The World Comes to Dundee20/06/19
DELEGATES FROM around the world will arrive in Dundee next week for the prestigious World Community Development Conference (WCDC).
Taking the theme of People, Place and Power and based on the work of Dundee thinker Sir Patrick Geddes, the conference has attracted speakers from as far afield as Brazil, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Kenya and Canada.
Geddes, a pioneer of the global sustainable development movement, was a biologist, sociologist, geographer, philanthropist and ground-breaking town planner. He is known for innovative thinking in the fields of urban planning and sociology and was Professor of Botany at University College Dundee from 1888 to 1919.
Conference contributors include Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, former Chair of the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and senior social policy adviser in Portugal’s Ministry of Solidarity, Employment and Social Security; author, rapper and social commentator Darren “Loki” McGarvey and Professor Margaret Ledwith, Emeritus Professor of Community Development and Social Justice at University of Cumbria.
Welcoming more than 500 delegates from 37 countries to Scotland Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “It is fantastic that Scotland is hosting this impressive global gathering bringing together a diverse range of experience and expertise to discuss how we can change our communities for the better.
“In Scotland we want to empower and support our communities to be involved in the decisions that affect them, and to make their voices heard in the planning and delivery of services.
“And we do that because we know that community engagement and participation can lead to successful and exciting regeneration of places and spaces that enables communities to thrive and flourish.”
Clare MacGillivray, Chair of World Community Development Conference 2019 and board member of International Association for Community Development said: “ There is no greater honour than to welcome friends to your home and with this conference we hope delegates will feel warmly welcomed in friendship, solidarity and love to this, our city.”
Cllr John Alexander leader of Dundee City Council who will be among a number of dignitaries at the opening ceremony said: “It is both a privilege and a great honour for Scotland and Dundee to be the focus of communities from across the globe.
“We stand as an example of what the best in community development can offer to people and the skills behind delivering our bold ambition to regenerate this city stands testament to our place on the map for culture, social justice, participatory democracy and human rights.”
Community development practitioners, academics and local people active in their communities will attend the three-day conference based at University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building.
In addition a further five days of presentations, workshops, film, forums, cultural contributions, art installations, practice exchanges and walking tours will also involve communities from around Dundee.
The conference is organised by the International Association for Community Development, the University of Dundee, Leisure and Culture Dundee, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council and will open on Monday (June 24)