Since it was first organized in 2013, The Urban Social Forum (USF) has provided an open and inclusive space to discuss new ideas and share knowledge as well as lessons learned; and also become a place of gathering and networking for urban activists and organizations working on urban issues in Indonesia. With various innovative efforts through the years, The USF has reached more citizens from burgeoning cities all over Indonesia, Asia, and beyond. Utilizing the latest technology platforms, we remain steadfast in our mission of decentralizing the forum and spreading the spirit of urban activism to achieve greater impact.
In 2020, the USF as well as the rest of the world were faced with unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we didn't let the situation reduce the enthusiasm for urban activism. Instead, we saw it as an opportunity to set up online discussions with the support of our collaborators. Eights online public sessions have been organized on accessible platforms from May to August 2020, involving participants from various cities in Indonesia. Discussing a range of relevant urban issues, each of the sessions were organized through a video conferencing platform and are also streamed on Youtube, in collaboration with various peer organizations, community groups, and initiatives. Participants were able to join in the discussion, ask questions, and actively express their opinions through the eight online sessions.
Although the space has moved online, our mission has remained. USF believes in providing a safe space for important discussions and conversations on urban issues - which is even more crucial now as the pandemic has further exposed the impact of persisting challenges, such as inclusivity and mobility. Going online has also allowed for more open conversations and diverse participants.
Here, we have summarized eight online sessions below and took note of important insights which could be followed up. All the sessions are available on YouTube for you to revisit at any time!