About the GSEF


General information

The GSEF (Global Forum for Social and Solidarity Economy) is an international organization of local governments and civil society networks committed to the promotion of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) as a means to achieve inclusive and sustainable local development. Its headquarters are in Bordeaux and it is chaired by Pierre Hurmic, Mayor of Bordeaux. GSEF promotes various forms of SSE including social enterprises, cooperatives, foundations, mutuals, and self-help groups that put people before profits. The GSEF believes that systemic change begins at the local level, based on a partnership between civil society and the public and private sectors. As of July 2022, the GSEF has 86 members from 37 countries on five continents, including 32 local governments, 38 SSE networks and civil society organizations. The GSEF is an observer to the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE).

Main activities

In addition to its biennial SSE forum, which has become one of the largest international gatherings, the GSEF operates in 5 key areas:


A president city is elected by the general assembly of the organization. Two representatives, on the one hand the government of the presiding city and on the other hand the SSE network of the territory in question, ensure this presidency. The City Chair represents and coordinates the GSEF meetings. 

Currently, the president city is Bordeaux, and the Regional Chamber of Social and Solidarity Economy of New Aquitaine (CRESS) is the co-chair. Since 2021, local governments among GSEF members are given continental co-chair mandates for a 2-year term to encourage and support the work of GSEF in their respective regions.