The opening plenary press conference is going on as I write. Very long introduction on the eleven autonomous spaces and interplanetary humanism, but more than an hour in Portuguese with no simultaneous translations so I can't give too much detail.
They handed out a summary of the forum by the numbers (again in Portuguese only, so I may be missing some key stuff). It includes:
- 111,000 people registered as participants (up from 100,000 in 2003, 60,000 in 2002 and 20,000 in 2001)
- 2,000 activities under the eleven themes, organised by 5,700 different groups from more than 100 countries
- 16 Languages in the meetings, including arabic, japanese, hebrew, hebrew, guarani, qechua, wolof , bahasa indonesian and russian (as well as the major european languages)
- 150,000 square metres of space constructed for the event - equivalent to 18 football stadiums the size of Maracanâ (much of it made from recycled materials).
- 5,421 full time journalists accredited plus 1,294 freelancers
O, and thousands upon thousands of people meeting up in bright sunshine beside a huge river for a massive party simply for being alive (did I almost miss that out?)