I attended the World Social Forum in Mumbai in January 2004. It became clear to me during the five days of the WSF that there is a common theme underlying many of concerns and campaigns that make up the anti-globalisation movement. There is anxiety that globalisation entails the rolling back of the boundaries of the state, to the benefit of business; and that businesses now enjoy political power which is too great.
The critiques of privatisation, public private partnerships, liberalisation, intellectual property and patents and trade liberalisation all have at their heart a sense of disquiet that the balance of power between the state and business is tilting in favour of business and away from the citizen.
Most of all, however, I came away feeling challenged and energised in roughly equal measure.
I am immensely fortunate to have a job in which I have the opportunity to think about these issues, and make some contribution to their solution.