What is the FSM?
The FSM (Forum Social Mondial) or WSF (World Social Forum) is an international event that brings together civil society groups, social movements, and organizations from around the world to share ideas and build partnerships in the pursuit of a more just and sustainable future. The forum is based on the principles of participatory democracy, non-violence, and respect for human rights. It is open to all those who wish to contribute to the construction of another world.
The FSM was first held in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil as an alternative to the World Economic Forum (WEF) held annually in Davos, Switzerland. The FSM/WEF is a gathering of business leaders, politicians, and experts who discuss and develop policies to address global economic and political issues. The WSF, on the other hand, brings together a wide range of voices from civil society, including social movements, NGOs, unions, and community organizations, to discuss and develop alternatives to the dominant economic and political systems.
The WSF is a decentralized and open-ended process, with no central leadership or decision-making body. Instead, it relies on the participation of civil society groups, social movements, and organizations to plan and organize events. This decentralized approach allows for a wide range of perspectives and voices to be heard and helps to build a sense of collective ownership and engagement among participants.
FSM has been held in various cities around the world, including Mumbai, India, Nairobi, Kenya, Tunis, Tunisia, Montreal, Canada, and Dakar, Senegal, among others. Each edition of the FSM focuses on different themes, but all are based on the principles of participation, non-violence, and respect for human rights. The FSM is an important platform for civil society groups, social movements, and organizations to come together, share ideas, and build partnerships for a more just and sustainable future.
The FSM conference, has no connection to Fenway Sports Management (FSM), a global sports marketing firm that specializes in partnership sales, brand consulting, and the creation of unique and memorable events and experiences, that includes some of the most storied names and venues in all of the sports, including the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool Football Club, New England Sports Network, and Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
Also, there are no business connections to Flynn Sports Management (FSM) which is a sports management agency
specializing in athlete representation in track and field and road racing with over 30 years of experience. fsm.org became a sports betting site that covers sports in North America and worldwide.
FSM 2016 Montreal
The FSM 2016 Montreal was a significant event that brought together people from around the world to discuss and develop alternatives to the dominant economic and political systems. This edition of the World Social Forum (WSF) was the first to be held in a North-Western country, and it was organized by a coalition of civil society groups, social movements, and organizations from Quebec, Canada, and around the world.
The event was held in Montreal from August 9th to 14th, 2016 and it brought together 50,000 people from 120 countries, 1102 organizations, and 1300 self-managed activities over 6 days. The WSF 2016 Montreal was divided into 13 themes that were spread across 11 locations in and around downtown Montreal. The event included artistic and cultural activities as well as 21 major conferences.
The themes of the FSM2016 Montreal were diverse and covered a wide range of issues related to the construction of another world, such as social and economic justice, environmental sustainability, human rights, gender equality, and more. The event was an opportunity for people from different backgrounds and perspectives to come together and exchange ideas, share experiences, and build partnerships for a more just and sustainable future.
The decision to hold the FSM2016 in Montreal was driven by the strong resistance to neoliberalism in the region and the ongoing struggles against Tar Sands and oil pipelines in Canada, the mobilization of indigenous peoples for their rights, and the strength of social movements. This edition of the WSF provided a platform for these voices to be heard and for the development of collective alternatives to the dominant system.
The FSM 2016 Montreal was an important event that brought together people from all over the world to work towards a more just and sustainable future. It was a platform for civil society groups, social movements, and organizations to come together, share ideas, and build partnerships for a more equitable and sustainable world.
What’s the goal of the FSM 2016 Montreal?
The goal of the FSM (WSF) 2016 Montreal was to gather tens of thousands of people from groups in civil society, organizations, and social movements who wanted to build a sustainable and inclusive world, where every person and every people has their place and can make their voice heard.
The event was held in Montreal due to the strong resistance to neoliberalism in the region and the ongoing struggles against Tar Sands and oil pipelines in Canada, the mobilization of indigenous peoples for their rights, and the strength of social movements.
The FSM2016 Montreal focused on issues related to the construction of another world, such as social and economic justice, environmental sustainability, human rights, gender equality, and more.
The event provided a platform for voices of resistance to be heard and for the development of collective alternatives to the dominant system.
FSM2016 Montreal aimed to address the gap between the 99% of the world’s population and the richest 1% and the negative consequences of austerity and structural adjustment policies.
The event was focused on the negative impact of corporate-dominated economic systems based on overproduction and overconsumption on the environment and the climate changes that threaten the integrity of ecosystems and the survival of humanity.
The FSM 2016 Montreal aimed to address the growing social inequality and the horizon of global warming greater than two degrees Celsius.
The event aimed to address the constant wars and migrations of populations as symptoms of a profound crisis of the system that feeds isolationism, hatred, xenophobia, and racism and tramples on human dignity and democracy.
The WSF 2016 Montreal aimed to continue building a global convergence of struggles for a world of social and climate justice by mobilizing social movements and civil society from across the world to gather in Montreal.
What was the FSM 2016 calendar?
August 9th: An important day open to the general public, inviting all citizens of Quebec and the Montreal region to gather around the desire to build a better world and celebrate the opening day.
August 10th-12th: The WSF 2016 featured 1300 self-managed activities organized by 1102 organizations that participants could explore. In the afternoon, there were convergence meetings, and in the evening major conferences and cultural programming were held.
August 13th: Agora of initiatives for another world, a gathering to present the initiatives discussed during the WSF 2016 and to gather the participants around action plans. The objective was to make links and possibly merge actions pursuing the same objectives but in distinct themes. The Agora ends with a festive event at Parc Jarry in connection with the Ecosphere Project.
August 14th: Back to the Future, the last gathering, a day to launch the call for citizen engagement, to symbolically and festively mark the end of the global gathering and the beginning of future common work. Collaborative artistic demonstrations followed by an Indigenous closing ceremony will inspire the attendees on their way to a world that is more respectful of people and the environment. The rally will end at 6:00 p.m.
The forum in numbers
- This year’s forum saw participation from approximately 35,000 individuals from 125 different countries.
- The opening march alone attracted over 150,000 participants.
- The success of the event was made possible by the efforts of 1,000 volunteers.
- There was a total of 1,200 activities, including 6 parallel forums such as the parliamentary forum, nuclear forum, and forum on the theology of liberation.
- There were also 22 assemblies and 22 large evening conferences, each with self-led activities and 1,500 participants.
- One notable conference was the climate justice conference with Naomi Klein, which had over 1,000 people on the waiting list as the room capacity of 1,700 was exceeded.
- The organizers made a commitment to change and evolve the forum by utilizing the assemblies for exchange, diversity, and action decisions.
The World Social Forum (aka FSM) held in Montreal, Canada, in August 2016, brought together 35,000 activists from social movements around the world. However, the event was marred by controversy as all participants, except those from the US and Europe, were required to obtain visas to enter Canada. This limited African participation as many were denied entry.
One of the most prominent cases was that of Aminata Traoré, a former cabinet minister in Mali, head of a large NGO, and a member of the WSF’s International Council, who was denied entry to Canada. Another group from Nigeria reported that only five of their group of 25 obtained visas. This led writer and translator Danica Jorden to observe: “Another world is once again being constructed without Africa”.
This controversy highlights the issue of visa restrictions and barriers faced by participants from the Global South, especially Africa, in attending the World Social Forum. It also raises questions about the impact of these restrictions on the forum’s ability to foster a truly global and inclusive space for social movements and activists to come together and exchange ideas and strategies for social change.