Convergences working groups were born 4 years ago when Convergences became a platform for thought. Convergences has regular activities beyond the World Forum and has become a permanent place for exchange. The groups were conceived in such a way as to gather a wide range of actors sharing common commitments but with different perspectives.
They are composed of:
- Public actors: local authorities, governments, agencies and public administrations
- Private actors: SMEs, companies, corporate foundations
- Actors from the civil society: social enterprises, NGOs, associations
- Media: print, web and broadcast
- Researchers: universities, schools, research institutes
- Trade unions
Working groups are permanent bodies of Convergences dedicated to collaborative thinking. Their main activities are:
They identify interesting topics and assist in conducting studies, including the Barometer of Social Entrepreneurship and the Microfinance Barometer.
- World Forum
The members are involved in the defining the World Forum programme (identifying topics and speakers, establishing connections, etc.)
- Other activities
They also take part in Convergences specific events and write specialized articles.
5 working groups
“Microfinance – North and South”
This working group gathers actors especially from the banking sector and microfinance, as well as research centres, private companies and institutional sector’s representatives.
Microfinance is their main focus (microcredit, micro-insurance, etc.), including its link with development: financial inclusion, access to social services, social inclusion, etc.
“Solidarity and sustainability in Southern countries”
They are mainly focused on issues of development that are facing the least developed countries. Practices of actors (private, public and solidarity-based actors), financing and impact are discussed.
This group connects actors from international cooperation with private, public and academic actors.
“Solidarity and sustainability in Northern countries”
The focus of this working group is on issues of development that are facing developed countries, but more specifically CSR and social protection, social entrepreneurship, unemployment and new forms of insecurity, social finance and innovative financing mechanisms, association-company partnerships and co-construction, etc.
This group is composed of a wide range of actors working for development in northern countries (social entreprises and social entrepreneur networks, traditional companies, public actors, social economy structures…)
“Post-2015 development agenda”
This working group gathers French actors to focus on the definition of the post-2015 UN development agenda, a debate that is poorly developed in France.
The aim is to follow the progression of the debate in the UN; to identify and share top priority issues; to participate to events related to these issues; and to raise awareness among the general public on these issues, for example among young people through the network “Youth We Can!”.
“New technologies and solidarities”
New technologies –especially the Internet- have transformed solidarity under several forms: crowdfunding and other financing tools, access to basic services, democratization and access to knowledge, flow of information in the case of humanitarian crisis, online campaign mobilization, etc.
Members are professionals and innovative actors leveraging technologies for development and solidarity.