the social economy ventures for more pictures and interviews about the values being created.
  5. Story-telling around the values being created supported by the gathered material.
  6. Role-playing to prioritise the values and/or ‘hide and seek’ game to find the corresponding values being represented. Each step is further enriched with more techniques including for instance "Eduard de Bono’s Lateral Thinking".

On running a Social Economy enterprise and the associated skills needed

Action Learning groups could develop an idea for a social economy organisation, and all the elements required to set this up: business plan, marketing, finance, staffing, governance structure, etc. Students within each group would have to collaborate to develop their organisation ideas addressing also other dimensions such as the dominance of some voices over others, collaboration vs. competition, the emergence of heroes, the practice of leadership, the arrival of newcomers, etc. 

Review Greek co-creation workshop

The first co-creation workshop carried out in Greece attracted 19 individuals. This was a rather large audience. Followed by a second workshop with 12 participants plus 1 from local authorities and 1 expert in educational methods.

The first workshop discussed the topics of "running a social economy enterprise" and the "skills needed in the social economy", while the second workshop addressed the topics of "support structures" and "creating and assessing values".

Valuable ideas for innovative educational material and scenarios were developed. Some examples include:

Topic 1: Running a social economy enterprise: a combination of role-playing and gaming that can be supported by digital environments or videos of real-time decision-making processes to highlight the importance of democratic governance.
Topic 2: Cultivating skills for contributing to the social economy: an educational scenario consisting of a specific methodology including six stages for addressing the organizational skills: visiting a real social economy venture – developing an emergency scenario to understand the organizational problems – recording the problems – breaking them down to what is needed – taking corrective actions and assessing progress; each of these steps enriched with specific techniques like games/puzzles, etc.
Topic 3: Supporting structures in social economy: an educational scenario reflecting the importance of networking including certain steps like visiting and getting to know the local social economy enterprises, asking them about good practices in their networking with other ventures, reviewing other good practices included also in literature and disseminating this information through newsletters, mailings, webinars while also going back to the visited social economy enterprises to help them implement the specific good practices identified.
Topic 4: Creating and assessing value/impact: a combination of different methods including brainstorming, onsite visits to social economy ventures for taking pictures, shooting videos and interviews, storytelling around the values being created supported by the gathered material, and role-playing or ‘hide and seek’ game to find which values are represented.

Review Italian co-creation workshop

In the first workshop, one group created a prototype for a series of moments of gamification to learn about organizational aspects in Social Economy organizations. In particular, they designed a series of virtual tours in social economy organizations. These tours would be done by a student equipped with a camera, while the others would follow from the classroom in real-time. The class would have a goal and would give instructions to the student to get hints and complete missions. The other workshop group developed an educational methodology to enable students in building a podcast series on the topic of corporate welfare.

In the second workshop, one group created a prototype for a series of TED talks with experts in co-planning/co-designing of services (public and private). Afterwards, students would take part in role-playing, simulating the creation of a strategic partnership between different actors (public entities, social economy organisations, enterprises, umbrella organizations, and social actors) to meet specific social needs. At this time the other group created a prototype for a platform to learn about social value impact assessment. Students would be guided through all the steps of the assessment by a combination of traditional lessons, debates and role-playing. Additionally, the platform would allow students to interact with social value assessors and other stakeholders, as buddies. In the end, they would upload the output of the social impact assessment on the platform.  


Participants were very active during the brainstorming, and independent of their institutional role. In particular, students played an important role in validating ideas and expressing practical opinions on their effectiveness.

They expressed openly what they would like to learn about the topics and how they envisioned them in practice. Therefore, they were at the centre of the process by actively participating in the creation of the prototypes. Furthermore, the co-creation dynamic was appreciated by participants, they all expressed satisfaction in particular about the cross-pollination between students, teachers and professionals, and they expressed the need for more networking moments like these. Altogether this enabled a productive and smooth co-creation process.

Review British co-creation workshop

In the UK, we held 2 co-creation workshops on the 25th of May and the 9th of June. 

For example, in the first workshop, participants outlined a framework for the design of an activity on topic 4: creating and assessing value/impact. They suggested that such an activity would need to be articulated around the following criteria: 

  • Adopt an ecosystem perspective that establishes connections between stakeholders and multiple levels of action.
  • Stress the different dimensions of value.
  • Be based on a range of real-life scenarios that cater for different audiences from different backgrounds and could be used to develop a range of activities. 
  • On the basis of the chosen scenario, various activities could be developed over a period of time. For example:
    • A mapping exercise or role-play to articulate and define the values/stakeholders,
    • As a summative activity, a suggestion was that each student could pick or design an artefact that best represents the value they feel are most important.  

The second workshop focused on designing an activity that would develop collaboration skills, and hence address one of the challenges social economy organisations face: democratic governance. It was proposed that the activity be structured around Action Learning Groups, each required to collaborate on various tasks over a period of time, as well as reflect on the issues they faced in working together. The tasks could be articulated around the design and planning of a social economy organisation. As they work through these tasks, the groups could also be asked to reflect on common issues that social economy organisations face in relation to democratic governance: were some voices heard more/ less/ silenced? How did leadership emerge and manifest itself? Did it change as the group progressed through the activity? 


Pulling together the expertise, perspectives and experiences of students, educators and social economy organisations proved extremely valuable to develop innovative ideas for educational activities for our Master’s programme.  

Altogether these two workshops led to some promising ideas for a series of innovative activities that address most of the soft skills highlighted in the previous Living Labs (e.g. collaborating, negotiating, conflict resolution, encouraging participation, listening, collective decision-making), as well as some hard skills (e.g. business planning), and that directly address the challenges faced by SE organisations (e.g. democratic governance, working across differences, assessing value). 
With summer in sight and the next newsletter planned for the end of September. You can expect in the following edition:
  • A video about the co-creation workshops 
  • More insights into the coming WIKI platform
  • The Living Lab framework report
  • ...and more!

SE4Ces at ICA CCR European Research Conference - Athens 2022

Partners will present SE4Ces at the ICA CCR Europe 2022 Rethinking cooperatives: From local to global and from the past to the future” (The International Cooperative Alliance Committee on Cooperative Research). It is the annual research conference of the European section of the International Cooperative Alliance, and will be held on July 13-15 in Greece under the auspices of Panteion University with the support of the University of Western Macedonia, University of Patras, the Hellenic Open University, and the educational non-profit cooperative “People’s University of Social and Solidarity Economy”.

It is a key event in the context of social economy research and innovation and even more so in the context of changing and emerging identity for cooperatives. New strategic challenges and visions for cooperatives will be explored and debated. We encourage fellow researchers, and interested policymakers to attend with us this event.

More info here.

We strongly encourage our readers to subscribe to the quarterly newsletter. 

Why subscribe?
- Stay in the loop of the latest advancements in the field of social economy education.
- Find opportunities to get involved and/or to become a partner.
- Learn about the potential of Social Economy Education.
- Get to know the world's foremost experts in the field & connect with them.
... and much more.


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