TOES was founded by TOES/UK, now the New Economics Foundation. The first TOES conference was held in England in 1984 when a variety of individuals and groups concerned with social justice and the environment decided there should be a peoples' response to the G7 (now G8) summit held in London that year. Ever since that time, TOES has contributed, in one way or another, to Peoples' Summits held in all the G7 countries. The first TOES gathering was held in England in 1984. From 1985 to 1987, TOES met in the UK and sent a delegation to the G-7 summit city. Beginning in 1988, TOES has convened every year at the site of the G-7 Summit. TOES has brought together academics and activists from both industrialized and third-world nations to challenge the assumption of the official summit that global economic policy affecting 100 percent of the world's people can effectively be made by the leaders of seven nations representing less than a quarter of the global population. In 1988 the newly formed TOES/North America sponsored the Toronto TOES as part of the Canadian-organized Citizens Summit; and in July of 1989, TOES/France held an alternative summit in Paris: L'Autre Sommet Economique.
TOES '90 in Texas drew over a thousand people from 40 countries and every continent. TOES '91 was in the UK, TOES '92 in Germany, TOES '93 in Tokyo, and TOES '94 in Italy. Australia is not a member of the Group of Seven, but that hasn't stopped the Australians from holding TOES-Australia conferences in 1993, 1994, and 1995. From 1985 to 1987, the New Economics Foundation held TOES conferences in the UK and sent a delegation bearing a statement to the country where G-7 summit was being held. TOES-USA was founded in 1987, and in 1988 held the Toronto TOES conference as part of the Canadian-organized Citizens Summit. In 1989, TOES-USA sent a delegation to the very successful French-organized alternative summit in Paris L'Autre Sommet Economique, which drew over 1000 participants TOES-USA held its first conference on US soil in 1990 in Houston, Texas, with the theme "Voice of the people for a change." A joint effort of TOES-USA and many local organizations, the conference drew over a thousand people from 40 countries and every continent. In 1991, the TOES conference returned to London and was organized by the New Economics Foundation, with participation by TOES-USA.
TOES '92 was in Germany, TOES '93 in Tokyo, and TOES '94 in Italy. Australia is not a member of the Group of Seven, but that didn't stop Australians from holding TOES-Australia conferences in 1993, 1994, and 1995. In 1995, there were several TOES-USA sections at Canadian-Organized People's Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Three local universities offered courses covering G-7 issues, and students were required to attend the Peoples' Summit. A local radio station devoted considerable air time to analyzing both summits and linking the issues raised to the local economy. In 1996, French groups organized several contre sommets in Lyon, France. In 1997, TOES-USA partnered with local organizations in Denver, CO, to hold a its second conference on American soil, a "Peoples' Summit" with the theme: "Working Alternatives: A World that Works."
In 1998, TOES returned to England for a third time, and again the New Economics Foundation sponsored a "Peoples' Summit", this time in Birmingham, England. In 1999, a consortium of German groups sponsored "Alliance Cologne 99/Bündnis Köln 99" in Cologne, Germany. Summit 2000 in Okinawa, Japanwas organized by Japanese groups. The 2001 G8 Summit Genoa, Italy, turned deadly when police harassed legitimate popular responses to G8 policies and one protester was killed. After 9/11/2001, the G8 adopted a fortress mentality as sites for the G8 summits in Kananaskis, Canada, in 2002 and Evian, France, in 2003, were chosen to be as inaccessible as possible. This year's site at isolated Sea Island, Georgia, continues this trend. Happily, as the G8 leaders became ever more isolated behind ever bigger barricades, press coverage of the various popular responses to the G8 Summits got better and better. We hope to be able to show them the many ways - from economic analyses to economic strategies -- by which people everywhere are taking control of their own economic destinies.
©2004 The Other Economic Summit