World Social Forum 2008: A Global Call for Action
Another World Is (Still) Possible
It’s January! If you’re wondering whether the World Social Forum (WSF) is happening in 2008, and if so, where, then stop looking: the answer is here and now.
Since January 2001, the World Social Forum has been Brazilian (several times, in Porto Alegre), Indian (once, in Mumbai), polycentric (Caracas, Bamako, and Karachi) and has gathered hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world to expose and share alternative ways of thinking and acting.
This year, the WSF is the reflection of the shape being taken all over the world for resistance and movements for change. Rather than attempting to gather into one, worldwide mass celebration, it is breaking up into what we, at the Alliance, call unity in diversity. Indeed, thanks among others to the Internet, small human-sized local movements are cropping up across the planet locally and connecting through regional, national, and global alliances. The expectation is that the increased aggregate and common awareness will soon reach the critical mass needed to inflect and finally annul the current dominant destructive course of human activity imposed upon the world by a super-privileged and super-powerful global minority.
The WSF 2008 has donned the colors of a Global Call for Action in the week culminating on January 26, the same week during which the so-called Davos summit  holds its annual meeting.
The idea is that this year’s WSF activities will be self-organized locally, all at the same time. The Call is promoted by all the organizations and movements at the global, national, and local levels that refer to the WSF Charter of Principles. If you have an activity to propose or simply wish to join one in your immediate area, go the the WSF 2008 Web site. Here, you will see immediately where actions are taking place in the world (and where nothing at all is planned!). Among other useful Internet tools, the Web site offers browsing via a "tag cloud," in which the keywords self-assigned in every language to the various activities grow bigger as a function of their use. And what are the main keywords today? Ética ambiental, água, Action, Cultura, human rights, peace, social forum, vídeo .
The WSF is not an event, but an ongoing process growing stronger by the year. Hey, and this year you can actually afford to go the World Social Forum! Why would you miss such a great opportunity?
 The World Economic Forum (WEF), which is a Geneva-based foundation whose annual meeting of top business leaders, national political leaders (presidents, prime ministers and others), and selected intellectuals and journalists is usually held in Davos, Switzerland. There are also regional meetings throughout the year. It was founded in 1971 by Klaus M. Schwab, a business professor in Switzerland.
| RESOURCES |
Some catch-up reading on the Alliance Web site:
WSF overview from 2001 to 2005
More WSF 2003
More WSF 2003
All about the Allies at WSF 2004
All about the Allies at WSF 2005
A short selection of documents produced by Alliance groups for or as a result of the WSF:
World Social Forum I: A Short History of Neo-liberalism: Twenty Years of Elite Economics and Emerging Opportunities for Structural Change - -
01 February 2001
Presentation prepared for the World Social Forum I, Porto Alegre, 2001
Lessons from Porto Alegre - -
21 February 2002
Even if we only consider the numbers, the World Social Forum is an unquestionable success. The number of participants and delegates increased spectacularly between the first and the second WSF. Francisco Whitaker analyzes the reasons for this success and the stakes for the future of the WSF.
Fair Trade, Consumer Responsibility and the Cooperative Movement - -
30 January 2003
Summary of the round table and workshops on Fair Trade, Consumer Responsibility and the Cooperative Movement during the 2003 World Social Forum, Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Preparatory Process for a World Parliament - Presentation of Activities at the WSF 2004 - -
15 February 2004
An introductory document on the activities of the workshop on the World Parliament and its partners at the World Social Forum 2004 (Mumbai, India). It is connected to another document, a report of these activities, called "Towards a Coalition for a World Parliament"
Confluence of Solidarity Economy Proposals - -
20 April 2005
This summary is based on the reports of 30 activities relating to solidarity economy. The activities were held as part of the thematic area "Sovereign Economy for and by the People - Against Neo-liberal Capitalism" at WSF V, Porto Alegre, from 27 to 30 January 2005.
The Bamako Appeal - -
17 January 2006
More than five years of worldwide gatherings of people and organizations who oppose neoliberalism have provided an experience leading to the creation of a new collective awareness. The social forums - world, thematic, continental, or national - and the Assembly of Social Movements have been the principal architects of this conscience. Meeting in Bamako on January 18, 2006, on the eve of the opening of the Polycentric World Social Forum, the participants of this day devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference expressed the need to define alternative development goals, to reach a balance in societies, to abolish exploitation by class, gender, race and caste, and to mark the road to a new balance of powers between North and South.