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. 





Activism 101 with Amnesty International

From staging protests and rallies to creating petitions and writing letters, attendees will analyze Amnesty International’s work centered around various human rights, politics and justice related issues. Using the Al’s Child Labour: Not in my phone! Campaign as an example, this workshop seeks to explore effective advocacy and will become a starting point for future policy makers, business leaders and activists alike.


Amnesty International

Amnesty International (AI) is the largest Human Rights organization in the world. There are members in almost every country on the planet! This workshop explores the various parts of AI: research, report writing, publicizing, and engagement through letter writing, rallying, creative expression, and more. We will visit a mine in Guatemala, court cases in Canada, and look at what AI can and cannot do to bring about change. To clarify these ideas, we’ll use a current campaign, Open for Justice, as our main focus. Come prepared to participate, share your thoughts, write a letter or create a petition. Our goal is to promote vibrant discussion, ensure a clear understanding of what AI does, and to facilitate an experience of what thousands of members do regularly as we advocate for human rights around the world.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, February 11