On the first day of the conference, Wednesday 14th March, we learned about the exciting developments in the solidarity economy in Latin America. Jose Luis Coraggio from the Buenos Aires University School of Economic Sciences set the scene, framing developments in terms of an emancipatory approach to economic life. Heloisa Primavera, a Brazilian local currency activist now living in Argentina shared the perspective from Latin American NGOs, and then Dario Azzellini explored the relationship between the state and workers' organisations in Venezuela.
In the afternoon UK social and economic activists reflected on solidarity economy developments here. John Barry, from Queen's University Belfast gave a theoretical grounding to political economy in an age of vulnerability, including a critical attack on neoclassical economics in the academuy. This session we also enjoyed the insights from practice, shared by Paul Chatteron of Leeds University who explored what it means to be a Zapatista in Leeds. Andy Cumbers from Glasgow University shared his research into mutually owned windfarms in Denmarket, and finally, Adrian Smith gave the practitioner view by sharing his experiences in developing renewable energy co-operatives.