The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream


Thomas Dermine


State Secretary for Scientific Policy, Recovery Program and Strategic Investments


Thomas Dermine, born on 1 May 1986 in Charleroi, is a French-speaking Belgian economist and politician who is a member of the Socialist Party. On 1 October 2020, he was appointed State Secretary for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investment with responsibility for Science Policy, deputy to the Minister for the Economy and Labour in Alexander De Croo's federal government. Thomas Dermine was born in Charleroi and spent his entire childhood and adolescence there. He then went on to study management engineering at the Solvay Brussels School, which he completed with a course in political science at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. He continues his academic career at Harvard University in Boston on a scholarship from the Belgian American Education Foundation (Francqui Fellow). There he will collaborate with Professor Jeffrey Liebman, advisor to President Obama on issues related to social innovation. Thomas then worked until early 2016 as a consultant at McKinsey in several countries and joined the Kamet Ventures start-up incubator in London working on technological innovation projects. After several years working abroad, Thomas returns to Charleroi in early 2017 to work on the Catch plan, aimed at accelerating job creation in the Charleroi region following several industrial restructurings. As a result of this commitment Thomas is the winner of the Bologna-Lemaire prize as "Walloon of the Year 2018", awarded by the Jules Destrée Institute. In November 2019, he becomes Director of the Institut Emile Vandervelde (IEV), the Study Centre of the Belgian Socialist Party, succeeding Gilles Doutrelepont. In this position, Thomas will actively participate, alongside Paul Magnette, in the negotiations for the formation of the Belgian federal government for the period 2019-2020. When the De Croo Government was formed on 1 October 2020, Thomas was appointed Secretary of State for Economic Recovery and Strategic Investments in charge of Science Policy, attached to the Minister of Economy and Labour, Pierre-Yves Dermagne. Within the federal government, he is responsible for steering the coordination of the Belgian Recovery Plan and ensuring close cooperation between the European Commission and Belgium. In parallel with this mission, Thomas also supervises the Federal Science Policy, including 10 federal scientific establishments and a multitude of competences ranging from Belgian aerospace policy to the management of federal museums and federal research policy.

This speaker will talk about