From Brazil to Canada: What is a Social Forum?

What the World Social Forum Is:
The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where social movements, networks, NGOs and other civil society organizations opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action. Since the first world encounter in 2001, it has taken the form of a permanent world process seeking and building alternatives to neo-liberal policies. This definition is in its Charter of Principles, the WSF’s guiding document.

The World Social Forum is also characterized by plurality and diversity, is non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party. It proposes to facilitate decentralized coordination and networking among organizations engaged in concrete action towards building another world, at any level from the local to the international, but it does not intend to be a body representing world civil society. The World Social Forum is not a group nor an organization.

visit the World Social Forum: Another World is Possible website by clicking on the link below:

further reading:
The World Social Forum: Canadian contexts and questions By Janet Conway

Janet Conway
Associate Professor of Sociology – Brock University
Janet Conway teaches in the areas of social movements, feminism, and democratic theory. She is the author of Praxis and Politics: Knowledge Production in Social Movements, Routledge, 2006 and Identity, Place, Knowledge: Social Movements Contesting Globalization, Fernwood, 2004. Her work has appeared in journals in sociology, law, politics, geography and women’s studies. Her current research focuses on the World Social Forum. She is a long-time social justice activist in women’s and anti-poverty organizing, a founder of the Metro Network for Social Justice and  founding chair of the Toronto Social Forum. She is currently the chair of the Niagara Social Justice Forum organizing committee and the Canada Research Chair in Social Justice at Brock University.


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Filed under Niagara Social Justice Forum, World Social Forum

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