The International Development Society will host their annual conference on the 20th to 21st of February at the Barbara Strang Teaching Centre. The main theme on this year’s conference is: ‘Exploring Mobility: The World in Flux’. The conference is ran by students and includes a host of key speakers throughout the weekend tackling various issues on international development.
The topics of conversation will be incredibly relevant to the general public of 2016 with topics including refugees, development, poverty alleviation, and accountability. Whereby most will have a particular North-East angle, such as Lucy Philipson’s development work for COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) an NGO based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Other speakers include Michael Salomans, who has spent over twenty-five years working for the UN in ten different countries, who will be speaking especially on the mixed-movement of asylum-seekers and migrants into Europe. Another is Newcastle Universities’ own Silvia Pasquetti a Sociology lecturer speaking on asylum, mobility, and inequality in Europe focusing on two refugee centres in Italy.
Alongside lectures, workshops will also be held by individuals and organisations on international development, such as David Measures who has extensive expertise leading small teams in conducting research in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East on improving people’s lives in poverty and conflict situations. Another is Hope for Justice a group which hopes to help the millions of men, women, and children who are trapped in modern day slavery which comes with the shocking statistic that “Today there are 20.9 million estimated slaves worldwide with around $150bn made each year from forced labour.” Attendees of the seminar will be given the opportunity to become a member of Hope for Justice and becoming part of the drive to end modern slavery within our lifetimes.
The conference will run from 9.30am until 5.30pm each day and music and refreshments will be provided in between breaks accompanied by a variety of stalls in the foyer.
Previous attendees said that the previous conference was “A very worthwhile and informative conference […] It was very encouraging to see the wealth of experience present and the shared commitment to making the world a fairer and better place for all.”
And another writes that “This was a very well organised and very informative event. It was great to be able to hear from people and to be able to speak to them and ask questions.”
The conference will be held from the 20th of February to the 21st starting at 9.30am and is open to the public, student tickets cost £15 for two days.