During the first day of work of the XVII workshop on social enterprise, “Identity and value: beyond the impact”, organized by Iris Network, questions are raised about the relationship between volunteering and social enterprise. The meeting, curated by Marco Musella, president of the Network, attended by Guido Memo, director Not for Profit; Marco Gargiulo, president of the national ideas network consortium and Marco Traversi, president of Project Ahead, focused on the relationship between social enterprise and volunteering, not as subjects in antithesis, but as a crossroads and synergy necessary for the enrichment of both worlds .
“Today in the world of the Third Sector”, explains Musella, “the terms through which to build alliances and collaborations between the various subjects are also changing. The different worlds must confront each other in an open and serene way to find a common ground of action, to recognize themselves and legitimize themselves in the differences. We organized this parallel session to focus on the potential of collaborative relationships between the world of volunteering and social enterprises, also in light of the new role and the new structure of service centers for volunteering “.
Professor, what are the potentials of collaboration between the two worlds?
If these two worlds speak to each other they can realize together really effective projects linked to the need of the territories and to the local human development. On the one hand the social enterprise must listen to the world of volunteering, which has more grip on the territory, on the other hand volunteering must be helped. The third sector is beautiful because it is articulated, but if everyone starts doing the same thing, the risk they run is to compete.
How do we relate them to each other?
I do not know this yet, but I urge you to make a reflection. Most of the social workers of today, most of the cooperatives, are born of those who come from the world of voluntary work or associations. Worlds always characterized by attention to the last. Here these individual experiences should become the starting point on which to start working. The social enterprises that completely lose the concept of the gift, somehow distort themselves. And in the same way, volunteering must ask how to create a new economy.
He said that the key word is innovation …
Yes. A new way of tackling problems, old and new, still unresolved. The common goal must be to renew synergies and design new tools that can favor those people and, above all, those social institutions that want to take care of women, men and territories to accompany and promote development with the human face of the community.
On the second day of the workshop “Identity and value: beyond the impact”, organized by Iris Network, particular attention is dedicated to corporate welfare that must be able to get out of companies and generate positive impact on the territory
Corporate welfare is a rapidly expanding phenomenon. “According to data from Confindustria in 2018, approximately 58% of the associates guaranteed at least one welfare service to their employees,” says Federico Razetti, researcher of second welfare programs, which runs the plenary session “From corporate welfare to the territory: what role for the social enterprise “of the workshop” identity and value: beyond the impact “, organized by Iris Network.
“There are”, he continues, “other data that confirm this trend, such as those of CGIL which record the growth in the share of contracts concerning the” supplementary welfare “issue. In fact, they have gone from 22.8% in 2015 to 27.2% in 2017 ». But only positive numbers are not enough. The real challenge of corporate welfare lies in the answer to this question: “But is corporate welfare today able to exit from the perimeters of companies and generate positive impacts (even) at the territorial level?”.
And how does corporate welfare open up to the territory? “You have to,” says Razetti, “first and foremost include more businesses. Then it is necessary to include not only the employees of the company and their families, but also the employees of the neighboring companies and the individual citizens who inhabit that territory within the group of beneficiaries of corporate welfare policies. And last but not least, being able to create a dialogue and a confrontation with a plurality of local and strategic partners: other companies, the non-profit world and, above all, the public administration “.
The third sector players in particular possess some intrinsic qualities that could be decisive in this market: «first», explains Razetti, «thanks to the experience gained in the sector in which they operate, the cooperatives can guarantee greater competence than a company profit in the creation and management of welfare services. The value sphere inscribed in the genetic heritage of cooperation, in fact, ensuring particular attention to personal care, could translate into a greater capacity for response. Then the presence of a logic of sharing and a very marked mutualistic approach could facilitate the implementation of shared subjects “.
It is by following this path that corporate welfare can transform itself from a simple instrument of competitiveness and development for the company, to provide answers to the needs of workers and families, to the point of development for the territorial social system that touches needs of the most vulnerable.