The green economy sector in Europe is a rapidly growing market that is driving economic growth while reducing environmental impact. It includes a wide range of industries, such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, eco-tourism, and green building. The European Union recognizes the importance of the green economy in achieving its goal of becoming a more sustainable, low-carbon, and resource-efficient region. The EU has implemented a number of policies and initiatives to support the growth of the green economy, including investments in research and development, the promotion of green technologies, and the creation of market conditions that support sustainable practices.
With its strong tradition of innovation and high levels of environmental awareness, Europe is well positioned to lead the way in the green economy. The EU is already home to many of the world’s largest renewable energy companies and has set a goal of achieving 32% renewable energy by 2030. The green economy sector is also providing significant job opportunities, particularly in areas such as renewable energy and energy-efficient construction. By investing in the green economy, Europe is not only helping to mitigate the effects of climate change but also positioning itself as a leader in sustainable economic growth.
A Social Economy Mission workshop in the context of the European COSME projects is an event aimed at bringing together stakeholders from the social economy sector to discuss and develop solutions to challenges faced by this sector. These workshops provide a platform for exchange of ideas and best practices, networking, and the identification of opportunities for collaboration. They are designed to promote the competitiveness and sustainability of social economy enterprises and contribute to the development of the social economy in Europe. The workshops may include presentations, group discussions, and interactive sessions, and typically bring together representatives from cooperatives, mutuals, non-profit organizations, and relevant public authorities.
On November 16th and 17th 2022 a Social Economy Mission focused on green Economy (hereinafter referred to as Green SEM) was organised in Capannori, Italy, in the context of the COSME Social Economy Mission project eLabHauSE.rur.
The Green SEM was attended by the project partners and their delegations formed by social economy stakeholders, for a total of 40 attendees.
Social economy stakeholders were selected by the consortium partners in each territory based on their experience in the green sector and on the degree of innovation of their businesses and projects.
The methodology used for the Green SEM entailed the organisation of three different activities with the aim of identifying, sharing, analysing best practice, co-designing innovative solutions and reflecting on possible practical applications within the context of the New European Bauhaus:
Activity 1– Visits to examples of good practices detected in the region of the Green SEM Capannori Municipality. This activity’s aim was to showcase the role of Capannori as activator of collective intelligence, facilitator of social processes and promoter of new development models in the sector of circular economy and inspire the partners and their delegations.
Activity 2– organisation of the “Green World Café”. The World Café, being a process of human, warm and meaningful conversation, aimed at allowing the partners’ delegations to discuss powerful questions, to generate ideas, agreements and creative and innovative paths of action, in a friendly and welcoming environment. Best practices were collected and streghts and wiknesses of each analysed.
Activity 3– Practical workshop on circular economy where participants, led by experts in art and circular economy, recycled waste and turned it into new products. The aim being to reflect on the importance of art accompanying inclusion and sustainable solutions within the new rural LabHauSE.
The Green Social Economy Mission workshop saw a presentation of 6 green economy best practices and a thorough analysis of their strengths and weaknesses. Attended by 40 international stakeholders from Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Ireland, the workshop was a success in promoting the exchange of knowledge and experiences. The participants were able to learn from each other and discuss the feasibility of implementing these best practices in their respective countries. The presentation of the best practices was followed by a lively discussion, where the participants highlighted the importance of considering local context and stakeholder engagement when implementing these practices. The strengths of these practices were noted, such as the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and the preservation of natural resources, while the weaknesses were discussed, such as the lack of sufficient funding and the challenge of scaling up. The workshop provided valuable insights and served as a platform for international collaboration towards a more sustainable future.