This week's editor
Mandela: the global icon
In 2050, the World Social Forum entered its 10th anniversary since it became a globalised event, concurrently held every year in Beijing, Berlin, Johannesburg, New Dehli, New York and São Paulo. It was the year the number of participants broke the one million mark. Here participants enthusiastically debated about the creation of a more democratic, egalitarian and sustainable world system.
It is hard to pin down the exact beginning of this global movement. But the background is essentially this: over the past few decades, the world has become increasingly inegalitarian, both within and across countries, as the result of a blind faith in neo-liberalism; political systems are not really democratic; in democracies and autocracies alike, there exists a privileged class with seemingly unlimited greed at the expense of the rest.
A prolonged economic and ecological crisis three decades into the 21st century is all that is needed to ignite social movements which swiped across the globe. In 2034, the last World Economic Forum in Davos was held. The subsequent decade saw the downfall, one by one, of the old regimes. Replacing them were political parties with huge followings of grassroots, the have-nots, and young people holding the banner of ‘equality, dignity and morality’.
Conference participants are still grappled with the remnant challenges brought about by the vices of neo-liberal globalisation and capitalism. But we are beginning to see a move away from the polarising and inegalitarian nature of our obsolete system.