ILO/KoSEA/SNU joint conference held in Seoul to share the findings of ILO project on strengthening SSE policy in Asia

The international research conference on strengthening SSE policy in Asia attracted more than 400 participants and 1,400 viewers online from Asia and beyond.

News | 25 September 2020
An international research conference was jointly held by the ILO, Korea Social Enterprise Promotion Agency (KoSEA) and Seoul National University (SNU) in Seoul, South Korea on September 22 with overseas participants joining online due to restrictions around COVID-19.

This conference was held as part of the ILO project on Strengthening Social and Solidarity Economy Policy in Asia . Since late 2019, the ILO has been collaborating with KoSEA, the project implementing agency and SNU in mapping SSE policies and institutions in six countries (China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia). The research findings will be used to identify policy directions that can strengthen SSE in the Asia and Pacific region. During the research phase in the lead up to the event, several meetings were held by the three organizations and the researchers from the six countries. These include the kick-off meeting in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in November 2019, and two online interim research workshops in May and August 2020.

The research conference began with an opening speeches by three speakers from the partner organizations: Vic Van Vuuren, Director of Enterprises Department at the ILO, Insun Kim, President of KoSEA, and Honglim Ruy, Dean of College of Social Science of SNU. Mr. Van Vuuren emphasised the role of SSE toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda and the Decent Work Agenda in particular. He also highlighted the conference as an important occasion to raise awareness and visibility of SSE in Asia and Pacific region and to contribute towards the development of international standards on coops and wider SSE. Three sessions ensued, the first two focused on presentation of six country case studies by the researchers, while the last session provided preliminary policy orientations based on the results of the research.

Professor Euiyoung Kim of SNU, the lead researcher for the research phase of the project provided an overview of the research including the methodological framework followed by a presentation of cases from three North East Asian countries (South Korea, Japan, China) and three Southeast Asian countries (Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia). During the two sessions, discussants presented their views, comments and questions to each of the researchers presenting their country case studies. In the concluding session, the research team presented four institutional strategies to strengthen SSE in Asia, and best practices from each of the six countries. Panellists from diverse organizations including OECD, GSEF, ITUC, and ILO’s Employers’ Activities Department (ACT/EMP) shared their views on the current status of SSE in the Asia and Pacific region and suggested policies and strategies on how to strengthen it.

Following the conference, a publication based on the research phase of the project on mapping SSE in six Asian countries will be produced. This conference marks the concluding event of the research phase of the project and will be followed by a capacity building phase. The output of this research will be integrated into the capacity building workshop, planned for March 2021.

The research programme and the conference materials including a list of speakers and presentations can be found here.

The recordings of the conference are available in both Korean and English.