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World Social Forum (WSF)

Website: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br/

Category: Development

Year of Foundation: 2001

Location of Foundation: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Location of Headquarters: Sao Paolo, Brazil

Brief Description: The World Social Forum describes itself as 'an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among Humankind and between it and the Earth.' (Source: 'Charter of Principles' at www.forumsocialmundial.org.br; accessed 9 April 2010).

Founding Rationales:

The International Council (IC) of the World Social Forum (WSF) was set up to 'give continuity to the WSF beyond 2002, to consolidate the process of taking the WSF to the world level.' Its responsibilities were defined as: 'formulating WSF strategies; maintaining ongoing contact with international movements, campaigns, initiatives, struggles and other events; making the WSF a familiar presence in their countries and regions, fostering widespread participation and debate on matters and proposals identified by the WSF; promoting and supporting WSF meetings, identifying potential sites and encouraging participation; ensuring reciprocal political, thematic and operational action among WSFs; promoting and supporting the formation of Committees in their countries; together with WSF Organizing Committees, providing a structure for topics, methodologies, formats, identification and invitations to speakers and exhibitors; fund-raising.'

Source: Statement on 'Composition, Functioning, Nature and Responsibilities' of June 2001 - available from www.forumsocialmundial.org.br; accessed 9 April 2010.

Evolution of Participation in World Social Fora:

World Social Forum Participation Chart

Sources: www.forumsocialmundial.org.br; www.wsfindia.org (accessed 9 April 2010).