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t i d e e n e w d n a e l b i s s o p s i d l r o w r e anoth

w o n t ir gh CIVIL SOCIETY TOWARDS

GRAP

GROUP REFLE OF AND S XION UPPOR T WORLD FOR THE SOCIA L FORUM www.g

rap.o

rg.br

rio+20


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Dialogue and decolonization of the imaginary. In order to make this different world possible, the dialogue needs to be our political culture. The dialogue is essential to the construction of platforms between different movements, activists and social organizations, and also to reach the general public. The dialogue must be accompanied by a new way of seeing the world, the break with capitalist values, and the decolonization of the imaginary.

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green economy does not solve the problem. The promotion of the “green economy”, one of the main mottos of the official Rio + 20, organized by the United Nations, is a mitigation action that will not solve the planet’s social and environmental problems. A large part of the Earth’s population faces problems with the access to food, water, health and sanitation. Global warming is getting worse, and the extractive industry and the agribusiness increase.

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right now

Post-capitalism. The appreciation of life, well being, social justice and the nature’s rights are central in this other world we are searching for. Competition, commodification of life, racism, and patriarchalism will give place to equality, cooperation, tolerance and well being. The state will decentralize power, develop multinational characteristics, and respect the diversity and the indigenous populations.

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Civil society towards Rio + 20. Networks and social movements have defined during the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar (Senegal) a schedule of discussions and demonstrations for a different world and a new paradigm of civilization. The program will culminate in a side event to the Rio + 20, on June 4-6, 2012. Until then, there will be public demonstrations at the G20, at COP17, the Conference of Cochabamba, on the rights of the Earth, and a Social Forum in preparation for the Rio + 20.

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a different world is possible and we need it

Crisis of civilization. The current global climate, energy, food and financial crises converge in a crisis of civilization. The challenge is to overcome the capitalist order and the social, environmental and cultural aspects it involves. A different world is possible and necessary right now.


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Boaventura de Sousa Santos Carles Riera Edgardo Lander Emilio Taddei Esther Vivas Gustavo Soto Iara Pietricovsky Janeth Cuji Joan Martínez Allier João Antônio Moraes João Whitaker José Batista de Oliveira Ladislau Dowbor Lilian Celiberti Luiza Bairros Luiz Arnaldo Campos Magdiel Carrión Pintado Maher Al-Charif Manoel Messias Melo Marco Deriu Nadino Calapucha Patrick Mooney Patrick Viveret Roberto Espinoza Rubens Born Silke Helfrich Susan George Virgínia Vargas

his manifest is the result of “The quest for alternative civilization paradigms and the social transformation agenda” seminar, presented during the 2011 World Social Forum, in Dakar, Senegal. Organized by the Group of Reflection and Support for the World Social Forum (Grap), the seminar discussed world’s problems, and ways and proposals to overcome the capitalist order. In total, 28 activists, researchers, government’s and organization’s representatives participated in the seminar (check alongside the list of speakers). The event was held in the Goethe Institute in Dakar and lasted for two days, February 8 and 9. Two hundred people attended each day of discussion. This manifest is also a call to stimulate the civil society to organize and demonstrate itself in favor of a different world. This manifesto is a provocation to discuss and advocate a different paradigm of civilization. To get in touch with us, write to secretariagrap@gmail.com

grap - Group of Reflection and Support for the World Social Forum

www.grap.org.br Editing and production:

Augusto Gazir Filomena Siqueira Marina Ghirotto Laura Lisboa Luiz Antonio Barata Vitor Castro Layout:

Mórula Oficina de Ideias Ilustration:

Paula Santos

Published under Creative Commons license. Some rights reserved: Attribution. You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor. Noncommercial. You may not use this work for commercial purposes.

Share Alike. The speeches in this manifest were edited. You can find the complete version of the speeches as well as more details about the seminar in the website www.grap.org.br.

If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.


Maher Al-Charif French Institute for the Near East

To conceive an alternative civilization, some principles are necessary. First, a people’s right to freely choose the path to its development. The political democracy may not be separated from the economic democracy. There must be articulation of fights against the exploitation of nature, revision of the concept of progress, ethics allowing the control of the scientific evolution, and respect for cultural diversity.

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he World Social Forum has since 2001, its first edition, proclaimed that “another world is possible”. The first Forum, in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, was born as a counterpoint to the World Economic Forum, a symbol event of Neoliberalism, which gathers governors, intellectuals, businessmen and investors in Davos, Switzerland. Ten years later, Davos is not as strong as it used to be, and neoliberal governments were replaced by progressive alternatives, mainly in Latin America. The world, however, has not become a better place to live. The reasons and the alternatives for this world and its crises were the theme of a seminar which gathered about 200 people, during the World Social Forum 2011, in Dakar, Senegal. People at the seminar, activists, researchers, governments’ and organizations’ representatives, took part in the construction of the Forum, in the last decade. The seminar “The quest for alternative civilization paradigms and the social transformation agenda” consisted of 28 lectures (segments of these speeches can be found throughout this publication) and was based on the idea that only the critique of neoliberalism, simply being anti-Davos, was not enough.


As Boav entura Sousa S faced c apit alis antos p m ut it du i s the sam to overc ring the e as a ve ome th event, “ e capit a get arian a huma cultura list orde t i g l relatio e n r ” . The ch r and th ns it inv allenge e social olves. i , enviro s nment a Crisis l and of Civi lizatio n The t as k is urg ent. Th In rece e reason nt year s, the w for this and the o is on th rld has disprop e news f a c ed, due ortiona every d crisis si l power to finan ay. nce 192 of corp c i a l 9. specula oration Part of t i o s , n the wor the seve st econ n billio problem o mic n inhab s in the it ants o access tion an f t t h o e plane d healt food, w t goes t h. Glob ater, ho hrough al warm using, s anit atio ing is g etting w n, educ aorse. L egitima ted by

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e crise what w s are conv erging i . We do or the ll explode first, energ the fo n’t know y prob is the od b le pr catast oblem. I ca m. The conv ubble ll it s ro low m ergence our he phe, and o otion ne of lples o sness u towar r challeng ds it. es is the neo-developmentist wave, the extractive industry and agribusiness increase as if the planet’s resources were endless. While the climate conferences fail and countries prioritize economic growth at any cost, the emphasis of some scholars, governments and international organizations is the reform of capitalism, palliative measures, such as packaged under the “green economy” label. However, it is not enough to repair or replace some parts. The financial, food, climate and energy crises converge. We live a “slowmotion catastrophe”, summarized Ladislau Dowbor. It is the crisis of civilization. A different world is possible and we need it right now.

Post-capitalism This other world, this post-capitalist civilization, will be organized around the appreciation of life. The preservation and respect for the limits of the planet will be central. Nature’s rights will be recognized. Social inequality, competition, the commodification of life, consumerism, persistent racism and patriarchalism will give place to social and environmental justice, cooperation, tolerance, sharing and well


Edgardo Lander Central University of Venezuela

Patrick Mooney

In Latin America, the political fights are very rich, but there is very little theoretical thinking for the future. We live in a schizophrenic world which recognizes that the current model is unsustainable but the every day demands take us in a different direction. There are expectations that the progressive governments might respond to the people’s necessity, but at the same time this is funded by extractive business, agro-export and by the commercialism. If you were minister of Education or Finance, what would you do?

being. According to Silke Helfrich, “we will change the logic of goods and economic wealth accumulation to the logic of commons”. “There´s no law that says that democracy has to stop at the border of politics, and can never go into the economy”, highlighted Susan George. The political structures will accompany the transformations. The state will need to decentralize power, develop multinational characteristics, and respect the diversity and the indigenous populations. There shall be participatory and equalitarian global governance. The construction of this alternative will not be easy. This is a process of political and cultural debate. A new paradigm depends on changes in the way of seeing the world. Gustavo Soto mentioned the limits of social movements that were successful in overcoming neoliberal governments, as it happened in Bolivia, but failed to win over the capitalist and developmental mentality. The “decolonization of the imaginary”, defined Marco Deriu, is a vital effort to overcome the crisis of civilization. Lilian Celiberti also presented an important effort. She asked for the acceptance of the dialogue as a political culture, not only to form alliances and platforms among different movements and social groups, but also to stimulate and influence the general public.

ETC Group (Canada)

The crises are converging, and so are the proposed solutions to solve them. We have been told that the solution for the crisis of energy resources and raw material is technology, nanotechnology, which allows industry to construct from atoms and molecules. They are saying that we no longer need raw materials. We are being told that we no longer need to worry about the decline of fossil fuels, for what can be done by a dinosaur can also be done by a plant; all we need to do is control the planet’s biomass. The third threat of the convergence is related to the climate changes. We are being told that the industry will geo-engineer the planet out of this crisis, but industry has already geo-enginnered the planet into the climate chage. Due to this convergence, industry and governments say they need a new alliance to guarantee the control they need over the planet. These are the threats our civilization faces.


Magdiel Carrión Pintado

Emilio Taddei

National Confederation of the Communities of Peru affected by Mining - Conacami

In Peru, our communities and indigenous people had their territory invaded by extractive companies. Today we are joining other organizations in the fight, demanding that our rights be included in the Constitutions of the Latin American countries.

University of Lanus (Argentina)

The many movements criticizing extractive model present a new horizon. A critical perspective of capital and civilization is emerging as part of social and environmental fights in Latin America.

Iara Petricovsky exemplified: “The people in the favelas establish themselves as citizens through a language different from ours. We need to set connections to other languages and experiences that go beyond the World Social Forum”, in order to not “lose track of our history”.

Rio + 20 and the plan for mobilization For us to be in the right track, the Group of Reflection and Support to the World Social Forum (Grap), which organized the seminar in Dakar and edits this manifesto, is promoting, with the help of other networks and social movements, a schedule of discussions and mobilizations for a new paradigm of civilization. The program, approved at a meeting dur-

ing the last World Social Forum, will culminate in a civil society event parallel to the Rio + 20 Conference, in Rio de Janeiro, on June 4-6, 2012. Until then, movements, organizations and activists from different sectors and places will meet for the G20, for the United Nations conference on climate (COP17), in Durban, Confederation of the Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador – Conaie South Africa, for a second conference in Cochabamba (Bolivia) on the rights of the Earth, and for a Social Forum in preparation for Rio + 20, in Porto Alegre, in the early 2012. The demonstrations will also be a protest against the G20 and COP17, and the exclusionary way as these meetings are organized and make their decisions without the active participation of society, without the necessary transparency. The

Janeth Cuji

The exploitation of oil and timber and mining affects the indigenous territory. We are strengthening the communities, working with themes such as autonomy, the nationality of the indigenous people and the possibility of an indigenous government in the communities.


Marco Deriu

University of Parma (Italy)

The emergence of alternative paradigms depends on our ability to waive ways of thinking that are obstacles to the changes we want. There has been a colonization of the imaginary, and the change also involves us and not just the world around us. The age of development has ended and we should abandon this paradigm. This development process teaches us some lessons. Growth does not guarantee the satisfaction of our needs but it creates new demands. He has beckoned his wealth and freedom to all, but it was provided only to a limited number. Poverty is not over, new types have emerged. For the first time, we are aware that the future will be worse than the present moment. The same civilization which invented the idea of progress is now threatening the existence of mankind.

official Rio + 20, for example, established as one of its central themes the promotion of the so-called green economy. In February 2011, the United Nations recommended the investment of 2% of world GDP in these activities to stimulate economic development and improve the environment. The so-called corporate environmental responsibility, the official incentives to industries and businesses that pollute less and other mitigation actions will not solve, however, our debt to the planet. Believing in the green economy is like believing in Boaventura Sousa Santos’s “vegetarian tiger”.

Tigers eat meat Capital lives of constant explotation of new natural resources and new markets. The capitalist development will always be unsustainable. As said by Nadino Calapucha, “we have heard a lot about development, but we have experienced destruction, violation of human, environmental, social and cultural rights.” An evidence of this paradox, that is thinking that the ideology of economic growth is compatible to nature preservation and to social equality, was given by Esther Vivas: the production of food has never been greater; however, there are

Roberto Espinoza Ubuntu Network and World Network of Collective Rights (Peru)

If we shutdown Belo Monte and the Vizcatan dam, we will reach Rio + 20 with more force. We have to articulate a broad network among local movements to win victories that will guide the global fights. The way of mitigating climate change, the path of adjustment, is not the solution. As Leonardo Boff would say, it is like entering the kingdom of shadows. The problem is not that the climate is changing naturally; there is a climate aggression.


Esther Vivas Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University Pompeu Fabra (spain)

Bolivia started a very interesting political process in 2000, the defense of the right to a common good, water. This led to the mobilization of different sectors of society and resulted in the emergence of a popular government. The process motivated the discussion on topics such as water, indigenous rights and environmental issues that are now part of the Bolivian social and political agenda. These issues have become constitutional rights. This is the good part. The other part is what brings us to this seminar: the limits of social movements that were successful in overcoming neoliberal governments, but failed to change the capitalist mentality. How is it possible that governments which come from a popular origin still repeat the same old development that enslave and binds us to an unbridled capitalism?

JosĂŠ Batista de Oliveira

Center for Applied Research on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Bolivia)

Landless Worker’s Moviment – mst (Brazil)

Gustavo Soto

the fight for land has reached a bigger dimension than the agrarian reform. Now, we fight for the natural resources, for water, for agriculture and for food sovereignty.

The movements for food sovereignty are central in the fight against capitalist globalization. Food sovereignty is an alternative paradigm to the agroindustrial model that has led us towards food and rural crisis. There are millions of people starving, while we produce more food than ever. There is food for everyone, but not everybody have access to it. The rural workers lose their autonomy to produce and the consumers lose control of what they eat.


millions of starving people in the world. In today’s agribusiness, she said, “rural workers lost their autonomy to produce, and consumers have lost control over what they eat.” No wonder the movement for agrarian reform won a “bigger dimension”, noted José Batista de Oliveira. In a world where the food became a commodity for speculation, the fight of the landless is now for natural resources and food sovereignty.

indignation and emotion The situation of a country like Nigeria illustrates the contradictions of capitalism. Largest oil producer in Africa, Nigeria is a destination for investment; it has a growing middle class; and recently it has registered growth above 5%. However, health and education are collapsing, and most of the 150 million people live in poverty.

Carles Riera Escarré International Center for Ethnic Minorities and Nations – CIEMEN (Catalonia)

Civilization along with capitalist economic growth developed certain types of social interaction, a model of social organization of the relationship with nature and with the territory. Therefore, the whole system must be questioned. We also have to question both the local and international model of political organization, built to ensure economic accumulation and growth. We need distinct political structures allowing greater political and social participation. We need to find in the diversity local models to help us adapt to different necessities, and structures that would lead us to global governmental agreements. Now-a-days, Nation States do not allow any of that.

Nadino Calapucha Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of the Ecuadorian Amazon - CONFENIAE

We have heard a lot about development, but we have experienced destruction, violation of human, environmental, social and cultural rights. Therefore we propose multinational states, a truly participatory and democratic state, where all opinions are respected. In Ecuador, three brothers are in jail on terrorism charges for defending our water, because they think differently, and more the 150 indigenous leaders are being persecuted for the same reason.

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Commons Strategies Group

Silke Helfrich

I will try to confront the values of the dominant paradigm with the paradigm which I call commons. While the market focus on producing and selling, in the alternative paradigm we focus on what we need, the use value. In the dominant paradigm they always talk about scarcity, resources and allocation of resources. We are trained to compete against one another, but in the alternative paradigm there is enough for all if we share. It is not about the resources. It is about the way we relate to each other regarding resources. In a modern common space, negotiation process is based on the uses interest of the resource. It means a change from the monopolization of power to decentralization. We have to switch to the idea that our development depends on the development of others. This way we change from a logic of wealth as accumulation of goods to the idea of commons.

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Manoel Messias Melo Workers Single Central – CUT (Brazil)

By criticizing the capitalist model of consumption, we can not deny the consumer’s right. For example, the access to communication technologies is essential and, in order to be universal, it requires an energy solution. So, is the answer denying this right or maintaining it and giving the development of alternatives the necessary priority? It is not enough to stop the consumption as it is today, denying it to those who have not got that right would be unfair.


The data is from the British newspaper, The Guardian, which concludes: “The truth is that Nigeria is a failed state with regard to the provision of safety, health and education to its population, but a state of success for

those who own, control or benefit of its dynamic economy.” In this world, 2.2 million people die of diarrhea a year. “20 Boeings 747 falling and killing 6 thousand people a day”, said Rubens Born. About 10%

of the world population lives poorly. “Every year, the world generates 8 million favela inhabitants”, affirmed João Whitaker. Rubens Born protested: “It’s an absurd that all this is not part of the glob-

Joan Martínez Allier Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain)

The dependence of the North on raw material from the South, Africa, Latin America and Indonesia, has never been greater. The south sells cheap raw material and buys expensive products. The good news is that this generates resistance, and the world is full of environmental justice movements.

Luiz Arnaldo Campos Pan- Amazon Social Forum

The Brazilian Ten-Year Energy Plan foresees the destruction of 5.3 million km2 of the Amazon forest to build 61 new dams, of which 15 will affect environmental preservation areas and 13 will violate the indigenous territory. In addition, 45 thousand km2 will be flooded and 13 thousand indigenous will be dislodged due to the building of two hydroelectric dams in Peru.

Iara Pietricovsky Institute for Socioeconomic Studies – Inesc (Brazil)

Culture and politics have to be taken into consideration so that we can recreate our perception of the world, speak beyond our own territory, speak, for instance, to the people in the favelas, who organize and establish themselves through a language different from ours. We need to set connections to other languages and experiences, beyond the World Social Forum. If we don’t expand our languages, if we don’t work multidimensionally, we will lose track of our history.

João Antônio Moraes National Federation of Oil Workers – FUP (Brazil)

There’s no way out to the energy issues if we don’t consider consumption. We already consume around 30% above the planet’s ability to renew itself. The environmental issues lead us to a discussion about the distribution of resources. It’s essential to give most of the population access to the resources, but that will only be possible if the energy industry profit really is for the people. The more people debate about it, the more chances we have to succeed. A new discussion of the patterns of consumption depends on that.


al agenda. We need to rescue the principles of indignation and emotion.”

João Whitaker

A different world is possible and we need it right now.

In 2010, 10% of the world population, which means 830 million people, lived in favelas and 8 million people are add to this number every year. In cities such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi and Bogota, where an average of 50% of the population lives in favelas or informal settlements, the tragedies and injustices of capitalism like poverty, racism, intolerance, violence against the poor, floods, landslides, waste debris production and diseases like cholera are very common. The same way the poor are given the dream of one day being rich, the underdeveloped city is given the idea of reaching the development. This model creates the ideology of consumption, saying it would generate new jobs, but in fact it is disastrous because it stimulates the concentration of income and increases poverty.

University of São Paulo (Brazil)

Boaventura de Sousa Santos Lilian Celiberti Marcosur Feminist Articulation

We need to transform the dialogue in a political culture, a pedagogy to the deconstruction of the colonized, racist and homophobic ways of thinking. We need a new praxis; we need to modify the logic of power in which some fights are more important than others. Ten years ago, the fight against neoliberalism was very important, but now our priority is the articulation of agendas. In ten years we have acquired some ability to incorporate learning from other movements, from the social ecology and its fights, from the movements that discuss racial issues, from indigenous and women movements. We have to create common agendas, create collectives with the ability to be heard and interact. A joint agenda is the challenge.

University of Coimbra – (Portugal)

The World Social Forum has evolved significantly in the past ten years. In the beginning it was focused on the neoliberalism principles. According to many people, there was not a criticism of capitalism but a criticism of unbridled capitalism. Well, a human faced capitalism is the same as a vegetarian tiger. It is going to be harder for us to sustain our work only criticizing neoliberalism. It’s about criticizing capitalism and colonialism, which are still present in our society. Thinking of the old as the bases for the new is very difficult. We cannot get anywhere unless we decolonize our minds and knowledge.


Our network is working to build an alternative to war and to the clash of civilizations, because we realized that capitalism takes advantage of such wars between civilizations, and not only internationally. I live in a suburb in Paris and I noticed that the problem with interaction between different civilizations is present in the neighborhoods, between different cultures in the city.

Dialogue en Humanité network

Patrick Viveret

Marcosur Feminist Articulation

As racism causes many disadvantages or advantages both symbolic and materialistic, we need to stimulate the discussion on the still strong permanence of racism to the present days. I want to highlight two major issues, the first one is the ability of capitalism to operate via inequalities. It creates and incorporates inequalities to strengthen its exclusionary nature. The second one has to do with individuals, with the formation of the white people as the universal individual, to the point where they are rarely perceived as part of a racial group. We live a schizophrenic situation, in which a black identity has been established when there is no white identity. For this reason our fight seems to be endless.

Virgínia Vargas

Minister of Promotion of Racial Equality in Brazil

Care is very important to the survivor of the people and the planet but it is not considered part of the economy. The care economy is a central condition to an alternative paradigm. A social pact between men and women, modifying the gender condition of work and breaking the female monopoly of the private sphere, is essential. I believe this strategy would stimulate human beings’ interdependence relation in the everyday life.

Luiza Bairros

Rubens Born Vitae Civilis (Brazil)

According to the United Nations Environment Program, 2.2 million people die of diarrhea a year. It is the same of 20 Boeings 747 falling a day and killing 6 thousand people. It’s an absurd that all this is not part of the global agenda. We need to rescue the principles of indignation and emotion, so that we mobilize and demand action. Our solidarity to the future is a consequence of our ethical responsibility to this planet. Another principle is building alliances and communication. In order to be historical agents of transformation, we need to communicate with large audiences. Our dilemma is how to build a sustainable new world acting in an unfair and evil one.


Another world is possible ane we need it RIGHT NOW