|Public Theology||About Organize Theology Church Philosophy Ethics Politics Planning Society Economy Creation Peace Preach Media TheoEd Contact Home Subscribe||
Get Our Newsletter
Another World is Possible: World Social Forum Meets in January, 2005
The World Social Forum will meet in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from January 26 to 31, 2005.
The next meeting of the World Social Forum will take place once again in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from January 26 to 31, 2005.
A meeting of the Northwest Social Forum will take place on October 14-17, 2004, at Seattle Center in Washington state, U.S.
Below is a brief history of the WSF from its website.
Background: the events of 2001, 2002 and 2003
The World Social Forum is an international framework for all those opposed to globalization and building alternatives to think and organize together in favour of human development and surmounting market domination of countries and international relations.
In 2001, the first World Social Forum brought together some 20,000 participants, around 4,700 of them delegates for a wide range of organisations from 117 countries. Also 1,870 accredited journalists made for a substantial press presence.
Activities at WSF 2001 – conferences, seminars, workshops – built around four Thematic Areas:
Area I – Production of Wealth and Social Reproduction Area II – Access to Wealth and Sustainability Area III – Asserting Civil Society and the Public Realm Area IV – Political Power and Ethics in the New Society
This first Forum demonstrated civil society’s ability to mobilise on the basis of a methodology that ensured diversity and co-responsibility in the process of constructing the event. That first event was so successful it was decided the WSF had to continue. For this purpose, the then WSF Organising Committee (now part of the WSF Secretariat) proposed drafting a Charter of Principles to secure the WSF as a permanent framework and process for building alternatives at the world level. In 2001, in order to enable the WSF process to interlink effectively at the international level, the WSF International Council (IC) was set up among thematic networks, movements and organisations with accumulated knowledge and experience in generating alternatives to neoliberal globalisation. The IC has come to be a political and operational body that contributes both to defining the WSF’s strategic directions and to mobilising support, besides its other organisational activities. The IC was set up in such a way as to express the conception of the World Social Forum as an open, democratic meeting place favouring the growth of an international movement to bring together alternatives to neoliberal “right thinking”.
The International Councils activities have served to promote greater dialogue among the organisations, at both the Brazilian national and international levels, as well as supporting the organisation of national Mobilization Committees, Thematic and Regional Forums, and the global events in 2002 and 2003.
WSF 2002 took place in Porto Alegre from January 31 to February 5, with 12,274 delegates present representing 123 countries. The press turned out in force: 3,356 journalists, 1,866 of them Brazilian and 1,490 from other countries, from a total of 1066 publications. The total number of participants was estimated at more than 50,000, exceeding all expectations. The same thematic areas as at the first Forum were covered in 27 conferences, 96 seminars and 622 self-managed activities (i.e., seminars and workshops organised by groups participating in the WSF).
WSF 2003, held in Porto Alegre from January 23 to 28, 2003, drew close to 100,000 participants from all over the world. Some 20,000 delegates, from a total of 123 countries took part. Their numbers were swelled by the participants in the Youth Camp (around 25,000), over 4,000 journalists from the Brazilian national and international media, plus individual participants who, in 2003, had access to practically all activities.
In 2003, core organised activities included a total of 10 conferences, 22 testimonies, 4 dialogue and controversy round tables and 36 panel debates. These core activities alone brought together 392 speakers from a wide range of countries, three times more than in 2001, which had drawn a total of 104 speakers from networks, organisations and social movements from around the world. The number of self-managed activities swelled from something like 400 at WSF2001 to about 1,300 in 2003. These activities were pursued in the following broad thematic areas:
- Democratic, sustainable development - Principles and values, human rights, diversity and equality - Media, culture and alternatives to commodification and homogenisation - Political power, civil society and democracy - Democratic world order, combating militarisation and promoting peace
Parallel Events A number of other activities take place prior to or in parallel with the World Social Forum. These include the Forum of Local Authorities, the World Parliamentary Forum, the World Forum of Judges, the Intercontinental Youth Camp (from WSF 2003 onwards, part of the official programme) and, in 2002 and 2003, the World Junior Forum.
Regional and Thematic Forums In the course of 2002 and 2003, a number of Thematic and Regional Forums were held following discussions in the WSF International Council: Thematic Social Forum in Argentina: “The neoliberal model in crisis”, Buenos Aires, August 22 to 25, 2002; Europe Social Forum, Florence, Italy, November 6 to 10, 2002; Palestine Thematic Social Forum: “Negotiated conflict solution”, Ramallah, Palestine, December 27 to 30, 2002; Asia Social Forum, Hyderabad, India, January 2 to 7, 2003; Africa Social Forum, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 2 to 7, 2003; Pan-Amazon Social Forum, Belem, Brazil, January 16 to 19, 2003; and Thematic Social Forum “Democracy, Human Rights, War and Drug Trafficking”, Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, June 16 to 20, 2003.
Organisations and institutions that supported WSF 2003: ActionAid, Cafod, CCFD, EED, Fundação Banco do Brazil, H. Boll Foundation, ICCO, Misereor, Novib, Ford Foundation, Oxfam, Petrobras.
Organisations and institutions that supported WSF 2002: RITS - Rede de Informação para o Terceiro Setor, EED, CCFD, NOVIB, OXFAM GB, North-South Centre, ActionAid, ICCO, Ford Foundation, Rio Grande do Sul State Government, Porto Alegre City Government, Procergs, World Forum of Alternatives.
Organisations and institutions that supported WSF 2001: Droits et Démocratie, Ford Foundation, H. Boll Foundation, ICCO, Le Monde Diplomatique, Oxfam, RITS - Rede de Informação para o Terceiro Setor, Rio Grande do Sul State Government, Porto Alegre City Government.
Sponsored by the
|About Organize Theology Church Philosophy Ethics Politics Planning Society Economy Creation Peace Preach Media TheoEd Contact Home Subscribe||