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INPUT#1 The World Social Forum as a Transnational Agency and Process?   
- from a perspective on transformative entrepreneurship

The World Social Forum (WSF) emerged as an alternative response and project to the World Economic Forum. It is envisioned and mobilized to construct “Other Possible Worlds,” thereby advocating a planetarian alternative to neoliberal globalization. 

The WSF is made of a great variety of alternative and grass roots movements, associations and peoples coming together in an “open space.” Seeking and constructing alternative ways to deal with the ongoing world global crisis, which include alternative lifestyles and systemic changes to effectively confront and solve the global climate crisis. 

This is why it can be linked to recent development in entrepreneurship research and practice, beyond its conventional scope, seeking to enlarge and broaden its conventional view. By so doing, entrepreneurship is reclaimed as a vital societal phenomena and as a social force for change in our times (Steyaert & Katz, 2004, Spinosa, Flores&Dreyfus, 1997, Berglund, Johannisson&Schwartz, 2012). 

Our aim with this paper, based on extensive experiences from participation in WSF activities, is to identify entrepreneurial dimensions and features observed in World Social Forum, and identify potential future WSF developments. 

To achieve this research objective, we focus on types and levels of interaction and networking taking place within the World and European Social Forum processes.

 WSF can be approached as a social space, as an organization, as a process and/or as a movement of movements, exhibiting a very extensive and activist-oriented kind of entrepreneurship (Gawell, 2004), that might entail a number of different balancing acts.

For instance, between an open and democratic process at the grassroots level, while being also partially centralized and restrictive in various ways. From the perspective of entrepreneurship theory and praxis, one finds a delicate balance between concerted attempts to construct collective entrepreneurship to achieve greater impact, while also trying to act as a venue for a variety of distributed entrepreneurial initiatives, innovations and interactions.

We argue that this dynamic balance points to different future developments of WSF process to enrich its agency and force for change.

Keywords: World Social Forum, entrepreneurship

Azril  Uppsala University, 

Erik  Mälardalen University,