Karditsa’s Ecosystem of Collaboration
The specific Greek Case Study Report is examining the Ecosystem of Collaboration of Karditsa. In particular, the report presents the injustices of the regional unit of Karditsa as perceived by the local stakeholders. The fieldwork showed that different groups have different perceptions of injustice. But all the groups of this locality feel injustice in relation to some specific areas.
There is a strong expression of opinions that the poorer a regional unit is (like the one under examination), the more acute is the social and economic injustice. The recent crisis had played its role. The savings at the moment are kept “under the mattresses”, the banks are not lending any money due to the uncertainty, and the investments in the economy are stagnant. All this creates a vicious circle. Plus, the area is among the last regional units of the country in terms of GDP per capita.
Taking this into consideration, and trying to mitigate the spatial, economic and social injustices of the area, the Local Development Agency together with some of the key local stakeholders created a mechanism that supports the creation of a network of collective actions in the Social Economy in order to promote bottom-up and inclusive development.
The Ecosystem involves directly and indirectly more than 16 thousands local residents. In 2016 the turnover of the Ecosystem was at least 65 million of Euros. In that year it contributed to the local GDP by 6%. These are the biggest numbers one can see in Greece, in relation to the Social and Solidarity Economy. These numbers are however small if compared with countries like Netherlands and Luxemburg. So, there is still room for growth and endorsement by the local society.