International Development Week

As some of you may know, International Development Week (IDW) is just around the corner. I had the pleasure of interviewing Janice Fu, the External Logistics Coordinator for the event.

What is IDW?

International Development Week is an annual national event promoted by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Every year, the University of Ottawa organizes IDW events of their own. This year, IDW will be a student run conference that promotes and engages students in meaningful and critical thinking on different issues in the field of international development. It provides the opportunity for students to gain from the opinions and experiences of development professionals, as well as developing their own skills for the future

What’s so different about it this year?

IDW is structured into a conference format. So instead of events throughout the week, there are networking events, panels and workshops, keynote addresses, and a banquet dinner that will allow students to engage with professionals in the field of development. While registration is done for this year (all the spots were filled in our early bird registration!), we are hoping in the years to come it will stay a conference and gain an even wider scope, as we are the largest development school in Canada!

What is the theme of this conference?

The theme is “Development is not Dead: Sustainable Development Goals Post-2015”. The events will mainly focus on the emerging approaches in international development, the modern and evolving roles of different actors, and how to address global socio-political and economic issues. We chose this theme because the Millennium Development Goals were set to be accomplished by 2015, but it is clear that many of them have not been met. We do still strongly believe that development is relevant and necessary; we simply have to find new ways in approaching the problems. So the goal of our conference is to address how to move forward with development.

Are there free events to attend before the conference?

Yes there are! Students are able to attend our clubs tabling on January 27th, 28th, and 29th in FSS 1st, 2nd, and 4th floors from 11am-4pm where different clubs and organizations are able to engage students in development discourse before our conference. There is also a film screening on Thursday January 30th on Silence is Gold directed by Julien Fréchette – a documentary about Alain Deneault and his publishers who wrote an exposé in his novel Noir Canada against Canadian Mining companies and their practices, and was subsequently threatened with a defamation suit by the largest Canadian mining company, Barrick Gold.

How can you be involved with IDW in the future?

There are plenty of different opportunities. You can apply to be a member of the executive committee, where there are around 8 positions available. You can also apply to be a volunteer where the responsibilities range from promoting the event to helping run panels and workshops. Or, you can register to be a delegate of the conference in the future!

For more information, you can visit their website or their facebook page

Photo Credits:

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