Finding the Good June 2018 Conference Proceedings

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Finding the Good Sharing International Development Ideas and Practice in the Current Era

Conference Proceedings June 2018


Proceedings Contents Executive Summary................................................................................................................................... 3 Narrative ................................................................................................................................................... 4 Presenters & Program ............................................................................................................................... 5 Outcomes ................................................................................................................................................ 13 Appendices.............................................................................................................................................. 16 List of Networks .................................................................................................................................. 17 CommuniquĂŠ....................................................................................................................................... 18 Presenters, Schedule and Papers ........................................................................................................ 20

Š2018 Rosalind Warner. Author is solely responsible for content


Executive Summary On June 8th and 9th 2018, researchers, students, community members and practitioners gathered at Okanagan College to explore ways of articulating and sharing ethical international development ideas and practices. 50 attendees from across North America joined with leaders locally at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus for an intensive 2-day conference and dialogue on equality, inclusion, and human dignity. Scholars and practitioners interacted in engaging sessions on gender, local governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 15 youth volunteers contributed notes that aided in the preparation of these proceedings. Keynote speaker Chloe Schwenke, former Director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights, and Inclusion at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), shared her experiences advocating for a human rights framework for development in the Obama Administration. A second Keynote with Michael Simpson, Executive Director of the BC Council for International Cooperation, built on the themes of leadership and change in a ‘Talkshow’ style interview that engaged the audience in generating new avenues of inquiry. In addition to providing a summary resource to share the highlights from the two day Conference, the purpose of these Proceedings is to contribute toward a network in which dialogue between scholarly insights and practical development work can improve the participation of people experiencing poverty, social marginalization, discrimination, and oppression both at home and abroad. Outcomes Among the key outcomes of the Conference is a Communiqué that outlines Principles, Policies and Practices that contribute to human dignity and quality of life, mutual respect, and social, economic and ecological sustainability. Attendees at the event agreed on the importance of articulating the ethical underpinnings of international development, and the Communiqué contributes towards this goal by improving awareness and understanding of the broader importance and purposes of international development efforts. The Communiqué is appended to these Proceedings and available on the website, where you can also find information about speakers, abstracts of all papers, a full conference program, and acknowledgement and list of volunteers and contributors. Call to Action Ultimately, the future can only thrive through deliberate and thoughtful application of ethics in the present era through appropriate action towards mutually shared goals. Accordingly, the next steps in the movement toward these shared goals is to join, support, and engage with the networks that are taking action locally and globally. At the conclusion of these Proceedings is an annotated selected list of networks working toward the Sustainable Development goals, and information about how to join. If you have not already done so, consider adding your contact information to the Conference list by visiting the Finding the Good webpage and submitting the form. Members of the list will be informed of future or related events and activities.


Narrative Origin of the Project The idea for the Conference originated in May of 2017, when the Convener assembled an International Studies Association (ISA) Workshop grant application for a project entitled Benefits, Burdens, Barriers & Beliefs: ‘Finding’ Ethics in/of Current International Development Theory and Practice. Although the Workshop was not chosen for funding through the ISA, the essential objectives remained: 1. To spark innovative new thinking and approaches to ethics through a rigorous exchange of views among scholars that takes account of current benefits, burdens, barriers and beliefs in international development. 2. To mobilize the discussions from a Scholarly Workshop through an accompanying Conference event to exchange knowledge and connect researchers with practitioners, students and policy developers, in order to improve the effectiveness of development action. 3. To create the basis for a network for further collaborative work to build upon. Such an ecosystem will be an incubator for new networks, with output and dissemination through both traditional and non-traditional outlets. A total of 62 invitations were sent for this event, within Canada and throughout the world, and efforts were made to reach a diverse set of participants from different backgrounds. Planned participation in the combined Workshop and Conference was 50, and this goal was met. The 23 scholarly presenters


represented a range of disciplines, including Political Science, Philosophy, International Relations, and Public Policy. Experts brought their experience studying and working globally, including in Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mexico, China, India, Bangladesh, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Singapore, and the Middle East. Experts also brought extensive background in multilateral institutions, governmental agencies, research institutes, and national policy advisory bodies, including: the World Bank, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, the Africa Bureau of the US Agency for International Development, the Parkland Institute, and the Women, Peace and Security Network. Experts were joined by representatives of public and private organizations, community groups and practitioners actively working on the issues. Representatives from Her International, Hope for the Nations, the BC Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC), Vortovia, Global Citizen Kelowna, Hope for the Nations, World Neighbours Canada, and more participated.

Key Questions Posed Whose Ethics? •

Who are the subjects and audiences of ethical dilemmas? How should burdens and benefits be distributed? How might education and awareness contribute to support for human rights?

• •

Corporate Social Responsibility •

Can business be an effective partner for development, and what ethical considerations are necessary to build these partnerships? How does business need to change and adapt given the new pressures to act responsibly? What limitations are there on what business can effectively do?

Gender • •

Why does gender matter? To what degree can development thinking and acting more fully address gender in ways that are just? Is there anything new in the current framework of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy?

Presenters & Program

Global Goals On Day One, the Workshop sparked new thinking on ethics and began • What can be learned from the areas of conversations on key questions that then inaction in the framework of the UN’s carried over into activities on Day Two. Sustainable Development Goals, or from On the second day, discussions were those issues that are overlooked? designed to extend and expand the dialogues on specific questions. Sessions on both days included: Whose Ethics?, Social Justice, Inclusion and Human Rights, Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalization, Gender, Women and Feminism, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Sessions on Day Two included: Localizing the SDGs, Universality and Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility and Partnerships, the SDGs, and Women, Gender, Feminism, and Intersectionality. For a full list of all participants’ biographies, and detailed abstracts, please visit the website. 5

Day One (June 8th) The world faces many ethical disconnects: climate change adaptation, wealth and income inequality, and worsening human rights situations all speak to a reconsideration of the ethical underpinnings of norms, rights, duties and obligations in international development. On Day One, scholars presented their work while Commentators from civil society and government offered their reflections on the issues raised. Whose Ethics? The first set of papers addressed the defining questions prompted by ethical disconnects. Jay Drydyk introduced the group to a new publication, The Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics, which aims to provide readers with insight into the central questions of Worthwhile Goals of development ethics, the main approaches to answering Development Beyond Economic them, and areas for future research. This work emphasized Growth that “worthwhile development cannot be reduced to economic growth. Rather, a number of other goals must be • Enhancement of people’s wellbeing realized.” • Equitable sharing in benefits of Rosalind Warner’s development paper examined • Empowerment to participate recent trends toward freely in development the expansion of the • Promotion of human rights ethical community to • Promotion of cultural freedom, include the nonconsistent with human rights human world and • Responsible conduct, including even inanimate integrity over corruption places, focusing on ~Routledge Handbook of Development the Wanganui River Ethics Jay Drydyk, Lori Keleher, eds. Decision in New 2018 Zealand. This expansion represents an emerging body of law and practice that has the potential to disrupt existing patterns of global development. Warner argued that this is a positive trend that has been relatively ignored in mainstream sustainable development thinking. David Black spoke to Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and the way that a potential ethical conflict exists between the feminist ethics of Canadian civil society organizations, and the imperative of responding to the needs and priorities of communities and organizations in recipient countries. Black concluded that the process by which this prospective conflict is addressed, if not resolved, will be crucial in determining whether the policy constitutes a step towards a more responsive and just development policy, or one that is principally the basis for a self-serving narrative concerning Canadian values and virtues in the world. 6

Questions from participants focused on the nature of ethical standards and the ability of governments and others to put them into practice – one example raised was that of corruption. Is there a universal standard for judging corrupt practices, or are there a series of relative ethical codes by which practice is judged? Corrupt practices may be interpreted as shifts from neoliberal values based on exclusive property claims, back to kinship-based relationships. Corruption can also be seen through the lens of the ‘Asian Values’ debate. Discussion concluded with the point that great ethical codes often get filtered through many different ‘cultural prisms’ and it is the experience of violations that gives rise to the awareness of the need for a common set of values, which then plays out and helps to define the public sphere. Social Justice, Inclusion & Human Rights How might a fragmented community begin to open up space for discussion about the moral basis of human dignity? Participants noted that although universal human rights are embedded in international law and institutions, they cannot maintain their currency in the absence of active and substantive support. Chloe Schwenke explored whether and how a conceptualization of human rights that embraces a universal ethic of human dignity might be integrated into international development policy and programming. Schwenke argued that although there is increasing attention to the acknowledgment that many marginalized groups face significant levels of exclusion, stigma, humiliation, and even violence, social inclusion has yet to emerge as a framework that can reintroduce the moral and ethical components into international development theory and practice. In Cosmopolitan Emotions, the Ethics of Motivation and Contemporary Representations of Development John Cameron examined specific efforts to motivate public action on international development based on the use of the emotion of national pride. Cameron used Canadian campaigns, such as the ‘Bigger Than Our Borders’ campaign to highlight the weak understanding of the possible consequences of campaigns that rely on emotional appeals.

Emotion rules nearly all of our decisions… There is no longer debate about the centrality of emotion in fundraising and giving. ~ John Cameron

Questions and discussion centred on the transient nature of images that are used to communicate development both in government and society. A final question turned on the consistency and credibility of Canadian development policy, given that ‘we can’t even solve our own problems’ how can we as a country then go out into the world and claim to have the answers? This question confounded the panelists and those present.


Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalization

The third session examined the role of business, globalization and corporate social responsibility. The idea that business exists simply to promote profits and follow the law is out of touch with changing realities in an era of rising populism and newly-emerging economic powers.

Hypothesis 1: Community looks to nonstate actors in times of divisive populist moments (role of media, capitalism) Hypothesis 2: Business is forced to become political in populist political environments (self-interested, corporate egoism) Hypothesis 3: Business can serve as a champion on themes of human security (yes and no, sustainability concerns)

Kenneth Christie and Robert J. Hanlon explored the rise of populist movements in the West and their impact on the behaviour of transnational corporations. The authors argued that such movements are contributing to business uncertainty, thereby forcing industry to entrench politically sensitive policy into their social responsibility platforms.

~Hanlon and Christie, “Corporate Social Responsibility in times of Populism and Human Insecurity”

In her work Ethical Dilemmas and China’s Rise: How Might Geopolitical and Epistemological Flux Open Up a Space for a New Ethical Landscape in Aid Effectiveness? Linda Elmose explored how the rise of China and other middle powers challenged the ethical basis for aid and created a theoretical impasse over how to interpret the degree of change or stability in the existing order. Elmose proposed a system-challenging view rooted in critical theory and ethical international development to better contextualize and analyze this impasse.

“Corporations are people and they should act like it. Let us require them to act like decent human beings.”

Discussion focused on the ‘break points’ in the global order which reveal shifts in power relationships, including relationships between states, states and business, and between donors and recipients of aid. One important shift emerged after the 2008 ~Janice Larson financial crisis, which revealed flaws in the neoliberal model and strengths in the Chinese one. Many of the questions that followed focused on the emerging balance between public and private responsibilities for ethical conduct, and the balance between North and South as it shifts with the growth of the Chinese model. For example, what is the responsibility and what is the power of consumers to institute changes? Might CSR end up be a form of ‘greenwashing’, essentially covering fundamentally unethical corporate conduct, and where can voters and consumers get accurate information, in that case? Gender, Women and Feminism

In his paper Outing and Intervening: The Ethics of Engagement with the “gay debate” in Africa Marc Epprecht considered some of the ethical questions posed by the tensions between traditional “cultures of discretion” in Africa, health and human rights imperatives, and Western cultural or other interventions. This paper highlighted the inconsistencies between Canada’s current and historical stance on LGBTQ rights, as well as the sometimes unintended consequences that arise from policies that are blind to the colonialist context and the context of the debates that are taking place in Africa.


Rebecca Tiessen’s paper Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy and Gender Equality/Human Rights Commitments: Past Practice and Future Promises traced the numerous steps toward a feminist foreign policy between 2015 and 2017 with attention to how this strategy diverges from previous Canadian governments. Civil society organization (CSO) reactions to these early promises of improved gender equality programming were examined, particularly in relation to peace and security efforts abroad. Tiessen argued that the language in the FIAP keeps the emphasis on women and girls and their vulnerability, it fails to fully articulate a clear definition of feminism, ignores that there exist different feminist approaches, and lacks reference to masculinity, patriarchy, and therefore does not develop a transformational approach. The discussion in this session focused on the gap between ideals, language and goals of policy and the effort to find ways to actively resource initiatives that might put policies into practice and effect real change. For example, as Michael Simpson pointed out, there is a stark contrast between government spending on defence on the one hand and on Official Development Assistance on the other hand. As well, Rebecca Tiessen focused on the overemphasis on the ‘girl child’ and the consequent tendency for communicated images to reinforce development relationships as essentially based on caretaking rather than partnership. What role is there for men and masculinity in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy? The question of gender identity is also relevant, as it is increasingly the case that one’s internal identity is more determining than one’s appearance. There was some discussion, including disagreement, about whether Northern interventions in support of LGBTQ people in the South were effective or even ethical, given the high stakes and severe consequences for mismanaging this issue. The SDGs In the 1990s civil society and the international community called for action on the need for human security in the face of profound civil crises and economic disruption. The need is just as urgent today (if not more so). While the framework offered by the UN SDGs holds great promise as a means to renew global action on issues of inequity and security, it is not without gaps.

If you can’t have development without peace, and you can’t have peace without justice, then you can’t have development without justice (we just don’t know what justice means yet!)

Alistair Edgar’s paper addressed the emerging and growing trend towards securitization of humanitarianism, which has shrunk 'humanitarian space' and thereby undermined the security of humanitarian workers. The result is a conflict between the competing goals of development and the provision of human security.

~Alistair Edgar

Discussion of this important topic built on earlier questions about Canadian ‘ownership’ and the larger question of how countries create and aspire to particular images and identities. For Canada, as pointed out by Amanda Shatzko, that has been and continues to be framed by the image of peacekeeping, and of being a good citizen. This raises a number of questions: are we able to live up to the images that are brought forward, and how can responsibility for achieving justice be assigned? In particular, several raised the issue of accountability for violence and the difficulty of prioritizing peace over justice.


The story of Chloe Schwenke’s life SELF-ish: A Transgender Awakening experienced at her book signing and reception, held on the evening of Day One, provided a vivid illustration of the themes of human dignity, empowerment, and suffering with which the conference grappled. Day Two (June 9th) Day Two activities were designed to mobilize the discussions begun on the first day to further connect researchers with practitioners, students and policy decision makers, putting research into active use in policy and practice. Chloe Schwenke’s Keynote “Building Essential Bridges To Human Dignity” set the context by a brief “tour” of the leading ways in which foreign aid and international development are currently being framed in the United States and (quite differently) in Canada. Schwenke emphasized how human dignity is being articulated by leading thinkers, and how it remains at best a rhetorical flourish among government policy makers. Schwenke challenged the audience to use the emerging discourse on human dignity as a means to proactively bridge between the highly fragmented international development community, to build a coalition to defend and promote the premise of human dignity. Localizing the SDGs Breakout sessions continued the discussions begun on Day One, with an additional session added on the timely question of Localizing the SDGs. The 17 SDGs have both implicit and explicit relevance to local communities, although it can sometimes be difficult for people to think about how these ‘big’ goals might apply in their own neighbourhoods. While it is very clear that sustainable development needs to involve cities to be successful, what else needs to be considered beyond Goal 11? How might progress on the Goals be tracked locally? How might communities work within their regional, provincial, national and international contexts to improve coordination amongst each other and with other levels? In this session, participants looked closely at projects in motion to align local progress indicators with the Sustainable Development Goals in clear and useful ways. One key question to emphasize is how achieving the SDGs can benefit local communities? A couple of the challenges include the difficulty of reconciling a wide variety of measures, and the question of implementation of the Goals in the face of limited local government powers. As well, qualitative measures for things like inclusion and human rights are gaps. Ensuring and maintaining local relevance also means learning from the worldwide movement towards the SDGs and thereby putting local problems in the broader context.


CSR and SDGs The discussion in this session focused on human rights, equity issues, and sustainability as experienced by the participants in their professional lives. Advocacy for human rights often faces barriers in the mainstream business model, which is becoming applied in Companies are called to task to stay many global contexts, especially in academic organizations authentic in what they are saying and in government. The business model may have and the work they are doing. limitations that do not facilitate and enable discussion of human rights, except through the immediate supply chain. ~Nicole Rustad, CEO, Vortovia Sometimes these limitations can be overcome when principles are ‘baked in’ to the founding documents of organizations, which is increasingly true for social enterprises and in global organizations. As well, companies increasingly face criticism for inconsistencies in their operations, for example paying workers less than a living wage while claiming to support human rights around the world. Universality and Inclusion Motivation was also an important theme in this session, as “Be a global citizen. Act with the discussion revolved initially around the question of what passion and compassion. Help us and who were missing and why inclusion and universality make this world safer and more remained elusive. Chief exclusions include the natural sustainable today and for the environment, the colonial basis of the current world order generations that will follow us. That and human rights discourse, the disparities of wealth, the is our moral responsibility.” spiritual aspect of human experience, attention to people with disabilities, and limits in the human capacity to ~UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon experience empathy. In particular, more attention to making space of self-reflection and the ability to view one’s own complicity in problems were discussed as ways to address some of the gaps. Michael Simpson’s Keynote used a celebrity interview or ‘talk show’ format to bring forward the best dialogue with Instead of “Leave no one behind”, the participants. Participants explored questions asked by perhaps “stop putting obstacles in the interviewer and developed their own questions from peoples’ way” the floor. Simpson shared his personal story of discovery ~ Michael Simpson and his favourite strategies and ideas for talking about the SDGs with a wide variety of people and perspectives. In this session, everyone worked together to develop meaningful questions and explore answers in an informal conversational format. Michael shared some personal stories about why the Goals are important to him, how he has travelled on his journey, the challenges he has faced, and how and why we should all care about working towards a better world that leaves no one behind. Framing the


Keynote were the questions: what would you like to know most about the Sustainable Development Goals? Why are they important to you, to the people you work with, to the world? Feminism, Intersectionality and Inclusion One of the key issues encountered in this session was the way that language can evoke either active or passive visions of human rights engagement. Terms like ‘social justice warrior’, ‘human rights defender’ (or as an alternative ‘human rights accompanier’) and ‘global citizen’ can be interpreted and applied in ways that either support or suppress engagement and activism. With human dignity at the core of commonalities, it is possible to make hidden knowledge, resources, and actors more visible and more activated. Despite the temptation of ignoring or Intersectionality can be used as a moving away from ideas in a highly polarized atmosphere, tool to assess how multiple, our willingness to respect all people even when there are concurrent marginalizations affect a disagreements will benefit the efforts to achieve human person’s/community’s quality of life dignity. ~ Natalia Gallo, Masters’ student, UBC Okanagan


In this session, the discussion focused on the linkage between the big picture of the Global Goals and the view from the ground, asking the question what is the point? Some of the challenges identified: the power of money to influence the agenda, the focus on a growth economy, the tendency to marginalize peoples with less power, the tendency for governments in the North to displace responsibilities onto others, and a lack of political will and motivation. Various ideas were shared about how to continue to make the Goals relevant and operationalized: low key, low funding initiatives can prompt local conversations, bring in marginalized peoples and groups like women and migrants; increased motivation can come by focusing on interpersonal connections and narratives that help people identify with efforts; network thinking rather than platform thinking that can help to improve resilience. Crowdsourcing Activity In this activity, participants worked together to develop and prioritize a set of issues that would form an agenda for future work. Each participant wrote down their biggest, boldest idea for moving forward,


Key Priorities Identified •

Modernize our electoral system to encourage collaboration among leaders o First step: educate the public about electoral alternatives Recognize the inherent dignity in every person and their responsibility to care for the planet o First Step: define terms to appeal to a wider audience (beyond the radical left) Eliminate gender inequality o First step: promote women to power as leaders and nurturers Tax negative externalities o First step: address exploitative polluters in a holistic, quantitative way (carbon tax), minimize the damage of the agrifood industry

and these ideas were then ranked using index cards, with the top ten ideas posted to the Big Idea Board. Working Groups would then be tasked with developing programs of action from these priorities and with adding to the agenda. Working Groups A follow-up activity to the development of a list of key priorities was to formulate groups of interested people to continue working on those issues.

Outcomes Communiqué

In July, a Communiqué was circulated among all participants summarizing the essential ‘takeaways’ of the event. One conclusion is that a framework based on human dignity and quality of life, mutual respect, and social, economic and ecological sustainability is ambitious, but still achievable. Although not necessarily new, it is important in the current era to restate and make visible the abiding ethical basis for international development, since the future can only thrive through deliberate and thoughtful application of ethics in the present era. The recent heightened interest in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Canada’s Feminist International


Additional Ideas from Crowdsourcing Activity • •

• • • •

De-growth carbon-negative model of economics Engaging boys and men in gender discussions to help find solutions for inequality Remove state sovereignty and make space for universal recognition of human dignity Do what we claim we will do – SDG, Paris Agreement, and human rights implementation Human security for all – living wage, womens’ equality, eliminate violence Have businesses contribute to a community healing and wellness fund Clean water for all Canadians – eliminate gender inequality in WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) in indigenous and remote communities Disband capitalism and build societies around collaboration and care Create a basic global income Right to affordable, safe housing options Equitable distribution of wealth globally Redesign cities so that the sustainable option is the easiest and most convenient choice for everyday citizens (it’s automatic) First steps: political will & funding

Assistance Policy, and other policy changes provides openings from which to springboard such ethical discussions. Book Project

Main Themes:

At the conclusion of Day Importance of power, ownership One, participants explored and responsibility and importance the idea of a book project of listening to expand the discussion among scholars and Need for locally-driven, contextpractitioners. In this specific, grassroots initiatives discussion, three main Norms, motivation needed to underlying themes of the make change project were identified, as well as the main gaps in knowledge that might be addressed. Discussion about a book project focused on three main considerations: who is the audience? How is it going to be organised? And what are the overlying theme(s)? The 3 main themes identified constitute important and fruitful avenues for future research in the area. For example, future research might explore how changing perceptions of ownership and responsibility might inform and motivate improved development outcomes. Such an analysis could go Main gaps: beyond the distributional Ethics of health care issues to embrace the broader ethical implications Lack of acknowledgement of of a ‘common global different systems of thought and responsibility’ for ways of knowing development. For example, SDG#12 focuses on Ethical aspects of motivation Responsible Consumption Bridging the gap between theory and Production, emphasizing and practice both sides of the responsibility ‘equation’. A research program focused on common responsibility could be counterposed with or accompanied by the more established literature surrounding the ethics of human rights.

Alternatively, a common responsibility approach recognizes the shared nature of challenges rather than the North-South split. It also recognizes the necessity to lay the groundwork for a public sphere beyond the level of states. As well, a focus on responsibilities is in keeping with the trends within the UN system to broadly shift 14

towards the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (human security), and the ‘Responsibility to Prepare’ (resilience in the face of climate change). Towards this, the concept of a ‘Responsibility to Human Dignity’ may be a fruitful concept that can be leveraged for further research. Indeed, an ethic of human dignity and common responsibility is implied through and within the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals framework. Such a foundational concept as human dignity may also complement the existing established nodes of human security and human development. In sum, participants welcomed the notion of human-centric, and even humanity-centric, set of concepts that might be useful to advance considerations of ethics in international development. There was some discussion as well with respect to the potential form of a research project. A book collection might follow the Conference format of scholarly chapters, followed by commentaries from members of the development, government, and civil society sectors. This format would allow for a good balance and dialogue between theoretical and practical perspectives. There is potential as well for publishing an open access book that would have wide appeal both within and beyond the scholarly community. An open access project also opens up the potential for more interactive and educational elements, if produced as an online resource. Further scholarly activity may build on innovative questions about how and where development happens. By examining the diverse spaces and places where innovation takes place, it opens up the possibilities to consider emotion, ethics, law, knowledge, and ideology in creating spaces of change. What are the most urgent ethical problems confronting global development? Innovations in global development historically emerge from crises that provoke widespread questioning of purposes and direction. The current wave of crises arise from several different sources, including global inequalities, ecological contradictions, and human rights and human security failures. The need for sustained and rigorous examination of these trends is therefore acute. Work that examines recent trends and identifies the sources of crises, the kinds of ethical dilemmas and responses these present, and future directions for global sustainable development theory and practice is therefore called for. Networking Outcomes During the nearly year-long planning for Finding the Good, new networks and connections began which continue to be deepened and strengthened. A signup form on the website continues to attract attention, and now includes a contact list of 150 names in addition to the 50 who attended the event. 78% of survey respondents were either mostly or extremely satisfied with the event. Exposure on social media was also substantial: 3,867 were reached by the Facebook event page, with 107 total responses. There were 791 views of the Conference video introduction. There is a compendium of Tweets in a Moment here, and an Image Gallery here. The Website garnered a total of 494 unique page views to date.

Meeting someone as intelligent, hopeful, and happy as her was absolutely one of the more valuable experiences in my life. ~ Cole Hickson, student, Thompson Rivers University


Overall, this conference was very helpful in advancing my knowledge about the “cutting edge” of development studies in Canada and in the US, both from the standpoint of theory and practice.

Media coverage was mostly local, and included: Kelowna Capital News, Castanet, BC Local News, International Sustainable Campus Network, the CED Network, and the Academic Council on the UN System. A blog post appearing on the BCCIC’s blog The Wave summarized some of the initiatives taking place locally.

~ Linda Elmose

Project Ideas

During Day Two, participants were invited to form Working Groups who could deepen their connections through projects and activities. Some ideas for projects: • • • • • • • • •

an innovative non-expert engagement project (short video, webpage, event) an article in a well-read public venue (magazine, newsletter, or communiqué ) curriculum developed for a team-taught course a book proposal a policy brief (1-2 page) a scholarly journal article or themed journal issue other informal community dialogue a library or museum display a blog series

To build on innovative work in this area that is already being done, follow-up work from the Conference will involve the organization of a compendium of projects already in development that build on the Conference themes. Please submit your resource, project or project idea on the website, and/or email if you would like to participate in the online community. Please spread the Conference Communiqué to any professional networks of interest. This event would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and groups. Visit for a full listing.

Appendices • • • •

List of Networks Communiqué Conference Schedule Inside Okanagan article


Approaching global change, with all of its challenges and opportunities, requires robust dialogue between all actors involved in international development – public, private, nonprofit and academic among others – and will need new streams of research to inform practitioners as they seek to achieve global sustainable development in an effective and ethical way ~Her International

List of Networks (Check website for updates) •

• •

• • • • •

Alliance2030 is a national network of organizations, institutions, and individuals committed to achieving the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the year 2030. o Many of the resources listed here are replicated on their Resource website. Canada2030 The Canada of tomorrow may not be the country it is today, and positioning ourselves, our cities and our organizations is key. What will you do in 2030, where will you be? Generation SDG Communiqué from SDG summit - How do we catalyze the most impactful and coordinated actions to ensure effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Canada? Geneva2030 Ecosystem The objective of the Geneva 2030 Ecosystem is to mobilize the capacity, skills, experience, ideas and motivation of Geneva-based actors towards realizing the 2030 Agenda. Global Affairs Canada Feminist International Assistance Policy Global Compact Network – corporate network in support of the UN’s SDGs International Development Ethics Association (IDEA) Sustainable Development Solutions Network UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples implementation handbook

Localizing the SDGs • BC2030 Community Roundtables (@BCCIC) • Community Foundations of Canada Vital Signs • IISD Community Indicator Systems (CIS) are online platforms that local actors can use to track issues that matter to their community. • Statistics Canada Data Hub


Communiqué On June 8th and 9th researchers, students, community members and practitioners gathered at Okanagan College to explore ways of articulating and sharing ethical international development ideas and practices. Over the course of the two-day event, participants interacted in engaging sessions on gender, local governance, corporate social responsibility and sustainability, among many others. Participants recognized that international development decision making often emerges from a process that obscures or omits consideration of its underlying ethical foundations. An important theme of the meeting is that a lack of reflection risks creating ethical harms (often unforeseen) that can then lead to political harms. When there is little consideration of the ethical basis for principles, policies, and practices, it is more likely that narrow, instrumental, self-congratulatory or self-serving decisions may result. An important goal of this gathering is to raise awareness of the moral and ethical ‘topography’ of international development, and hopefully (in time) to generate an increased demand for explicit ethical justifications to be offered in all such activities. The following is an outline of the key principles, policies and practices that might potentially help to contribute to this objective. A framework based on human dignity and quality of life, mutual respect, and social, economic and ecological sustainability is ambitious, but still an achievable goal. Although not necessarily new, it is important in the current era to restate and make visible the abiding ethical basis for international development, since the future can only thrive through deliberate and thoughtful application of ethics in the present era. The recent heightened interest in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, and other policy changes provides openings from which to springboard such ethical discussions. For two intensive days, participants grappled with the abiding questions of how to realize universal values like human dignity, equality of opportunity, mutual respect and sustainability. Although it is impossible to capture all of the contributions that were made, and participants will come away with their own unique takeaways, this communiqué seeks to capture the most indispensable content that might inform a research program around ethics and international development. The purpose of these preliminary observations is not for all of us to achieve consensus agreement, but rather to spark further discussion and interest. Principles • • •

Human dignity, accountability, and responsibility should be central organizing principles for policy and practice Experiences of inequity and suffering challenge existing frameworks of human dignity and rights, and prompt increasing consideration of their underlying ethical justifications Increasing awareness of the need for ethical deliberation can improve the accountability of processes and outcomes 18

• • • •

More equitable and inclusive systems of participation tend to lead to more equitable systems of distribution A flexible, relational and functional ethics is compatible with and can be supportive of cosmopolitan principles of human rights and human dignity The knowledge, experience, and perspective of aid recipients should centrally inform ethical deliberation over policy and practice that concerns them Respect for the knowledge, experience and perspective of others opens with self-knowledge and self-awareness

Policies • • • •

• • • • •

There is a tension between the durability of ethical principles and the transience of interests and politics Policy processes take place in an ethical context that affects policy outcomes, however this is rarely acknowledged or made visible Policy processes should take account of the moral justifications for any trade-offs that are imposed New kinds of corporate, charitable, societal, activist, governmental and intergovernmental relationships are impacting policy and may be generating new ethical risks, such as overly competitive or overbearing principles for aid provision A balance and bridging between holistic/global and specific/local approaches is beneficial, for example between international, national, regional and municipal government levels Fragmentation of the international development community may present unintentional risks, such as reduced coordinated action toward policy changes Policies are more successful when they recognize their own gaps and limitations Policies are more successful when ethics are deliberated and considered at the earlier, rather than later, stages Closer collaboration among academics and practitioners can help to bridge gaps between abstract analysis and practical implementation of policies

Practices •

• •

• •

Strategies for change in policy and practice benefit from learning and collaboration among diverse groups, for example the Alliance2030 approach is to align with the Global Goals while supporting each group’s efforts to determine their own responses and strategies Ethically-based relationships should stem from a practical awareness of inequities at multiple levels: interpersonal, intersocietal, intersectional, and intergovernmental Motivation for ethical change to achieve goals emerges from multiple sources: education, collaboration, communication, storytelling, the use of imagery, activation of emotions, and a sense of ownership Complex problems call for ambitious goals grounded in respect for human dignity that do not displace and replace the autonomy, capabilities, and agency of communities An ethically-informed practice requires a special effort towards continual listening, questioning, recognition, and action around inequities and injustices 19

Presenters, Schedule and Papers June 8th, 2018 Workshop E103 Time 7:45am8:15am 8:158:45am 8:4510:00am

Title Coffee

Participants & Papers

Introduction & Overview Session One: Whose Ethics?

Charlotte Kushner, VP Students, Okanagan College


Session Two: Social Justice, Inclusion & Human Rights


11:15am12:30pm 12:301:45pm


1:452:00pm 2:00pm3:15pm


Session Three: Corporate Social Responsibility and Globalization

Session Four: Gender, Women & Feminism

Jay Drydyk “Some Current Directions in Development Ethics” Rosalind Warner “Expanding the Ethical Community to Include the Non-Human World: Implications for International Sustainable Development Theory and Practice” 3. David Black “Canada’s “Feminist International Assistance Policy” and country “ownership”: whose ethics, for what audience?” 1. 2.

Chloe Schwenke “Universal values in practice – moral deficits within USAID development programming” 5. John Cameron “From Global Citizenship to Cosmopolitanism and Back: Implications for Curriculum Design and Teaching” 6. Commentary: Rebecca Tiessen

Kenneth Christie & Robert J. Hanlon “Corporate Social Responsibility in times of Populism and Human Insecurity” 8. Linda Elmose “Ethical Dilemmas and China’s Rise: How Might Geopolitical and Epistemological Flux Open Up a Space for a New Ethical Landscape in Aid Effectiveness?” 9. Commentary: Janice Larson 7.

10. Marc Epprecht “Outing and Intervening: The Ethics of

Engagement with the “gay debate” in Africa” 11. Rebecca Tiessen “Canada's Feminist Foreign Policy and

Gender Equality/Human Rights Commitments: Past Practice and Future Promises” 12. Commentary: Mike Simpson 3:154:30pm

Session Five: the SDGs

13. Mitu Sengupta (Skype) “The Sustainable Development Goals

– An Evaluation” 20




Discussion of Book Project


Reception (Infusions)

Participants & Papers 14. Alistair Edgar “Can - and should - humanitarian intervention in conflict-affected states be separated from development?” 15. Commentary: Amanda Shatzko

All- Book Signing and Interview with Chloe Schwenke for “SELFish: A Transgender Awakening”

June 9th, 2018 Conference Atrium Time 8:00-8:30am

Title Coffee

Speaker & Topic


Introduction & Overview


Keynote One

Chloe Schwenke “Building Essential Bridges To Human Dignity”


Breakout Session One

Localizing the SDGs Amanda Shatzko (Chair), Rafael Villarreal, Dan Harris, Jennifer Temmer Universality & Inclusion Shawna McLean (Chair) John Cameron, Marc Epprecht Corporate Social Responsibility and Partnerships Robert J. Hanlon, Kenneth Christie, Nicole Rustad


Crowdsourcing Activity

All – this activity utilizes Liberating Structures facilitation technique 25/10 Crowdsourcing


Lunch & Networking

Matchups of scholars and practitioners- check the Big Idea Board


Keynote Two

Michael Simpson, BCCIC “Global Goals Talkshow”


Breakout Session Two

Women, Gender, Feminism and Intersectionality Natalia Gallo, David Black, Rebecca Tiessen. The SDGs Alistair Edgar, Jay Drydyk, Linda Elmose.


Networking Activity

All – follow-on from crowdsourcing activity to form Working Groups and identify themes 21

Article in Inside Okanagan Conference finds the good in society Scores of international development scholars and practitioners from across North America converged upon the Kelowna campus on June 8-9 for Finding the Good, a conference aimed at sparking dialogue and devising real-world solutions to some of the most pressing issues facing marginalized populations and individuals around the world. The conference included workshops, discussions and networking, with a focus on developing a book project on the theme of Ethics in International Development. Sessions covered topics from public-private sector partnerships to sustainability to women, gender and feminism. Day two of Finding the Good saw keynote presentations by International Development professionals Chloe Schwenke and Michael Simpson. Schwenke, a renowned LGBTQ+ scholar and advocate, spoke about new ways of addressing questions around human dignity and basic human rights in a rapidly changing world. Simpson, who is Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Development (BCCIC), led a discussion which aimed to put the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations in 2015 - into a more local context. The conference was organized by OC Political Science professor Dr. Rosalind Warner. Click here to learn more.


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