This year, the International Development Conference will highlight the theoretical development studies and policy research that play a predominant role in shaping development projects. When concrete, tangible policies and projects are implemented, theory and practice often fail to coincide. Development solutions and initiatives, as well as daily livelihood decisions, executed by an array of actors - from large development players to individual households - affect the lives of citizens and underdeveloped areas throughout the world. As such, critical reflections on ongoing development efforts, common consumption decisions and ingrained aspects of the world economy highlight that, while considerable victories have been attained to achieve a more just, prosperous and equitable world, attempts at reforms and aids are not without their drawbacks. 

The controversy surrounding the involvement of religious aid organizations may politicize and undermine efforts to eliminate poverty and obtain relief. Attempts to regulate small scale gold mining, while environmentally necessary, may fail to address the dilemma of gold demand in shaping the persistence of artisans gold mining. Efforts to democratize and increase the transparency of the international trade regime may succeed in incorporating sustainability as a core principal of global commerce, but tedious institutional reform may not reflect the urgency of climate change. Alongside the IDC 2017’s thematic discussions, which will explore these and more concrete development efforts through a critical lens, the conference will also host a selection of Canadian NGOs, businesses, and student researchers to showcase the diversity and innovation of new ideas and efforts shaping the development sectors today. 


avatar for Larissa Crawford

Larissa Crawford

York University
Student Global Ambassador
Calgary / Istanbul / Toronto
Talk travel, philanthropy, and broke student life to me! Now a new mum and 4th year IDS double major student at York University, I have traveled, volunteered, studied, and worked my way through 14 countries in the past four years. My journeys have taken me from starting a library in Ghana, to representing my government and university all across Asia, to working throughout Latin America, to volunteering with Syrian refugees in Turkey. Doing what I love has paid for my studies in full through $80,000 in scholarships such as the Terry Fox Humanitarian Award and the Provincial Loran Award. I see my situation of where I am and what I've accomplished as a result of understanding where to look for opportunities, and how to pursue them- and this is what I want to share!
I started Broke Student Travelling two years ago, and it was created with the goals of supporting financially-restrained students in pursuit of education and ethical humanitarian endeavours abroad and to increase awareness of Canadian scholarships and other funding options. These goals are met by our commitment to promote the value of educational and humanitarian travel through presentations and workshops; to guide students through the stages of applying for scholarships and other funding options; and, new this year, to provide financial assistance through the Broke Student Travelling Scholarship to students who independently fund the whole or majority of their education.
If we have the pleasure of meeting at the IDC 2017, please ask me about Broke Student Travelling (or to see pictures of my new daughter)!