• sc on themesaxes doc1

last modified August 4, 2015 by pierre

group on axes and themes

version française

 link to  complement  on article of guiding principles 

working group 2011

Renewal of the Thematic axes

Members of the working-party:

Francine  – Mallory  – Dan – Mikael  – Giuseppe – Annie – PK – Geneviève  – Benjamin – José Miguel – Pierre  – Azraih  – Gus  – Damien  – Vinod – Maria Liege  – Nicolas


Why Change the thematic axes?

(from pre-draft proposal fm)

-          The world has changed – better take into account events and evolutions – actions of social movements

-          Experience of discussion on axes Dakar 2011 – avoid parallel actions and contradictions – better take into account our diversity


Objectives of the axes

(from pre-draft proposal fm)

-          a way to facilitate the expression of the movements’ but also as

-           a kind of ‘framework’ for the WSF or even as a kind of ‘guiding principles’ for the promotion of the assemblies of convergence.

-          The third possibility is to use them as a tool to facilitate the wording of alternativesand the articulation of our actions, within the framework of the charter, allowing within for different approaches. It is clear that no one should try to impose his or her alternative on others.

These three possibilities point to an ascending order of necessary coherence:

-           helping the participating movements to ‘house’ their self-organized activity in one or another axe, in the first case,

-          building a framework within which the WSF can locate itself and delimit its activities, in the second case,

-          and helping the movements and the WSF to arrive at a set of convergence themes for those who are ready to make alliances and compromises, in the third case.

It should be stressed that this general list should never be imposed on the Organizing Committee of a WSF, which does NOT have to adopt this whole long list. It is perfectly possible to focus on one or more specific thematic or geographic axes and organize events around them. However, since we cannot select participants of a WSF – respecting our Charter - they should have a very broad choice.

Meeting in Paris 25 May 2011

At the first meeting of the working-party in Paris, five major concerns were expressed:

1)      The WSF should be pre-figurative and put into practice the values that it preaches – methodology and political structures are always connected

2)      Through the thematic axes, we should try to promote a dialogue and an exchange of knowledge in order to promote convergence between axes

3)      The axes should combine elite knowledge and grassroots knowledge – this linked to the different levels where solutions are sought after and time-frames where they might be found

4)      The axes should be based on the experience/achievements/realities of social movements – we should ‘keep the pulse of global activism’ without forgetting to look at the future and take into account new problematic/actions

5)      We have to work within the framework of our Charter of principles, though we also have to see whether some points may usefully be changed.


Conclusions and Future work

1)      We will have to look at the pre-draft proposal to see whether this is in conformity with the five points mentioned above

a.       This pre-draft has approached the axes as

                                                               i.      Structural Objectives/shared values/basic concerns/abstract level

                                                             ii.      Actionable themes/open list/concrete level

2)      In order to better take into account the achievements/concerns of social movements, we will need to look at the results of the other task the Strategy Commission is working at: the assessments of past social fora (Gus)

3)      This reflection on the thematic axes will have to be a continuous work in connection to the movements in order to promote cooperation at different levels – in this way the axes can reflect the process of the WSF

4)      A consultation of the movements may be needed before WSF 2013

5)      The most difficult point to solve may be the concern of point 2): the transversality, the promotion of convergence between axes. How to do it? Could the co-organization of events be part of the solution? Can part of the solution be found in an ‘agglutination’ process? And can this also be used in order to prepare the assemblies of convergence?


To take into account

-          The final result of our work will always be a compromise between diverging interests and concerns

-          We cannot ask of thematic axes what they cannot give – they are only a tool which – in the best hypothesis – can be useful to the movements as a mobilizing and articulating space.






1.       Preserving the planet and life

a.       Civilisational crisis

                                                               i.      Construction of a new universalism

                                                             ii.      The rights of nature

b.      Environmental justice

                                                               i.      Decommodification of life

                                                             ii.      Ecological debt

c.       Sustainable agriculture and fisheries

                                                               i.      Preservation of the commons: land, water, biodiversity, seeds…

d.      Sustainable infrastructure


2.       For a common humanity of equals

a.       Individual and collective human rights

                                                               i.      Civil and political rights

                                                             ii.      Economic and social rights

                                                            iii.      Cultural rights

b.      Gender and patriarchy

                                                               i.      For a world without discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation

c.       Rights of Vulnerable groups

                                                               i.      Disabled people

                                                             ii.      children

d.      Rights of indigenous, natives, original, autochthonous people

                                                               i.      For the preservation of territories, languages, cultures, identities and knowledge


3.       For a world of peace

a.       For a world without imperialist interventionism

                                                               i.      Against neocolonialism

                                                             ii.      Against foreign military bases

b.      For a world without nuclear weapons

c.       For the protection of people in situations of occupation or conflict


4.       For a common world without a capitalist logic

a.       Post-capitalist alternatives

b.      Emerging economies and alternatives

c.       Freedom from the domination of financial capitalism

                                                               i.      For another monetary system

d.      Freedom from debt

e.      Freedom from the domination of transnational corporations

f.        For a solidarity economy responding to the needs of people

g.       For renewable energy and against extractivism and nuclear energy

h.      Fair trade instead of free trade

i.         De-growth

j.        For tax justice and global taxes, against tax havens

k.       For self-determined development processes

                                                               i.      Development cooperation

                                                             ii.      South-South cooperation


5.       For social protection for all

a.       Fight against poverty

b.      Basic Income

c.       Universal social protection

d.      Public services and global public goods

                                                               i.      Water

                                                             ii.      Food sovereignty

                                                            iii.      Education

                                                           iv.      Housing

                                                             v.      health

e.      Labour rights

                                                               i.      Employment

                                                             ii.      Decent work


6.       For the freedom of movement

a.       Right to migration

b.      Protection of asylum-seekers and refugees

c.       Against the trafficking of people

d.      Recognition and rights of diasporas


7.       For cognitive justice

a.       Decolonizing our minds and recognizing subjugated knowledges

b.      Democratization of communication

c.       Fundamental change of intellectual property rights

d.      Right to cultural patrimony of humanity

e.      Democratization of knowledges


8.       For a democratic world with the participation of all

a.       Democracy at all different levels

b.      Economic democracy

c.       Participatory budgeting

d.      Role of social movements/ mobilizations


9.       For a democratic global governance

a.       Self-determination of people

b.      Democratization of UN

c.       Against WB, IMF, WTO


10.   The future of the Forum