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. 




Kevin Vuong is the Executive Director of the Agency for Public and Social Innovation. He is a connector, city-builder, and military officer working to build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous Canada where no one is left behind.

For his work as a community leader, Kevin has been named one of:
- Her Majesty The Queen’s Young Leaders;
- Canada's Top 30 Under 30;
- Ashoka's 100 global Emerging Innovators; and
- FCM's Canada 150 Community Leader.

Winner of the Robert G. Siskind Entrepreneurial Medal at the Ivey School of Business, Kevin was awarded a Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Fellowship in 2016 to take part in HKS’ Emerging Leaders program; and joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto as a 2017 candidate for the executive-level Global Professional Masters of Law, focusing on public-private partnerships, CSR, and social regulation.

Most recently, he was appointed a CJPAC Fellow; a Public Fellow as a leading Canadian thinker under 35 for the 2016 Spur Festival; and delivered a Walrus Talk on Social Innovation - Innovating Procurement for Social Impact.

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, February 11