• comcom meeting paris report input 4

last modified August 5, 2011 by facilitfsm

[what we did in Paris]

[see proposal for a  comcom  working report]

Comcom report draft
(for inclusion in the ic meeting report


On May 24th 2011, the day before the IC meeting, a whole day seminar was took place among active members of the Communication commission, mainly dedicated to identifying issues to be discussed and aiming to have better understanding of the role of the commission, its tasks and how action on communication issues in wsf process can be stimulated from it.

 A methodology was agreed for this identification, in order to invite all interested participants in comcom (IC members and observers) to give their inputs, commenting synthetically the Commission's draft working plan, along a common form ( see EN FR ES version here) , then
formulating issues to be discussed based on sharing of written comments on each item

(see: http:// openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/comcom-meeting-preparation-sheets  EN )

http:// openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/comcom-meeting-preparation-sheets-fr FRancais

http:// openfsm.net/projects/communication-commission/comcom-meeting-preparation-sheets-es ESpanol

The presence of a representative for the Babels network in this seminar was a positive point, posing the issue of language and translations beyond its technical dimension - in order to stimulate a permanent facilitation initiative/project on “languages” in the FSM linked to communication commission. In a similar way, the issue of the cultural - artistic and dialogical dimensions of communication in the FSM process was presented and could constitute another facilitation initiative (or shared project).


9 reports were made early after Dakar by either projects/initiatives included in comcom working
plan or local committee groups:


A synthesis is being made (to contribute with lessons learned and proposals for the future); while at the same time participants in the Comcom are invited to contribute actively in the WSF 2011 Dakar evaluation group:


and send recommendations:



Members of the Communication commission present in Paris were keen to meet with other commissions to discuss common work and they collectively felt that the issue is not given enough attention by LG (Liason Group) when designing an IC agenda.

Indeed the intercommission session announced in the agenda was pushed to an evening time on 26th of May, when
other meeting were called by IC members and therefore could not be held.

On the 27th afternoon, those still present went to attend the methodology meeting and joined some new working
groups there (http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/project-home).  As a result, joint work on 4 areas between the commission were established:

- [Live] Memory of the FSM
- Inter-communication between events 2011-2012
- Guiding principles document revision
- Evaluation extended to registered participants

A few Comcom members were also involved in the strategy commission working group on thematic axes

[Nevertheless this 27th meeting was not a intercommission meeting with full participation of all present members of each commission and the opportunity to discuss a broader range of issues]


In the framework of existing shared projects/ facilitation initiatives or in the name of organizations participating in the Comcom
some cooperation was developed in 2010 and 2011 especially through the dynamics of Palestine world education forum and Maghreb Mashrek process (media, extension, interpretation, etc..) .

Contacts and the inclusion of new members and participants from the Arab word and Middle east at large (including Tunisia, Egypt, turkish Kurdistan, Irak) were made in the meeting which took place on the 25th of May, with the intention to continue developing these links and cooperations and including more arab world actors to join the Communication commission.

A first proposal that emerged was for Arabic to be included as a 5th wsf language in all official communication (websites and newsletters).


As new social forum events and initiatives were announced for the next 2 years, given the difficulties experienced in 2010 to try and link with the organising committees, a renewed intention to work in close contact and with sufficient time was shared in the commission meeting, prioritizing connection with youth social networks - in particular with the experience of the Arab / Mediterranean revolutions. Moreover, as the Rio+20 events in 2012 will be an important milestone for man of the organisations participating in the WSF process, special attention will be given towards its preparation. Among the many initiatives, a few have been proposed: emerging from the Convergence assembly on Communication in the WSF 2011 in Dakar, some events revolving on free media and communication right are programmed around Rio+20; the communication commission can help share the results inasmuch as they are part of the WSF process and of the work of its member organisations.

IPS will produce Terraviva during the Conference in Rio+20. Terraviva was created during the Conference of 1992 and the commission looks to Terraviva as a useful tool of communication and looks favorably to its presence in Rio.

The Commission further discussed on the importance and on the need to consolidate and strenghten the Social Forum Extended project, considered necessary to advance in these practices to facilitate remote participation and exchange between the WSF events in regions far between.


Given the agenda of this IC focused around expansion and strategy issues (arab world and 2013 ) and due to the short time dedicated to commissions' meetings, the Communication commission did not present a new working plan to the IC plenary. The discussion on communication strategy, facilitation initatives and working plan for the rest of 2011 until 2013 will be discussed in the following months, with a first deadline on June 15th for issues to be consensed and further elaborated. 

Nevertheless, the Commission restated the two dimensions in which it operates:

One is the political dimension: the fundamental importance of communication to make participation, mobilization, convergence and exchange possible. By contributing to the participation of journalists, indipendent media and social network activists, as well as to the cultural, artistic and linguistic aspects,  there is understanding that communication is a strategic area for the WSF and movements, and a right to be strongly defended in its agenda and spaces.

The other dimension is operational, through facilitating intitiatives in which the Commission contributes to promote the WSF shared platforms and collaborative websites and offers a modus operandi to event organizers, by stimulating common coverage with radios, videos and other media, based on the concept of shared communication. 

Finally, the Commission confirmed the intention to work in a more integrated way with the other IC commissions.


In an effort to include more people and in particular IC members who could not travel, the Sfex (Social Forum extended) initiative and the local social forum of Ivry maintained a video stream out of the seminar and ic meeting , with an invitation in a chatroom - videos and transcription are here [see: http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/project-home] . This coverage will be proposed in next ICs, with a more professional equipment and interactive possibilities.