The long crisis in the economic and financial system,
which seemed to become a permanent feature in a large
part of the world after the fall of the Berlin Wall, has
been compounded by a series of social and now political
crises. These crises demonstrate the driving desire for
greater democracy, social justice and ethical
The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions are the most
striking examples recently. Other movements and
upheavals across the continents similarly show the
growing demand among people to see new development
models presented and implemented.
The era of the status quo and false certainties is
over. A new period of creativity and courage has begun.
The constraints of the neo-liberal capitalist model are
crumbling just as some authoritarian regimes are
tottering. It is time to put forward effective and
ethical models that meet the standards of democracy,
civic and social integration, the fair distribution of
created wealth, respect for the environment in all its
diversity and are adaptable to the cultures and customs
of people in different regions.
This is the context of the next edition of the Mont
Blanc Meetings, the international forum for leaders from
the social economy, which will take place in Chamonix
Mont-Blanc on 9-12 November 2011. This fifth
international forum will precisely focus on the social
economy as a new model for sustainable development.
How is the social economy addressing today's social
and environmental challenges? How does it create and
distribute wealth through its objectives and practices?
Does it represent a model for sustainable development?
Over three days, the views of experts and
representatives from international institutions, unions
and political organizations will help the leaders at the
Meetings answer these questions. They will take a stand
by defining the role they are already playing on every
continent and the role they want to play as well as by
launching and sharing concrete projects.
The 5th Mont Blanc Meetings will thus be an
opportunity to show how the social economy can foster
sustainable and inclusive development and give new
meaning to the idea of sustainable development.
A few months before the heads of states gather in Rio
in 2012 for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable
Development, the 5th Mont Blanc Meetings will be the
perfect platform for the social economy to question
world policy-makers. The Meetings are committed to
making Rio hear the voice of cooperatives, mutuals,
nonprofits, foundations and other organizations and
businesses sharing the same values and practices.
The organizers of the Mont Blanc Meetings are
launching a broad appeal to all those who want to be
part of this change to come join us in the preparations
for the summit in November 2011.