August 12, 2016 : Your last chance for the grand conferences

12 August 2016

Press Release

For immediate release

World Social Forum 2016

August 12, 2016 : Your last chance for the grand conferences

Montreal, August 11, 2016 – The World Social Forum (WSF) is proud to do an overview of the many conferences and activities that will take place during the day of August 12. There are several hundreds of self-managed activities, as well as around forty cultural activities and more than twenty art and photography expositions that will take place around the World Social Forum territory in downtown Montreal.


Press conference

Friday August 12th the Grand conferences will be preceed by a press conference. This will be held at “La Maison du développement durable”, at 50, rue Sainte-Catherine, Saint-Urban room. World social forum co-coordinator Carmina Mac Lorin will be present to answer the questions to the medias. We will also have three spokepersons for this conference.

Rutger Bregman: Basic Income, a Major Social Innovation for the 21st Century.


Lawrence Carter-Long: Audism et ableism : two “isms” too often forgotten.


Will Prosper : Strange Fruit : Making common cause for a racism-free world.

Grand Conferences

August 12 is the last day to take part in one of the grand conferences offered by the WSF. On August 12, seven Grand Conferences with special guests in their fields who will come from all over the world will take place. The Grand Conferences will happen from 6 PM to 7:30 PM, in different places.

The World Social Forum is proud to present the conference From Africa to the Americas, Women Fight for Their Rights, which will take place at McGill University (Leacock wing – room 132), where activist speakers from all over the world will come to talk about their experiences. For this occasion, Bertita Caceres, daughter of Berta Caceres, environmental and human rights activist who was murdered in Honduras in 2016, she pursues the fight led by her mother for women’s and indigenous rights, Itzel Gonzalez, activist for women’s rights, she is part of the Red mesa de mujeres, which is linked to the World March of Women of Mexico, Shalmali Guttal, intellectual and Indian activist, previous president of FEMNET – Mali, she is an important figure of the women’s movement in Mali, committed since 30 years for African women’s rights and peace, and Aminata Traoré, intellectual, scholar, sociologist and previous Minister of Culture and Tourism of Mali, will all be present. She is an activist of global justice committed in the fight against liberalism.

Like the two previous days, UQAM will be the host of two conferences. In the Alfred Laliberté studio-theater, there will be the conference Confronting Israeli Apartheid : the Role and Goals of BDS, where four Palestinians, who have practiced their activism on a global scale, will discuss the means to face the Israeli apartheid, and will explain how the societies of the world can contribute to bring justice for the Palestinian people.

The Marie-Guérin-Lajoie room, in the Judith Jasmin wing, will receive the conference Arab Spring, 5 years later. Egypt as an example. Five years ago, popular uprisings began in all the countries of the Middle East. In Egypt, the Arab Spring brought a lot of hope. The people’s aspirations have not been suppressed, like they had been in other countries. Maha Azzam, president of the Revolutionary Council of Egypt, Ehab Lotayef, founding member and president of the Egyptian-Canadian Coalition for Democracy, and Harroon Siddiqui, columnist scholar of the Toronto Star who has covered more than 50 countries in his career, will all be present to discuss Egypt’s case.

For this last day of the Grand Conferences, Manon Barbeau, filmmaker for many organizations since thirty years and founder of Wapikoni mobile, in collaboration with many partners, and Melissa Mollen-Dupuis, innu, originally from Ekuanitshit, on the North Coast, animator of Native Montreal, comedian, and very much involved in the cultural and indigenous community environments, will come to discuss during the conference Creation and Resilience. The Precious Power of the Inconsolable at the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT).

Concordia will also hold a conference in the Hall H-110 wing. Basic Income, a Major Social Innovation for the 21st Century will be presented. The goal of this conference is to show how the basic income can be a major social innovation, whether it is through the presentation of its position amongst social measures or through a concrete example of implantation. Many experts will be present for the occasion, including Karl Widerquist, associate professor at SFS Qatar at Georgetown University, and co-president of the Basic Income Earth Network, Nicole Teke, international coordinator of the French Movement for a Basic Income, Marcus Brancaglione, libertarian activist of basic income and of direct democracy, and others.

Finally, it is at Complexe Desjardins that the conference Audism et ableism : two “isms” too often forgotten will take place with the American activist Lawrence Carter-Long, Pamela E. Witcher and Laurence Parent, doctorate in Social Sciences at Concordia University, she also holds a masters degree in disability studies from York University and a Political Science degree from UQAM. Laurence lives in Montreal and is passionate by activism in the field of disabilities, as well as the history of disabilities and mobility.

Hundreds of self-managed activities by organizations from all over the world

The WSF 2016 is a space that gathers self-managed activities that are organized by 1,102 organizations. The participants themselves decide what the activities will be about, whether it is discussions, workshops or artistic performances. These activities will concern different themes related to current topics like the democratization of knowledge and the right to communicate, economic, social and solidary alternatives facing the capitalist crisis, and the defense of the rights of nature and environmental justice. In total, many subjects that will be addressed during discussions, conferences and workshops will stem from these 13 themes.

Organizations like the Fédération des femmes du Québec, Équiterre, the Festival du cinéma engagé, the RDIM, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the Institut du Nouvea Monde, the International Panel on Social Progress, the Observatoire jeunesse Oxfam-Québec, and many others will take part in the WSF this year.

Cultural activities for everyone

During the day, there will also be many artistic performances, plays, dance, music and action. A workshop on bare feet dancing, a musical show and a conference on the awareness of mental disabilities, and many musical performances will be offered. The cultural activities will take place at the Monument National, the Place de la paix, the Scène de la Place du Village and Sainte-Catherine street.

Many screenings of documentaries will take place starting at 9 AM and will majoritarely be screened at the Sainte-Catherine Theatre and at the Mai. Many screenings will occur with the presence of the directors, including There is Garden, by Ali Atassi, who will be accompanied by Yassin Haj Saleh, Syrian writer, whereas other screenings will be followed by discussions with the public. La leçon de l’escargot will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker Sylvie Lapointe. Five other screenings will take place during the day.

General Information

The full programming:

Online registrations:

Representatives of media will be invited to a press conference at the Société des Arts technologiques (SAT) on August 12 at 8:15 AM to do an overview of the activities that will take place during the day.

World Social Forum

The World Social Forum is the largest gathering of civil society that aims to find solutions to the problems of our time. Created in 2001 in Brazil, the WSF gathers several tens of thousands of participants for more than a thousand activities (workshops, conferences, artistic performances…) centred on different themes (social development, solidary economy, the environment, human rights, democratization…).



Katia Stuart-Gagnon

Responsible of Communications

[email protected]



Mathilde Ouellet

Media Relations

[email protected]