Sustainable Development in South Asia: Shaping the Future (11, 12, 13 December, 2012)

The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) has organised fourteen Sustainable Development Conferences (SDCs) since the inception of the Institute in 1992. The SDC is a flagship event of the Institute that not only provides a forum for SDPI’s own research but also invites other researchers and academics from the region to share their work and engage in a dialogue with fellow panellists and audience. The SDC series is also a prime conference in South Asia with a major focus on this region. In fact, it sets the tone and discourse for sustainable development in South Asia.
In the past SDCs, speakers have been invited from different regions and not just from South Asia. Some of the countries besides those in South Asia that have been represented include Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Iran, Italy, Netherlands, Oman, Palestine, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, UAE, UK and the USA.
Over the years, the conference series has grown and expanded in terms of participation from the audience. From an audience of some 1,200 in 2005, the number has increased to about 2,500 in 2011 spread over three days. Besides audience from the public and private sectors, university students are encouraged to participate and engage in a dialogue during the discussion sessions.
The conference highlights varied issues pertaining to sustainable development. Every year, there is also an overarching theme to give an umbrella covering contemporary and energy issues. The very first conference in 1995 was titled ‘The Green Economics Conference’. Interestingly, this is also the theme that Rio+ 20 has been focussing upon. The conferences have dealt with many pertinent issues including education, environment, food in/security, human development, peace and security, trade, etc., and in recent years, climate change and energy issues. In 2004, we looked at sustainable development from the angle of ‘age of extremes’. Since then, the extremes have stretched even further with new dynamics of post 9/11, war against terror, Arab spring, energy crisis and so on. These and other current issues become the centre of dialogue and debate that is generated in the various panels at the SDCs.
While six months are spent in organising the conference itself, another six months following the conference are spent in the publication process of the peer reviewed and edited anthology based on the papers presented. The papers go through a thorough peer review. Where necessary, revisions are made by the author and once approved by the referee, an edited manuscript is prepared and sent to a publisher. The anthology is then launched at the succeeding conference. Synopsis of the anthologies can be viewed at SDPI’s homepage: This year, our anthology titled “Redefining Paradigms of Sustainable Development in South Asia” will be launched at the occasion of the Fifteenth Sustainable Development Conference in December 2012.
About the overarching theme:
As the title ‘Sustainable Development in South Asia: Shaping the Future’ suggests, SDPI’s Fifteenth Sustainable Development Conference will be looking at the future of sustainable development in South Asia. Speakers will be asked to analyze how things will look like 20, 30 or even 50 years from now; throw light on issues that will be looming large; make concrete suggestions on how to overcome future challenges; and, give practical policy recommendations about a sustainable South Asia that we want. Researchers will have an opportunity to build on data of the past to forecast future; to add on to already established data and see what results they can come up with; to view if the world in general and South Asia in particular will be a better place to live in or worse; and, to look at what the next generations will be facing. Through the prism of the future, speakers will be able to prophesize challenges that at this day and year are not apparent but may become the biggest challenge of the century in times to come. This will be a Conference where researchers, academicians, scientists, policy makers and experts from different fields will be able to present workable solutions for future threats and challenges.
Some of the major sub-themes that the Conference will delve into but will not be limited to include peace and security; livelihood; natural resource management; climate change; environment; gender; economy; religious discourse; governance; media; citizens’ voice and accountability; non-traditional threats; distributive justice; etc.
Conference format:

There will be two to three keynote plenary sessions in which prominent keynote speakers will be invited to address significant areas as highlighted in the overarching theme. The plenary each day will be followed by two concurrent sessions / panels on sub-themes listed below. The plenary will last for one hour and 30 minutes while the duration of each panel will be two hours with three to five presentations.

For more details click here


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