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. 




Philippe Tremblay is a Senior Legal Advisor at Lawyers without Borders Canada (LWBC). Prior to holding this position, he served LWBC first as Colombia Program Officer and then Legal Director. Before joining LWBC, Philippe Tremblay worked for the Geneva-based Association for the Prevention of Torture, where he coordinated the global campaign for the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and managed the Asia-Pacific Program.
Philippe Tremblay obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Law (LL.B.) at the University of Montreal in 1994, and completed his Masters in International Law (LL.M.) at the University of Quebec in Montreal in 2000. He has been a member of the Quebec Law Society (Barreau du Québec) since 1996, and has undertaken long-term professional assignments in Rwanda with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and in Colombia and Afghanistan with the International Committee of the Red Cross.