Development Futures

“[W]e all aspire to reach better living conditions. Yet, this will not be possible by following the current growth model … We need a practical twenty-first century development model that connects the dots between the key issues of our time: poverty reduction; job generation; inequality; climate change; environmental stress; water, energy and food security.”

—UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

‘Development Futures: Alternative Pathways to End Poverty’ provides a unique opportunity to take part in discussion and debate on our collective response to the increasing need for innovation, foresight and new approaches to end poverty.

When: 21-22 November 2013
Where: Aerial Function Centre, University of Technology Sydney

Current challenges to sustainably overcoming poverty and inequality are unprecedented in their scale, complexity and increasing interconnectedness. As Michael Edwards suggests, our solutions are ‘getting thinner just as problems are getting thicker, seemingly oblivious to the scale and complexity of the challenges that lie ahead’.

Amidst a rapidly changing environment — climate change, urbanisation, shifting arrangements of global powers and donors, the post-2015 agenda, and some 1.3 billion people living in extreme poverty — the development sector is at a critical juncture.

This fourth ACFID University Network conference will rethink future development challenges, discourse and approaches to tackling poverty and inequality – to ‘set goals, dream dreams, create visions, make designs; in short, to project upon the future a wide range of purposes and intentions’ (Futurist Richard Slaughter 2004, Futures Beyond Dystopia). The future is not fixed, many futures are possible.

The University of Technology, Sydney, through the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF), is hosting this conference in collaboration with the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and the wider ACFID University Network.

Who should participate?

This two-day event will bring together influential international speakers, Australian and international practitioners and academics, Australian and international students and AusAID to showcase promising new practice and to debate our priorities for contributing to sustainable, equitable development futures in our region and more broadly. The conference will be designed to enable strong participation and engagement through a mixture of presentations and facilitated discussion, panels and workshops.

Practitioners, consultants, students and academics are encouraged to submit abstracts for presentations or to lead workshops within either of the two conference themes. Please note, abstracts close 11pm AEST on 2 July.

Hosted for the network by