The Social Economy Student Network brings together students interested in the Social Economy (such as nonprofits, co-operatives & social enterprises) in order to facilitate the formation of intellectually stimulating and diverse peer networks within and beyond the academic and research environment. It links students to one another from around the globe and fosters the growth of knowledge and information-sharing among members. To join, please send an email to Suzanne Cook at


Report back from the first International Doctoral Summer School on the Social Economy

A Special Place for Social Economy Learning and Networking
By Suzanne Cook, SESN rep and Steering Committee Member, Social Economy Centre

“From July 3rd to 7th, 2008, I had the honour and privilege of attending the First International Social Economy Doctoral Summer School.” Suzanne Cook

The Need for a Doctoral Summer School Program

Recognizing the variety of approaches to the field of study known as the "third sector" around the world, the need to mentor the increasing number of young researchers entering the field who will become the next generation of academics, and the various disciplines (political science, business, sociology, economics, adult education, anthropology) they are working within, sometimes in isolation, the Network CINEFOGO (Network on the civil society and the new forms of governorship in Europe) and the EMES (European Research Network) saw the need for a doctoral training program for young scholars in the third sector that addresses theoretical and methodological research issues. The goal of the First International Summer School “Social enterprises, third sector, social economy, solidarity-based economy: Empirical and theoretical debates” was to enhance and widen important analytical frameworks available to future scholars, beyond the socio-political or non-profit perspective typically favoured. 

The Perfect Location

To host this type of international program, a location was carefully selected. The University of Corsica ( was chosen. The university is located in Corte on the island of Corsica in France. Corsica is the most mountainous of the Mediterranean islands. Corsica is named the Island of Beauty because its landscapes are majestic.

The Bay of Calvi, Corsica

The Program

From July 3rd to 7th, 2008, I had the honour and privilege of attending the First International Social Economy Doctoral Summer School. CINEFOGO, EMES and the University of Corsica jointly organized the International Summer School Program. Approximately forty students from around the world, from 22 countries, and speaking many different first languages, attended the program. Twelve professors – members of the EMES and/or Cinefogo networks – presented both traditional and non-traditional disciplinary approaches to the field as part of the theoretical corpus of the summer school.

Lecture sessions led by faculty members

The format for the five day program consisted of lectures, debates, workshops and presentations. The highlight for me was the thesis groups where each doctoral student had the opportunity to present on his or her research for one hour in a small group setting.

An Enriching Experience for the Participants

The program was valuable for the wide variety of learning and networking opportunities provided. The one weakness with the program was that it did not address hands-on research issues as much as participants wanted, especially in regard to methodology.

The variety of perspectives represented during the program rivalled those we find among our social economy colleagues across Canada. However, there was an instant feeling of camaraderie, support and respect among all participants; all voices were heard and everyone contributed.

Annie McKitrick and Suzanne Cook attending the performance of Corsican group Voce Ventu

This feeling of intimacy may have come from the beauty of the location, the small size of the group, the sharing of meals and dormitory accommodation, the evening downtime and the many informal opportunities we had to spend time together. We had many adventures together, exploring what the island had to offer during down time. Some of us fit in two trips to the beach including a midnight dip, while others swam in the river beside the university during our hour and a half lunch breaks.

The Beach in Calvi

For me, the summer school was a wonderful opportunity. From this experience I gained insights into my thesis, including a broader international perspective on my research topic, and connected with a broad group of colleagues who I now call friends.

Will we create a similar program in Canada?

There are many benefits to providing a similar learning and networking opportunity in Canada. Annie McKittrick, Manager of the Canadian Social Economy Hub also participated in the Summer School in Corsica and there is interest in reproducing the program here. We will definitely keep you posted.

For more information on EMES, CINEFOGO, the leading researchers involved and the participants in the Summer School, visit the following websites:

For further information on the Social Economy Student Network, visit:

International Student Conference on the Social Economy, Ottawa, Canada


Innovation & Sustainability in a Changing World: Exploring Social Economy Alternatives

In Association with The Canadian Social Economy Hub, The Association for Non-Profit and Social Economy Research (ANSER) & The Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation

Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences 2009, May 26, 2009, Carleton University, Ottawa ON, Canada

Important Dates:
31/01/09 Deadline for Submission of abstracts for papers
15/03/09 Notification of Acceptance of Papers and Presentations
26/05/09 Student Conference
27-29/05/09 Meeting of the Scholarly Associations for CASC and ANSER

Click here to view the Call for Papers in English

Click here to view the Call for Papers in French

Logo Contest of the Social Economy Student Network

Are you a student?
Do you have some or a lot of artistic talent?
Are you interested in creating a logo for the Student
Do you have an idea for a logo?
Do you have an idea for a logo that represents youth in the
Social Economy?
Do you have an idea that represents both the Social Economy
and research?

We are pleased to announce the logo contest for the Student Network web site that is in the process of redevelopment. We count on the talent of the members of the Social Economy Student Network to create a logo that is relevant to students and the Social Economy.

Click here for more information, and to submit entries:

Update from Suzanne

There are currently three initiatives we are working on.

First, we are looking for student contacts who will become a representative for the Social Economy Student Network at your university in Southern Ontario (from Niagara to Ottawa). This individual must be interested in studying or researching issues related to the social economy. Each representative will be asked to publicize the SESN and its website by giving presentations to undergraduate and graduate students, putting up posters, distributing materials, advertising conferences and other academic opportunities, and representing the SESN at any appropriate up-coming campus events. They will be asked to compile a list of students at your university who are interested in the social economy in order to facilitate SE awareness and dialogue. In addition, we would welcome their assistance with the Social Economy Centre's April 2009 event, if they plan to attend. Please email me if you are interested.

Second, we are developing a list of completed dissertations and theses on the social economy at your university. If you have recently completed a SE-related dissertation or thesis, please email me the details.

Third, we are compiling a list of university programs with social economy studies. We would like to know if your university offers any type of social economy studies. In addition, we are interested in the titles and course description of any social economy-related courses being taught. Please email me the details.

Thank you for assisting us with promoting the SESN as we build and develop this important student resource.