Forum sessions offer the opportunity to gather in targeted participant groups and/or around issues to engage with proven leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs and change agents.
Day 1 (October 18)
Day 2 (October 19)
Day 3 (October 20)
National leadership structures for volunteering provide a focal point around which others can gather, offer strategic and operational leadership, and make the development and maintenance of volunteering their priority. But do they have what it takes to do just that? Given the perennial complaint that they are under-resourced, are national leadership structures equipped to play that leadership role? If not, what can be done to enable them to be strategic change agents for volunteering? This Forum will address these uncomfortable questions to move the conversation to identify the actions we can take to strengthen national leadership for volunteering around the world.
In setting out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the United Nations has made the commitment that ‘no one will be left behind’. Within this global framework for action, volunteering is seen as an essential tool as it is based on people participation, which applies to all countries — developing and developed — in a universal manner. There are already millions of volunteers working to support communities in innovative and diverse ways. Individuals taking responsibility for the well-being of others and their communities. During this Forum attention will be given to discussing different perspectives around turning the targets of the SDGs into action. How do we create ownership of the SDGs across the volunteering community? How do we localize the SDGs and capture the engagement and support of volunteers within their own communities? What are some of the ways to scale up the involvement of volunteers to achieve the 2030 agenda?
Youth volunteering is now an accepted global reality. It is also clear that volunteering is helping young people acquire life skills and vocational skills valued by employers in the global marketplace, enabling them to practice citizenship, address genuine community needs and contribute to national and community development. With the many varied roles that young people can play as active citizens in other spheres and sectors, this Forum session will address the need for volunteer-involving organization to create meaningful work, to provide training that will develop young people’s understanding of the world as well as their skills, and to document their work and their accomplishments in ways that help them build a demonstrable history of workplace competence.
Inclusive volunteering means everyone, regardless of age, culture, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, social status or disability, can volunteer. Ensuring that volunteering is inclusive is an enduring challenge. We live in a world where we are seeing the greatest movement of people across borders since the Second World War. This brings into sharp focus the dilemma of refugees and asylum seekers, for them as individuals and for the new communities they may find themselves belonging to. This Forum will look at the challenges associated with opening your volunteer programs and organizations to a diverse range of people and brings together evidence and knowledge about how to make volunteering truly inclusive for everyone, everywhere.
Given that volunteering takes place at the local level, in the heart of the communities, local volunteer centers have traditionally been set up to help voluntary organizations with community shortage of volunteers. As the world changes, how can local volunteer centers navigate and keep up pace with that change? In this Forum, we bring together practitioners to share information and debate the role and relevance of the volunteer center model. Including considering key questions such as – What are the effects, if any, of digital technology? In the super-information age, is the old model of being a “matching agency” dying? How prominent of a role do/can volunteer centers play in their communities?
Corporate social responsibility is becoming an absolute mandate for businesses of all sizes, in response to expectations by governments, civil society organizations, consumers and employees. Thus a growing number of businesses are reorienting their activities with the objective of having a positive impact on complex societal challenges as a core part of their business and organizational strategies. The SDGs are becoming a tool to recruit and engage companies through integrated approaches that include their money, their products, their brand and the skills of their employees. There is growing pressure for more comprehensive and more inclusive corporate volunteer efforts. Overall there is a growing demand for ways to demonstrate impact on specific problems, on society, on the people engaged and on the organizations involved. Given the present context, this Forum will focus on debating what the future of corporate volunteering might be: is it a growing phenomenon? Can it deliver everyone’s expectations? What does success look like? What can we learn from comparing strategies, trends and challenges from different regions around the world?
Answering the question of how we measure the impact of the volunteer contribution to society has become a priority and a dilemma. It is a priority because we operate within an environment of evidence-based policy and practice, thus volunteering needs to go beyond the argument that “it is a good thing” and demonstrate what it achieves and why it is worth investing in. It is a dilemma because organizations are struggling with how they prove their worth and provide evidence of their effectiveness. Non-governmental organizations, governments and corporations all share the challenge of making impact measurement work. This Forum will discuss the ways in which measuring the volunteer contribution has been conceptualized and undertaken in various parts of the globe. We will explore some of the practical issues associated with assessing impact and pose key questions, such as, how can we successfully measure the volunteer contribution and what tools are available to help us?
Governments’ policies and programs to promote and support volunteering have developed in the context of their overall policy framework and spending priorities. There is a diverse range of examples from around the world as policy reflects culture and politics. In this Forum, we focus on the main characteristics of governments approach to volunteering – what are some of the most important activities and what has changed over time? What are some ways of how governments have operationalized their interest in volunteering? What has been helpful and what has caused issues for volunteering?
Across faiths and communities, people of all faiths are called to serve their communities at home and abroad. The importance of faith-based organizations in civil society has been increasingly recognized in the development and implementation of social policy. They have significant competence and knowledge to contribute, born of a history of providing service and support. However, faith-based volunteering can be perceived both positively and negatively by different cohorts of society. This Forum will explore the role of faith-based volunteering in the second decade of the 21st century, the challenges that affect it and what the future might look like.
Volunteering is a social dynamic and therefore is constantly changing in response to the world around it. You could argue that new ideas of how to involve volunteers and new ways of volunteering mean that we are in a constant state of innovation. Yet it is also true that the world is changing at an ever-increasing rate and for organizations that involve volunteers this can make it difficult to keep up with, for example, new expectations from potential volunteers and new ways of using technology and digitalization. If part of the strength of volunteering is that it constantly changes in response to the evolution of the environment, then organizations need to enhance their awareness and understanding of new forms of commitment that arise in response to new needs, new realities and new opportunities. In this Forum, we will explore how to take advantage of global trends for the management and execution of successful volunteering projects.
People age 60+ will grow from 900 million to over 2 billion in the next 35 years. This is both a challenge and an opportunity. More seniors mean more potential volunteers who can bring their life experiences, skills, time and energy to helping others and their communities – but also means more people who at some point will need support and assistance. We also must consider the evidence that volunteering has proven health benefits for older people who get involved, enhancing their well-being and potential longevity! This Forum seeks to look at some of the key implications of these changes for older people, the future of volunteering and the practices of volunteer-involving organizations.
The role of volunteers in responding proactively and positively to give humanitarian assistance and help with emergency relief is well documented. There exists an ever-growing need for countries and communities to access such support. Getting the best from volunteers and enabling their contribution to have effective impact remains a critical issue. Often key to success is about managing expectations, having good practice in place and establishing effective partnerships with those involved in disaster response. This Forum will strategically look at the role of the volunteer, how do we show value for their contribution by managing them effectively and keeping them safe? How do we maximize the volunteer effort when it may involve the contribution of a range of partners? How do we harness and integrate the local and international response and what happens with volunteering after the news media have moved on yet a huge need for support remains?
+49.173.976.1167 (VC Augsburg)
Provide your email below to get regular updates on the conference!