Local Futures reports from the World Social Forum, Nepal 2024

Compiled by SCA Staff Writers 

Alex Jensen of Local Futures, a Systems Change Alliance (SCA) member organization, reports that the World Social Forum Nepal 2024 brought together 50,000 individuals and 1,400 organizations from 98 countries in Kathmandu from February 15th to 19th.

This gathering echoed the original WSF’s core belief from 2001 in Porto Alegre – the possibility of creating ‘another world’. Participants shared a rejection of neoliberal globalization, corporate power, and militarism, advocating for justice, solidarity, and sustainability.

Key themes included climate justice, debt cancellation, agroecology, and solidarity economy. Despite diverse perspectives, a common goal emerged: steering away from corporate control and inequality toward political and economic democracy.

“A brief glance through the 27 pages worth of offerings during the Forum,” according to Jensen, “gives a taste of the massive diversity of concerns, broadly focusing either on resistance to the status quo, or on alternatives to it, and sometimes a combination of both.”

Critical offerings included:

• ‘Resisting False Solution on Climate Change’
• ‘Impact of Privatization on Public Services’
• ‘Fighting against Ecocidal Multinationals’
• ‘Mobilizing Against International Financial Institutions’
• ‘Resisting Free Trade in South Asia’

There were also many constructive initiatives:

• ‘Agroecology as a Transformative Approach to Tackle Climatic, Food, and Eco-systemic Crises’
• ‘Let’s Create Our Own Money’
• ‘Staying Hopeful and Sustaining Ourselves as Activists and Organizers’
• ‘Agrobiodiversity and Community Seed Banks’
• ‘Revitalizing Rural Reconstruction Movements: Addressing Multiple Crises’
• ‘Decent Work and Care Economy’

Local Futures was involved in several sessions at the Forum. Among these were the following organizations:

• Digo Bikas Institute from Nepal, which helped organize the Forum. Digo Bikas has participated in past World Localization Day events, and translates Local Futures’ materials into Nepali;
• Kalpavriksh from India, which was instrumental in starting the Vikalp Sangam/Alternatives Confluence process that networks hundreds of organizations and thousands of social-ecological initiatives across India. Local Futures has been a participating member of this network since its launch a decade ago;
 • Bilaterals.org – focusing on news and critical analysis of free trade agreements;
• Zambia Alliance for Agroecology and Biodiversity – part of the African Food Sovereignty Alliance;
• Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) – an international network which is resisting international debt from countries to financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF.

The Forum highlighted the urgent need for global collaboration in challenging the current system and exploring alternatives, marking a significant step in the ongoing struggle for change.

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