Defining the Boundaries of the Social Economy and the Context for a Social Enterprise

This paper contributes to the theory and practice of social economy, presenting the results of a three-phase research project in Winnipeg’s inner city. The social economy encompasses four patterns – two formal (free market and redistribution) and two informal (reciprocity and domestic administration). For marginalised settlements, the third sector and informal economy play an essential part in a system of welfare pluralism. Giving value to informal activity incrementally alters development discourse and reveals the socio-political role of the third sector.  Community Research Hub members are building a collective enterprise based on surveying and facilitation skills and insider knowledge of the inner city. The research method combines market survey, co-development of training modules, interviews with Hub Workers and clients and study group learning. The research project contributes to systems transformation and demonstrates that “the informal” is an incubator of socially embedded development.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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