Three York professors were prominent participants in the first ever United Nations-sponsored Social and Solidarity Economy: Potential and Limits conference last week in Geneva, Switzerland.
Darryl Reed of the Business & Society Program in the Department of Social Science, J.J. McMurtry of the Social & Political Thought Program and Ananya Mukherjee Reed, chair of the Department of Political Science, all from the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, presented papers at the conference.
Reed presented on the role of fair trade in scaling up the social and solidarity economy and spoke at the closing plenary session. He has been actively researching fair trade for a number of years and is currently heading a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) project on fair trade producer organizations (with professors Mukherjee Reed and McMurtry). He is also presently serving as the president of the Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation.
Mukherjee Reed presented on her current work, which examines a concrete practice of solidarity amongst marginalized women in the Indian state of Kerala. She has directed a number of International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and SSHRC projects in the past, several of which focus on issues of women and development.
Ananya Mukherjee Reed
McMurtry spoke on the potential pitfalls of the social and solidarity economy from a theoretical and practical perspective. He is involved in a number of research projects related to the social and solidarity economy, including measuring the cooperative difference with the Canadian Co-operative Association, as well as the Social Business and Marginalized Social Groups initiative with the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. He is also involved in examining the social economy in relation o labour and alternative energy with the Work in a Warming World project at York University.
The conference, which drew 750 participants from around the world, was organized by the United Nations Research Institute on Social Development (UNRISD) with collaboration from the International Labour Organization.
Reed and Mukherjee Reed have previously worked with the deputy director of UNRISD, Peter Utting, on a project on non-state regulation, which resulted in the publication of Business Regulation and Non-state Actors: Whose Standards? Whose Development? (Routledge, 2012).