From Dakar to Barnsley: Northern Social Forum 2011

The World Social Forum took place in Dakar, Senegal 6 to 11 February. Its mantra of social change ‘another world is possible’ proved especially resonant as anti-government protests rocked Tunisia and Egypt in the north. Because of these momentous events, one blogger says:

 “… the forum became the backdrop of opportunity against which activists come together to project into the future plans and activities of change imbued with a new sense of hope. The WSF was and is, after all, the space where activists meet and share experiences, knowledge, imaginations and practical plans for action. The full mandate, the full vision, of the WSF seemed to have been given a renewed, compelling, illustration.” 

There are a growing number of protests, campaigns and debates happening regionally here in Yorkshire & The Humber as well as around Britain, with women, students, public sector workers, community groups all talking about the need for change. For example, the recently formed Sheffield Universal Education Colllective The Yorkshire Community Activists Network   and Leeds Coalition of Resistance.

The 2nd Northern Social Forum, to be held on 24th May 2011 at Northern College, near Barnsley, aims to provide an opportunity to exchange views and experiences across sectors in relation to the Big Society; the pros and cons of volunteerism; volunteers’ and workers’ rights; with a focus on the UK experience but within a global framework.

Also to produce concrete outcomes including: guidelines for fair play for volunteers and a statement to be sent to local MPs (with issues to raise at Prime Minister’s Question Time).

Anyone interested, please see further details in the invitation letter and the provisional programme. We are asking people to return the application form by 21st April to secure a place.

NSF2011 Invitation



For more information on the World Social Forum 2011, see picture gallery at The Guardian Global Development  and the related blog.

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