"Another world is needed, together it's possible"
The graphic below shows the the animating spirit behind the several previous social forums since the first in Brazil in 2001 -
The problem is that in the twenty first century self-interest is not so rational. Contrary to a famous/infamous paper written by Garrett Hardin in 1968 it now appears to many that it is not the commons that is tragic but its "un-commons" counterpoint. Just as we cannot allow self-interest to ravage the environment we cannot allow economic inequalities to impoverish many for the benefit of a few. Things can't work that way any more. It is by collaborating and co-operating that the world has progressed to whatever degree of peaceful coexistence we have been able to achivee, even if it took the lunacy of world wars to make the point to much of the world.
The following may read as an argument for evolutionary change, but it's not. Few revolutionary changes of the kind the current economic system seems to require, especially after its latest breakdown in 2008, arise out of no pevous process; nor can they. Life, aka living things, don't work that way; what disruptive change arise from are multiple processes that at some point converge in radical breakage. What we describe below is a key economic change process that is ncessary for the construction of a genuinely social economy that serves all who live in it and by it. For the needed change to occur the private sector, still the largest economic sector in most developed mixed economies must change to practice sustainability, worker empowerment and community partnership (the values celebrated by TorontotheBetter since we started our directory in 2004), whether the agent of that change comes from within or without. And when it does it will do so not because it's right, or is forced to, but because to do so works better than the alternative.
Historically, since the advent of the industrial age in the nineteenth century the reformist approach to remedy the destructive consequences of the market system has been largely through government regulation, such as occupational health and safety standards. That there are more revolutionary approaches, sometimes effective, but sometimes not, will be the subject of another post, as will the issue of Evolution becoming Revolution.