• Communication Plan 2010-11 [draft]

last modified November 22, 2009 by jnardi


WSF2010-11 process Communication Plan  

­ Plano de Comunicação 2010 - Português+ [a ser atualizado]

Draft 01, July 2009
Draft 02, Sep. 2009
Draft 03, Oct. 2009
Draft 04, Nov. 2009


The Communication Commission is among the 6 commissions established in 2003 in the International Council meeting in Miami. The Commission has been active with 4 «communication projects» in Porto Alegre 2005 and Nairobi 2007, an­d with 6 more structured projects in Belem 2009; it has taken care of communication and information support for the Global Day of Action in 2008.

The Communication Commission has a working plan based on working groups, reviewed in the Berlin (2007), Abuja (2008) and Rabat (2009) IC meetings, addressing media (both indipendent and mainstream), intercommunication and online participation (among participants) , internal communication, memory, visual identity and “other languages” (both in terms of translation and of different communication dimensions, including artistic expression).

The Commission's plan has been updated and presented at every IC meeting, approved and its mandate reconfirmed each time. The working groups are open to observers and volunteers who are involved in communication activities and want to help te WSF process. There are some reference text (Guidelines, How we take decisions online, communication plans, reports from meetings, etc.) in the Commission's space on www.openfsm.net.

The Commission operates in coordination with the S.Paulo office staff and is trying to activate number of interns/dedicated staff from IC member organisations for the general communication tasks (in order to have inputs and translations in different regions of the world). As of September 2009, the Comcom's space in Openfsm.net has 80+ participants (of which 15-20 more regular contributors) and various mailing lists for the working groups and holds weekly chats.


It is ten years that in the WSF new counter-hegemonic communication shared practices are developing. The experience accumulated in these years has allowed to better define the scope and concrete possibilities of communication and information activities, which are becoming key practices for the progress of the WSF process.
The latter is taking the form of a variety of events and dates, spread over the next two years and culminating in the WSF 2011 in Dakar. It is moving from «yearly events», owned by regional organisation committees (with exception of the Global Day of Action) to a «WSF calendar» with a succession and diversity of events locally owned, and of dates (mobilisations) promoted by thematic networks and assemblies within the WSF dynamics.

The challenge is now to help stimulate inter-communication processes between committees and participants, make the linkage of these dates and events felt in a common process, and make this common process visible to media and public opinion in general. The form adopted for 2009-2011 (including moments/days dedicated to a common issue – such as “another exit from the crisis is possible”) leads us to explore novel ways in communication capable of enabling massive inclusion of new actors in the process.

The involvement of IC member organizations in the communicational process is the main condition for the success of these proposals, as well as the active participation of and synergy with the organising committee of the WSF 2011 in Dakar.

Working Plan :

The following plan is based on the activities the Commission has decided as prioritary in order to help make the wsf2010 an interconnected visible process, both towards the potential and actual participants and towards the public opinion. It is also intended to work on the buildup of the Wsf2011 in Dakar, mainly through the same activities.
The Comcom will work closely with the IC 2010 working group that is defining the common elements to be circulated widely and consistently
. It will try to revive the outcomes of Assemblies in Belem, as convergency spaces. The purpose is to give a collective identity to 2010 and mobilize potential participants (both organisations and individuals), but with a mid- and long-term perspective, in order to strengthen the networking of constituencies in the WSF process.

The working plan is divided in 3 parts, each addressing specific aspects of information and communication.

The execution of the plan is taken in charge by organisations who are members of the IC, who sign an agreement to manage funds according to the resources' commission guidelines (pdf) and to the comcom funding terms of reference. The administration of the funds is made through the collaboration with the Ethical Bank Foundation in Italy.






Processes of intercommunication between the participants,organizations and individuals through the Internet or direct contacts, sharing between working group facilitators, organizers and participants.


1.1 - Information on WSF process

Improve and follow-up the bi-monthly newsletter, bringing it from 4 to 6 languages, linking it to the WSF participants general database [see point. 1.6] – assisting the WSF Office. Ensuring that the website and forum agenda is kept updated.

1.2 – WSF Portal

Redefine the general “institutional” website (forumsocialmundial.org.br) together with the S.Paulo Office shaped as a portal, linking to the WSF “universe” (events, process and participation, activity and outcomes registration, online donation, memory, multimedia [video, radio, other media], virtual media center...] and sharing a multi-event site with participants registration form and online payment system.

1.3 – Web tools for online partecipation and working groups

Maintain an easy to use tool for wsf-related working groups to participate in the  wsf process and communicate and intercommunicate, in order to facilitate participation and exchanges among organisations and individuals. One main website which includes the online working spaces of the International Council and open spaces for continuous on line participation and durable collaboration, interlinking participants in the wsf process and supporting them in its use.

1.4 - Expanding WSF events

Social Forum Expanded is a whole organizing/ mobilizing and participatory approach allowing to break the travel cost barrier and include many new participants in the dynamics of a Forum event. 

Interested collectives are invited to organize where they live  " expanded activities" associated with a given event, and to arrange with partners there a moment of connection using online video conferencing , possibly using also community radio brodacasting .
Both the activity and the moment of connection are visible in the event program.

After this experience,  collectives may feel stimulated to organize decentralized intercommunication with other local colectives, and set up on line spaces to promote this new possibility of participation in wsf process

1.5 - Online donations and campaign

Develop a global campaign for self-sustainability of WSF (based on the organisations' andparticipants ownership of the wsf process - in terms of both inkind and economicresources) and promote the online donation system on all wsf websites and in connection with the participants' database.

1.6 – Participants' database

Reorganise, update and maintain a database of participants (both individuals and organisations) of the WSF.


Information of events to promote participation and multimedia coverage for contamination and memory

The interaction with the Organizing Committee of each event is essential to guarantee internal and external communication during event:

- within all Social Forum actors and new potential participants at the wsf process

- with general public to sensibilize and involve toward wsf universe

- towards alternative/independent and mainstream media for local, regional and international visibility

It is important to assure that the infrastructure for communication be prioritized and guaranteed in/for the next World Social Forum events, following the guidelines defined in the IC document issued in Berlin (2007). Moreover, particular attention should be given toinclude Free, Libre, and Open Source Software spaces of organizing and support for the global movement we call "the Internet", as well as Free Culture movements (anti-Intellectual Property, creative commons) and (inter)Net Neutrality, mobile networks/infrastructure.

Objectives :

2.1 - Shared collective Communication spaces

2.1.1 - Independent/alternative Media 

Stimulate the formation of mixed (local and international) teams of shared communication, that promote coverage of the event in exchange and collaboration policy. Interact with the Organizing Committee of events to stimulate the formation of nuclei of shared communication and their integration with the existing projects that promote exchange and collaboration in covering the WSF (before and during each event); promote the copyleft coverage by indipendent/alternative media (through Ciranda and the involvement of other networks).

2.1.2 - Forum de Radio
A campaign in 6 languages to promote the Forums and their coverage to radios in the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Facilitation of coordinated programming, spots, in different languages. Special involvement of community radios worldwide.

2.1.3 - Tv and video exchange system
Facilitate the building of a online video community to promote the coverage of the different social forum events around the world – through the hub website wsftv.net; possibility to open for each forum a specific channel in the website related to and linked with the other forum websites.
Developing the Video Memory archive of wsftv (existing and working since the Global Day of Action 2008), in terms of mapping, cataloging and uploading all available past video material and consolidating an updating the video database. ]

2.2 - Press and international mainstream media facilitation

In synergy with the Wsf S.Paulo office and all press groups formed for the local events, the Commission aims to:

2.2.1 - Increase the visibility of the WSF in public opinion worldwide with a coherent identity by facilitating press pooling coordination among the events, with the local organising committees and IC member's networks, and the sharing of materials (press kits, press releases, information of other media activities, etc.).

2.2.2 - Facilitate the coverage of the WSF2010 and 2011 by mainstream media (public and commercial), by developing a “virtual media center” in the main WSF portal, containing updated news and background materials 6/8 languages, rss newsfeed agency and a complete map of all the 2010 events 

2.2.3 - Activate consistent journalists' and media relations at the international level, and promote the network of journalists linked to the Forum, seeking editorial contributions from well-known activits/journalists (in collaboration with IPS).

2.3.4 - Bridge distributed events with a permanent "TerraViva" online window on the World Social Forum, providing ongoing reporting in many languages from as many of the events as possible.

2.3.5 - Facilitate distribution of the 2010 events tv coverage by satellite and through Eurovision Worldfeed

2.3.5 – Stimulate international p
ress clippings collection for public record, organised by topic, language, media outlet.

2.3 - Memory and documentation

In 10 years, the Forums worldwide have produced a wealth of documentation in many languages and formats.

www.forumsocialmudial.org.br is the first and organized depository of the forum process memory, but it lacks a systematic organisations. Other many source of multimedia memory are potentially available, but not yet linked and organized for a common consultation.

2.3.1. - Making WSF memory visible online

Stimulate memory teams in the 2010 events and promote the autonomous production by participants and digital collection of memory at each event (text, photo, audio, video) providing spaces for documenting activities and outcomes, and make those contents visible online.  Allow wsf memory material to be reached by all participants through an aggregator that can bridge digitalized existing memory material spread in different web sites.

  2.3.2 – Forum documentation on other websites

  Stimulate the updating of general reference websites (such as wikipedia) and on social networks in different languages.


[Brief intro – would make reference to common identity elements (though diverse expressions), dialogical communication, role of ICT, decentralizing, strategizing.

This section mentions some teams or tools  emerging in this 2010 period , as part of the accumulated commision effort  to adress challenges of expansion and relevancy of its facilitation action in the field of participation , information , media coverage, memory

3.1 – Technologies for the global WSF process
Past experience with development of WSF websites has lead to try to setup a Technical webteam and a WSF Software support Community in order to work with a community of developers worldwide to help find better technical solutions within a “political” context and promoting the use of free/libre open source software.

The objective is to consolidate and manage existing websites and tools, allowing where possible data exchange and consistency - as well as
to stimulate sharing of experience about design and functionnalities of event sites between webteams associated to various events and processes. On the infrastructure side, the tasks are aimed at optimizing servers and hosting, data transmission, softwares and databases for the different needs of communication described in this plan.

In particular, the aim is to:

3.1.1 - Redesign the WSF Portal (see point 1.2 and the Annex II)

3.1.2 - Improve openfsm.net both in its support for IC commissions and in fostering working spaces for any wsf-related activity (see point 1.3)

3.1.3 - Develop an event tool adapted to activity registration search  intercommunication , agglutination and program, and with possible extensions, or multi event capability,   that can be assessed and adopted by social forum event organizing committees ( see point 1.2)

3.2 - Visual identity

For a coherence in the online tools promoted by the WSF there is the need of having some elements of common visual identity in order to make the connection among the various events visible and immediate.

Stimulate the formation of group of “wsf designers” and the production of promotional “materials” for the “Forum 2010” (graphics design, logo, banners, general visual identity) in open digital formats to be shared and promoted throughout and adopted by the 2010 events, and to be used for virtual communication (websites, newsletters, widgets, viral distribution, etc.).

3.3 - Other dimensions of communication

Address cultural, artistic and dialogic dimensions of communication: cultivating participatory methods of communication
emerging from the Forum dynamics and linking the different events.

Dimensions of the cultural programme in past WSFs and the conception of the WSF in Mumbai have demonstrated the potential of cultural expression and artistic languages as a means to stimulate creative and innovative strategic planning, political understanding, motivated participation and respect for cultural diversity. These ‘other languages’ have also been used within the planning and execution of elements of the political programme within the WSF process (seminars, workshops and assemblies) as effective methodologies to ensure ‘dialogic’ dynamic participation, the exchange of knowledges, consensual decision-making and bridging between social movements and organised sectors/NGOs within civil society to strengthen their events and integrate their campaigns in a global quest for social transformation.

Above all, cultural expression and artistic languages are effective means for communicating to those who are sceptical about or resistant to the aims and claims of the WSF, or outside its social and political networks. These dimensions celebrate the humanity and visions of the WSF protagonists, present proposals in an inviting, engaging and dialogical form rather a didactic and ideological form, and affirm the multiple intelligences, humanities and capacities of those receiving our communication.

Used with confidence, these ‘other languages’ can ensure the WSF itself becomes much more participatory, dialogic and humanizing.

3.3.1 - Hold a 2-day participatory-demonstration workshop during the 2010 celebration of 10 years of the WSF in Porto Allegre to facilitate the integration of ‘other languages’ into national and regional social forums;

3.3.2 - Develop an explanatory demonstration DVD in the languages of the WSF which can be circulated to social movements, NGOs and institutions/organisations involved or interested in the WSF process to facilitate the integration of ‘other languages’ into national and regional social forums;

3.3.3 - Produce a CD or DVD which contains a relevant ‘vision’ song from each of the cultures within the WSF ‘community’ (International Council?) for global distribution, with a view to also generating solidarity income;  

3.3.4 - Edit material for and build appropriate mechanisms to ensure the continuous presence of these cultural and artistic dimensions in the WSF website and all its communication materials. 

3.4 – Office expanded
In January 2009, in Belem, a proposal to develop a “decentralized” wsf office was made and presented at the IC. The idea is to have a number of people hosted by IC member organisations who can work on supporting the S.Paulo office. The communication commission in particular has supported this proposal and started discussions with several organisations who may be willing to host or provide people for this end, specifically for communications tasks, as well as support for translations. For the latter, this group could also contsitute the core of the translators pool (6/8 languages: EN, ES, PT, FR, DE, AR, HI, SW), in order to enlarge the number of “official” languages of the WSF and make it possible to reach other geographical regions.

In 2010, the objective is to build this group and its Terms of reference, mainly on voluntary basis; the following IC member organisations have already been contacted or have demonstrated their interest:
EED (Germany), Focus on the Global South (India, Thailand), Amarc, IPS, Via campesina (Indonesia), Sodnet (Kenya), TWN Africa (Ghana), Alternatives International (Canada - Morocco), Unponteper (Italy)  People health Movement ( india) ...

5 - Commission Strategy seminar

A 2-3 days meeting to discuss in depth communication strategy issues related to the mid- and long-term WSF process, networking, promotion as well as to the work on the detailed plan for 2010 and 2011. A diagnostic of what social movements and global civil society is using to communicate (in terms of tools, campaigns, resources) should be prepared to inform the discussion. This meeting could involve Methodology commission members as well as the ad hoc 2010 IC working group. Date to be defined (depending also on resources), possibly by March 2010.





All the above activities and tasks need to be detailed (some are already and can be found in the Annex, others are soon available on openfsm.net) and will be set in the chronogram below:


















1.1 - Information on WSF process / Newsletters















1.2 – WSF Portal

1.2.1 – Define basic structure (map)


1.2.2 – Decide which cms




















  Objectives of the communication commission established in the IC meeting in Rabat (June 2009)

1. Promote the call to participate in the 2009-2010 process, including those who cannot come to big events

2. Make visible proposals from Belem assemblies and followup

3. Create a visual identity (logo, slogan ..) for the 2009-2010 process

4. Open a process of communication enlargement that allows - in addition to the events planned in the progress of WSF - to contemplate the participation of many actors of civil society organizations and individuals [SFEX: Social Forum Expanded]

5. Identify in the organizing committees of the forums from now till the end of 2010 a person responsible for communication acting in a coordinated way with communication commission of IC

6. Organize in a functional and multilingual way the websites that will be used in 2009-2011 process for information and participation

7. Promote shared practice of communication, based on the accumulated experience of the forum

8. Strengthen operational capacity of the Commission with contributors employed by organizations of the IC

9. Update and contact the list of participants, journalists and media in preceeding global and regional forums

10. Process jointly WSF 2011 communication aspects between Organizing Committee and IC communication commission

11. Develop a global campaign for self-sustainability of WSF (in term of time dedicated to process and economic resources)