GSEF is an international association of local governments and civil society networks engaged in the promotion of the social economy as a mean to achieve an inclusive and sustainable local development. GSEF promotes various forms of social economy, including social enterprises, cooperatives, foundations, mutuals and self-help groups that put people over profit. GSEF believes that systemic changes start first at the local level based on the partnership between civil society, and the public and private sectors. Thus, the GSEF is co-chaired by both local government (represented by the mayor of the chair city) and a representative of civil society networks. As of December 2018, GSEF brings together 49 cities and social economy networks coming from 29 countries around the world.