Every year, during the WEF in Davos, there is also an alternative summit – the World Social Forum – taking place somewhere in the world. The goal of the WSF is to create a world where people matter more than profit. This year’s forum was back where it has all began: Porto Alegre in Brazil, where the World Social Forum was born in 2001. The motto “another world is possible” has since then made its way around the globe. It has since then grown as a connection between social movements, grassrootss organizations, NGOs and other civil society bodies. The WSF sees itself as “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.”
The strenght (and possibly also weakness) of the WSF is its diversity and high level of democracy. It conceives itself as “characterized by plurality and diversity, is non-confessional, non-governmental and non-party.” Having no real central body – since every forum is organized by a different committee – it is based on the charter of principles.
The 2012 version of the forum has been in the light of preparation of the upcoming in Rio+20 summit. Climate Justice is one of the important terms which have been discussed in Porto Alegre. “The World Social Forum functions like a laboratory for the development of an alternative agenda for the official Rio+20 summit in June, said the coordinator of Greenpeace Brazil, Pedro Torres.” Culture – not money – should be used as a substantial basis for sustainable development, they believe. But also human rights, ecology and feminism, urban sustainability and consumerism can be found on the waste program.
According to TAZ, the WSF has welcomed the actions taken by the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring and other social outcries which have been heard in the last year. They all agree on wanting a real change in the world’s system. In that sense: “É preciso reinventar o mundo – It’s time to reinvent the world.”