January 27, 2009 by Jason Brown
Dear Mormon Workers,
I just landed in Belem, Brazil to attend the World Social Forum as an unofficial delegate for the Mormon Worker (I am wearing my MW t-shirt). As a contributor to this blog I am planning to give daily updates and a few summary posts after it concludes and I have digested some of the content. I was lucky enough to get some funding from my school to come down with three others students. For those of you not familiar with the forum, please see: http://www.forumsocialmundial.org.br or the wikipedia page.
The Forum began in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, a south Brazilian city that implemented a Participatory Budgeting initiative in which citizens participate and vote through neighborhood assemblies on the priorities of the annual city budget.
The Forum coincides with the World Economic Forum that usually occurs in Davos, Switzerland around this time of year. In past years the forum has been held in India, Pakistan, Kenya, and Venezuela. The Forum’s slogan is “Another World is Possible” and is dedicated to providing a space for global social and environmental justice activists to discuss and debate tactics and solutions to corporate globalization, trade justice, and many more issues.
I have heard mixed reviews about the Forum, mainly that it is pretty decentralized and disorganized, but in the next few days I will try to post some thoughts and review some of the proceedings. Please let me know in the comments if you have any specific questions about the conference or the organizations involved.