UNRISD Director Sarah Cook is embarking today on a two-week visit to Canberra and Sydney, where she will give opening presentations at two international conferences and speak at a number of panel discussions, public seminars and workshops. During her trip she will have the opportunity to share and discuss UNRISD research with academics, development policy makers and practitioners from NGOs and the Australian government, and members of the public via an open public debate.
While in Canberra, Sarah Cook will give the keynote address at the Australian National University (ANU) conference Rethinking Environmental Futures in Asia and the Pacific
on 14-15 November 2013. In her presentation, she will examine the changing landscape of social protection in Asia since the 1997 financial crisis in the region, in particular raising issues about which new directions in social policy are necessary to address contemporary global challenges such as climate change and its local impacts.
She will also speak as a panellist at the prestigious One Just World Forum
on the damaging consequences of inequality, along with Richard Wilkinson, one of the authors of The Spirit Level
, the recent influential book on the social impacts of inequality. The event will be held in the National Gallery of Australia on 12 November 2013 and is organized by DFAT (formerly AusAID) and local NGO World Vision Australia. One Just World is a national series of public panel discussions, aiming to involve the wider Australian community in key debates on international development and social justice issues. Previous speakers have included Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (former Vice President of South Africa, now Executive Director of UN Women) and Kevin Rudd (former Australian Prime Minister).
In Sydney, Sarah Cook will speak at a plenary of Development Futures: Alternative Pathways to End Poverty
, a conference organized by ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) University Network on 21-22 November 2013. The Network is a collaboration of practitioners from Australian NGOs and academics which organizes events to develop partnerships between academics, policy makers and NGOs and thereby work more effectively against poverty and injustice.
In addition to her plenary talk, Sarah Cook will also address two conference side events
as a panel member. At the Young Professionals’ Event on 19 November 2013 she will discuss how the development sector is changing and responding to new trends, challenges and opportunities, while at Rethinking Empowerment of Widows in SE Asia and the Pacific on 21 November 2013, she will speak about the challenges for research in bridging development and rights issues.
While in Australia, Sarah Cook will also be taking the opportunity to participate in a series of meetings, workshops and roundtables with government officials and units responsible for aid, social development, research and gender to build relationships and explore possibilities for future engagement.