Common purpose? Shared futures?

Perspectives on social movements and global development

11th edition (2nd virtual edition) | January 25 - 27, 2022

Power lies with people. Throughout history, social movements have contributed to some of the greatest global societal shifts. These movements put beliefs, people, institutions, and systems in motion toward a more equal and just society.

Social change outcomes are also greatly aligned with the objectives of the international development sector. Development actors aim to reduce poverty and inequalities, uphold rights and bring about positive change. They help improve access to health services, clean water, education, and livelihoods while promoting gender equality, climate action, and peace.

Over time, the relationship between social movements and the development sector has blurred, diverged, evolved, and grown. Within the sector, some view our work as being part of a social movement, seeing them as one and the same. Others note that development has become a more technical business, increasingly removed from its activist origins and no longer connected to social movements. Others still see a distinction between the strategies and tactics that are used by social movements and development actors, but feel the end goals remain the same.

This year’s International Forum will explore this diversity of perspectives with our network, peers, and collaborators in the broader global development and social movement spaces. We welcome all perspectives to join us in this conversation! Together, we will explore questions such as:

  • How can we characterize the relationship between social movements and global development?
  • What could greater collaboration between social movements and development actors look like? How can they learn from one another to create a collective wave of change?
  • How can the development sector better reflect true allyship with social movements? How can we be in solidarity with each other?
  • How do social movements and the development actors approach intersectionality and the sustainability of social change efforts?
  • What unique perspectives do youth bring to this conversation? To social movements? To global development?

We will explore these questions through the lens of shared global priorities such as environmental action, gender equality, forced migration, and economic and social justice. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with participants from diverse backgrounds in conversational workshops, discussions and panels.

Add your voice to the conversation by registering today!