Zusammenfassung des Abschluss-Plenums des Treffens des Internationalen Rates des WSF
am 24. September 2008 in Kopenhagen / Dänemark (in englischer Sprache)
General Summary from Plenary on 24th September
By Claire Courteille and Francine Mestrum
1. Analysis of the Conjuncture:
Several issues were identified as having an impact on the movements and the WSF, among them:
A call for flexibility was made so as to integrate those issues as far as possible in the program for Belem. There was consensus on the fact that WSF Belem must fit into the global context.
2. Report of the Working Group dedicated to Guiding Principles
WSF Guiding Principles -copenhagen 24sept II.doc
The first version of the document was rejected and a new version was presented. A proposal to add gender parity in WSF events was accepted. There was consensus on the fact that the document is "work in progress" and should be updated at the light of other WSF events which will take place. The new version of the document was adopted and is official as of this day. It will be reviewed each year.
3. Report of the working group 2010-2011
It was proposed to hold again a Global Day of Action which several IC members consider a success. However there was consensus that more consultation are needed to define the format of this GDA.
The IC invites the social movements, networks and organizations to use again in 2010 the tool of the GDA. We commit ourselves to consult and involve them in the definition of the GDA's methodology, date, content, duration and format. Following an assessment of the global situation, of the 2008 GDA and of the thematic and regional forums, a final decision on the format will be taken during the IC meeting of spring 2009. A working-party to prepare the GDA 2010 will start working as of today.
A first proposal was rejected. It aimed at making the decision for a WSF in 2011 in Africa conditional to an evaluation to be carried out in the next IC.
A second proposal was equally rejected. It stated: "According to the decision taken in Berlin and Abuja (quote of that decision), we urge African organisations to present in Belem a proposal for a WSF in Africa".
Elements in the discussion:
Consensus emerged on the following wording:
In accordance with the Berlin and Abuja decision Quote: "/The next WSF as a centralized global event after 2009 will take place in Africa (tentatively in 2011 subject to the global situation evaluated by the IC)/ the proposal for the 2011 WSF will be finalized in the next IC in Belem, where the strategy debate will go on. We urge the African movements to make a concrete proposal during the next IC. The liaison committee will prepare the discussion in cooperation with the involved commissions and organizations.
4. Report of the Communication Commission
The communication group has almost no resources to continue its work. Different projects have been set up, e.g. the Ciranda net, an action for the amazonic regions, a forum for TV/video activists and others.
Yet communication is a political tool. We should come to a self-feeding circuit of mobilization to communication to mobilization.
The wsf site openfsm.net should be used more and better
A world forum of media will be organized pre-Belem (2 days before) with independent media.
There is a worldwide participation crisis that questions the relevance of WSF existence. Communication is a very important political tool that WSF should use.
In order to achieve a more democratic WSF process, some kind of training program related to internet usage should be developed.
The next IC in Belem will have deeper discussion on communication issues
We commit ourselves to give a communication dimension to all our activities in Belem
5. Report of the Expansion Commission
- It is important to have the participation of indigenous communities (or primary peoples, autochthonous, originary ) in Belem. This also includes Rom people (gypsies), Adivasi, etc. This is not a matter of folklore, but is a highly political matter.
5.1 new organizations became members of the IC
_- Indigenous Commission_
6. Report of the Resources Commission
Rolando's work has stopped and there is in fact a real crisis. Commitments for Belem are still missing. Infrastructure issues for WSF 2009, however, is being taken care of by the local state government .
The budget for WSF Belem is 4,5 million $, only 1,7 million has been committed as of this day. There are negotiations with Petrobras. Some of the donors that might help the WSF are themselves in a financial crisis.
In the discussion it is stressed that indigenous groups should have priority in the solidarity fund. Discussions will have to be organized with the different commissions on how budget cuts can be realized.
A link will be put on the WSF site to donate money on line. Everyone is invited to raise funds for the WSF and to use the electronic link.
It is stressed that the question of financial resources is a collective and a political responsibility. In fact, this point should have been the first point on the agenda, since it is not realistic to make plans during three days and to realize on the last day that there is no money.
It is proposed
There was no time to look at the two documents of the resource commission. We will discuss them in Belem as a matter of priority.
7. Report of the Liaison Group
A short report was given on the *methodology,* the procedures and the calendar for a LG evaluation. A document will be sent around and a discussion will be organized in Belem. All the documents are avaiable at Openfsm.
COMISSIONS REPORTS AND FUTURE ACTIONS
1) Commmunication commission*
Comcom report in IC plenary 24th
C - Report of communication commission in Copenhagen IC 24th Evaluation and report
Towards financial autonomy
It is to be noted that a structured action plan was drafted inside the communication commission before the funding came, and this allowed convincing communication inside the process about the ability and willingness of the commission to work effectively.
Having an autonomous budget made it easier to structure and fine tune the implementation of the action plan work in various decentralized groups.
At the same time this autonomy allowed to be pragmatic IC and flexible in allocating funds to concrete tasks appearing very meaningful although they had not been foreseen in a first moment ( such as assembling a global report). Now the commission has applied for process funding for its core action and is also considering creative schemes to expand its action and make it sustainable.
Outcomes of GDA experience:
Parallel decentralized functioning of 10 working groups
24 press conferences held in the preceding week in January with a common core message
50 interconnections on internet
one website for global action day showing 800 actions in 80 countries and allowing global report 800 pages about them : www.wsf2008.net
one website for repository of video with 100 documents uploaded : www.wsftv.net
one website for general intercommunication on line inside open space of WSF on line to prepare for WSF 2009 : www.openfsm.net**
Negative points - Challenges for next period
Not created network of journalists
Not created for the media
Not able to go beyond GDA
Three months before Belém there are no funds for the process
Our commission contributions to Belém process
A/ supporting other commissions to use spaces in openfsm such as
-a space for discussion around Guiding principles for organising a WSF event (methodology)
-a space for preparation of GDA 2010 (communication expansion)
-11 spaces for facilitation of contacts between activities aiming in a same objective (methodology)
- 2 spaces for preparation of second day in Belém (methodology)
B / setting up 5 projects preBelém ciranda foro de radio amazonico TV's forum - laboratorio de conhecimento livre interconnexions space
- a space for networking between those that produce coverage and communication and those that want some information about WSF 2009
C/ Paying attention to the tools
Idea to Set up something for learning ot use openfsm.net during the wsf2009 communication flow during Belém - permanent process
Invite IC organisations to use more www.wsftv.net
Warning ! *There are currently no funds for development and hosting beyond Belém.*
D/ communicating about IC inviting All the activities in WSF to include an action of communication before or after Belém, and we as commission will support this
Virtuous circle between mobilization and communication : mobilize for communication then communicate for wider mobilisation. Connect the voices and proposals coming from the basis
No way to change event into the process without accompaniment in communication.
Our requests towards IC
E/ In the next IC have a space to debate on communication as a political tool - Communication debate in Belém
F/ set up a process for preparing next GDA
@ Space GDA 2010 preparation
G/ that media do not pay to enter in Belém space Permanent participation to global WSF open space In order to expand permanent participation to the world social forum process, it is necessary to facilitate access to virtual open space such asopenfsm.net to as many organisations as possible.
It is also necessary to be partially funding in a sustainable way free software communities politically articulated with WSF.
This digital expansion of the process can be performed through a diversity of local "WSF permanent participation " projects, that may interest donors, with a standard proportion of the fund raised being channelled to free software project providing those strategic intercommunication tools.
Communication commission will circulate a draft project to foster training to use WSF websites, and suggest how to organize them. IC organisations are invited consider using it for local expansion and fundraising initiatives keeping in contact with the commission
Intercommunication beyond distance in an expanding WSF process
A working group of the Commission is supporting development of horizontal inter-communication among all those who participate in the WSF process.
The aim of this effort is to help participants develop in a self organised way links between themselves regardless of distance and sustain intercommunication in the context of a permanent and decentralized process.
Moments of inter-communication through video-conferences, internet-chats and phone calls can be prepared in virtual spaces of openfsm.net, just like you prepare a meeting if you want it to be fruitful. The decentralized modality of participation to WSF 2009 which is called *"Belém expanded*" is an occasion to develop these practices, linking activities in Belém with activities anywhere in around the world, and allowing organized groups to exchange ideas and proposals regardless if they travel to Belém or not.
Communication commission invites organisations in IC to transmit this information to organizations and activists from our different countries and cultures that may want to participate to Belém expanded and to the development of forum social space They are welcomed in the space of www.openfsm.net where they can access the space called " Belém expanded" the working group for supporting interconnections with Belem and the intercommunication workgroup.
Invitation by IC to WSF 2009 expanded "Belém expanded"
The Global action day of 2008 started a dynamics of activities of various type towards "another possible world" in all the regions of the world, expanding the forum proposal.* *
From this experience, it was assessed that in 2009 decentralized activities linked to the forum event held in Amazonia could also be stimulated. This has the advantage to impulse the mobilization towards Belém, and, at the same time :
Decentralized activities may or may not create direct connections with activities in the forum in Belém The International Council invites organizations that want to participate in this decentralized way in World Social Forum 2009 to register themselves in the webpage www.fsm2009amazonia.org.br and indicate there their decision (in the organisation registration form there is an ítem " Belém expanded"). These organisations can then enter in the open space openfsm (www.openfsm.net ) and:
Make visible their activities, (also giving links to videos in www.wsftv.net )
Interchange, make contacts before, during, and after the event 2009 with activities located in Belém or in other parts of the world, interchange about methods and tools for connection (Space "Belém expanded" in openfsm ) .