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last modified October 16, 2011 by facilitfsm


reunion amed

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3 proposals for WSF process general facilitation and FSMM2012/WSF2013 build up, from Methodology and Strategy Commissions vision

Origin and scope of document.

in Amed inter commission meeting on September 26th 27th, Hamouda, in the name of FSMM12/WSF13 “inter commission group”, invited Gina, Francine, and Pierre, present as active participants in Methodology and Strategy commission to draft a document to be annexed to WSF13 concept notes ( see notes and video of this meeting here http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-extended/icextended-amedvideos-en ).

2011-09-30-ivry-msf-208.JPG  2011-09-30-ivry-msf-207.JPG meeting in Amed  

Scope of the document is to propose a frame for “general facilitation” of WSF process, in the context of 2011-13, taking stock of experience gained in 2009-11 WSF cycle “ Belem to Dakar”. As such, it is to be discussed in Dhaka IC meeting November 23-25th.

This document is proposing ways for:

1/ Stimulating/facilitating WSF process activities and events in the world during 2011-13, and fostering interconnectedness of organizations and movements, which is WSF tool primary usage.

2/ Preparing a highly dialogic WSF13, with relevance for both Arab world and worldwide participants.

The present draft is proposed for discussion in Methodology and Strategy commission, and on general IC list from November 1st.

The current core document present three proposals translated in English French Spanish

These three parts link to three annexes detailing each part. Annex 4 is a chronogram


Origin and scope of document. 1

index. 2

WSF2009-11 experience and challenges. 2

Focus on social forum event organizing. 2

Consider a community of social forum event organizers. 2

Clarity role of IC Commissions related to event organizing. 3

2009-11 Trends on Resources, actors, international agenda, extension, social networks. 3

Proposed Options for 2011-13. 3

Decision 1 - Introduce OE spaces as a new element in the “WSF facilitation” organization around IC. 4

Decision 2 - Validate in IC “OE guiding principles version 2” and starting points for thematic discussions for OE spaces. 5

Decision 3 – Update IC Commission generic Terms Of Reference on facilitation of OE spaces and on line activity frame. 5

4 - Chronogram.. 6


Outline of  Annex 1 scenario for starting OE spaces - 6

Outline of  Annex 1 bis Permanent inclusive scheme valuing events as expression of the process, 6

Outline of  Annex 2: discussion frame in the various OE spaces proposed for review in IC - 6

Outline of  Annex 3: a tentative review of working plans of IC commissions. 7

Outline of  Annex 4 Elements of Chronogram 2011- 13 - 14. 7


WSF2009-11 experience and challenges.

Focus on social forum event organizing

WSF process is a tool at service of organizations and movements willing to promote alternative to neo liberal policies, and to develop, inside societal reality, active elements for “another possible world”. WSF process has among its main groups of facilitators: IC member organizations, and organizing committees ( OCs) of social forum events identifying with WSF charter of principles, whatever their scale.

WSF Cycle 2009-11, “from Belem to Dakar”, has shown that “event organizers” had a main role in keeping WSF process active and expanding, by taking the initiative - and taking the political and financial risks -, of organizing tens of events, whether thematic or regional WSF 2010 events, or world event WSF2009 WSF2011.

Since its inception, WSF idea has generated a mix of conceptual fascination, logistical frustration, and a lot of organizational experience.

WSF process events can be to themselves their best promotion, inasmuch they can be spaces and moments where a high intensity of dialogue and cultural experience can take place, and where can occur precious progress in correlated understandings and actions between all kind of actors, building practices and struggles for an alternate world. In this case, the event success spreads desire to replicate an experience “nowhere else found”.

For these reasons, event organizing challenges need to be more in focus of IC, firstly because well perceived events are nurturing desire for WSF process, secondly because former event organizing teams may become part of a worldwide mobilization network, in connection with upcoming events in other areas, scales, or themes.

Consider a community of social forum event organizers

This 2009-11 cycle, “Belem to Dakar”, has shown the interest and necessity to develop, in an horizontal way, connections and cooperation between event organizing committees (OCs) of past, upcoming, and future events. The goals are 1/improve overall quality of events, 2/extend mobilization for events beyond their respective geographical areas to develop interconnectedness and continuity of dialogues, 3/secure the success of world events, that come as a climax every two years.

This implies also that OCs, especially WSF OC, need to become, at least partially, “OCs enlarged on internet”, i-e able to include operationally, through online interactions, some “remote contributors” that are taking responsibility in the event organization, and are also mobilizing towards the event in/from their respective geographical areas.

Clarity role of IC Commissions related to event organizing

In that same period 2009-11, IC commissions, working with a “three meeting by year” rhythm, and so far with a modest online activity ( see annex 3), have shown that they can build IC consensus on middle term orientations of WSF process, and shown they cannot function at the pace of events, and are thus not in condition to operationally support event OCs.

IC Commissions are working mostly during IC in face to face meetings. Stimulating permanent WSF process facilitation requires a more permanent way of working on line, more explicit and inclusive to those who cannot travel to many IC meetings.

2009-11 Trends on Resources, actors, international agenda, extension, social networks

This 2009-11 cycle also shows that donor resources is dwindling, and a higher grade of ownership of the process by its participants is necessary.

Some new ways of relating WSF process to international agenda are being explored (such as making social forums events in view of orienting subsequent “interconnected” participation in upcoming “non forum” major events ( e-g case for Porto Alegre 2012 preparing Rio +20 ).

Also, during this 2009-11 cycle, new type of movements (“indignados”, “occupy wall street”) have appeared which are not standard organizations, and gather a lot of social energy. How could they look to WSF process at local and at general scales, as a relevant place for interconnectedness of organizations and movements?

Extension of social forum events on internet has been practiced in different contexts, enlargement of preparation meetings also, both with stimulation of social forum extend initiative, http://openfsm.net/projects/sfexintercom/project-home.

Social networks have emerged as an important outreach tool that has not been used up to its potentialities inside WSF process.


Proposed Options for 2011-13

New WSF cycle 2011-13, although starting in a different context than the one perceived in Rabat IC meeting in may 2009, is the opportunity to create and explore collectively new forms of “WSF process facilitation” to address challenges perceived or experienced in 2009-11.

Three main proposed options are proposed in this document for IC discussion and decision:

1/ Introduce “Organizing Event exchange spaces” ( OE spaces) in the WSF IC facilitation frame,

2/ Validate “starting points”, for discussions in OE spaces

3/ Update IC commission terms of reference, towards more online operation and OE space facilitation,

These three options propose to face the challenges of sustaining deepening and expanding WSF process, along two orientations:

1/ Staying in line with WSF promoted values: openwork frame, horizontality, free will, consensus building, public cooptation in working teams based on relevance and working ability.

2/ Valuing more centrally the concrete organizing work required to make social forum event happen, which is an invaluable source of knowledge, contacts, and creativity about WSF process.


Decision 1 - Introduce OE spaces as a new element in the “WSF facilitation” organization around IC.

OE spaces is a practical implementation of the concept of “exchange space between event organizers” that appeared in Paris evaluation report. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/wsf11-evaluation-synthesis

Exchanges would develop from “starting points” proposed by IC discussion (see point 2).

OE space, ( OE is acronym for Organizing Event ), is a set of open horizontal spaces, focused on experience interchange between former, upcoming, and future social forum event organizers, with aim to support upcoming and future events in various ways, focusing on concrete participatory and high quality implementation.

“OE space” focus can be either the main political facilitation (initiative –mobilization – agglutination – assemblies, final moment), or the more logistical aspects that are key to make the event a perceived success (culture inclusion, extension, media, website, interpretation, logistics).


A community of varied scale social forum event organizers,

To start with, bigger event OCs can be invited to participate

Belem 2009, Quebec 2009, Ecosol 2010, Poa 2010, Salvador 2010, Mexico 2010, Detroit 2010, Istanbul 2010, Belem 2010, Asuncion 2010, Palestine 2010, Santarem 2010, Compostela 2010, Dakar 2011, Amed2011, Lusaka 2011, Sao Paulo 2011, Dhaka 2011, Poa/Rio 2012, Tunis 2012, Galiza 2012, WSF2013

OE spaces would also be open to actors that have specific relevance on certain issues (interpreters, cultural activists, journalists networks..) and to smaller events OCs, inasmuch these events are visible online somehow and explicit there relation to WSF charter of principles.

Assuming three people participating per social forum event OC,, that are not currently IC or commission participants, that would bring into “core WSF facilitation” another 50 people that have “hands on” experience of organizing events. Core OC teams are generally more than 3 people, so this leaves space for including more people.

Practical expectations about the exchanges taking place in OE spaces

a/ Maintain or include in the “core WSF facilitation dynamics” many events organizers of a diversity of themes and scales and areas, reinforcing their ownership of process, sustaining their desire to organize again events where they have already organized former ones, and improving their implementation.

b/ Be helpful to upcoming events OCs with ideas, advices, volunteers, resources, participation etc.. Reclaim experience of many 2009-11 events –Express lessons learned in organizing events - developing in a practical way, and with a diversity of cases what is being indicated in “guiding principles for organizing events”(GPOE).

c/ Be helpful in mobilizing for upcoming events worldwide ( mobilizing for direct participation into the event and also for extended participation, which is not draining resources and is fostering local organizing that is paving the way for a next event locally (see part a/).

 d/ Create opportunities for concrete contributions to OCs(with a major importance given to FSMM12 WSF13)., from OE spaces participants coming from other OCs or IC commissions   It can be noted that many organizing activities can be done or co-prepared remotely (mobilization, agglutination, media, website, extension, interpretation, …) 

This mechanism for finding working partners is based on mutual will, and at the initiative of OCs (This implies also breaking the distance barrier, and developing practice of enlarging on internet face to face OC meetings, and their related commissions meetings, it is the theme of “OC enlargement on internet”).

e/ Foster discussion and information inside the OCs, since more people from OCs can benefit from the richness of “WSF facilitation discussion” through their respective participation in OE space discussions.

f/ Contribute to Galiza event in September 2012, as a great opportunity to stimulate OE space on line exchanges with face to face encounters. If these are prepared on line and followed up on line, they can be much more productive.

More details on the start of OE spaces are proposed in annex 1. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/amed-document-ms-en/#_Toc306227306


Decision 2 - Validate in IC “OE guiding principles version 2” and starting points for thematic discussions for OE spaces.

The draft document “guiding principles for organizing events version 2”( GPOE 2 ) has been proposed in Methodology commission. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/metcom-principiosguias-versao2011-en

“starting points”, or “references” for those exchanges in OE spaces can be reviewed in IC discussion, along with the discussion on adopting “GPOE 2”.

A list of such discussion starting points is proposed in annex 2. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/amed-document-ms-en/#_Toc306227315

Decision 3 – Update IC Commission generic Terms Of Reference on facilitation of OE spaces and on line activity frame.

IC Commissions have terms of reference, and a working plan with ad hoc groups taking tasks that are either self defined in the commission or assigned in ic plenary. They discuss also to prepare proposals back in IC plenary.

IC Commissions work around IC meetings three times a year, with “one time participants” popping in and seldom active on line afterwards. Actual work relies on core team of people that are interested in WSF, have possibility to come often to face to face meetings, and are willing to devote time one line. Commission ability to include more people, in a continuous and open frame of work, needs to be enhanced.

It is proposed that, in each commission, a facilitation group maintain an online work space, giving visibility and a synthesis to accumulated discussions, and stimulating online working practices among participants.

Eg case of methodology commission http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/metcom-facilitacion and overall methodology space http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/project-home

Commission role would also include facilitation of discussion in OE space (outreach and stimulation of agenda), and addressing transverse and middle term issues that are useful to interlink the various thematic discussions OE spaces (see annexes). Facilitation includes also outreaching for OE spaces participation.

An explicit time for meeting about inter commission / OE space should be systematically reserved in IC meetings agenda.

Expected effects of proposed frame for operation of IC commissions

This renewed frame of WSF IC facilitation is giving more importance to event organizing, and is including new participants, on line, and through development of “enlarged OC practices”, and of “extension of events”.

Expected outcomes are the following:

a/ On line activity In commissions may be stimulated by enlargement and memory of face to face meeting (such as Amed meeting recently) lowering the distance barrier.

b/ if there are more events than IC meetings!) and OE spaces facilitation may be stimulating commission facilitation.

c/ Discussions around IC may be more clearly separating contexts for generic considerations and tasks (commissions) and contexts for concrete tasks and circumstances, with responsibilities to be taken, in a given time frame, for a given event ( OE spaces).

d/ OE space participants may want to participate in some commission to take a broader view at WSF process.

e/ Joint facilitation of OE spaces and online publishing of discussion and outcome document in commission online space and reserved agenda slots will make inter commission communication more active.

Some elements of commission working plan and online spaces are given in annex 3. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/amed-document-ms-en/#_Toc306227332


4 - Chronogram

A chronogram is proposed in annex 4, listing activities of WSF facilitation and event build up inside IC commissions, OE exchange spaces and Event Organizing Committees of FSMM12, Galiza, WSF13, http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/amed-document-ms-en/#_Toc306227342


 Outline of  Annex 1 scenario for starting OE spaces -


Outreach for OE space participants -

Operation of OE spaces - Concrete environment of OE spaces- number of spaces -

Dimension of participation to OE spaces - Local organizing stimulated by extension of events -

Cooptation of some active OE spaces participants in enlarged OCs -

WSF event preparation dimension -

Inclusivity of OE spaces to smaller events -

Interpretation and translation in OE spaces discussion -

Difference of focus and rhythm between IC commission and OE spaces –

Outline of  Annex 1 bis Permanent inclusive scheme valuing events as expression of the process,

Three step Causal sequence -

Trans -event WSF Facilitating scheme -

Events involved in OE spaces -

Outline of  Annex 2: discussion frame in the various OE spaces proposed for review in IC -

. http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/amed-document-ms-en/#_Toc306227315

Role of “guiding principles” document and “starting points” for thematic OE space discussions -

Concept note-& initiative : ( GPOE part 5)

OC organization volunteers evaluation ( GPOE part 5, 6 & 15 ) -

Mobilization & communication : ( GPOE part 1,2 & 11) -

Agglutination and relations with other events : ( GPOE part 8 &14 ) -

Assemblies, Outcomes & final day– ( GPOE part 9) -

Logistics and venue ( GPOE part 3)

Media ( GPOE part 11) -

Extension and enlargement ( GPOE part 7, 13 & 14)

Website Memory and methodology ( GPOE part 8,11 & 13)

Interpretation ( GPOE part 10)

Activities and culture ( GPOE part 12) -

Some transversal issues-

Themes/axes for categorizing activities ( GPOE part 5 & 8) -

Relations between forum processes – continuity of activities ( GPOE part 14)

Process Sustainability - self financing ( GPOE part 4) -

Outline of  Annex 3: a tentative review of working plans of IC commissions


Generic updates of Terms of reference Reinforce online operation of commissions :

Generic updates of Terms of reference Co facilitate OE spaces with other commissions -

Communication commission -

Expansion commission -

Methodology & Content commission -

Strategy commission -

Resources commission -

Guidelines for WSF office and Liaison Group -

Outline of  Annex 4 Elements of Chronogram 2011- 13 - 14

October-November 2011 -

December – march 2012 -

April – September 2012 -

October – WSF2013 -