25. 07. 2014 Education

Development and Democracy Conference will present not only interesting speakers but also new formats

Discussion panels will be replaced by more personal Roundtables this year.

The international Development and Democracy conference will take place in Bratislava this year for the third time. Its focus will be the intensity and effectiveness of international development cooperation of the Visegrad countries, which are becoming increasingly important players in this area. The V4 countries share similar challenges and experiences which allow space for closer cooperation, as well as joint implementation of projects and coherence of their (development) policies. The transfer of transition experiences gained in the democratization process has gradually become part of the development cooperation. As the Visegrad countries have gone through similar transition processes, they play an important role in passing on their transit experiences. The conference provides a unique platform for the exchange of opinions and experiences which stimulate professional dialogue and strengthen the joint activities of relevant players in the V4.

Inspirational stories from the world of CSR in developing countries will be told

In addition to interesting speakers, this year’s conference will also present new formats. After plenary discussion panels on topics such as Enhanced Cooperation of the V4 countries and Sustainable Development Goals, visitors of the conference can attend short presentations on inspiration for corporate social responsibility (CSR) in developing countries. Since the private sector in Slovakia is minimally involved in development cooperation, foreign experts will present inspirational stories in this part of the program. Successful and inspiring examples of CSR in development cooperation will be shared by several speakers, among others CSR expert Melissa Whelams, who specializes in local community development and stakeholder engagement in the extractive industries, particularly in developing countries. She has assisted in the implementation of various international standards in over 20 countries relating to corporate sustainability, Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights and CSR policies.

The last part of the conference will take the form of Roundtables. Each table will discuss a different topic and will have two or three speakers who are experts in the field. Participants in the conference will be able to personally discuss the topics with them and ask any relevant questions. Seven Roundtables will run simultaneously and visitors will be able to move freely between the tables during the discussion according to their preference.

Topics of the roundtables:

  1. V4 partners in development cooperation
  2. Future of global education: paradigm shifts and conceptual changes
  3. Policy Coherence for Development – a new challenge for V4 countries
  4. Effective tools for civic participation to engage in public policy in the Western Balkans
  5. CSR and economic development
  6. V4 and Eastern Partnership: What smallscale assistance can give to small countries?
  7. Democracy Assistance: How to Ensure that the EU Plays a More Active and Principled Role in Supporting Democracy, Freedom and Human Rights in a Changing Geopolitical Climate

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