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In partnership with Future Earth & , the Worlds We Want is a new podcast exploring cutting-edge research, projects and people working for positive transitions in the Anthropocene. Can hope trump apocalypse?

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Science Borealis

Dec 3, 2018

For the next two shows we are going to explore the idea of “doing business differently.” Rather than consider particular one-off solutions to the climate change crisis, we’re going to be looking at how we organize can address systemic issues. Today’s show is going to focus on the notion of the social economy and on our next show we are going to explore social or sustainable entrepreneurship.

Our guests today

Marguerite Mendell (PhD McGill) has been teaching at the School for Community and Public Affairs, Concordia University, since 1986. Her current research and teaching are on the social economy in Quebec and internationally, social finance and impact investing, social innovation, the commons, economic democracy, and the work of Karl Polanyi whose influence continues to grow today. Margie Mendell is participating in a growing international dialogue on innovative economic initiatives to reduce inequality and develop new collective forms of wealth creation through her participation at scholarly conferences and international meetings of the OECD, the European Commission, the Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF) and civil society gatherings. She also participates in consultations in Canada (federal, provincial, municipal) and abroad on issues related to social finance and impact investing and the social and solidarity economy. Her work, published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, and most recently in Korean, has generated international interest. Dr. Mendell is also the co-founder of the Karl Polanyi Institute of Political Economy established at Concordia University in 1988, the repository of the entire Karl Polanyi Archive.

Nadra Wagdy is a Social Economy Consultant at PME Montréal — Centre Est. She has a bachelor’s degree in food science and a master’s in sustainable food supply chain management. Her experience in the food system and her passion for social entrepreneurship pushed her to co-found Season Jars, where she develops and facilitates food preservation workshops that bridge theory with practice. Nadra also managed Concordia University’s Sustainability Action Fund, where she coached students in developing sustainable business models and drafting funding proposals.

Eric Steedman works at Cooperative Interface, and is a coach at District 3, or D3. He has over 20 years experience as a consultant and entrepreneur, having developed, launched and managed a variety of projects, both for and non-profit. Eric’s expertise is largely focused on solving business challenges, including business planning, market research, and organizational and financing strategies. After starting his career in responsible investment management in New York City, Eric returned to Montreal to complete an MBA at McGill. Eric also holds an M.Phil in politics from the University of Glasgow, and a Honours BA in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa. 

Referenced Material

Afrique au Féminin, check their videos here 

“Coops stronger together” an organization started by the American National Co+op Grocers

Check out the CHNGR project, especially their podcast series

“Y’a quelqu’un l’aut’bord du mur” (YQQ)

3rd Global Social Economy Forum in Bilbao, Spain

Coop Cycle Alimentaire 

Learn more about the conceptual and regulatory differences regarding the social economy, social entreprises, and more in the province of British-Columbia (Canada), the province of Nova Scotia (Canada), and the United Kingdom

Ecto Coworking space

Café Velours (check out their Ulule page)

A report on the social economy in Montreal by the Québec government, including statistics (in french)

Music featured in this episode

Various Freesound elements: Sesame Street Big Bird sings That’s Cooperation, Lee_Rosevere_-_05_-_Affirmation, What’s to love about Food Coops, Podington Bear’s Climbing_The_Mountain; Podington_Bear_-_Twosome — (thanks for making your sounds free for non-commercial projects like ours!)

Intro “R U Well” and “Lay it on me” by Best Fern, “Plans fall through” by Alexia Avina