International conference for Dundee

International conference for Dundee Image

DELEGATES FROM around the world will descend on Dundee next year for the World Community Development Conference (WCDC).

And today (FRIDAY) in one of the city’s newest community facilities, organisers launched the theme of People, Place and Power based on the work of Dundee thinker Sir Patrick Geddes.

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 from1888 to 1919.

Conference contributors already confirmed include Maria Virginia Bras Gomes, 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.

Cllr John Alexander leader of Dundee City Council was among a number of dignitaries at the launch at the recently opened Hilltown Community Centre.

He said: “It is an incredible honour for our city that the eyes of communities round the world will be on Dundee in June 2019 as we host this prestigious global community development conference for the first time.

“We’re getting used to international attention here in Dundee because of our bold ambition that is being realised in the regeneration of the city and this event will certainly cement our place on the map for culture, social justice, participatory democracy and human rights.

“Immediately after the conference there will be a two-day practice exchange where international guests will have the chance to get to know the community work of the people of Dundee and the surrounding areas better.”

Around 350 delegates including community development practitioners, academics and local people active in their communities are expected from more than 30 countries.

Communities around Dundee are being encouraged to get involved in the conference by hosting visits and by sharing their art, drama or cultural work.

The conference is being organised by the International Association for Community Development, the University of Dundee, Leisure and Culture Dundee, the Scottish Government and Dundee City Council.

Among other speakers at the launch were Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Culture Dundee; Jim McGeorge, Secretary of the University of Dundee and Clare  MacGillivray, Co-Chair of World Community Development Conference 2019 and Board  Member of International Association for Community Development.

She said: “Next year is our 65th anniversary and we are celebrating our global headquarters being in Scotland for 21 years so it is only fitting that we come home next June.

“It’s a great honour to bring the best of the world’s innovation, creativity and thinking in community development to the best wee city in the world!” 

The World Community Development Conference will take place between June 24 and 26 next year.

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