World Social Forums

The World Social Forum (WSF) is a process of global convergence founded in Brazil in 2001 under the slogan “Another World is Possible.”  From its roots in the anti-globalization movement, World Social Forums have provided a space for activists from all over the world to meet, debate and discuss strategies. The events have been crucial in building global movements against war, poverty and environmental destruction. Click here to read the Charter of Principles and a chronology of dates and locations of annual World Social Forums.

Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ) was born through conversations at the World Social Forum (WSF), a vehicle created by the global justice movement to define alternatives to neoliberal policy. The social forum process was a key vehicle in the founding of GGJ to achieve our mission, which is two-fold: 1) Develop capacity for grassroots organizing organizations to engage proactively and strategically with international social movements to confront neoliberal global policies, and 2) Strengthen national grassroots movement building efforts.

After the 2005 World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, the US Social Forum National Planning Committee was created by the WSF's International Council designating Grassroots Global Justice Alliance as the core group. The National Planning Committee included over 45 groups, who would oversee the fiscal and political responsibilities of the US Social Forum.

The US Social Forum (USSF) process advanced several key movement relationships and organizations, such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Excluded Workers Congress, Solidarity Economy Network, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA), Media Action Grassroots Network, among others. In addition it helped to establish relationships among movement leaders to form collaborations like UNITY (formerly the Inter-Alliance Dialogue), an alliance of alliances that sunsetted in 2014. In 2013, GGJ stepped down from the National Planning Committee of the US Social Forum after extensive consultation with our membership, in order to prioritize building other important movement vehicles like Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) and the World March of Women US chapter.

In the process of organizing for the World Social Forum 2013, the Climate Space began as a block of climate-related workshops to create a venue for discussing the causes of and alternatives to climate change. After the forum, it developed into an ongoing global people’s climate process through a network of 30 international organizations like ATTAC France, ETC Group, Focus on the Global South, Global Forest Coalition, Grassroots Global Justice, Indigenous Environmental Network, La Vía Campesina, Polaris Institute, World March of Women, and others.

GGJ serves on the International Council of the World Social Forum and continues to organize delegations to the World Social Forum process. See the sidebar for reports and analysis from recent World Social Forums.