Looking Ahead : Revisiting the WSF, May 2020

Revisiting the World Social Forum

In 2020, there is renewed interest – within the World Social Forum and in some circles beyond - in the potentials of the WSF to play a role at the present juncture in world history, and keeping also in mind that January 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Forum in January 2001.  In the given situation, what directions should the WSF now try to move in ? 

Among other things, the International Council of the World Social Forum has taken the unprecedented step of convening an online debate on the future of the World Social Forum on June 27 2020.

Towards this, and following some exchange on World Social Movement Discuss (‘WSMDiscuss’), a listserve that has grown out of the experience of the WSF, we organised an online meeting to critically debate the issue, titled ‘Looking Ahead : Revisiting the World Social Forum’.  Held in the Viral Open Space on May 23 2020, it was announced through invitations posted on WSMDiscuss and other international listserves, and at https://www.viralopenspace.net/en/activities/looking-ahead-revisiting-the-world-social-forum.

This space contains material generated for, at, and after the online meeting :

·      Background documents

·      Meeting documents (including a video recording)

·      Papers received,

and where other related documents will be added here as things unfold.


The meeting on May 23 2020 was organised by Jai Sen and Gustave Massiah on behalf of the listserve World Social Movement Discuss.*



* Jai Sen is the list admin for WSMDiscuss and Senior Fellow at the School of International Development and Globalisation Studies, University of Ottawa (jai.sen@cacim.net); Gustave Massiah is a member of CRID – Centre de Recherche et d'Information pour le Développment, Paris, and represents CRID on the International Council of the World Social Forum (massiah@wanadoo.fr).