It is our great honor and pleasure to welcome you to Zagreb, Croatia, and the 20th Biennial ICSD International Symposium!
After great conferences in previous years, we are preparing the symposium with a new perspective on the social development context. As you would remember in Dhaka (2011), we focused on the issue of good governance and its importance for building knowledge and social development. In Kampala (2013), we explored new frontiers in social development and its challenges that contemporary societies are facing. Our last symposium in Singapore (2015), led us through transforming societal trends and different models in community leadership connected with social development.
Our 20th Symposium in Zagreb (2017) will be focused on multidisciplinary education and practice for social development and social good. Why? Around the world we are facing different approaches and national strategies to gain social and economic development, which bring different solutions of social problems. These approaches also can bring a challenge to gain social justice and social rights for all. We also know that global social problems, economic crisis, poverty, inequalities and other serious global issues are connected with many causes and have serious consequences for many people around the world. Furthermore, no matter whether we work on the macro or micro professional level, problems are usually multi causative and impact multilevel dimension of people’s lives. In order to provide strategies and programs for constructive answers and help in crises, different expertise and team work are sorely needed. Our 20th Symposium welcomes all disciplines and professions that can make a positive change for people bringing their knowledge and skills, research and practice, and mutual cooperation.
Our 20th Symposium combines out biennial conference with our ICSD conference but the ICSD Regional European Branch conference! Our purpose is to attract professionals and academics from Europe, as well as other parts of the world, to focus on the European perspective in the economic and social development context. As you know Europe is a continent with a long history, with many differences between nations and countries that are in some way unified by social, political, economic, educational and other contexts. These differences create strong discussion and challenges, sometimes conflicts, relative to collaboration between countries and within countries. In planning this conference format, we could not predict actual events in European countries that have attracted attention from the rest of the world: the situation in Ukraine, terrorism in central Europe and the migration route in the Balkan region. These are considerable challenges for Europe today. There are many theories and perspectives that try to explain these current situations. We know from previous experience in our not so distant past how time for open discussion and respect are crucial for making important decisions. As experts and professionals, we are always called to intervene, to discuss and prevent consequences and to give voice to the most vulnerable groups. We believe that this meeting in Croatia will gather experts that will provoke discussion on the European reality, on social movements and social changes as well as about the social, economic and safety base consequences, not only in Europe, but in the rest of the word.
Let us give you a few details about Croatia: Croatia is a Central European and Mediterranean country, which went through 40 years of socialism as one of the federal states in Yugoslavia. This country experienced a 4-year war period and in 1991, became an independent state with a parliamentary political system. Croatia became a member of European Union in 2013. Croatia has a rich history from 1000 BC, many natural beauties and around 4.2 million people. Croatia has a long coastline and more than 1000 islands being declared the most desirable destination in the world in 2016 according to Google data analysis. Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia with around one million citizens. In the last few years, Zagreb was named as a famous touristic destination.
We know that the 20th Symposium in Zagreb, July 2017 will be a great meeting place for all professions. We will greet old friends and meet new international colleagues to exchange our experiences to further collaboration in the future. We hope that you will make time to enjoy Croatia, its safety and beauty and thereby successfully combine business and pleasure. Welcome to the 20th ICSD Symposium, Zagreb 2017!
Dr. Gordana Berc – Chair, 20th Biennial ICSD Symposium, President, ICSD European Branch; Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Department of Social Work, University of Zagreb
Dr. Barbara W. Shank, President, ICSD; Dean and Professor, School of Social Work, St. Catherine University, University of St. Thomas
20th ICSD International Symposium in Zagreb continues with clear logic and good spirit from previous ICSD International conferences that took place in Dhaka 2011, Kampala 2013, and Singapore 2015. This symposium in Zagreb will be focused on multidisciplinary perspectives of economic and social development. Around the world we are faced with different approaches to social and economic development and also with a challenge to gain the social justice and social rights for all. This symposium is open for various disciplines and professions that contribute with their knowledge, research and practice to make a positive change for the people. Therefore, the highlight of the conference is a multidisciplinary collaboration and contribution to national and local strategies for social development.