About INDePth Conferences

“Interrogating Notions of Development and Progress” is a 3-day student-run event hosted by the Pan-Asia Student Society and the Asian Institute at the University of Toronto. The event reaches and connects students at leading Canadian, American and Indonesian universities. These students will collaborate in workshops to understand the ways in which economic and social developments work in regional context – this year our focus is China. By the end of the workshops, students will be empowered to pursue poverty reduction projects both in their local communities and internationally. Moreover, they will have built a network of similarity minded colleagues to help them in that purpose.

Innovative Conference Design

Emphasis on Workshops INDePth is student-oriented. That’s why we’re putting students from different universities and backgrounds into small sized groups, where they can discuss the complications emerge from development in greater detail. Case in point: a medical student and an anthropology student will each offer a unique perspective – with different strengths and limitations – we can each learn from others’ academic backgrounds.

The Unconference Model Unconferences were the result of the realization that really exciting things can happen when people are able to direct discussions. The unconference portions of the conference allow any student to start a conversation about any topic pertaining to development – as long as it makes sense to them. We’ll provide students with posters and pens to advertise their discussions – anyone can get involved! We’re hoping that this portion of the conference can help students gain insights and make connections outside of workshops.

Having a Necessary Discussion

Development is not a straightforward process. It results in a multitude of changes that profoundly impact individuals’ lives. Development has strong positive connotations, which is understandable because it can be related to the drive to pull people out of poverty. Nevertheless, it can be a process that empowers some while marginalizes others. Where it works well, it can be improved. Development is not a simple process (or term), and it would be strongly benefited from conceptual unpacking.
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