APCNews reporters cover the 6th Polycentric World Social Forums of Bamako and Caracas in four languages
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) provides online coverage of the World Social Forums (WSFs) happening on three continents this year. While Bamako hosted the first in a series of three consecutive WSFs, Caracas is presently filling up with participants from the world of NGOs, grassroots social movements and the socially engaged from all over the Americas. During 10 days, between January 19 and 29, follow frequent updates on APC blogs, articles on ICT-related workshops and conferences with APCNews, as well as in-depth reports on GenderIT.org and the Africa and Latin American & the Caribbean ICT policy monitor portals.
Hey, consider checking out Open Flows to get the latest update about the presence of free and open source software (FOSS) present in Caracas for the World Social Forum. The article Open Systems for Open Politics by Stefania Milan (IPS correspondent from Italy) gives you a couple of quick facts about the open information systems in place. She says that “All of about 1,000 computers at the forum are using free software. The official website has been developed for the first time in ‘php’…” and it goes on. Great resource.
One of the most stimulating opportunities for democratising communications offered by the internet was discussed in the “Radio and internet: the great technological challenge” workshop, organised by the Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela. The activity was moderated my Santiago Garcia, technical consultant of the non-governmental organisation Passionate Radio Broadcasters out of Lima, Peru.
The role of the WSF is to help us ask the right questions when we return home.
Regarding the initiative of launching a continental campaign for information rights, I’ve got the impression there is a real integration of all of the Americas. And you’ve got the chance to have Telesur, a true international alternative television. What’s interesting too is to hear the voices of people from North America. So it’s not something isolated, it’s definitely a continental initiative, and not only sub-continental.
Frédéric Sultan – Vecam, France
If you’ve ever seen six degrees of separation you may remember the scene where Stockard Channing keeps repeating chaos, control, chaos, control, you like, you like? as she flips a two-sided painting back and forth (I think it’s a Kandinsky). I can think of no better way to illustrate the World Social Forum. It’s both and neither.
For the last few years, APC has been working closely with other organisations and a large group of Kenyan civil society organisations and business to transform the national ICT policy. At last, a national ICT Policy has made it all the way!
A little something for everyone at the World Social Forum…
Just getting to the World Social Forum one knows that another world is possible. On the plane from Atlanta most passengers – if not all – were heading to the WSF. This led to a different kind of plane ride. Without even mentioning reading material – Mother Jones and a Venezuela Primer instead of Time and Dr. Phil – people on the plane were just different – they were in better moods, interested instead of agressive, talking instead of blackberrying, and of course many many nalgene bottles. Two hour delay? No problem. Smiles all around… There are worse things. We all looked at each other secure in the knowledge that even though we didn’t know each other we knew who we all were.
APC is undertaking a study of the participation of ‘developing’ countries and non-government actors — including civil society — in the recent World Summit on the Information Society and its associated fora, such as the Task Force on Financing Mechanisms and the Working Group on Internet Governance. It is being coordinated by Professor David Souter, of ict Development Associates ltd and University of Strathclyde.