The social economy and Jorge de Sá

In memoriam 


Ipse is deeply saddened to inform its readers of the loss of Jorge de Sà, director and member of its orientation council. Very involved in the life of Ipse, Jorge de Sà was a recognized and highly esteemed figure of the social and solidarity economy in Europe and in the World.
Jorge de Sà has been involved in numerous Ipse events, where the participants had the opportunity to acknowledge the depth of his commitment and his analyzes.
But let José Luis Monzón, who was the vice-president of Ciriec International during the Presidency of Jorge de Sà, tell us about his achievements.


José Luis Monzón

Director of CIRIEC Spain and Professor of Economics at the University of Valencia.

Former president and current vice president of CIRIEC International


On April 4, an invisible as, a cold blow, ended the life of my dear friend and colleague Jorge de Sá, president of CIRIEC-Portugal and CIRIEC-International.


I met Jorge 15 years ago, at the 23rd International Congress of CIRIEC, held in Lyon in 2004. In these three decades I had the opportunity to share with Jorge dreams and projects, always moving towards utopia, conceiving plans to achieve a better world in which the social economy acts as a powerful lever for social reform and transformation, with its values of democracy, equality and solidarity. Jorge’s contribution to the development of the social economy was notable, both nationally and internationally, always with the support and efficient action of José Alberto Pitacas.


In Portugal, Jorge was decisive for the consolidation of CIRIEC and the concept of “social economy”. His contributions allowed the concept of social economy to be properly defined in the new legal and institutional framework of the Portuguese social economy, particularly in Law No. 30/2013, of March 8 (Basic Law on Social Economy) and promoted the generation of reliable and accurate statistics on this sector of the economy. Currently, the social economy satellite accounts carried out biennially by the Portuguese National Statistical Institute constitute an international standard, due to their rigor and consistency.


A Professor at the University of Lisbon, Jorge encouraged the development of postgraduate courses and master’s degrees in social economy in Lisbon, Porto and Santarém and boosted the organization of the Iberian Coloquia on Cooperatives and Social Economy, organized by CIRIEC Spain and Portugal. A man of action, Jorge also collaborated actively in the definition of the social economy organizational structure, with the creation of the Portuguese Confederation of Social Economy (CPES) and participated as a specialist in the National Council of Social Economy.


Through Jorge de Sá, CIRIEC Portugal played an important role in CIRIEC International, organizing some of their recent events like the V World Researchers Congress on Social Economy, in Lisbon in 2015, fostering the VI World Congress in Manaus (Brazil) in 2017, and by the time of his death, Jorge was working on the organization of the VII Congress to be held in Bucharest on 6, 7 and 8 June, already as President of CIRIEC international, a position to which he was elected on June 2018. Jorge’s contribution in the international arena was also particularly relevant in promoting new sections of CIRIEC in Latin America.


Jorge’s mind was a whirlwind of ideals, designs, and dreams. I remember with emotion our last meeting in Paris, only two months ago, on February 6, in a meeting of the Praesidium of CIRIEC International, creating, under his direction, an international working group on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the social economy.


Now, dear Jorge, you’ll live forever in our hearts. Your work will germinate and the social economy, young, alive and lasting, will remember you forever.