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. 


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International Development Conference 2017
University of Toronto Scarborough Campus

The International Development Conference (IDC) is the annual non-profit, student-organized and student-led conference at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC)

IDC was started by two ambitious students in the International Development Studies (IDS) Co-op Program at UTSC. Merged under the Centre for Critical Development Studies (CCDS), the IDS program at UTSC is one of the longest standing International Development Studies undergraduate program in Canada, with this year being its 30th anniversary. For three years, the IDC has represented a vibrant and engaged student community at UTSC and left a legacy promoting a rigorous and highly successful program by bringing together a diversity of students, academics, faculty and development practitioners from various backgrounds to encourage critical thinking in international development issues.