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Industrial development, cooperatives, and the ecological transition: Basque Country and Beyond

YSI - EAEPE Parallel Session

Start time:

September 4

project Series Event Series (See All)



University of the Basque Country, Bilbao


Panel discussion

project Series Event Series (See All)

How to attend

Deadline: 10 June '24


The Basque Country has had a recognized experience in the development of its economy. Within Spain, it is the region with the second highest GDP per Capita, and boosts a manufacturing sector of 21.2 percent of GDP in 2022. While the Basque country was characterised by industrial development since the industrial revolution due to its mineral deposits, and strategic location, it managed an impressive structural change during the 1970s and 80s by pushing knowledge intensive industries and the accumulating capabilities relevant in the contemporary economy. 

This development history was shaped by a number of characteristics that make it unique and offers inspiration for pursuing social and ecological economic development elsewhere. 

The most famous might be the prevalence of worker cooperatives, with the Mondragon Corporation as its flagship, and the connected inclusivity of economic development but the region is also known for the implementation of very successful cluster policies, decentralized decision making, and active public-private coordination. 

These cluster polices comprised various stages of implementation to develop technological capabilities in associated industries based on a constant process of knowledge generation, learning, adaptation, and change. This resulted in the development of heterogeneous industries such as household appliances, machinery tools, automotive, electronics and information technology, maritime, and energy (Konstantynova, 2017).

In this context, the objective of this project is to discuss the Basque industrial organization as a successful process and how learned practices might guide solutions for the ecological crisis humanity is facing. In this way, it seeks to generate a discussion between the Basque experience, in dialogue with other organizational experiences, to analyze the challenges of current industrial development in the context of the ecological crisis, and how the organization of the Basque Country can serve as an experience or provide useful inputs for this process.



The event will be part of the EAEPE 2024 Conference, as a parallel session during the days of the main conference. This YSI project will cover one main speaker session, plus two student sessions where young scholars will have the opportunity to present their research to peer colleagues. 

We encourage young scholar from the global south to apply.

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Structural change
  • Green transition
  • Cooperatives
  • Industrial development

How to apply

We invite all young scholars to participate by sending their abstracts to present in this parallel session.

Application form: https://forms.gle/XnbPik4v3e2RzstA8
Application deadline: June 10th
Notification to selected participants: June 20th

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