Annual Forum

The “Common Action Forum” or Annual Forum is the yearly core event that gives name to the organization. It is an open initiative that gathers international references and experts, proposing long-reach debates, social awareness, and calls to action. Comprised of several public sessions of varying formats, this event touches upon the year’s most defining broader issues for the world. With each edition, CAF’s Annual forum aims to foster and mobilize collective critical thinking and synergies among participants, and to become a shared open platform for new initiatives.

Among other relevant topics, CAF’s annual forum has dwelled on the unsustainability of inequality, the flaws behind the idea of economic and social development, and the rise of polarization and xenophobic policies.

Below you will find the compilation of all of the “Common Action Forum” editions so far, including their complete programs, the thematic sessions, and their full lists of participants. After each event, a comprehensive report of its reflections and conclusions is published.

Photo_ Rafael Heiber_ CC BY 4.0

CAF 2023
Together, for the world

Brasilia, Brazil | 11-12 August, 2023


The assault on the “Praça dos Três Poderes” in January 2023, exactly two years after the insurrection in the US Capitol, symbolises the undeniable deterioration of democratic standards led by the loss of institutional trust, increase of corporate powers and a permanent campaign of reactionary groups. A half-century of neoliberalism has not only bequeathed us a planet on the verge of collapse; the triumph of the consumer over the citizen has also fragmented our societies, inflamed economic inequality, and driven the radicalisation of the right…

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CAF 2022
Democracy and the new progressive wave in Latin America
From the Bolivian experience to the Brazilian elections

Madrid, Spain | 12 September, 2022


The so-called “pink tide” of progressive governments in Latin America has been a milestone in the development of popular movements and leaders in the region since the 2000s. Before long, the reactionary wave that emerged as a response restored conservative governments in most of the territory, reviving the old ghost of coups d’état, albeit with renewed mechanisms. Today, after a new swinging movement, Latin America is living a political moment that seems to announce a return of progressivism to its institutions; threatened again by a new reaction. This time, one dangerously determined, and even more aggressive and sophisticated than the last. Amid growing polarization, marked by the abuse of public powers and justice, by the so-called “soft coups” and by disinformation, the response of reactionary forces threatens to go from the undermining of democratic principles to their complete dismantling…

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CAF 2021
Mobilities and mobilizations: transatlantic prologue for a cosmopolitan, connected and community-based future

Madrid, Spain | 18 November 2021


It took human beings nearly 300,000 years to spread out across the planet. Today, we can travel that distance in just a few hours, and digital communication allows us to cross another 50,000 miles in an instant. This transition has made us just as fragmented as we are global as a species. Today, 500 years after the age of colonization and 200 years after the second industrial revolution, the vast and unknown world is a network of interconnections and shared realities.

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CAF 2020
New dynamics in urban planning and international cooperation in the context of COVID-19

Chiapas, Mexico | 27 – 29 October 2020


It would be simple to claim that today’s world is irrevocably altered, but a quick glance back demonstrates that before SARS-CoV-2 emerged, geopolitical upheaval, economic conflict and social tension were sweeping through the planet. Increasing numbers of activists for the defense and protection of the environment have been warning about an escalating climate crisis.

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CAF 2019
A new path to development

Mexico City, Mexico | 13 – 14 October 2019


While development in past centuries has took the form of a linear, promising process that shattered physical, spatial and technological boundaries, a supposedly beneficial, limitless economic growth has given way to a landscape of social inequality, financial unease and stretching of ecological limits as never before.

The global citizenry and the intellectual, political and economic elites must invariably obtain a new regenerative heterotopia that goes beyond reformism to change conceptually how we think, act and exist.

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CAF 2018
Global racial polarization and right-wing politics

Johannesburg, South Africa | 10 – 11 November 2018


The Forum addressed how societies are increasingly antagonistic towards immigrants and minorities for reasons ranging from sociopolitical to economic and beyond, and examined the accompanying rise in radical anti-immigration and right-wing movements in Europe and throughout the world.

In this vein, the event explored the tribal tensions threatening development in Africa, the consequences of the refugee plight in Syria and how geographical borders are redrafted in a manner that leave countless internally displaced and without relief.

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CAF 2017
The limits to inequality: seeking a sustainable society

Madrid, Spain | 3 – 5 November 2017


The ensuing decades heralded the era of the information. Growth unavoidably encroached on territorial and ecological boundaries, and moreover expanded into financial and virtual realms, disposing of metanarratives.

Currently on a path that inevitably will reach the planet’s limit in terms of material resources and the volatility of the virtual ones, our societies now face inequality as the most imminent threat against both establishment and marginalized groups. This reality is not simply confined to economic considerations, but affects fundamental aspects of everyday life.

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CAF 2016
The rise of global fear: why is the world becoming less tolerant and more radical?

Madrid, Spain | 5 – 6 November 2016


The 2016 Common Action Forum sought to address emerging trends that threaten a cosmopolitan, international society united in solidarity. Events over the course of the year pointed to increased visibility of nationalisms, and a rhetoric of fear, on a global scale.

The Forum focused on the challenge of humanitarian crises and the policy and debate surrounding current migration flows, with examples from the North American, South American, European and African continents.

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CAF 2015
Steps of progress in times of crisis

Madrid, Spain | 5 – 6 December 2015


The 2015 Common Action Forum was held for its first time in Madrid intending to become a reference annual round-table event.

Six sessions served to address the structural change in the international system, analysing the reasons why global economic and political organizations have failed in the equitable sharing of resources and governance, resulting in the increase of the rate of poverty and marginalization worldwide as well as a pervasive feeling of injustice and exclusion.

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