International Development Student Conference

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Conference team group shot

10th Annual International Development Student Conference

This year’s International Development Conference on Conscious Consumerism was a successful event and was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the 10th year of this student-run conference. The day was filled with engaging speakers, workshops, panelists, and booths. Students, staff, faculty, friends, and family participated in a variety of intriguing discussions about the effects of consumerism and how we can all live more consciously and sustainably.

Our first speaker, Dr. Jennifer Lynes, gave a great talk about both individual and collective consumer choice changes and the role of marketing to promote conscious consumerism products, movements and initiatives. She explained that conscious consumerism is more than just buying products that are less harmful for the environment. It entails choosing to consume less overall; to live more simply and therefore, more consciously. Dr. Siera Vercillo gave a wonderful talk regarding food production, the Green Revolution, sustainable farming practices, and the importance of bottom-up local development initiatives, with a particular focus on her work in Ghana. Finally, our keynote speaker, Daniel Wilcox, came from World Vision Canada to speak about their incredible No Child for Sale Campaign, as well as their efforts to create supply chain legislation so that the government can ensure no imports to Canada have ties to any form of child labour.

Our workshops were also very engaging and provided the audience with a variety of information and skills. The University of Waterloo’s Ecology Lab led a fun workshop on making reusable beeswax food wraps, Waterloo Professor, Dr. Steffanie Scott, led a workshop on community supported agriculture in Canada, and finally, Carter Kirilenko, an Environment and Business student at the University of Waterloo, led a session on the use of storytelling to promote sustainability. We were also fortunate to have a number of University of Waterloo clubs and societies, as well as local organizations, all who work towards encouraging a more conscious campus/community.

We are so grateful to all who participated in and attended the 10th Annual International Development Conference. We hope to have inspired change and to have empowered people to make more conscious choices in their day to day lives. See you next year!

Student with INDEV banner

Break out session