• dibco1 2020 discusionfsm input42 comment1 en

last modified September 13, 2020 by facilitfsm

Dear Friends,  


Greetings from Hong Kong! 


Thanks again to the facilitators of today's IC zoom meeting. 


@1 I would like to follow up on the proposal I mentioned in the meeting. 

(on the fly notes of meeting and hopefully video  will be published whenever possible)


@2 I think there can be continued debates on the question of whether or not WSF should be an arena to promote political action, and if yes, how this can be done. 

(the terms of this debate can be qualified trying to clear confusions.

And for me  principally  yes  WSF is a space where socio-political actions(*) can be presented , discussed, reviewed, compared, articulated,  planned, supported between their promoters and other participants

(*)actions in plural , because there is a diversity of resistance / transformative initiatives, in a diversity of societies, with a diversity of forms of action,  taken by a diversity of articulated participant entities  


@3 Yet, on where there is consensus, that the WSF should function as a space for exchange, we should see what can be done from now. 

That is a pragmatic and wise approach, and really a lot can be done in that frame - if focus on the implementation of the “open space for encounters for a series of functions” ( see paragraph 1 of wsf charter) 


@4 I am sorry I have not found an entry point to make a contribution to the IC, and have also found it difficult as to what I could report to the communities of ARENA and Global U which I am supposed to represent.  

This  formulation is very interesting, as it may account partly for the low amount of relevant decisions made in IC since 2008.  May be many other IC member entity representative are in the same situation, they do not “see” where and how their organization and themselves could contribute, because of the fuzziness and lack of focus in IC meetings
Mentioning here the critical issue of task of IC - discussed with collective focus in an IC meeting session part of the agenda of the meeting  -  30mn in 15 years - see casablanca tasks 



My proposal is a simple one: create an official website @5 (of WSF IC, or WSF), 


The scope of this website is an important option. 

Let us focus on the history of the process of the 13 big WSF events,  starting from porto alegre 2001, which can be called “ WSFs process”. We could add  WSF2008 “global week of action” which had no “center event”,  and a decentralized format, and was also crafted in IC.


Two considerations:  

1/   IC has been instituted to care about precisely this “WSFs process” .  Now each of those WSF global event is organized by a local  facilitating committee which is co responsible with IC  and  rooted in a specific social and cultural context and the implementation of the vision of the forum expressed in the  WSF principles is specific also the event organizing .   so this  imply being able to create a website on occasion of each event  -  and there can be a discussion about what to do with the website after the event-process is over - At first website where thrown away  - now  they are being kept on line, as is visible for  montreal 2016 and salvador 2018 -   What to do with them can be object of a specific discussion 


2/ This WSFs process is a part of a global WSF process  including also thematics  national local forum processes  on which IC has no overall responsibility so far.  Presence of  facilitating collectives of other forum processes is growing in the IC - bringing members who are not organizations but facilitating collectives of forum processes.


Those two consideration  make relevant to have a WSFIC  website and not a WSF website  


with multiple languages, and offer some minimal information for a start: @6

  1. Who are the current IC members (they can be approached and asked to reconfirm if they still participate as IC members, and who the contact person is), a few lines about their work or areas of concern, links to their website/facebook etc., and the languages they operate in. 

  2. Important WSF documents (charter etc) 

  3. Links to previous forums or related WSF websites (2016, 2021, etc) 

  4. How new organizations can join, and a webpage to list organizations subscribing to the Charter. 


If we have the information of No.1, we need not spend time introducing ourselves and our work each time in an IC meeting, but can have the next IC meetings discuss strategic issues and take decisions.

The above paragraph  starts formulating general functionalities  of a WSF IC website


 I am sorry I do not know the mechanisms of taking decisions, eg., how to invite or approve organizations or networks to be new IC members,@7

To make a written  formulation of criteria  to get in IC one can go through the video verbatim and reports of meetings, and make do with the unavailable memory of earler years ( it exists but is not currently available on line) 


 or members subscribing to WSF charter @8 and presenting themselves on the WSF website. Once these are clarified, we can proceed to invite youth groups, women’s groups, peasants’ groups, etc., from all the continents, especially from Africa and Asia.


Three considerations 

1/ “Entities subscribing to WSF charter” , can be formulated more explicitly  as entities  acknowledging themselves as “participants” in wsf “process” , as the words “participants” and “process” are described in the WSF charter of principles.


2/ The list of such entities depends on the WSF event considered, between 4000 entities in 2003-2005  and 1000 entities in recent years. Observing that a WSF 2021 on line phase could  make participation more accessible and thus attract more entities to register as participants


3/  in the initial years with the historical website “forumsocialmundial.org.br”, there was possibility to subscribe to a wsf bulletin  and this may have been one  implementaton of this list. 


So it remains to be decided if the notion of IC bulletin could be  proposed from the IC WSF website -  an IC bulletin which would connect to  WSF 2021 bulletin 


 @9 Thus can the WSF facilitate a space for the many vibrant organizations and networks already active in various themes to cross borders and further interact on alternative thoughts and actions, 

Again here  are we talking of the specific implementation of the event-process  WSF 2021  wiht an online phase and  a face to face event afterwards - this needs to be discussed   o r are we talking of a permanent  globla WSF process  see point @5 and @8


@10 not only during the regional/ thematic/ global forums, but before and after. 

The notion of before and after.   

1/ we can envision a specific  process around an event wiht a before and after  - the  pyramid diagram here http://openfsm.net/projects/gti-and-wsf/gtiandwsf-input7-formal-view-wsf/#1A

2/ then the WSF process global is a gathering of all those processes -http://openfsm.net/projects/gti-and-wsf/gtiandwsf-input7-formal-view-wsf/#1B

So maybe the IC WSF website should refrain from being all encompassing  and rather explain this diversified vision of a decentralized process with common features 

Also a working group could maintain a calendar of events   with simple cateogories  http://openfsm.net/projects/wsf2012-support/wsf2018-calendar/#lista - this has been done since 2012 

See the disposition of  point 7 of  guiding principles http://openfsm.net/projects/organizingwsfevents/guiding-principles-en



To add to my proposal: 


1/ The (WSF/WSFIC) website is an intermediary for connection, so information on IC members and subscribing members, and events that will take place, should be clear and concise,@11 providing links to the website/facebook etc of the members/events. Otherwise we will be inundated with excessive information. Yet we should ensure the multiple language websites work well. 

One could add an important feature in that IC website the possibility of each IC member organization to propose its  own  “news from IC”  in its own name about   “ what we do in the world  - what is the world we live in -  how do we see wsf process -  what do we do as political participants in wsf process , with no privilege  -  how do we se ethe role of IC  - what do we do to facilitate concretely the process 



2/In relating to each other,@12 let us learn from not necessarily the “western” parliamentary mode, but indigenous ways. Mexico 2021 offers a good opportunity for us to learn from and experiment with different ways of relating, which are not necessarily exclusive to each other.  


3/ With the new possibilities using zoom or similar software, we can operate and communicate with minimal expenses, and be less dependent on funders for covering flight tickets and hotel costs.@13  Global north organizations can contribute the flight ticket money to global south groups/networks to buy smartphones/notebooks and subscribe to internet. 


@14 Such sister relationships can be facilitated by the website, and be transparent so that resources can be well distributed. 



4/ Before zoom modifies its interpreting function, we need to use minimal resources to deal with the issue of interpreting.@15  Currently, assigned interpreters can only hear the original speech and not from other interpreters; they cannot freely switch between dfferent interpretation channels. For example, if we add Arabic interpreting, we need several interpreters for Arab-English, Arab-Spanish, Arab-French. A low cost way to overcome this is for the interpreter to turn on 2 devices, one (as interpreter) to speak into, and one (as participant) to listen to different interpretation channels to do relay interpreting. Let us try first with IC zoom meetings, and later in Mexico 2021 forums. 



5/ Let us encourage voluntarism and contribution,@16  and find ways so that contribution need not become domination.


 We all have the good wish to involve movements on the ground, @17 so let us assist with facilitation and support so that they are the protagonists. 


6/ Before we find ideal or consensual solutions as to, for example, how decisions by the IC are taken and implemented, let us not procrastinate by lengthy debates, but take steps to move forward.@18 I believe such practical steps will not hinder political dialogues and debates, but help facilitate them.  

Yes Making the best of where there is consensus or consent  is the practical way to go. Promoting or accepting WSF as openspace is the basic consensus/consent , and crafting  a creative implementation of this consensus gives many occasion to cooperate in practice, and see that the open space implementation brings many possibilities, including for those who may prefer a not clearly defined and les consensuable/consentable  “space for action” 


Seven years ago, on this day, Sept 12, Vinod Raina left us. Many of us remember him with fondness.@19  I, supposed to step in to take up his WSF IC work (and in particular his involvement in the Assembly of Social Movements), feel I have not properly done my job. 


Here is in openfsm a page where Vinod is remembered - presenting guding principles for organizing a WSF event http://openfsm.net/projects/organizingwsfevents


Thank you again, and keep well in these difficult times. 


With warm regards, 

 Kin Chi