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This page is meant to provide people new to the Social Forum process with some relatively short background material that can help provide some of the key pieces of the forum's history and an orientation to the major political debates in the forum. It also provides those working in the forum with documents that can be helpful to ongoing discussions.


The US Social Forum National Planning Committee and other leaders of grassroots organizations and networks met in Philadelphia to discuss the road to the next US Social Forum. Participants in the meeting made the following recommendations to the USSF National Planning Committee:

Recognizing that we are moving towards building a national convergence of a US Social Forum of a new type, and that this might take the form of a large-scale convergence in a single city or a decentralized forum held simultaneously in multiple cities, these consensus recommendations will be brought to the NPC for a formal decision.
• PMAs or other local assemblies will be used to build towards and follow-up national USSF convergence.
• We will organize some sort of national USSF event/activity/convergence in 2014.
• Date of a national USSF convergence will be no later than 2015

To help build towards the next US Social Forum, we invite those in solidarity with the World Social Forum to get involved.

Background on the US and World Social Forums--History and Evolution of Thinking about Transformative Global Movement Building

US Social Forum Updates: The regular e-newsletter of the US Social Forum provides useful background and analyses of the political unity, debates, and strategic thinking about the US and World Social Forum process. In addition, readers can learn how different groups have engaged with the USSF process and developed projects that follow from social forum convergences.
NOTE: ADD DOCUMENT ON The US Social Forum's Intentionality: Privileging leadership by low-income people, people of color, and those most excluded and marginalized by global capitalism.

World Social Forum Cartography of the Future Thematic Discussion:--This report emerges from ongoing conversations in the WSF that seek to build upon the lessons from the WSF and other social movement convergences over the past decade. It considers the current political moment of crisis and how the WSF process can contribute to building the planetary citizenship needed for transforming the global economic and political order. As the document states, "We are in a planetary dispute for hegemony and our initiative has to be the contribution to create irreversible citizenship movements, with projects and ideas endowed with a mobilizing strength."
Is the World Social Forum of use for popular struggles? Are the social forum formulas adequate to that effect? by Samir Amin
"Mobilizing against the crisis, mobilizing for “another democracy”: comparing two global waves of protest" Donatella della Porta, Interface Journal (2012).
"Connecting social movements and political moments: bringing movement building tools from global justice to Occupy Wall Street activism" Jackie Smith, Interface Journal (2012).
Report of the World Social Forum Future of the WSF Working Group: This document reflects the current state of discussion and dialogue about how to address ongoing tensions in the WSF process over representation, leadership, and building a radically democratic and responsive movement for global transformation.
Lessons from the US and World Social Forum Process: This analysis compares the practices of the US and European Social Forums to identify lessons about building radically democratic and inclusive spaces of movement-building.

Key Documents of the USSF process USSF Political Unity

Additional Documentation and Evaluation of USSF 2010

Ideas for Discussion

Supporting convergence around shared goals