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Speech By Dr Barbara W Shank At The International Consortium For Social Development

Speech By Dr Barbara W. Shank, President, International Consortium For Social Development, At The 19th International Symposium Of The International Consortium For Social Development (ICSD 2015) On 7 July 2015, 4.30pm, SIM University

  1. Good Evening. I am Barbara Shank and I have the privilege of serving as the President of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD). I am honored to be with you at this 19th Biennial International Symposium of ICSD. This is my 11th symposium and each year I can attest that they get better and better. I am anticipating that this international symposium will provide reflective and thoughtful deliberation on the myriad of issues surrounding human development and sustainability and trends and models in community leadership and social and economic development. I know it will provide opportunities to renew and sustain the collegial relationships ICSD is known for developing and building new relationships to enhance our areas of scholarship and research, as well as promoting social development and social justice.
  1. Thank you all of our co-sponsors and supporters, the conference patrons, the advisory committee and members of the local organizing committee for making this all possible. My sincere congratulations to the planning and organizing committee for all their work, putting together this comprehensive program. From review of the preliminary program and the materials we have received prior to the symposium, I know we are going to have a thoughtful and stimulating four days together. 
  1. The theme, 'Transforming Society: Trends and Models in Community Leadership and Social Development' and its sub-themes including community organizing, neighborhood and grassroots leadership, migration, social equity, poverty, and income disparity, ageing populations, sustainable development and the environment and innovative social enterprise project, to name a few, are extremely relevant for all of us as the world is getting more complex and conflict ridden and lives are being rapidly changed as we move into the 21st Century. 
  1. We are all watching the multiple crises in Syria, the Ukraine, the Middle East and Europe, because what happens in these parts of the whole has significant implications for the rest of the world. We are all facing challenge after challenge to our democratic ideals and processes as well as needing to confront issues of poverty, inequality, gender and social exclusion, environmental sustainability, restrictive immigration and migration policies, displacement and homelessness, substance abuse, violence and terrorism. 
  1. The need for leadership for developing global partnerships and collaboration is more pressing now than ever before. The issues of social and economic development are more relevanthow that ever. None of us by country, region or continent, can afford to be on our own. We are facing pressures that we have not faced since the ending of the cold war. We need to work together if we are going to tackle these pressing issues and problems in order to find peaceful solutions.
  1. ICSD as the parent organization is proud, humbled and excited about your work and attention to these critical global issues. We are all working in the common pursuit of promoting social and economic development. The work of our organization takes place through the collective efforts of international scholars, researchers, practitioners and students from multiple disciplines. This is one of our many strengths. We are here to ask and address key issues, discuss theory, showcase our research to improve policy, practice and our teaching and to disseminate our findings. We are here to connect and network with colleagues who have similar interests and want to make a difference in the world. This is the beauty and strength of our organization.
  1. In addition to welcoming and congratulating you all on a fantastic job in putting this international symposium together, I have two additional messages. The first one relates to membership and involvement. ICSD and its branches are only as good as the people who are committed and involved. We need all of you to be active members and involved in our organization. Together we can make a difference in the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our societies. Secondly, I hope you all know that ICSD publishes a referred journal titled Social Development Issues. Under the leadership of Dr Chuck Cowger, past president of ICSD, we transitioned the journal to an online format. Thank you Chuck for all your work and making this happen. We hope going electronic makes the journal even more accessible to our members. ICSD has embraced the digital age. It is my pleasure to report that we have a new chair for the managing board, Jim Reinardy. Thank you Jim for accepting this critical position for IDCS and SDI. 
  1. I want to strongly encourage all of you to submit your work for review by the editorial committee. If we are going to continue this journal, basically the only one totally focused on social development issues, we need a significant number of submissions. Please consider Social Development Issues first when considering where to submit your manuscripts for review. If you have any detailed questions, please talk with Vijayan Pillai, the SDI Editor. 
  1. Secondly, I hope to see many of you at our 20th Biennial Symposium in Zagreb, Croatia in 2017. Dr Gordana Berc, the University of Zagreb and Dr Liljana Rihter, the University of Ljubljana are co-chairs for this symposium and I have no doubt will put together an exciting and comprehensive program, working with the local community and local organizations. The 2017 ICSD symposium will build on the previous symposia as well as addressing new and emerging issues in social development. If you do not know Dr Berc, you will have the opportunity to meet her during our meeting. Please join us, I guarantee that you will not regret it. Croatia is a magnificent country. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you in Zagreb in summer 2017. 
  1. To close, I am honored to be with you and to serve ICSD as its President. Thank you for this opportunity and again welcome and congratulations to Prof Tan and the planning committee and SIM University for hosting us!

 

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