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World Social Forums 2001-2022

The World Social Forum can be considered a visible manifestation of global civil society, bringing together non-governmental organizations, advocacy campaigns, and formal and informal social movements seeking international solidarity.

This article will give a detailed insight into the World Social Forums. This study will be of tremendous help to government job examination aspirants as the topic, in particular, is covered under the GK, current affairs and world politics sections.

What is the World Social Forum?

The World Social Forum is an annual gathering of civil society organizations that was first hosted in Brazil. The forum promotes counter-hegemonic globalization in an effort to create an alternative future. The World Social Forum prefers to describe itself as:

  • A permanent space and process to build alternatives to neoliberalism
  • An open space – plural, diverse, non-governmental and non-partisan
  • It stimulates decentralized debate, reflection, proposal building, experiences exchange and alliances among movements and organizations engaged in concrete action.

World Social Forum – Important Facts

The World Social Forums functions in a certain manner, every year. It’s vital to understand the facts and traits on how it operates. Read below to get a thorough understanding about the same.

  • This yearly summit of the anti-globalization movement attracts an average of 100,000 people around the world.
  • The World Social Forum casts itself as an alternative to the World Economic Forum organized in Davos (Switzerland).
  • It is a dynamic, open space, providing social movements and citizens from around the world – trade unionists, intellectuals, farmers, women groups, youth etc. with an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas about actions to be undertaken.
  • Promotes a world based on fairness and more human development.
  • The World Social Forum is opposed to the values of neoliberalism as defended by international institutions, multinational corporations and even by some governments.
  • The 11th edition of the World Social Forums took place in Dakar, Senegal in February 2011, but regional and thematic forums are also organized throughout the world.

World Social Forum (2001-2022)- Themes

The Human Rights Council chooses a new theme for the Social Forum every year. The themes are all associated with universal social issues. Given below is a tabular format of all topics surrounding World Social Forums since the 1st World Social Forum ever hosted.

World Social Forum- Year, Location & Themes
Year Location Theme
1st – 6th May 2022 Virtual Event Global challenges, local solutions
Solidarity in a changing world
2020- 2021 Virtual Gatherings Pandemic responses, social solidarity, and health equity
Digital activism and the future of social movements
1st – 2nd October 2019 Salvador, Brazil
  • Power, to transform the world
  • Defending social and environmental justice
13th – 17th March 2018 Salvador, Brazil
  • Resistance, rebellion, global alternatives
  • Defending democracy and people’s rights
2nd – 4th October 2017 Salvador, Brazil
  • To resist is to create, to resist is to transform
  • Afro-descendant and indigenous peoples’ rights
9th – 14th August 2016 Montreal, Canada
  • Another world is necessary, together it’s possible
  • Inclusive economy and climate justice
23rd – 28th March 2015 Tunis, Tunisia
  • Fanon: Fifty years on
  • Struggles against imperialism, racism, and authoritarianism
2014 Tunis, Tunisia
  • Dignity and justice for Palestine
  • Global resistance to imperialism and dictatorship
2013 Tunis, Tunisia
  • Dignity, rights, and freedom for the peoples
  • Democratic struggles and the Arab Spring
24th – 30th January 2012 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Crises of capitalism, ecological and social debts
  • The rights of peoples and the responsibility of governments
6th – 11th February 2011 Dakar, Senegal
  • Another world is possible: Let’s build it!
  • Empowerment of African social movements
2010 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Global crisis, social justice, and environmental sustainability
  • Indigenous peoples’ rights and struggles
27th January – 1st February 2009 Belem, Brazil
  • Crisis of capitalism and alternatives
  • Cultural diversity and social transformation
2008 Belem, Brazil
  • Rights of peoples and the environment
  • Economic justice and gender equality
2007 Nairobi, Kenya
  • Africa’s struggles for justice
  • Climate change and environmental justice
January 2006 Caracas, Venezuela
  • Popular struggles against imperialism
  • Social movements as drivers of change
26th – 31st January 2005 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Another world is possible
  • Inclusive development and alternatives to neoliberalism
16th – 21st January 2004 Mumbai, India
  • Empowerment of people against globalization
  • Solidarity with local struggles and resistance
2003 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Water as a commons
  • Indigenous rights and land struggles
  • Alternatives to corporate globalization
2002 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Peace, justice, and against war
  • Labor rights and workers’ struggles
  • Environmental sustainability
2001 Porto Alegre, Brazil
  • Counter-globalization
  • Opposition to neoliberal economic policies
  • Social justice and equity

Conclusion: Members of the global justice movement, also known as the alter-globalization movement, hold the World Social Forum to coordinate international campaigns, exchange and improve organizing tactics, and educate one another about movements from around the world and their specific problems.

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What is the World Social Forum (WSF)?

The World Social Forum is an annual gathering of civil society organizations that was first hosted in Brazil. The forum promotes counter-hegemonic globalization in an effort to create an alternative future.

How does the World Social Forum operate?

The World Social Forum provides an open space for social movements, citizens, trade unionists, intellectuals, and various groups to meet and exchange ideas. It opposes the values of neoliberalism advocated by institutions, corporations, and governments.

How many people attend the World Social Forum on average?

The yearly summit of the anti-globalization movement attracts an average of 100,000 people from around the world.

How is the World Social Forum different from the World Economic Forum in Davos?

The World Social Forum positions itself as an alternative to the World Economic Forum, focusing on promoting fairness, human development, and social justice.

What themes have been covered in World Social Forums?

Themes vary each year and focus on universal social issues. Some past themes include defending social and environmental justice, resistance against imperialism, empowering social movements, and advocating for indigenous rights.

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