Ways to Share, learn & participate

On the Main Stage (60 minutes)


World leaders and global social change-makers will make inspirational and challenging contributions charting how the social work profession can heighten dignity, tolerance and social justice. Each 40-minute plenary session will be followed by open microphone questions and comments. All contributions will be recorded and contribute to The Global Social Work Agenda 2020–30.

Concurrent Sessions (30 minutes)


Each of these facilitated sessions will be recorded and all contributions will be submitted to contribute to The Global Social Work Agenda 2020–30. The concurrent sessions will allow participants to learn of other’s experiences in establishing social work solutions and the impact this has had on communities and society. 

Workshops (60 minutes)


Facilitated workshops will enable participants the opportunity to explore and reflect on global challenges and social work responses in creating solutions. There will be opportunities to advocate for what should be included in the Global Agenda for Social Work 2020–30.

Panel Discussions (120 Minutes)


These discussions will be led by expert panel members who will test their ideas about the future role of social work with conference participants. All contributions will be recorded and contribute to the Global Agenda 2020–30 outcomes statement.

Ten Minute Talks (10 minutes)


New to SWSD2020 is the opportunity to make an inspirational ‘Ted Talk’ style presentation. PowerPoints are permitted, but not encouraged, as the inspiration should come from the heart, beliefs and experiences of the speaker. All contributions will be recorded and contribute to the Global Agenda 2020–30.

Indigenous-led Exchanges


Indigenous Elders from Canada and around the world will host sessions promoting indigenous culture and knowledge. The sessions will reflect on how traditional wisdom can contribute to the profession.  All conference participants are welcome. Findings from these sessions will also inform the Global Agenda 2020–30 process. 

Service User-led Exchange


We're also featuring sessions led by people with lived-experience and/or social work service-users. These sessions will ensure that their voices and aspirations are included in the setting of the Social Work Agenda. 

Poster Sessions


Posters will be integrated throughout the conference space, making it easier to engage with authors and researchers. We hope this will create more dialogue about their ideas. All posters will be recorded and used in the Agenda setting process.

Sustenance Spaces


The Exhibition Hall features different kinds of physical and intellectual sustenance. Displays, booths, posters, bookshops and coffee tables provide a relaxing place to meet people and exchange ideas. Yoga classes will be provided during the lunch sessions in an adjacent room for relaxation and light exercise. Bring your ideas and an open mind as you meet and mingle with social workers from around the globe. There will be a collection box in the exhibition hall where you can post any statements, you’d like to contribute to the Global Agenda 2020-2030

Market Place


Learn about services and products from organizations and companies from around the globe. This space will also include Canadian-themed books and gifts. Email us if you're interested in being a part of the market place.

Meet Social Work Authors


The conference will provide spaces for authors to promote their books and to engage in dialogue with conference participants. Interested publishers and authors should email Kate Cheney

Satellite Sessions


Satellite sessions are taking place in communities around the world leading up to and during the conference. The main stage speakers and plenary sessions will be live-streamed, enabling people who can't attend to participate, ask questions and make their comments in real time. Satellite sessions will be organized by IFSW members, NGOs, universities, and alike. All contributions from satellite station will be recorded and used in the Agenda setting process.



We heard you

SWSD2020 will be a different kind of conference. We invite your input on the future of social work and the world.  This conference is about dialogue, sharing and collaboration. It’s going to be a conference about really listening. The dialogue starts right now, with the way we solicit contributions to the conference. While research remains a crucial part of what we do, we want to go deeper. We want to capture different kinds of contributions. 

New ways to learn

SWSD2020 will learn from Indigenous elders, global leaders, educators, those who use social services, and social workers from around the world. Together we’ll learn about new breakthroughs, promising new approaches and how we can act together to strengthen social work solutions to local and global problems. In short the conference will capture the heart and soul of social work around the globe.

More than just abstracts

Rather than just the usual call for papers, SWSD2020 is making a call for contributions. You’ll find new ways of sharing in our submission tool, including Indigenous elder-led sessions aimed at bringing a new perspective and wisdom to social work. We’re also creating new “10-minute talks” which will allow you to share a “Ted Talk” style presentation on your research, or on a subject that you’re passionate about.

New spaces to share & learn

This commitment to dialogue will be reflected in the organization of the conference which will privilege new spaces to collaborate, new ways of sharing and new approaches to generating dialogue. Of course, the goal is to capture as much of your input as possible so we can create a living and breathing Social Work Agenda for the coming decade that reflects the concerns, interests, hopes, dreams and vision of social workers around the globe. 

What do   you think? Email us or contact us through social media if you have any thoughts or good ideas on how we're planning this conference.