Tired but happy: an evaluation of the Forum and our participation

?Tired but happy? were the words used by a Mexican member of the delegation to sum up his evaluation of the Forum and our participation. The delegation met first in groups and then in a plenary to review three issues: the strengths and limitations of the Forum, our participation in the Forum, and, based on these, the suggestions for the future. We attempt to outline some of the comments that were made during the plenary session. As regards the Forum itself, the widely held general opinion is that the WSF remains civil society?s most important, open, plural, and non-partisan debating space today. There is diversity but all share a common story of suffering and hope. There were, however, voices that believe that the ?capital? of the WSF has been already spent, that this type of gathering has already reached the limit of what can be creatively produced. Repeating the same thing again may be a waste of time. One complaint was that there was too much rhetoric and little substance in the Seminars. As regards our participation, many good features were indicated: the joint participation of India and Sri Lanka has strengthened SAPI?s international character in the South Asian Assistancy. There were two ways through which we participated in the Forum: by attending and sharing with others we were fulfilling the task of evangelisation, of making the Church present; and second, through more focussed participation in panels and themes we added our expertise to the common pool of knowledge. Among the weaknesses many pointed out that the considerable distance from our residence to the Forum was an obstacle to participation in early events, and seemed sometimes like an exercise in endurance. Many felt that the daily reflection at he end of the day was a moment of grace and discernment, an act of listening to what the Spirit was telling us. Suggestions for the future were many and interesting: the Society of Jesus should, through a letter from the Latin American Provincials, commit her institutions to the international campaign against poverty; we may also adopt the 5-point declaration that Ignacio Ramonet (Le Monde Diplomatique) has been circulating; we need to reach the Forum with a clearer idea of what we want and with the concrete proposals we want to see carried; some of the Jesuit social networks like IJND, the migration network, and JRS for refugees may be able to channel common interests and thrusts at the Forum; we need to become more familiar with the most important international campaigns and ensure that our networks are in contact with them; we need to learn from the example of SAPI and increase and strengthen the presence of grassroots people and communities with whom we work at the Forum; and we need to promote the participation of indigenous people. All groups were grateful for the hospitality provided and, as one SAPI delegate put it: ?for the open and cheerful Brazilian touch?.