Sixteen: Conclusion: lessons learned and tensions exposed

This concluding chapter draws together lessons learned from the encounters between social economy activists and academics from Latin America and Europe which were brought together in this collection. It discusses the role of antagonism in social economies, especially in the light of austerity in Europe – and Latin America’s experiences of a lost decade. It discusses tensions between the benefits of top down, centralised, state delivered welfare, and grassroots creativity, arguing for the development of 45 degree politics that maintains the best of both conceptions, with the state maintaining universal access and sufficient resources, while grassroots actors ensure that initiatives are tailored to local needs. Finally it brings together arguments for the need for the SSE sector to develop conceptions of prosperous livelihoods providing dignity and inclusion for those currently denied a livelihood with dignity in the concept of the Anthropocene. It concludes by arguing that these conceptions can best be developed though continued dialogue between actors in the global North and South.

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