ICSD 2023 Biennial Conference

Photo: Unsplash / Jason Cooper

Date: August 23, 2023 - August 25, 2023
Date: August 23, 2023
Time: 10:00
Start date: August 23, 2023
End date: August 25, 2023
Event summary: Welcome to the 23rd Biennial Conference of the International Consortium for Social Development. Wednesday 23 August - Friday 25 August 2023.

Welcome to the 23rd Biennial Conference of the International Consortium for Social Development. Wednesday 23 August – Friday 25 August 2023.


University of Gävle

Conference theme: Social Development in times of crisis: Challenges and responses

“The world is becoming a better place!” This was the hopeful message from Swedish Professor of Global Health, Hans Rosling, who passed away in 2017. Rosling was referring to improved health and life expectancy rates as well as decreased population growth in emerging economies in the global south. Despite global success in many areas of development, certain social problems such as abject poverty, inequalities, pandemics, wars, famine, crime, corruption, and planetary crisis remain serious challenges on the road forward. Such problems have become a defining challenge for social development at the national and international levels

Development is a multi-dimensional concept and implies progress towards better conditions and wellbeing for all. Development can be seen as a normative goal as well as an ongoing process of planned social change. Social development is a dimension of development that fosters interdisciplinary perspectives in creating enabling conditions for achieving and promoting social welfare goals through processes such as participation, democracy, equality, redistribution, and justice. Social development is indeed a broad and contested concept that has been theorized and discussed in multiple manners at individual, group, national, regional, and global levels with diverse perspectives such as gender and postcolonialism. Social development requires a comprehensive knowledge of social planning, and its interventions require changes within structures, institutions, policies, and processes that are led by both national and global actors in consensus with different stakeholders from public, private, and voluntary organizations.

The global definition of social work incorporates social development as a key perspective and strategy for intervention, a desired goal, as well as a policy framework. The global definition of social work highlights that although social work prioritizes socio-structural and economic development, it does not necessarily mean that economic growth is the only prerequisite for social development. Within social work, social development models and perspectives are more focused on issues such as social welfare, social justice, human wellbeing, and human rights. Using a social development model/perspective, social work acknowledges the multiple causal nature of social problems. The social development model/perspective within social work provides a more comprehensive approach to problem-solving by integrating different dimensions of development such as social, economic as well as environmental. Consequently, there has also been growing concern and action for environmental sustainability within social work using the social development model/perspective.

Although social development has been widely linked, used, and researched within developing economies, diverse types of crises (financial, social, planetary) are re-vitalizing debates on social development in many established and developed economies. Local, regional, and global challenges and consequences of crises such as inequality, migration, demographic changes, and geopolitical dynamics call for drawing lessons from different responses across the globe. In recent years, the world has been facing growing concern because of the scope, severity, and consequences of diverse types of crises in terms of climate, pandemics, and wars. These crises are having a wide range of negative impacts at both national and international levels, and seriously affecting individuals, families, communities, regions, and societies at large. Various sectors such as health, education, and social security have come under pressure and require urgent, extensive, and comprehensive responses.

This conference is therefore calling for participation with a focus on the challenges and responses of social development in times of crisis. Its aim is to bring educators, researchers, practitioners, thinkers, and various stakeholders from all around the world together to promote collective intensive discussion, sharing of ideas, and facilitation of networking and knowledge creation for social development. The conference is organized and structured into three main tracks – Planet in Crisis, Health and Wellbeing, and Peace and Stability.

Key dates

Deadline for Submission of Abstracts: 1st of February 2023

Abstract Decision Letters Emailed by: 15th of April 2023

Early bird Registration Deadline for Presenters by: 10th of May 2023