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2019: International networks meeting

Summary of the main conclusions from debates and collective building processes

 

Let's fall in love with WSFTE 

 

  • Goals and results

At the beginning of the meeting, the different goals of the process were discussed: to define and make visible good practices and existing alternatives, to converge among different movements and reinforce them, to link and share transformative experiences to create spaces of mutual learning, and to incorporate and debate proposals. 

At the same time, it was proposed that the process should generate results as a definition of “transformation” and “transformative economies”, a shared narrative for all movements, interaction at different levels (local-global), or the construction of a common agenda with influence on politics both at local and global levels. Influence, change and transformation on public policies, mapping of transformative practices (who are the actors and where are they located), exchange of good practices with a mutual reinforcement and continuation of the process after WSFTE are other expected results. 

 

  • Common agenda / agreement

Participants expressed the need of creating a common agenda from diversity . To achieve that, it is necessary to incorporate the different agendas from movements and networks, making visible that another agendas exist outside capitalist institutions. It has to be a practical agenda that includes other ongoing campaigns, It is also proposed to build a calendar of future events linked amongst them, not independent events without a common process. 

It is important to call different actors in the process, to keep unity amongst them and to have realistic expectations towards WSFTE. It is necessary to build a narrative which connects all different agents and set clear deadlines to move forward. Accepting World Social Forums framework implies the limit of not creating a deliberative forum. 

 

  • Visibilization act

Participants planned that WSFTE 2020 would include a big central act in Barcelona, combined with permanent activities to attract people, such as fairs or exhibitions, decentralized activities and a virtual mobilization. It was also proposed to organize activities like a big popular dinner in the street or different demonstrations, all of them to converge at the same point in the city. Barcelona’s port could be a possible scenario, linked to migration routes through Mediterranean sea, that are connected with capitalist domination system. 

Participants also pointed out the importance of linking Barcelona’s social fabric with WSFTE, and the possibility of linking it to the Solidarity Economy Fair of Catalunya (FESC) or festivals like Esperanzah! was also mentioned. Nevertheless, these ideas should be mediated by Barcelona local convergence. 

The need of organizing activities before the WSFTE, in different regions, was also underlined.

 

  • People to be called

Global feminist movements; indigenous communities; squatter movements (from rural, urban and suburban areas); fight against climate change; spiritual movements; schools, teachers and students of all levels; academia; movements of young people; food producers; people from rural communities; debt and social justice networks; degrowth movements; worker’s movements; unions; international cooperativist movement; universities; United Nations agencies; alternative journalism; digital economy linked to labour rights coming from digital work; LGBT community with a critic view against corporate power; agents linked to waste recycling; people linked to Liberation Theology; another forums similar to WSFTE; movements of men against patriarchy; agents from Asia and Oceania were mentioned as actors that should get involved in the process from now on.

 

Building the programme

 

  • Type of activities, spaces and itineraries

Participants say that it is important to have activities oriented to tdefinihe proposed goals, such as ng and making visible the good practices and existing alternatives, to converge among different movements and reinforce them; to link and share transformative economies in order to create spaces for mutual learning, and to incorporate and debate proposals. With these goals in mind, many options were proposed. 

For instance, one proposal was offering an agora with workshops, micro-workshops and micro-talks, like open mic spaces in a place, with interventions of a maximum of ten minutes to make easier the participation of many people. It was also proposed to offer guided visits to different projects of emblematic experiences from transformative economies. There was also another option to open self-managed spaces for the participants, trying to merge the proposals when they are focused on similar topics. 

Spaces for mapping, creativity and arts spaces, thematic assemblies, prizes or fellowships for good transformative practices (to help some collectives to come and participate in the WSFTE) and experience exchange spaces, with interventions of a maximum of 20 minutes were also among the proposals. Other spaces that should be included are empty rooms for meetings and networking, ludic spaces; spaces for health and care (open at any time), forum for children, activism schools, intergenerational spaces and even a ‘escape room’ game based on transformative economies. 

Activities in the forum could be organized in different itineraries, placing networks and movements in a specific space for these activities, while other spaces could be running in other places in the city. There must also be spaces for virtual participation for the ones who cannot attend the forum.  

It was also proposed that organizations can organize their meetings while in Barcelona, and also to have an agenda of activities before the Forum as, for instance, a database of good practices and knowledge that could be accessed before the Forum. 

A typical day in the Forum could start with an opening and panels about the specific topics that different axis illustrate, and then continue with specific workshops. In the afternoon, there could be a space open to confluence and building of the political agenda, the connections between territories and transversal ideas (caring, education, consumption…). The day would close with a plenary session and cultural activities. 

These are all ideas that should be made more specific by the contents and the methodology & facilitation commissions.

 

  • Actions and criteria

One of the main criteria mentioned is diversity and balance in terms of gender, ethnicity, etc,, and also to guarantee the presence of all movements and actions in a fair way. The balance is also a criterion in terms of methodology, combining expert panels with workshops, showcases… And it is also specified that there should be a balance between pre-organized events, self-managed events, and events that can be organized while the Forum takes place.  

The Forum aims to make transformative economies more visible, but it also has to transform people who participate in it. That’s why there should be moments to attend activities that are not related to the area of work of a participant, moments to attend debates, and moments to share. 

Spaces also have to allow movement and flow of activities and knowledge. Also, activities should combine practical side with theoretical vision, and also make visible the transformative power of each proposal.

 

Process articulation

  • International networks

International networks insisted on the need of finding members from each network in the different countries and regions that have had little participation in the process so far. They also spoke about internationalization of the different movements and transformative actions, and also to find experts of each area based in different locations. 

They also proposed to include WSFTE in the internal meetings of the networks and communicating it through their external channels. Also, they plan to have regional or continental meetings to prepare WSFTE, and also count with the possibility of programming the meetings of each network while the WSFTE is taking place in Barcelona. 

Involving other networks, organizing virtual events to promote participation in the WSFTE, participating in the content production or helping with fundraising are some of the tasks that international networks will have in the process towards WSFTE 2020.

 

  • Convergences, movements and transformative actions

Movements and transformative actions become references to promote the participation of other networks and organizations in the WSFTE process. Instead of articulating the process by using these axis, the proposal is to look for challenges or topics that are attacked by capitalism, and to work to find alternatives and answers that focus on life and acknowledge and respect all diversities in the search for solutions. In the WSFTE process, economy is understood as a space to answer common needs, recognising diversity. 

 

Friday 19th

 

Who is who? Governance model

After the debate on governance model, participants decided the creation of different working commissions:

- Communication and extension

-Logistics (based in Barcelona)

  • -Welcome and caring

-Contents

  • -Building a collective project
  • -Exchanging and mapping experiences
  • -activities to continue with the Forum

-Methodology and facilitation

-Economy (money + human resources + management of collective issues)

-Social creativity and arts

-International mobilization and promotion

- Virtual participation

 

These working commissions will be linked to the Coordination Committee of all process, composed by organizations and international networks. They will be supported by operational team. 

For governance, the organization criteria are: respect for diversity in all forms, transparency and democracy, keeping a structure related to goals and results, making governance a space for collective construction, promoting participation and contributions of different networks (with spaces that have organization, structure and resources) and keeping the link with other World Social Forums. 

 

Establishing the Coordination Committee

  • Organizations of Coordination Committee

In this space, representatives of different organizations signed up as members of the new Coordination Committee of the WSFTE 2020 process,  named the people in charge of this task and specified the working commissions that they will integrate. Coordination Committee is now composed by the following networks:

-Urgenci

-Colacot

-Global Platform for the Right to the City

-WoMin

-Systemic Alternatives

-Ecolise

-Ripess

-DAWN feminist

-REAS

-REMTE

-CITIES

-FMDV

-FEBEA

-WFTO

-AFSA

-Transform! Europe

-Campaña Currículum Global para la Economía Social y Solidaria

-Habitat International Coalition

-Commons Network

-Red de Mujeres del Mundo

-Remix the Commons

-XES

-Quebec colective towards WSFTE

-Barcelona hosting convergence


You can find more information about these networks in this link.
 

Action plan

  • Dates

WSFTE will be celebrated on June 2020, as it was agreed by participants. Barcelona hosting convergence will propose possible dates to be confirmed by Coordination Committee. This proposal will take into account all the contributions made during the debate. About the duration of the event. there were also proposals of having an event that lasts three to five days. 

  • Communications

In this space was offered a brief feedback of the main needs in communications area: translating texts into different languages, coordinating the work with contents or reaching wider audiences with the messages of transformative economies. 

There was also a presentation of the Forum Virtual, the tool that is proposed to be used for virtual participation from different locations.

  • Financing

In this space were exposed the main sources to fund the process and the income & outcome budget so far. You can consult them in the Financing section.

 

Closing

At the meeting's opening the words used by participants to describe their feelings on the international networks meeting towards WSFTE 2020 were these ones...

 

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...while at the end of the meeting, participants summarized their feelings by using these words:

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