The World Social Forum is an open meeting place where groups and movements of civil society opposed to neo-liberalism and a world dominated by capital or by any form of imperialism, but engaged in building a planetary society centred on the human person, come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, for formulate proposals, share their experiences freely and network for effective action (see the Charter of Principles). The WSF proposed to debate alternative means to building a globalization in solidarity, which respects universal human rights and those of all men and women of all nations and the environment, and is grounded in democratic international systems and institutions at the service of social justice, equality and the sovereignty of peoples.
Eight organizations are part of the Secretariat, which has an office in São Paulo (Brazil), and is in charge of the Forum process coordination. The eight entities that have started the organization of the first WSF – Abong, Attac, CBJP, Cives, CUT, Ibase, MST and Social Network for Justice and Human Rights – form this secretariat.
When WSF moved to Mumbai, an Indian Organizing Committee (in charge of organizing WSF 2004 in Mumbai, India) has been set up. The IOC has been integrated to WSF Secretariat afterwards.
General political issues as well as discussions on WSF future and the annual events methodologies are discussed and followed by the International Council, which is currently formed by 129 organizations.
For the fifth WSF edition, a Brazilian Organizing Committee (BOC) has been set up by 23 organizations, divided in eight Work Groups: Space, Solidarity Economy, Environmental and Sustainability, Culture, Translation, Communication, Call for Action, Free Software (linked to Communication WG).