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Report from working group english speaking in extended IC meeting 26 septembre

Participants: 11 persons spoke, representing across  continents—East Asia, South Asia, Africa  to Latin America, Nordic and other European.

 Q1. What are the great challenges that we are experiencing in the current situation in our territories?

Urgent challenges

The social injustice manifest in material inequities and inequalities that have massively widened  and gross poverty/deprivations remain / are increasing again

The environmental crisis—loss of forests in Latin America is a current crisis, what do we leave /create for the coming years and generations??

The violence against women— killings in large numbers……

The pervasive rightward movement of electorates across countries— despite the material gains of the 20th century,  large sections emerging from historical poverty,  why this response? That in the 20 years since WSF, the rightward movement has escalated globally—Why and how??— We need to understand these dynamics and then design our actions

Geo-political dynamics in south Asia are becoming critical 

Specific to movement

Identity based movements (women, race, caste, indigenous people, sexual minorities, …) that recognise the need to come together but remain sectional and isolated

The interlinkages of all dimensions—social, economic, environmental, cultural, political—is well recognised and yet remain in action as isolated issues

The need to link local right upto global level in our understanding and action

Q 2. What are the proposals / initiatives that we can build to face these challenges in the framework of the WSF process?

The present Pandemic provides opportunity to bring the linkages of themes, regions and local to global levels, will also attract a larger interest-- capitalist exploitation of environment and health, public systems and access to services, and use of medical technologies, potential of traditional knowledges,  Use of IT tools and authoritarianism, 

Health as an issue that must gain more space within the WSF and not only as back-to-back with the PHM

The online  encounter/interaction format, whether for WSF or for education, must not be accepted as the new norm since, while it is allowing more inclusion during the pandemic, it is exclusionary for large sections of the world. In education, it cannot allow for developing critical thinking……..This format  of encounter  is long distance inclusive  and it can be easily combined,   through collective organizing  with  local face to face inclusive discussion 

Everybody recognises the need for both the open space of encounters  of WSF and from the action components of social movements  which can be developed  through those ecounters.  Also the urgency to link the two in mutually supportive ways. 

Yet, the debate  mainly  in and around  IC  is ongoing as if there  were two mutually exclusive  views ,  which  may seem the case only if we stay in general ideas and not focus on how participation will proceed  concretely . 

It seems that the “Open space of encounters”  idea is the uniqueness of WSF, but that its implementation as support for” effective interlinking for action” must also be made more evident and appealing—therefore

Facilitation of diverse perspectives coming into one common open space to express, expand, deepen themselves


Creatively design new formats of interaction that are engaging for newer and younger activists and movements and multiplying occasion of interaction  ( “online encounter”  format  more ambitious than webinars , “ initiative” format through which participants  can make visible their  struggles, campaigns projects practices ,  “news from wsf” format  through which  participants are invited to be communicators 

The time between discussion and action must reduce

The local, provincial and national processes are critical for the impact of the global WSF in an effective way on the ground. Successfully organised/ facilitated global processes/events and processes with many decentralized “entry/welcome  points” in the corresponding common open space   can galvanise and trigger regional and national  networks and processes, and  obviously IC cannot initiate or control them.  Therefore the mutuality of the processes at all levels and the decentralised nature need to be facilitated and supported

The content of the self organized encounters is politically paramount,  and equally important are the ‘infrastructure’ of access , mutual visibility of “who is here”  and hwt are the proposed encounters and initiatives and news  and formats of interaction  between participants, that make the common space visible and palpable as a common asset.

The dichotomising debate between open space of encounters and action may be transcended IF the WSF-IC and its extended processes can also take up discussion 1/ on focusing on facilitation tasks about infrastructure and formats   to give a shape and sustain  wsf 2021 process  and 2/   on exchanging views and  proactive participation /facilitation  articulation building intentions ( like an assembly of social movement with  leading role of youth which was mentioned in the group)  3/on the present great challenges to understand the diverse views and develop better understanding with potential cross-fertilisation across ideological framings. This would potentially provide deeper recognition of the value of the ‘open space of encounters/interactions’ , and inform actions  from its diverse participants  in more creative and stimulating ways.

Q.3. What possibility, interest and in what way could your entity support in the realization of a face-to-face or online WSF in 2021?

No one spoke about specific commitments from themselves or their organisations/networks