The Future of Development
Where do we go from here?
As a field that is constantly evolving within and adapting to current global conditions, international development must therefore continually be producing new solutions and ideas on improving people's’ livelihoods. However, anyone that has studied international development can attest that there is seldom anything more frustrating than having an abundance of theoretical concepts at their fingertips along with an absence of practical solutions. Too often we hear (and ask), “what does development look like?”; “what are our roles in it?”; and “where can I actually begin?”.
Despite the fact that expert opinions, meaning those with necessary training or local knowledge, are inherently essential when creating development projects, there is still extreme value in extending the conversation to those that have generated their own approaches to development. Oftentimes, there are a plethora of innovative and phenomenal plans envisioned that lack a platform to actually be heard and in turn implemented.
The aim of this thematic discussion is to challenge the traditional deliverance of conferences and instead take a more ‘TEDx’ style approach, hearing from a diverse group of selected students, faculty, community members, and practitioners alike on their own unique development initiatives. Each participant will be given the chance to present what they believe will lead to the betterment of people’s lives, with the hopes of receiving critical feedback themselves whilst also motivating other delegates to think about their own potential in relation to what they can contribute to international development. As well, we wish to explore how we can move away from theories and the traditional way of ‘doing’ development to highlight how much creative freedom is truly available to produce practical stratagems that prioritize positive change for both the present and future.