Cape Town - The adverse impact of capitalism on social and economic growth requires a mind shift in socialism, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Thursday."The global crisis of capitalism and imperialism, which is negatively affecting growth, widening social inequality, increasing levels of poverty and worsening (un)employment figures, needs a sharpened, radical shift in the approach the Socialist International takes," he said in Cape Town.Speaking at the opening of the 24th Congress of the Socialist International (SI), he said debates had to focus on the reform of the organisation.Poverty was no longer just a problem for developing nations, but also now becoming a crisis in the first world."Therefore this leaves us with no choice but to review, analyse and rethink the impact of the global economic crisis on society and the toiling masses of the world."He said there were various concerns socialist parties needed to confront. These included a need to strive for conflict resolution, while securing conditions of development.Motlanthe's sentiments were echoed by the SI's president and former Greek prime minister George Papandreou.Innovative and alternative solutions were needed in a changing world, he said."This human ingenuity needs to be accompanied by political and democratic will to make these changes... That will, my friends, has been lacking in Europe and around the world."Papandreou defended the SI's existence, saying leftist parties were important to achieve, among others, peace, justice, good governance, equality, growth and employment for all.He warned against attributing blame for the global economic crisis."We point fingers at each other rather than reach out our hands and lift each other up."Papandreou lamented the fact that immigrants were being held responsible for the economic troubles in several countries.He said international coordination was needed now more than ever."We've seen this spectacular rise in nationalism over the years, and at the same time we've noticed a terrifying rise in racism, prejudice." *Follow Fin24 on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.