The Alternatives Debate

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GlobalU project for revisiting alternative theories and practices


GlobalU starts the new year in some countries in Southeast Asia and South Asia  (mid April) with the Alternatives Debate project. 


The Global U

Discussion among scholars and movement leaders on setting up the GlobalU started in 2009; the 30 initiators included Samir Amin, Francois Houtart, Vinod Raina, Sam Moyo, Isagani Serrano, Joao Pedro Stedile, Luis Lopezllera, Jorge Ishizawa, Remy Herrera, Susan George, Bernard Cassen, Mushakoji Kinhide, Muto Ichiyo, Francisco Nemenzo, Suthy Prasartset, Ed Tadem, Lee Jung Ok, Dai Jinhua, Wen Tiejun, Wang Hui, Lau Kin Chi, and others. The project was intended to contribute to further connecting thought and praxis among thinkers and practitioners. After several rounds of consultation, the official inauguration date was postponed from the Jan 2011 Dakar World Social Forum to the March 2015 Tunis World Social Forum, in order to allow time for involving 200 Founding Members and for preparatory work. Before the launch, two South South Forums on Sustainability (SSFS) were held in 2011 in Hong Kong and 2012 in Chongqing, with a dozen co-organizers, for direct interaction of activist-thinkers from all continents. Since the launch, from 2016 to 2018, three more SSFSs have been held in Hong Kong. In June 2019, the Sixth SSFS will be held. See for the video-recorded proceedings. 

In the past ten years, under the GlobalU, there are SSFSs, book publications, a multi-language website, library archives, E-Lecture series, Life and Thought interviews, and Featured Authors collections. Except for the SSFSs which were partially funded by some institutions, GlobalU has been run largely by volunteer work, on a small budget of private donations from members and friends, without funding from governments or foundations. This mode is feasible to keep a minimal, sustainable operation.


The Alternatives Debate

With the groundwork laid in the past ten years, it is time to rigorously pursue GlobalU’s objectives as stated in the 2015 inaugural statement: “What is needed is intensive and extensive global cross-fertilization of theories and practices to fundamentally challenge neo-liberalism and capital, promote viable forms of radical post-capitalist alternatives, and foster dynamic collaboration between and among movement activists and intellectuals.”

Here is a proposal on how to go about the Debate:


  1. Contributions should be succinct and critical, not more than 3,000 words for each piece, on the following themes, addressing urgent or paramount concerns AND positing alternatives:

          A. Revisiting alternative theories

               (eg., on global hegemony, regionalism, national issues, capitalism, peace processes, climate change,
                nuclear threat, neo-fascism, culture, agriculture, resistance, common, …)


          B. Revisiting alternative practices

               (eg., on specific experiences of resistance, movements, community self-management, ecological justice, …)


          C. Reviewing alternative organizing

               (eg., on people’s alliances, convergences, networks, World Social Forum, …)


2.  Contributions will be uploaded for open access on the GlobalU website. Real name of contributor will appear unless pseudo name is specified. Contributions can also be excerpts from published papers or books, and the latter may also be uploaded on the website under the contributor’s name. The contributor has the responsibility of ensuring there is no copyright violations.


3.  Contributions may be followed by commentaries or debates.


Let us start NOW!

Hopefully, there will be a keen interest in this Debate. The exchange may be in various languages, but if possible, please provide an English version. (Much voluntary help is needed for translations.)


A session on 30 June 2019 during SSFS6 is devoted to the Debate. SSFS6 will be live-streamed in English and Putonghua. All are welcome to attend SSFS6 on own expenses. Registration Form: 

Please send in your Debate contributions or comments with the attached form to [email protected]


GlobalU Executive Team

15 April 2019


Download the form here