International Development Week Conference


What is International Development Week?

International Development Week (IDW) is an initiative established by the Government of Canada to inspire and engage Canadians to learn more about and actively contribute to tackling global challenges. 

About the conference

Coinciding with IDW proper, the International Development Week Conference hosted in Vancouver on Saturday, February 10, 2018, will be a jam-packed day of dialogue and participation that will connect and engage youth with community leaders and global changemakers. IDW Conference 2018 will engage  the broader community in a conversation about Canada’s role and contribution in humanitarianism, while showcasing local and global initiatives around the country. Additionally, it will also be a platform for youth to network with other passionate youth and industry changemakers, and to get involved in projects and tackling issues they are passionate about.

A diverse panel of speakers and experts will engage and impact youth, community leaders, local changemakers, and scholars in a global conversation about gender equality. Delegates can participate in a collective learning experience about gender equality, while discovering ways and opportunities to take action for positive change. Through networking with changemakers at the event, and discovering new opportunities to engage in community-based research, collaborations, and project initiatives, delegates can further their engagement and learning well beyond the conference itself.

The IDW Conference 2018 will conclude with a plenary, in which a series of recommendations will be drafted and documented, to be potentially sent to the Canadian government body as policy recommendations. We invite you to be a part of this dialogue!

What’s IDW 2018’s theme?

Speakers and delegates will explore the keystone theme of Gender and Development: Reducing Inequalities and Fostering Inclusive Growth. The conference aims to engage Canadians in a dialogue around United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality. Gender is not only intertwined with moral and social issues, but economic ones as well. According to a 2017 report by the McKinsey Global Institute, $150 billion could be added to Canada’s GDP through the advancement of women’s equality. As such, the Government of Canada has made gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls a priority,  in order to challenge poverty and inequality.

Although Canada is among the global leaders in women’s equality, progress towards gender parity has plateaued. Continued work is needed to break the barriers women face in Canada and around the world – and IDW 2018 aims to help provide a foundation for that work.

Conference Objectives

There are a number of positive outcomes envisioned for this event, including:

  • Increase the understanding about Canada’s role and policy efforts to address gender equality through panel discussions and keynote presentations (e.g. Canada’s Feminist Approach to Canada’s International Assistance, Canada’s new Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security)
  • Bring together a community of student leaders and engaged citizens with industry practitioners, changemakers and stakeholders in issues around gender equality and encourage global citizenship
  • Profile and showcase a range of community thinkers, leaders and policymakers
  • Provide youth and citizens opportunities for civic engagement, intellectual development and personal growth
  • Share the outcomes of the conference with policy makers for a bottoms-up approach to policymaking through a list of policy recommendations
  • Inspire, build, and strengthen networks and collaboration among students, community and industry practitioners and leaders who are passionate about tackling complex social issues

Share your knowledge at IDW 2018! Call for Proposals due December 20, 2017

To help us set the conference program, we are asking interested presenters and keynote speakers to submit a proposal that includes a working title, an abstract and outline of the topic to be explored, and any supporting materials that will help our planning committee with the selection process. We are looking for two keynote speakers and six presenters. Both keynotes will span 25 minutes. All presenters will have 10 minutes to explore their topic of choice to help prime 50-80 delegates at a time for the 45-minute discussion to follow. In our Call for Proposal attachment, you can find an appendix list that contains suggestions on themes to anchor your presentation around, but please do not feel limited to exploring these areas – we are aiming to gain perspectives from a wide range of viewpoints and disciplines.

The deadline for proposals is December 20, 2017. Proposals or questions about this conference may be directed to our Content Coordinators at

We are not necessarily looking for fully formed projects – we are interested in your ideas and look forward to working with you to fully shape your presentation as needed. We are looking for expertise and input on a diversity of issues under this broad umbrella. Feel free to contact us with any questions prior to the submission deadline at the email address above.

Call for Proposals


Support our Conference

There are 3 main ways to support our conference:

  1. Monetary Sponsorship
  2. In-kind Sponsorship
    • Media (eg. feature our event)
    • Delegate name tags and lanyards
    • Delegate conference tote bags
    • Printing services
    • Printing materials
    • Flipcharts, markers
    • Pens
    • Notebooks
    • Team t-shirts or apparel
    • Snacks, refreshments. coffee, tea
    • Flyers, coupons, samples, etc
  3. Volunteer: We are seeking community leaders to help out on the side of conference planning up to event as well as volunteers to help out on the day of. Please do not hesitate to contact us at with your interest(s) or for more information.

Not only will your sponsorship assist in furthering awareness and dialogue regarding the interplay between gender and development, your organization will benefit from positive exposure through 250 driven and engaged community leaders who are passionate about fostering international change. Benefits to sponsors include:

  • Branding through our web presence on
  • Shout-outs through our social media platforms on Facebook and Twitter
  • Your logo in our delegate brochures, potential report to the Canadian Government, and future sponsorship packages
  • A booth at our community partners networking event
  • Tickets to our conference, including an invitation to our post-conference social event
Sponsorship Package


Contact us

Sandy Wan
Conference Director

A big thank you to our current sponsors!

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