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last modified May 22, 2021 by facilitfsm

pfsm22 Mexico |    6.Extension of wsf events -   7. WSF events and  actions

WSF events and actions of its participants  ES       

Summary of experience on the final moments of WSF events and the relationship between forum and actions of its participants 2001-2021

Pierre - input for the May 22 meeting 



@A / The issue of decisions and actions of participants in the WSF process in the WSF principles

@B / “ASM and proposals” in the events until 2008

@ C / Decision of the Copenhagen IC in 2008 instituting convergence assemblies for action

@D / From 2009 to 2021: self-organized assemblies and emergence of the "action initiative" form of participation

@ E / “action initiative” as a new form of participation , alongside the “activity” form

@F / a more complete and “continuous” implementation of initiatives and agora in the virtual WSF 2021


@G / New perspectives with the implementation of the initiatives, the calendar of action dates, and more continuity

@H / Towards a full and coherent use of the forum by participants wanting to articulate initiatives and actions for another possible world

@ I / By way of Conclusion of this historical quick about the visibility and the promotion of articulations in the forum

@ J / Some Perspectives for the WSF 2022 mixed event (see the document on extension)




A / The issue of decisions and actions of participants in the WSF process in the principles of the WSF

According to principle 1, the forum is a meeting space for a series of functions between participants: intensify reflection, carry out a democratic debate of ideas, elaborate proposals, establish a free exchange of experiences and articulate effective actions -

Then we can take into account two other principles on 6 there is no declaration on behalf of the forum - and on 7 the facilitators seek to make visible the decisions made between participants (see the principles http://openfsm.net/projects/ic-methodology/charter -fsm-wsf-en )

Now from the point of view of the political methodological facilitation of the forum, what forms of participation to propose to the participants to implement a stimulating vision of the forum in relation to the acting articulations of participants and consistent with principles that guarantee the autonomy of the participants

From the beginning, from the first form of participation "self-organized activity", many networks were formed on the occasion of activities in forum events, which later had their own dynamics, also active campaigns such as the campaign against the FTAA used the forum To show its existence and dynamics, also the synchronization of the march against the war in Iraq was made at the 2003 WSF on the occasion of an adhoc activity.

Now raises a practical question facilitators groups:  ¿  That way give the final moment of the event?



B / “ASM and proposals” in the events until 2008

The problem of the possible forms of the final moment of the event is encouraged in practice

1 / There are those who advocate giving great visibility to an Assembly of social movements that produces a statement that indicates.

 This reaches a formal extreme in the events of the European social forum, between 2002 and 2010, where the forum closes at noon on the last day, and in the afternoon it opens outside the forum and as the only activity available “the assembly of movements social ”where, under the action of a small proactive group, a statement is finalized that is not proposed to firms and that proposes a narrative and a series of mobilization dates.

2 / There are facilitators who seek to organize a closing act with symbolic statements without much ambition for advocacy and post-event projection, and who do not arouse much interest from participants (example Mumbai 2004)

3 / There are those who in 2005-2006 animate during the event a device of "Proposal Mural" in which organizers of self-managed activities are invited to formulate these proposals / if there are, they are displayed on a mural with the name of those who assume them. The idea is to organize a moment where the participants can see all these proposals and express their interest - This is implemented in Bamako in 2006. Two observations

a / An organizational dynamics and collective logistics for post-event follow-up have not been agreed, and technically in the implementations, the “proposals” are not under the editorial autonomy of their proponents. There is not the energy to return to the promoters of proposals

b / The term "proposal" is ambiguous, since it is not known if the group that formulates them is waiting for something or someone to implement them

In Nairobi in 2007, facilitators propose final moments by thematic axes of exchange on results



C / Decision of the Copenhagen IC in 2008 instituting convergence assemblies for action

The discussion that has been problematized in part B leads to the IC in Copenhagen in 2008 in an agreement to create a new form of participation: a self-managed assembly of convergence for action.

These assemblies are self-managed activities like the others , only that, complying with simple criteria (essentially bringing together more than X organizations, from more than Y continents) they qualify for greater visibility in the event's programming, at times when there are fewer activities scheduled simultaneously. .

The assembly of social movements then becomes an assembly among others within this framework. On the other hand, the diversity of the assembly is not an obstacle: the organizations manage to send delegates to the assemblies that interest them to participate politically in it.

note: the word convergence was commented on in a methodological discussion at the IC of October 2017 in Salvador de Bahia (transcription in progress)  



D / From 2009 to 2021: self-organized assemblies and emergence of the action initiative form

There have been 20 to 30 assemblies in each of the 5 WSF events between 2009 and 2016, and the 2021 virtual format has hosted as many as 10 assemblies. See more information at the link http://openfsm.net/projects/convergences

1 / It is observed that, except for error, none of these assemblies has been instituted as a permanent process, having sessions after other moments and in later events, etc.

It would be interesting to exchange with the promoters of these assemblies and understand why this lack of continuity

2 / The holding of dozens of assemblies in these 5 events has reactivated the dialogue on the form of a “final moment after the assemblies” . In FSM Belem 2009, a simple “assembly of assemblies” was improvised, a simple sequence of 5-minute presentations by representatives of each assembly that was repeated in Dakar 2011, and this form was evaluated in the IC as unsatisfactory, but the IC became dysfunctional in this time, the methodology commission stopped working in 2012

In Tunisia in 2013 and 2015, it was discussed in the IC to organize a public moment in the central promenade of a main street of the city (Burguiba avenue), where each assembly had a space to present its “results” to the WSF participants and the population of the city, who could have access to a plan of the place and go to meet whoever they wanted.

3 / At WSF 2013 2015, despite the agreement in principle in the IC, the idea of ​​this public moment Ágora did not have a sufficient dynamism of collective concretization, because

a / few IC organizations mobilized to organize it,

 b / From the Maghreb facilitators, the real final moment had been thought of as the “Palestinian land day” march, where the WSF participants were called to march and outnumber the groups linked to Tunisian political Islam in the streets. from Tunisia.

 These two reasons explain that between the end of the activities and the beginning of the march there was no time and serenity to focus on this activity of a new kind: this series of assemblies in the street.

However, these discussions and agreements of principle in the IC on inviting the promoters of assemblies to be together in a shared common public space and to be simultaneously in relation with the participants (no longer consecutively, as in the “assembly of assemblies”), gave way to the idea of ​​an "agora". The word Agora means that there are several discussions in parallel in the same space, among which the participants present can freely choose by circulating between the discussions.

4 / Hence the idea that the agora would have as its object the decisions taken in self-organized articulations, which were given the name of “initiative of action”, to show that they were autonomous decisions whose realization was decided, and that they involved specific actions scheduled on certain dates. So the agora is not limited to the results of assemblies and includes results of all existing activities and initiatives.

Hence the idea of ​​stimulating promoters of initiative to describe 1 to 3 dates of public action, which can, without the intervention of third parties, form a calendar of actions of participants in the WSF. This is how a shared document widely circulated to participants and the media is configured.



E / "action initiative" comes as a new form of participation , alongside the form "activity"

It consists of describing lines of action of participants outside the forum space (struggles, campaigns, transformative processes, common agendas). It complements the “activity” form of participation, which is the vehicle for meetings in the forum space.

The agora of initiatives comes as a form of inclusive final moment of an event, focused on the projection of the participants in a post-event with a diversity of visible actions, about which one can continue to be in contact.

The idea was discussed with facilitating groups in various events (FSM 2016, FOSPA 2017, FSM2018) where it was accepted and partially implemented.

In Montreal there was an assembly of assemblies and a calendar of dates for actions of initiatives ( https://fsm2016.org/es/actions/ ), the notion of initiative of action was adopted in the FOSPA process (pan Amazonian social forum) as element of the methodology http://www.forosocialpanamazonico.com/iniciativas/ , was also implemented in the process of the virtual event of June 2020 FSMET. In Montreal in 2016 and at the FSMET event in June 2020, there was an initiative form.

The notion of “agora of futures” as the final moment was made at the last minute at FOSPA 2017, http://openfsm.net/projects/cif/cif-galeria-de-papelotes-iniciativas-en-fospa-tarapoto (videos and photos) and was adopted and implemented in the Salvador WSF. http://openfsm.net/projects/sobre-agora-dos-futuros-fsm2018/agorafsm18-articulo-de-presentacion-marzo-2019 )



F / a more complete implementation of initiatives and agora in the virtual WSF 2021

These 2016-2018 partial implementations produced a collective maturation and made the notion of “agora of futures” included in the initial format of the virtual event 2021 for the last day. By adapting the FSMET experience in terms of registration forms, it was possible to specify in 2021 a complete device with

 a / a virtual future agora https://join.wsf2021.net/agora a space open to participants where they could come and meet in virtual rooms with

b / groups promoting 100 different action initiatives (struggles, campaigns, transformative processes, common agendas) that were formulated, https://join.wsf2021.net/initiatives ,

C / action dates highlighted in each initiative can be automatically gathered on an action date calendar https://join.wsf2021.net/actions-calendar

There is a TV agora video that proposes a partial coverage of the moment of the futures agora https://wsf2021.net/gtagora-tvagora-sesion1/

The facilitating group of the virtual WSF has not worked on the notion of the post-event and the IC but Technically it is still possible to announce new initiatives and update existing ones, see the indications here. https://wsf2021.net/proceso2021-info1/  The facilitating framework from which to feed this continuity may result from discussions between the Mexican facilitating group and the IC on the creation of an international facilitating group   



G / New perspectives with the implementation of the initiatives, the calendar of action dates, and more continuity

1 / The fact of proposing a form of initiative participation allows the WSF participants to have a place to formulate struggles, campaigns, transformative processes with goals and an evolutionary public action plan.

From the point of view of participants, being interested in formulating existing or emerging initiatives means that

a / have joint lines of action between various organizations

b / They consider the forum as a relevant space to seek “proximity” with other initiatives and explore specific articulations.

The action of the facilitating group then consists of

a / make explicit and promote among participants the use of this new form of participation and

b / stimulate that there are many formulations of initiatives, so that the coverage of the actions / initiatives of WSF participants in the form of an initiative is large, and that consequently there are visible proximity between formulated initiatives, which supposes a quantitative dynamic, that is, formulating initiative becomes an appropriate practice, and that there is an exchange of experience in how to work these proximities and articulations

An example of proximity is here: it shows how two initiatives have the same focus on a word (“Davos”) in the same period of time: https://join.wsf2021.net/?q=%2Factions-calendar&action_name_1=davos

2 / The fact of being able to formulate and update initiative and dates of action throughout the year

a / invites those who showed interest for such or such an initiative to propose dialogues / activities to prepare the actions described on these dates

b / invites you to place descriptions of initiatives that respond to national and international events in the forum space

With the increase in the name of initiatives and actions, it becomes more relevant for the participants

a / compare types of action between different initiatives, and enriches the subject of action experience exchange

b / identify “proximity” of topics and dates between initiatives and / or action dates and dialogue to possibly articulate them in a self-organized way, with possible cross-sectional information on how it is done

3 / The fact of formulating an initiative where it is proposed to sign a text , means that the act of signing a document can become the first step in the interlocutions proposed between signatories for concrete next stages As an example, the two initiatives of point 1 invite to sign a text https://join.wsf2021.net/initiatives/9140   




H / Towards a full and coherent use of the forum by participants wanting to articulate initiatives and actions for another possible world

1 / There is criticism of the forum as a space where people speak, they denounce, but little to propose and no action is taken .

In fact, the content of activities in the forum reflects decisions of the participating organizations. Organizations are free to prepare and agree on decisions regarding future actions as part of their activities in the forum.

It is useful to comment on the possible reasons for this underuse, without losing sight of the fact that there are other functions in the forum (see part A) and other expectations of participation, cultural or alternative thinking, which are different and complementary to creating o reinforce acting joints,  

Encourage, as facilitators (part of the Mexican Facilitator Collective, or the IC or the international facilitating group), the appropriation of this form of participation "initiative" that welcomes both initiatives "existing before the event forum" and "emerging initiatives in the Forum event activities ”offers a concrete perspective of affirms the action dimension

2 / The participants carry out their actions "for another possible world" outside the forum space, which is a space for reflection, and at the same time their organizations promoting initiatives can describe their actions in the forum space (the space is relevant to formulate and articulate initiatives and actions)

3 / The distance between this moment of a discussion on the action and the operational action itself is variable

The forum can be seen as a place of reflection and foreshadowing quite distant from the daily action of its participants. Some use the image of the forum as a "rearguard" of the forces of social change of action, useful to make evaluations from time to time, learn to recognize and make dialogues of approaches. This is consistent with annual or biennial forum events separated by periods where the forum space is hardly implemented.  

If there are decentralized forms of participation over time, it is possible to formulate or update initiatives in time harmony with the dynamics of campaigns and solidarity, when these appear necessary and relevant, when actions are planned, etc.

To the extent that it is possible to participate in the process in a way that is closer to the dynamics of the events and of the campaigns, the participating organizations can at any time "take a step aside", a reflective and dialogical step on the line of action. in which it is involved. At the same time, they locate the forum as closer to the action, and maintain it as a reflective space.



I / By way of Conclusion of this historical quick about the visibility and the promotion of articulations in the forum

1 / The development and appropriation of the form of participation "initiative of action" by the various articulations of participating organizations to describe a line of action / joint initiative with dates of action allows "to get out of the top" of a proposed schematic opposition by some members in the international council,

The “WSF meeting space” of the current forum is opposed to a “WSF space of action”, associating with this second option that “the forum becomes an actor”, with finally a reduced group of people / organizations speaking in the name of the forum and of all its participants in some way.

This corresponds to a temptation to "appropriate the forum through discourse and narrative", which is more frequent among intellectuals or activists who are not related to a powerful organization, from which the guarantee of respect for the autonomy of organizations is appreciated. participants who give the current principles of the space forum, where all acts of participation are voluntary.

2 / There are many questions based on the historical experience of participation in the WSF that lead to question such a simplistic opposition, and invite facilitator groups to dialogue more with participating organizations about their expectations and objectives of participation, and their ways of using forms of participation such as initiative

3 / There are many concrete facilitating tasks that can be worked on in facilitating groups so that participants can take ownership of the possibilities linked to the use of the participation form, initiatives that respect the autonomy and diversity of the articulations of organizations and at the same time give rise to concrete experiences in terms of dialogues for articulation

note there is a series of pages presenting a group of more than 100 texts related to the character of the fsm space or organization and the character of the IC see here    http://openfsm.net/projects/dibco1/dibco1-2021-discusionfsm



J / Some perspectives for the WSF 2022 mixed event (see the document on extension )

Possibility of implementing acts of participation towards WSF 2022 from 2021: formulate initiatives with action dates, enter the action date calendar, load the content in existing initiatives in the calendar, enrich it with updates, and with emerging initiatives in the activities of the forum

These acts of participation can be with updated content and combined in many ways by proactive organizations in promoting articulations for dialogue or action. The available participation acts are quickly described here https://wsf2021.net/proceso2021-info1/

1 / Possibility of enriching and updating a list of initiatives in a decentralized way, in a dynamic of preparation until the first local + virtual moment of the 2022 event (at the end of March?) With local or online activities and local or online assemblies , and an initial futures agora that allow the organizations involved as far as they can go before face-to-face discussions scheduled in Mexico in May 2022, and are a basis for further participation.

2 / These initiatives can be resumed in the second face-to-face moment extended in May 2022 from Mexico, with delegates, and distant participation in activities prepared with the support of these delegates in Mexico. Discussions are being given weight "in Mexico", where delegates play a proactive role under the control of distant participants from their respective organizations. A variety of assemblies are organized in Mexico. Initiative promoters update or formulate new ones. A face-to-face futures agora is organized in Mexico, open to online participations, and which ends with a collective moment of presentation of the live calendar that may even lead to a final march

3 / The agreements formulated in the face-to-face moment can then be discussed and specified in online organizational activities or local activities occurring during a third local + virtual moment of virtual landing of the implementation and updating of initiatives , with operational devices defined within the framework of each initiative.

In the three stages, the list of organizations promoting a self-organized initiative grows, according to promotional work, use of space agora for futures, text signatures, organizational activities, etc.

The calendar of action dates for participants in WSF 2022, updated without the intervention of third parties, reflects the dynamics of projection in actions on the part of promoter groups and participants who express agreement and commitment with signatures and forms. 

The size of the calendar can be seen with the number of initiatives and actions on the calendar, a range of visible proximity, that is, a diversity of modes of action. outside activities number of organizations committed to each initiative, between promoters and signatories, organizational dynamics and announcements of organizational dialogue activities between organizations involved in initiatives or in the articulation of initiatives.

The arrival of each action date assumed in the calendar is a concrete occasion to see and stimulate the dynamism of the group of organizations committed to it by updating the description of the initiative and the action

This dynamic comes mainly from the participants, once the forms of participation have been appropriated and seen to be operational. However, this supposes a continuity and coherence and sufficient synergy in the facilitation tasks on the part of the international facilitating group, the Mexican facilitating group and the IC, with regular messages informing participants about initiatives, activities, and news from the forum produced by participants.