UnivSSE in English

The People's University of Social Solidarity Economy was established in Thessaloniki in February 2013 by PROSKALO (Cooperation Initiative for the Social and Solidarity Economy) and until 2017 it operated as an informal collaborative collectivity, relatively autonomous from PROSKALO.

On April 25, 2017, the founding assembly was established, which created the social non-profit cooperative "People's University of Social Solidarity Economy" with the distinctive title "UnivSSE Coop".

The aim of the Cooperative is to provide education, training, information, popularization, research, studies, programs, publications, support services, development of educational and social networks in the fields of social and solidarity economy (SSE), self-governance, direct democracy, commons, aiming at collective and social benefits and social innovation.

The Cooperative operates on the basis of the ideas of the Social and Solidarity Economy and Direct Democracy, as these are highlighted by the relevant global movements, as well as the International Cooperative Values and Principles as they were adopted internationally.

It is addressed to the people involved in all kinds of social solidarity economy collectives, but also to any interested citizen.

It is based on the dual nature of cooperatives: Social - Economic and consequently the dual nature of cooperative education: Ideological – Financial/Technical.

The UnivSSE educational methodology is based on the principles of adult learning:
1. Ideas are linked to action
2. The focus of the educational process is the student
3. Learning by discovery
4. Critical thinking
5. Two-way interaction between teacher - student

Cornerstone is the constant interaction between theory and practice because "it is not enough for thought to strive for realization, reality must itself strive towards thought."

UnivSSE Coop main actions so far include:

Seminar lectures-discussions attended by more than 400 people and videotaped and posted on a YouTube channel of the UnivSSE Coop.

Βroadcasts in FM 100,6 Thessaloniki Municipal Radio, recorded and posted on a channel of the UnivSSE Coop in Mixcloud.

Videographed lectures and recorded shows are constantly heard (from all over Greece) and have exceeded 20.000 views and hearings.

Broadcast every Tuesday at 6.00-7.00 pm on FM 100,6 and on-line at http://www.fm100.gr/live/fm1006

Broadcast archive operates on the channel of the People's University of SSE in "Mixcloud":

Lecture videotheque operates on the channel of the People's University of SSE in "YouTube": https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzB9wAd60fAGaNh3z99DFrg/playlists

UnivSSE Coop has launched a program for the publication of key books on SSE and commons issues, based on the priorities and needs arising from the development of relevant collectives in Greece. The first edition was made with the book "Water as a Common Good, Beyond the Corporations and the State", 2017.
In this framework, a project regarding a Dictionary on basic concepts of cooperatives and SSE is in progress.

Educational material

UnivSSE website provides free access:

  • bibliographic material (145 archives)
  • audiovisual material (116 videos and recordings) with a thematic directory on:
          - SSE General and special theoretical issues
          - Commons and SSE
          - SSE Networking
          - SSE Examples - good practices
  • informative publications (350 archives).

SSE Networking

Participation in the establishment of the Panhellenic Network of SSE Cooperatives (2016)
Participation in the establishment of a network of 54 SSE cooperatives for the cooperative water management in Thessaloniki and co-operation with local authorities (2018)
Participation in SSE cooperative consortium for the Integrated, Decentralized and Social Waste Management in Thessaloniki (2018)
Co-organizer of the 4th European Conference on Social Solidarity Economy, Athens (2017)
Co-organizer of the 2nd International Forum on Cooperative Law, Athens (2018).

Participation in European and national programs

- "Training Program and Material for the development of Social and Solidarity Economy in Greece", EU, Hellenic Ministry of Work and British Council
- "A Place for Youth in Mediterranean EEA and Sharing Economies for NEETs - YOUTHShare", EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment
- "Enhancement of social entrepreneurship through the establishment of support structures in the cross-border area - Growing Social", EU Interreg V-A Greece-Boulgaria
- "Supporting Social Enterprises in combating poverty and social exclusion - Social Plate", EU Interreg V-A Greece-Boulgaria

Permanent co-operation with Universities, Research Centers and Local Authorities

UnivSSE Coop has a permanent co-operation for the development of joint programs, training seminars and dissemination material on SSE with:

The Interdisciplinary Program of Postgraduate Studies "Sustainability Education - Education Sciences" of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
The Specialization Program in Counseling and Orientation of the School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE)
The Balkan Botanical Garden of Kroussia of the Institute of Genetic Improvement and Plant Genetic Resources of the Hellenic Agricultural Organization "Dimitra" - ELGO DIMITRA.
The Municipality of Thessaloniki by participating in the SSE cooperative consortium for the creation of a Center for Recycling, Education and Sorting at the source in Thessaloniki.

SSE consultancy services for enterprises and vulnerable social groups

Who we are

  • Angelou Lazaros, Telecommunications Engineer MSc
  • Alexopoulos Yiorgos, PhD in Social Sciences, Adj. Professor-Advisor of Social Solidarity Economy, Hellenic Open University
  • Albanis Triantafyllos, Professor of Environmental Protection, Rector, University of Ioannina
  • Argyropoulos Giorgos, PhD in Environmental Science, Chemical Engineer
  • Argyropoulos Nikos, Assoc. Professor of Organic Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Georgopoulos Alexandros, Professor of Environmental Education, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Devetzidis Athanasios, Vocational Guidance Advisor and Adult Trainer, MSc in Sociology and Lifelong Learning
  • Douvitsa Ifigenia, PhD in Cooperative Law Sociology, Instructor, Democritus University of Thrace
  • Thanou Mina, Entrepreneur
  • † Theodosopoulou Dora, Freelance Professional (1956-2019)
  • Kavoulakos Karolos-Joseph, Ass. Professor, Dept. of Political Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Mitrousi Ioanna, Freelance Professional
  • Barbopoulou Venetia, Consultant Sociologist MSc
  • Bellis Vasilis, Chemical Engineer, General Director of Development Agency of Karditsa (ANKA)
  • Blekas Giorgos, Assoc. Professor of Food Chemistry, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Nikolaou Kostas, PhD in Environmental Science, Adj. Instructor of Ecology and Social Solidarity Economy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • Oikonomou Andreas, Assoc. Professor of Psychology, School of Pedagogical and Technological Education (ASPETE)
  • Papaioannou Stavros, Ass. Professor of Mathematics and Political Economy, International Hellenic University
  • Papafilippou Aspa, PhD in Cooperatives Sociology
  • Sakali Christina, PhD in Economic Sciences, Adj. Professor-Advisor of Social Solidarity Economy, Hellenic Open University
  • Stefanidou Sophia, Environmental Science MSc, project management
  • Tzakou Anna, Architect, MSc in Environmental Planning

Board of Directors (2020-22)

Kostas Nikolaou, President
Aspa Papafilippou, Vice President of Education
Andreas Oikonomou, Vice President of Research and Studies
George Blekas, Vice President of Infrastructure
Ioanna Mitrousi, Secretary
Anna Tzakou, Deputy Secretary
Mina Thanou, Treasurer

Supervisory Board (2020-22)

Ifigenia Douvitsa, President
Alexandros Georgopoulos, Vice President
Vasilis Bellis, Secretary


People’s University of Social Solidarity Economy
UnivSSE Coop