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Main tracks

The conference is organized and structured into three main tracks - Planet in Crisis, Health and Wellbeing, and Peace and Stability.

Track 1: Planet in Crisis

The triple planetary crisis of climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss is the greatest challenge for social development. It is a direct consequence of failures in development planning at the national and global level resulting in unstainable production and consumption patterns that is causing serious existential threat to human and non-human beings. The planetary crisis undermines economic and social wellbeing as well as opportunities to reduce poverty and conditions for improving lives and livelihoods. Tackling the triple planetary crisis requires urgent actions toward sustainability. Sustainability is a resource-focused concept that is centralized on the ability to exist both in the present and long-term perspective through achieving the intergenerational balance between economic, ecological, and social development factors. Both social development and sustainability are intrinsically linked with each other. Social development is often referred to as one of the key strategies for sustainability that requires complex transdisciplinary thinking and interventions in achieving and maintaining a balance between sustainable use of resources. At the global level, there have been several agreed-upon commitments from “Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind” through the people’s summit held from 29 June to 2 July 2022, organized by the International Federation of Social Workers in partnership with the International Association of Schools of Social Work and the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. In this track, we are calling for abstracts on various sustainability issues (economic, social, and ecological) within the field of social development. We are particularly looking for presentations on the role of social work, community development, and human service organizations in fostering sustainability transitions by examining current societal structures, values, and practices that lead to eco-social injustices, oppression, and exploitation of people and planetary resources. We look forward to discussing the social development challenges surrounding the agreement on “Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind”.

Track 2: Health and Wellbeing

Health and wellbeing are vital aspects of social development. For instance, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is causing a global health crisis and affecting people in all countries. The consequences of the crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, if not carefully dealt with, may continue to have long-term impacts on social development. Poverty, livelihoods, and social security systems, alongside the physical and mental health of millions of people are already severely affected. The Building Back Better strategy forwarded by the United Nations which implies creating sustainable governance and solutions for dealing with risks and disasters demands consideration of major challenges in terms of mobilization, allocation, and distribution in transforming social development with innovative and more resilient responses. Such responses within social development need to pay particular attention to the social determinants of health. Social development emphasizes welfare systems particularly focusing on the wellbeing of marginalized and vulnerable groups. Wellbeing, although a contested concept in terms of its measurement and empiricism, is commonly used in social development and social work discourses in addressing life challenges and enhancing wellbeing for all. Under this track, we invite abstracts that engage with responses for promoting the wellbeing of the poor, vulnerable, marginalized, and disenfranchised groups. We are particularly looking for presentations on vulnerabilities amongst communities, families, and children, interventions that support resilience and wellbeing of communities, children, and families, and considerations for gender equality and care of older persons, and HBTQ persons, within social development in times of pandemics and health crisis. We also encourage presentations exploring the role of social workers and related human service organizations/professions in service provision and service delivery in times of pandemics and health crises.

Track 3: Peace and Stability

Peace and stability are prerequisites for as well as outcomes of social development. War, conflict, violence, and instability often lead to irregular, unplanned, and unsafe migration. Globally there are about 100 million people who are escaping ongoing war and conflict zones. The high level of domestic and international migration poses severe consequences on the fabric of societies and welfare systems. Migration and displacement also create major challenges for social development in terms of peace and stability. For instance, in war and conflict areas social development institutions are being eroded. Post-conflict, post-war social development interventions require engagement in political processes towards rehabilitation, reconstruction, and recovery for the establishment of durable peace and stability in affected areas. Social development strategies and interventions involve planning for peace, stability, and social cohesion in society. Settlement and integration of newly arrived immigrants and refugees in receiving communities/countries is another grand challenge for social work and social development. In this track, we are calling for presentations focusing on social development challenges and responses related to the ongoing peace and stability crisis and on pro-peace momentum and engagement. We encourage presentations on the role of social work in peacebuilding, conflict resolution, equity, cohesion, and stability in local communities, as well as in the regional and global arena.

Published by: Catarina Carlsson Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2022-09-30
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