EIOS 1 and 2 Evaluation Report

EIOS 2 Session I: Open Space, Marginality, and the World Social Forum

The first EIOS II session involved roughly 30 people in addition to the Integria group. The session began with a brief introduction to the EIOS project, followed by a report back from EIOS I. Several EIOS I participants then made presentations on marginality and the WSF, based on their own papers and our discussions at EIOS I. We then broke up into small breakout groups, before coming back together for a final plenary. The most interesting development in this workshop was the presence of a German man who was a self-described “conservative.” He wondered why there weren’t more like him at the WSF, and felt like he was also part of an excluded group. This introduced another element to our examination of inclusion/exclusion. Up until that point, we had only considered the exclusion of marginal people from the Forum process, but this brought up the issue of the exclusion of other groups, including those which are powerful. Some were initially dismissive, arguing that the Forum had legitimate political boundaries, and that those who fall outside those boundaries are rightly excluded. However, in the small group discussion with the German conservative, he revealed that he did believe in markets, but was against neoliberalism. Although few of us shared his specific politics, we realized and agreed that he too had the right to have a space at the WSF. Through the process of engaging with a particular “other” across political and cultural differences, we came to realize that we did indeed share a great deal of common ground and thus opened our space a bit further. Other groups expressed different forms of exclusion at the WSF, including the Dalits during the Indian experience, the gap between experts and non-experts, as well as financial, digital, language, and gender divides. We continued to discuss all these themes during the large group discussion. Although the session was not as well attended as we would have liked, we enjoyed a rich exchange and opened the EOIS project up to several new people.

Contributors to this page: Subramanya (Subbu) Sastry and jai .
Page last modified on Wednesday 13 of July, 2005 20:11:35 IST by Subramanya (Subbu) Sastry.

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