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Key Note Speakers

The Key Note Speakers of the conference. The page is continuously updated with new speakers.

Professor Fereshteh Ahmadi

Fereshteh Ahmadi

Fereshteh Ahmadi is full Professor in sociology at the Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, the Department of Social Work and Criminology, University of Gävle. She concluded her Ph.D in sociology at Uppsala University in 1995 and became associate professor in sociology in 2001 at the same university. In 2009, she became full professor in sociology at the University of Gävle. At Uppsala University and university of Gävle she has conducted research on divergent research areas among others in: Islam, individuality and identity, International migration, Second-generation migrant and identity crisis, Islamic Feminism, Music and coping, Aging and psychological and spiritual development, Aging in a migration perspective, Aging and the economic and social changes, Children and existential question, Bereavement parents and coping, Meaning-making coping. She is the author of more than 100 texts on divergent research area. She is member of divergent international research networks and of editorial board of several journals among others Illness, Crisis & Loss (SAGE).

Currently, she is responsible for:

  • An international project on Meaning-Making Coping with cancer (2006-2023). The project involves researchers from Sweden, South Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Brazil, Portugal, Turkey and Iran.
  • An international project on Coping with Covid-19 among university employees and students (2020-2023).
  • Research on Diversity Barometer (Mångfaldsbarometer) (2012-2024)

Dr George Palattiyil

Dr George Palattiyill

Dr George Palattiyil is Head of Social Work at the University of Edinburgh and a Senior Research Associate at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa. His teaching and research interests are in the area of forced migration, refugees and asylum seekers, human rights, individuals affected by HIV/AIDS and older people. Much of his research over the past 10 years have focussed on the social dimensions of refugee health in Scotland, Uganda, Jordan and Bangladesh. He is the founding Convenor of the Global Refugee Health Research Network, which aims to promote collaborative research and knowledge exchange activities. He has published widely in international journals and coedited ‘Social Work in a Global Context – Issues and Challenges (Routledge, 2016), and is currently coediting a ‘Practice – Social Work in Action’ special issue on Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. He is also a Senior Fellow of the UK’s Higher Education Academy. More information about Dr George Palattiyil.

Professor Leila Patel

Professor Leila Patel

Professor Leila Patel is the South African Research Chair in Welfare and Social Development and was the Founding Director of the CSDA. She has published widely on issues of social development in South Africa and internationally. Her research interests include social welfare policy, social protection, socio-economic rights and democracy, gender, care, the social services, children and youth. Her work experience spans academia, government, non-profit organisations and private sector social involvement initiatives. She was the former Director General of Social Welfare in South Africa’s Mandela government and played a leading role in the development of South Africa’s welfare policy after apartheid.

Her recent books are Development, Social Policy and Community Action: Lessons from below edited with Marianne Ulriksen, HSRC Press, 2017; Social Welfare and Social Development, Oxford University Press, 2015 and Social Protection in Southern Africa, Routledge, 2014 (edited with James Midgley and Marianne Ulriksen).

She received the Distinguished Woman Scientist Award in the Humanities and the Social Sciences in 2014 and the Distinguished Alumni Award, University of the Western Cape in 2015. She is also the recipient of an Achievement Award in Social Development from the International Consortium for Social Development in 2019; the Katherine Kendall Award for advancing social work education internationally from the International Association of Schools of Social Work (2020) and the Science for Society Award from the Academy of Science of South Africa (2020).

Professor Ashok Swain

Ashok Swain

Professor Ashok Swain is Head of the Department of Peace and Conflict Research, UNESCO Chair of International Water Cooperation and Director of the Research School of International Water Cooperation at Uppsala University, Sweden. He is also the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Environment and Security, published by SAGE and the Environmental Peacebuilding Association. He has written extensively on new security challenges, water-sharing issues, environment, conflict and peace, and democratic development issues. He also writes a weekly column Right is Wrong for Dubai-based Gulf News. He has worked as a consultant on environmental and development issues for various UN agencies, including OSCE, NATO, EU, IISS, Arab League, OXFAM, and the Governments of Sweden, Netherlands, the UK, and Singapore.

Professor Marianne Takle

Marianne Takle

Marianne Takle is a research professor at Norwegian Social Research at Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway. Her research includes studies of migration and solidarity at the European, national and local levels. She holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oslo. In her PhD, she studied German immigration policy, and her postdoctoral work was on how immigrant organisations participate in local democracy in Oslo. She has published books and journal articles on various themes such as EU migration policy, national migration policy in selected European countries, solidarity, national identity, immigrant organisations, and the integration of immigrants in the light of nationalism and cultural studies. She has studied sustainable European welfare societies by analysing linkages between social and environmental policy in selected European countries. In recent years, she has conducted research on solidarity with future generations.

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2023-08-04
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