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World Social Forum

Future of the ForumFuture of the Forum: Relations of power & strategies of transformation (January 28, 2006)

Edgardo Lander: problems that many panels were registered that didn’t take place, and no way to monitor or regulate that. Also, many more people registered for the forum than came. A lot of proposals had to do with power and state relations–500 of 2000 registered in this track. Now the forum is much more explicitly political.

Virginia Vargas: agrees w/ Lander. Forum doesn’t have to overthrow imperialism, but it is a mission of social movements within their own diversity. Doesn’t agree that WSF should become a revolutionary political subject. Multiplicity of actors even if we are against imperialism; we have to take into account the dimension of feminists, homosexuals, etc. who are not traditionally included in revolutionary subject.

Roberto Savio: 3points: 1) establish new networks & alliances; 2) create new ideas (?); 3) make stronger when return. Need new mechanism–reduce fragmentation of small panels and instead organizing working space where people can work together on common agendas to change and make a better world.

Thomas Ponniah: 1) best ideas not in forum but outside going on outside in Venezuela; learn more from VZ & be in solidarity. 2) every year proposal for unified global proposal, but against this–great strength is in balance between unity & diversity, tho unity should not overwhelm diversity. Unity would explode forum–common from internationalisms throughout history. Few want to return to vanguard politics. How to facilitate articulation of ... 3) gender: panels dominated by men, but audience is majority women. Men dominate production of knowledge. This is the most obvious hierarchy at forum. Neoliberalism isn’t only capitalism but also sexism–violates sense of equality & prevents us from building stronger movement.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos: Forum victim of its own success. Need to understand context of forums also meeting in Mali & Pakistan. Different issues there.

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