It is official! The World Social Forum of Transformative Economies (WSFTE) 2020 in Barcelona will take place from the 25th to the 28th of June. Following the Charter of principles of the World Social Forum, this thematic WSF aims to highlight the initiatives of “transformative economies” in all territories, this “Other World that already exists”.

It is official! The World Social Forum of Transformative Economies (WSFTE) 2020 in Barcelona will take place from the 25th to the 28th of June. This thematic WSF will fully follow the Charter of principles of the World Social Forum, and aims to highlight the initiatives of “transformative economies” in all territories, and show that this “Other World that already exists”. The first international preparatory meeting in April, brought high hopes as well as numerous challenges. Great progress has since been made in the governance, participation and convergence process of the WSFTE. In the seven months leading up to the world event, which will be held in a Catalunya that has a strong tradition of cooperativism and solidarity, it is now a time to collectively build a programme that encourages the representation and expression of the greatest diversity of movements and regions, and stimulates the creation of local convergences at territorial level. This programme will gradually emerge in the run-up to the Forum.

Alongside the existing technical team working daily and based in Barcelona to operationalize the Forum mobilization, communication, logistics and financing, the internationalization of the WSFTE process is increasingly developing. That is why all decisions about the construction of the Forum are mainly taken within the 9 working commissions that are open to the participation of voluntary organizations and networks at international level.

The governance model has been lengthily discussed since April. It has now led to the creation of a dedicated body: the “Coordinating Committee”, composed of 23 international networks present at a second international meeting in July. This committee is responsible for moving the work of the said commissions forward and ensuring a representative, democratic, transparent and self-managed process.

Call for participation

In this new phase of the WSFTE 2020, it is more necessary than ever to recall that it represents not only a physical meeting (25-28th of June) but also a process that was initiated several months ago in order to collectively formulate a shared global agenda. As this agenda is supposed to represent the greatest diversity of territorial and global movements, an international call for participation in the WSFET 2020 is now being launched to all actors in transformative economies. Given the global challenges we are facing, paradigm change is only possible through the co-construction of education and public policies. This is why the promoters of the WSFTE have also chosen to make these two elements the transversal axes of the Forum process and call on all actors to become involved in the convergences.

At this stage of the process, the most effective way to discuss the axes of the WSFTE and prepare conferences and workshops for Barcelona is therefore at territorial level. The idea of this Forum is to promote and bring together individuals and organisations within “local convergences”, both territorial and thematic. A guide is being prepared to detail the objectives and tools for creating and joining these convergences and will soon be shared on the WSFTE website and Newsletter.

Some networks have already started working independently in Uruguay, Indonesia, Italy or France. The meetings can take the form of a “National Day of Presentation of the WSFTE 2020”, such as that held in Rome (Italy) on 9th of November. The 19th edition of the FRESS (ESS Regional Forum) in Toulouse (France), 22-23 Nov, is another example of convergence. It will take the form of a regional forum driven by local ESS movements. This year they will launch a call to converge with other transformative economies to debate and organize the participation of the Occitania region in the WSFTE.

Within RIPESS itself, a committee has been created to coordinate the participation of member networks in the convergences of their territory and to bring shared themes to Barcelona. This will be linked to the thematic working groups and RIPESS Global Vision of SSE. These convergences are the key to achieving an original WSF that will meet everyone’s expectations, i.e. an event with international scope and visibility, while keeping as its roots inter-connected local synergies that ensure a strong territorial anchoring.

The WSFTE’s alternative digital tools

To support this process, which is evolving in an inter-connected world, the WSFTE actors are carrying out a parallel reflection on the use of alternative digital tools. First, the Forum’s virtual platform (“Virtual Forum”) was launched at the end of the summer. This tool (created on the Decidim platform – we decide in Catalan -, a free, open digital tool) aims to provide a virtual workspace for commissions whose members cannot meet physically.

The site also provides the possibility of creating participatory debates or votes at any time and keeping track of them, including for those who will not be travelling to Barcelona.

As part of this dynamic, a “mapping” commission was also created. It met for the first time in the context of the WSFTE last September in Paris. Mapping initiatives are flourishing in the field of transformative economies. This is a way of re-appropriating territories while making projects, actors and knowledge of the other world that already exists visible.  The WSFTE in Barcelona represents a great opportunity to introduce the public to these new tools, but also to potentially create a global virtual map of the networks and organizations that have participated in the process, thus highlighting the extent of the interconnections created over time.

While awaiting the opening of the Forum registration process and more logistical information, we invite you to contact for any information regarding the convergences set up in your territory and to join a working commission, to share your questions and any other requests with us. To chat live with the organizers of the WSFTE, you can also join the International Online Meetings: the next session will be held in January 2020.