Students at UTSC hosted the International Development Conference


The 2019 International Development Conference (IDC) was hosted by students in the Critical Development Studies program at the University of Toronto, Scarborough. The International Development Conference (IDC) is an annual non-profit, student-organized and student-led conference at the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC). This year’s conference theme was Currents. The aim of the conference was to understand the development responses that are continuously shaped by economic systems, political conflict, environmental crisis, and sociocultural issues in an ever-changing global landscape. The conference focused on exploring which ongoing development responses are working, and which are failing, and most importantly, why?

Alia Dharssi and Dr. Max Haiven were the keynote speakers for the conference. The opening keynote was delivered by Alia Dharssi. Alia is a freelance journalist, editor, and researcher based in Vancouver. Her writing and investigations on sustainability, global development, human rights, and immigration have been published by a range of media outlets, including the New York Times, the Guardian, Al Jazeera, the National Post, the Financial Post, and Reuters. Dr. Max Haiven delivered the closing keynote for the conference. Dr. Haiven is Canada Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University in Northwest Ontario and director of the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL).


At the conference, attendees included high school students, undergraduate, and graduate students, professors from UTSC, UWaterloo, York University, and alumni and community members came together to discuss and learn more about development from the distinguished speakers on the panels. Speakers from MSF, U of T, One’s Canada, EWB Canada, Lakeridge Health, Muse Arts and so much more. These wonderful speakers shared their insights on thematic panels on development responses in conflict zones, water security, global citizenship and the future of development.


Attendees also enjoyed participating in and learning from a great range of workshops that ranged from grant writing hosted by the Aga Khan Foundation, a session by UTSC Sustainability on repurposing reusable plastics, migrant gallery and an advocacy letter writing workshop facilitated by the foodgrains bank.   

The conference ended with a gala and a performance by the spectacular UTSC Drama society.

The IDC team would like to express their deepest thanks to the CCDS faculty who supported the conference throughout the year!