2021 Conference

REPORT of the 2021 SFE CEFEC Conference



The 35th Annual Conference, was organized online, through a series of webinars in collaboration with REVES network and ECFI, under the title Social economy stimulating the transformative potential of communities.

The current and increasing tendency to urbanization of people is evident, sometimes even considered as an irreversible phenomenon. Lowering quality of life and lack of opportunities in one’s own place are often the engines forcing people to move to urban areas. Through this series of webinars, CEFEC, REVES and ECFI aim to look into problems, solutions and perspectives that would allow for each person to choose his/her place in life and for rural and urban areas to prosper not as opposite poles.

  • The 1st webinar“Employment and Growth – Green Economy for improving employment”, took place on the 24th of March 2021 and was organized by Social Firms Europe CEFEC.

The event was moderated by its President, Felicitas Kresimon and its General Secretary, Petru-Vasile Gafiuc and proved to be a successful event, managing to reach a number of 103 unique participants (142 participants in total), from 26 countries (Romania, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, Bulgaria, Austria, India, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Finland, United States, Croatia, Montenegro, Japan, Turkey, Sweden, Czech Republic, Iceland, Antarctica, Slovenia), with more than 1000 people reaching the Facebook live.

The recording of the webinar is available HERE.

The Agenda of the event included the following speakers and presentations:

Opening words (download) Mrs. Felicitas Kresimon, SFE CEFEC president

Mr. Vasile Gafiuc, SFE CEFEC General Secretary

Welcoming words for Annual Conference 2021 (download) Mrs. Christiane Haerlin, SFE CEFEC founder & board member

Mr. Luigi Martignetti, REVES General Secretary

Mrs. Carola Carazzone, Assifero Secretary General, Dafne Chair

How to renew the EU social contract after the pandemic Mr. Dragoș Pîslaru, Member of European Parliament from Romania, member of Committee on Employment and Social Affairs

He is a Romanian economist and politician. He is member of the European Parliament since 2019 on behalf of USRPLUS, affiliated to the European political family Renew Europe. He is the Renew Europe Coordinator of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, Member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, and of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters. Dragoș is the European Parliament co-rapporteur of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the largest financial instrument created by the European Union for the economic recovery of the Union after the pandemic.

He is a graduate of the Faculty of International Economic Relations within the Academy of Economic Studies (ASE) in Bucharest, with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics. He attended postgraduate courses, obtaining a diploma of ‘In-depth Studies in European Integration’ within the ASE. He holds a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, and a Diploma of Entrepreneurship – Case Study Centered Learning at Harvard Business School. He obtained a PhD in economic sciences with a thesis held at the National Institute of Economic Research, within the Romanian Academy.

Funding opportunities for social economy in the 2021-2027 Multi-annual financial framework (download) Mrs. Miia Rossi-Gray, Policy Officer working on Social Enterprise Policy in DG Employment, European Commission

She has been working as Policy Officer on Social Enterprise Policy in DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission since 2019. She joined the European Commission in 2009.  She holds an MA in International Studies (University of Birmingham, UK) and a BSc in Economics (University of York, UK).

CO2 neutrality – An opportunity how the industry could adapt to the Green New Deal (download) Mr. Raymo Bucher, Ecological Expert of OekoService Switzerland – member of SFE CEFEC

He works as the Ecological Advisor for Oeko Service GmbH and is completing the master’s degree in ecology at ETH Zürich in Switzerland. Oeko Service is an innovative company providing services in the area of cleaning, domestic maintenance and gardening on an ecologically, economically and socially sustainable basis. Raymo is responsible for the ecological requirements of the company and its CO2 neutral policy.

Model of public-private cooperation on green social economy enterprises development (download) Mrs. Blanca Pellicer Rocamora, Ateneu Cooperatiu Catalunya Central

Born and raised in a small town in the Catalan Pyrenees. Moved to Barcelona to study law and a Masters in Management and Communication of Social Enterprises.  My working experience is mainly in social business since I do believe that it is possible to change the world by taking small actions in small places.

& Mr.  Lluís Marco Planells, Cooperativa Energètica del Pedraforca

Civil Engineer, facilitator and organizational consultant at Hobest Cooperative. Since October 2020 I’ve been involved in Pedraforca Energy cooperative in order to contribute to the energy transition.

Green social economy enterprises creating jobs in Belgium (download) Mrs. Peggy Liekens, Project Manager of WEB Belgium – member of SFE CEFEC

She is the director Employment WEB (Work Experience Companies), an organization in Belgium with coaching activities for unemployed people and employment activities for target groups. We have a strong focus on circular activities in different clusters (second hand shops, Horeca, cleaning and facility, …). She has more than 20 years experience in developing and implementing work experience programs and business cases for target groups with a sustainable or circular focus into flourishing social enterprises.

Impact investing and social economy: a promise for the future of work… not fulfilled yet (download) Mr. Filippo Addarii, Founding partner and CEO of PlusValue Advisory Ltd.

He is the founding partner and CEO of PlusValue, a London-based research and consultancy group specialised in the design and implementation of urban innovation ecosystems. Filippo is a serial entrepreneur & strategy advisor with 20 years’ expertise in leading on innovation projects combining sustainable development and social impact, and a multi-stakeholder approach. He worked with the EU, UN, UK government, major corporations (e.g. Lendlease and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Group), and philanthropic foundations. He is a founding partner of Urban Impact Fund, the first impact investing fund dedicated to new solutions for urban living in regeneration projects. In the spare time he’s studying for his PhD at the Institute of Finance and Technology at UCL. His passions are philosophy, art, history and scuba-diving.

Model of start-up social economy enterprises on Recycling computers (download) Mr. Christoph Teusch, Project Development Manager AfB Germany

He works as a Corporate Responsibility Manager at AfB, Europe’s largest non-profit IT company. As a IT-refurbisher, AfB creates jobs for people with disabilities by refurbishing and remarketing used IT and mobile devices. Prior to this, he was head of the Sustainable Consumption Department at a consumer organisation before he implemented numerous consulting projects as a CSR consultant. At a provider of sustainability management software he supported companies in making their sustainability performance visible. He has over 10 years of professional experience in sustainability management and sustainable consumption.

Q&A from participants

Common outcomes and final conclusions

Felicitas Kresimon, SFE CEFEC

Luigi Martignetti, REVES

Carola Carazzone, Assifero Secretary General, Dafne Chair

If you need more details about the 1st webinar, check also the feedback received from the participants after the event! (download)


  • The 2nd webinar was organized by REVES network on the 16th of April 2021, on the topic “Participatory co-design of development strategies in rural and peripheral areas”.

All the 3 panels had very good speakers, who shared their work and experiences with the participants on: designing and realizing effective development strategies in a rural or peripheral area, stimulating and valuing the creativity of local communities – a main factor in keeping rural territories alive, towards a new rural strategy.

The recording of the webinar is available HERE.

The Agenda of the event included the following speakers and presentations:

Welcome words
  • Mr. Jan Olsson, REVES Co-President
Panel I: Designing and realizing effective development strategies in a rural or peripheral areas – Challenges for partnerships around the social economy

From local development partnerships and CLLD to PTCE (Territorial Poles for Economic Cooperation) – in the last decade(s), all over Europe, innovative approaches to rural development emerged. A number of elements, however, constitute brakes and prevent a full deployment even of most promising initiatives. How could they best be addressed though a social economy-based approach?

  • Dr. Senan Cooke, member of WESN and board member of Waterford LEDC (IE) (download)
  • Antoine Franco, President, Entrepreneurs Solidaires du Centre Isère (FR) (download)
  • Vasi Gafiuc, Secretary-General, CEFEC (download)
  • Justyna Duriasz-Bułhak, Program Manager at Fundacja Wspomagania Wsi (PL)
Panel II: Stimulating and valuing the creativity of local communities – a main factor in keeping rural territories alive

Creative use of empty buildings and wasteland, revitalisation of local know-how, creation of new type of clusters for local welfare – initiatives from the cultural and creative sectors have become a driving engine for the revitalisation of local communities in rural areas also and in particular through their large capacity to involve citizens and stimulate cooperation between different players. An increasing number of municipalities and regions builds on these processes and actors to relaunch local development strategies and processes – experimenting new forms of participation.

  • Anders Bro, Örebro County Region (SE) (download)
  • Marinka VOVK, Director of CPU -REUSE CENTER (SI) (download)
  • Elena Jachia, Fondazione Cariplo (IT) (download)
  • Mart Veliste, Interreg Europe Policy Learning Partnership (download)
  • Maria Ramon, Coordinator of Cooperactivas, (ES) (download)
Panel III: Towards a new rural strategy – which place for creative local communities and participation?

With the development of strategies and initiatives linked to the RRF or the drafting of the new operational programmes for the new programming period of the EU Cohesion Policy Funds the current period seems to be more favourable than ever for a re-orientation of local development strategies towards more participation, creativity and innovation. However, which place should and will participatory rural development have in the “New European Bauhaus” era beyond topics such as broadband development or Farm to Fork?

  • Laurent de Mercey, European Commission, DG REGIO (download)
  • Niklas Nienaβ, Member of the European Parliament
  • Ana Umbelino, REVES board member and member of the GECES expert group (download)
  • Felicitas Kresimon, President, CEFEC
  • Carola Carazzone, Assifero/ECFI


  • The 3rd webinar“Unlocking the potential of local action for global good – Foundations supporting local social economy for 2030 Agenda”, was prepared for the 28th of April 2021.

  • The event was organized by Dafne – Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe, in cooperation with ECFI – European Community Foundation Initiative, with about 60 participants from more than 12 countries. The final part of this webinar was dedicated to common outcomes and final conclusions.

The recording of the webinar is available HERE.

The Agenda of the event included the following speakers and presentations:

Welcome and introduction
  • Carola Carazzone, Chair of Dafne-Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe and Secretary General of Assifero (Italian association of grantmaking foundations)
  • Felicitas Kresimon, President of CEFEC
  • Luigi Martignetti, Secretary General of REVES
Panel I: Social investor and private funders supporting local social economy


  • Roberta Bosurgi, CEO of EVPA (European Venture Philanthropy Association): “Venture philanthropy and social investing for local social economy: a European overview” (download)
  • Felix Oldenburg, Board spokesman at Gut.org (download)
  • Elena Casolari, CEO of OPES LCEF
Panel II: Community foundations connecting local actions for global good: their role in promoting transformative potential of communities


  • James Magowan, Coordinating Director of ECFI (European Community Foundation Initiative) – “Local action for global good: an introduction on why and how Community Foundations should and are embracing the SDGs” (download)
  • Giacomo Pinaffo, Project Manager of Fondazione di Comunità di Messina – “A systemic approach in supporting local social economy and transforming communities within the SDGs framework” (download)
  • Liz Sams, Chief Finance and Operations Officer of Foundation Scotland – “The role of the endowment management and investments decision in achieving local solutions and supporting the transformative potential of communities” (download)
  • Giovanni Grasso, President of Fondazione di Comunità della Val di Noto –  “Supporting social economy organizations in the rural areas and promoting the growth of the economic and social fabric of the community” (download)
  • Luigi Martignetti, Secretary General of REVES
  • Vasi Gafiuc, Secretary-General, CEFEC
  • Carola Carazzone, Chair of Dafne-Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe and Secretary General of Assifero (Italian association of grantmaking foundations)

Foundations and philanthropic organizations have some unique features in mobilizing resources (financial, human, intellectual ones) for the common good. Autonomy, flexibility, capacity to take risk and innovate, long-term vision that distinguish them from public donors and other actors. Their potential in supporting social enterprises and achieving social impact does not merely resides in the quantity of the resources they make available rather in their quality and the vast array of tools they can leverage (e.g. their endowment, their network of contacts, etc.). Different in scope and focus, foundations, especially community foundations, have not only been working on a global and national level but also on the local one, to support, accompany and promote the development of communities.

But how foundations and funders have been supporting local social economy organizations so far? What challenges have they faced? Which is the unique role of community foundations, within the 2030 Agenda framework, in enhancing the development of local social economy and stimulate the transformative potential of communities? How can they connect the local and global level, undertaking local actions for the global good? These are some of the questions that were explored during this third and last seminar.

This webinar examined the role of social investors and private funders, in supporting local social enterprises in Europe, with a deep dive on few significant experiences from Italy. In particular, by drawing from concrete experiences, it also deepened, in the second panel, the role of community foundations in connecting local action for global good for the 2030 Agenda.


The 35th SFE CEFEC Annual Conference will close in June, with the SFE CEFEC Executive Committee meeting (on the 23rd of June 2021) and the Annual General Assembly, planned for the 24th of June 2021, both online.