IVCO 2024 Dates and Hosts Announced

‘Building and Sustaining Connections for Change: Volunteering for Solidarity’

9-12 September 2024

Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom


We are delighted to announce that the next IVCO conference will take place from the 9th to the 12th of September 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. Northumbria University will lead the preparations for hosting IVCO 2024 with support from Forum’s Ireland-based member organisation Comhlámh. The theme for IVCO 2024 is ‘Building and Sustaining Connections for Change: Volunteering for Solidarity’.

IVCO 2024 marks a unique collaboration between Northumbria University and Comhlámh, rooted in social justice and pioneering volunteer research for tangible impact. For the first time, an academic institution hosts the annual IVCO conference. This partnership extends Forum’s dedication to building a robust research and evidence base for volunteering.

Participants will connect with practitioners and researchers working on volunteering, climate change, displacement, and vital global issues. This bridge between academics and practitioners presents a rare chance to foster collaborative efforts, driving evidence-based solutions, community impact, and meaningful change.

Northumbria University is a research-intensive, modern university with a global reputation for academic excellence; its Centre for Global Development is a growing research group bringing together academics,  practitioners, policy-makers and students to create knowledge, insight and capacity on volunteering, humanitarian crises and development.

Comhlámh, the Irish Association of Development Workers and Volunteers, is a membership organisation with nearly 50 years’ experience of supporting people and organisations to mobilise for global justice and respond to the unprecedented challenges the world is facing;  it has also developed a niche in international volunteering, and through the Comhlámh Code of Good Practice, provides a set of standards for Irish Volunteer Sending Agencies facilitating international placements.

IVCO 2024 Theme: ‘Building and Sustaining Connections for Change: Volunteering for Solidarity’

Are the relationships we have in the ‘volunteering in development’ sector enough, at a time of rapid change? What kinds of solidarities and connections can volunteering mobilise to support greater equity, social justice and sustainability, and at what scales? How can we build, nurture and sustain those connections despite myriad challenges? How can we become more comfortable with trying, testing and embracing the idea of failing, knowing that our world and its challenges are complex and ever-changing? How might we move towards a ‘volunteering for solidarity’ approach?

IVCO 2024 will explore these questions in relation to the roles of volunteers in an increasingly unequal world characterised by division and crisis. To do this, it will critically explore the multiple kinds of solidarities and connections that volunteering mobilises, and how these relate to the critical global challenges we face. The conference will celebrate and explore how volunteering can create connections at diverse scales – community, national, international – building new solidarities that challenge the traditional focus of aid and development flows and enable meaningful and lasting social change.

More details will follow in the coming months, so stay tuned! In the meantime, explore the IVCO 2024 website

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