• wsfic icfuturecontribution 14

last modified April 17, 2013 by facilitfsm

Proposal for rethinking the World Social Forum and the role of the International Committee


“In brief and simple words, the World Social Forum (WSF), has tried and tries to connect people and movements working  for "another possible world" that, on a self-organized and not directed basis, may join their affinities, enable proposals and alternatives and gain strength and political force for their actions; all within the limits of the letter of principles. Many things have changed since 2001; starting with the communications technology which, for a relatively low cost and the amount of information offered practically in real time, is able to connect millions of persons and organizations throughout the world. This role is not ours anymore.

On the other hand, although the neoliberalism existing in 2001 still continues in force almost throughout the whole world, its reliability has been extremely affected. The ecologic movement managed to establish its agenda internationally, including questioning the economic model for destroying the natural resources and threatening the survival of several species, including the human being. New leaders appeared and extended the agenda to another economic, social and political model. Resistance s and even revolutionary movements are arising worldwide with the appearance of more leadership.

The disillusion with governments and political parties is almost general.

In this regard, I believe that the WSF should follow up these changes, which seems not to have been done. We continue somehow doing almost the same things we did 12 years ago and what remains valid is our belief in the new political process created by the WSF and in our letter of principles.  

I do not believe that we should start a "New Movement", but advance in and even deepen the WSF process. We have to encourage the holding and the multiplication of forums in the whole world and promote the connection among them. This should be the objective of a new International Committee (IC).

The IC should be totally changed and be composed by leaders involved in the organization of social forums in their countries. The IC’s members should be committed besides organizing forums in their countries to promote, at least once a year, a meeting with the leadership in their countries or regions aiming at easing their connection to present and discuss WSF’s methodology and to encourage such leaders to be multiplying agents of the process. The IC should not hold big meetings with a mass of leaders anymore, and instead, should encourage others to do so. It should be concerned with the process expansion through local, national and regional leadership and organize an information system to divulge the agenda of the several forums.

Once a year, the IC should organize a meeting inviting leaders throughout the world that are fighting for "Another Possible World", on the same date as Davos. It would not be a Forum, a big event, but a meeting of the IC with social leaders to divulge and encourage the process expansion. Porto Alegre is a natural candidate for this meeting once it is in the south hemisphere and summertime on the Davos date, for its symbolic value and the material and logistics support practically ensured (which saves a lot of energy in seeking resources). The expenses for this meeting would be the meeting place, tickets and accommodations of the IC and the leaders invited. I estimate to be a meeting for about 250 to at most 300 persons.

If this proposal is accepted, the first meeting may already be held in January 2014.

In order to close the discussion on the change of the International Committee and the process development, it would be important to start the discussion in Tunis and close by the end of the first semester of 2013.

Best regards,
Oded Grajew”