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a) Five thematic areas

b) The FSM’s Four Main Venues

c) Alliance Facilitators

d) Elements of Methodology

e) Meeting Places




Drums for Peace

Information for the Next World Social Forum
Porto Alegre, 23-28 January, 2003

About 100,000 people are expected for this third version of the WSF, including some 30,000 in the Youth Camp.

These figures are the key factor for this third WSF, as they raise huge problems in the organization of this major event.
(For further information :

The Forum will begin Thursday, January 23 with a demonstration and the opening ceremony. There will then be four working days with workshops, seminars, panel debates, conferences, and “dialogue and controversy round tables,” and the Forum will end on Tuesday, January 28 with a closing ceremony.

a) Five Central Issues or Thematic Areas

The Forum will be dealing with five Thematic Areas:

I - Democratic Sustainable Development
II - Principles and Values, Human Rights, Diversity and Equality
III - Media, Culture, and Counter-hegemony
IV - Political Power, Civil Society and Democracy
V - Democratic World Order, Fight against Militarism and Promoting Peace

* The conferences will be huge events, mostly staging distinguished persons who will share and spread knowledge on the central issues. They will take place (usually 3 per afternoon, from 2 to 8 P.M.) in the Gigantinho Stadium, which accommodates 15,000 people.

* The 4 dialogue and controversy round tables will bring people face to face from alternative movements and backgrounds and people from political or international backgrounds who hold different (but not fiercely opposite) views. They will also be held in the Stadium.

* The panel debates will deal with the 5 above-mentioned thematic areas. There will be 6 conferences (2 per day), each on one sub-theme, and on the last day the views will be confronted and proposals will be presented under the different sub-themes in view of drawing up a map per thematic area. These will take place in warehouses on the banks of the Guaíba River.

* All the activities proposed by the delegates (workshops, seminars, courses, exhibitions, etc.) will take place at the Catholic University (PUC - Pontificia Universidad Católica) throughout the four days. At the PUC there will also be a hall for the exhibition and presentation of the dynamics and results of the various regional (SF of the Americas, European SF, India SF, Pan-Amazon SF) and thematic forums (Argentina and the Impact of IMF Policies, Palestine and Struggles for Social Justice).

* About 20 testimonies will focus on outstanding individuals (Rigoberta Menchu, etc.)

* The Youth Camp will be set up in the same place as last year, but will extend from Gasometro to Por do Sol. Youth Camp delegates will have access to all the Forum activities
.. and Lula should come, officially, as the State President, to reiterate his interest in and support for the Forum.

b) The FSM’s Four Main Venues: What That Implies

Interestingly, this distribution in four different places shows a certain diversity, even a disparity, in the way the WSF operates.

The PUC will host the activities that were not programmed by the Brazilian Organization Committee and the International Council. The workshops and seminars, as well as the continental, regional, thematic, etc. forums are organized by those who convene them and facilitate them. There will be numerous seminars and workshops. In January 2002, close to 200 seminars and 700 workshops were organized.

The activities organized by the Brazilian Committee and the International Council will take place in Gigantinho and in four warehouses on the river banks. These will be, so to speak, the venues of the “official” program. Gigantinho is also where Lula will come.

The Youth Camp will be the venue for the Youth Forum, as during the first and the second Forums. For some of the organizers of the Youth Forum, the “Adult Forum” will be held in Gigantinho and on the banks…

Will it be said that the PUC will be the venue for the “Unofficial” or Alternative Forum?

Whatever the case, most of the participants will certainly sort themselves out among the four venues.
It is important to identify this geographical, but also sociological and political diversity, so as to be aware of the complexity of the Forum and to note the difficulty in bringing out an overall vision of the Forum. The Brazilian organizers, having no choice but to accept a distribution of venues in which to assemble a large number of people (at least 100,000 persons are expected), are also aware of the possible disparities, or even cleavages, that can be generated from among these different sectors. Hence the importance of contributing to making the whole of the operation as articulated as possible, while taking full advantage of the diversity of the cultures gathered in Porto Alegre.

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