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Welcome from IFSW

Join the conversation on the role and future of Social Work

Dear Friends and Colleagues,  


More than a hundred years ago the world’s social workers came together to talk about the practice of social work on a global level. They came by steamer and sail, they came by rail and they came by foot. They brought with them their wisdom, knowledge and experience gained through years of practice in their own nations.   


The world was changing quickly around them. The future seemed volatile, even dangerous, with huge displacements of people and rapidly evolving technologies that were fundamentally altering civilization.  They came eager to share. They came thirsty to learn. Most of all, they came eager to collaborate in creating a shared vision for this important new profession of social work.  


In July 15-18, 2020, we will have a similar, watershed conversation. Just as then, the world is rapidly changing, volatile and facing huge challenges. These challenges will demand more of humanity, and by extension our profession, than ever before.   That’s why we’re hoping you’ll make a point of joining us at SWSD2020 in Calgary, Canada, July 15-18, in the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  To harness the energy and passion of social workers we’re creating a new and different kind of conference for 2020. A conference that will truly be a global dialogue. 


We’ve created new ways to share and new ways to exchange ideas. For example, ten-minute “Ted-Talk” style presentations to allow you to inspire and educate.   We’re designing new spaces and finding new ways to collaborate and listen. At the end of the day we want your wisdom – the wisdom of the world to help IFSW better represent your interests in the coming decade.  


Sit alongside global political and civil society leaders, representatives of communities that use social services, educators and social workers from throughout the world as we discuss and set the themes that we will work towards from 2020 to 2030. Come to come to Calgary and be part of this important moment in history and for our profession.   


We look forward to seeing you in July 2020!  


Silvana Martinez                     Rory Truell 

IFSW President                         IFSW Secretary-General

The Global Social Work Agenda

The 2020 IFSW social work conference in Canada will finalize a global consultation process that will set the strategic priorities for the social work profession from 2020 to 2030. 

Welcome from the Calgary Organizing Committee

Come to Mohkinstsis

Come to a traditional place of conversation and collaboration in the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Hello everyone.
In July 2020 we invite you to be heard. Bring your wisdom, bring your hopes and dreams. Come to collaborate and shape a future vision for social work in a place called Mohkinstsis – the name for Calgary in the language of the Blackfoot peoples.

Mohkinstsis has always held significance for the Indigenous peoples who call this region home. The word means “elbow” – a place where two mighty rivers come together, and a place where the tribes would meet. A place of conversation, collaboration and sharing.

Mohkinstsis is still a beautiful spot. A sunny place framed by the majestic Rocky Mountains and endless blue-sky horizons. The wide-open vistas and rugged beauty create a feeling of unbounded possibilities. Calgary is still a hub of collaboration and the energy of the place seems to invite new ways of thinking, new associations and new approaches.

Following years of consultation, the SWSD 2020 scientific community created compelling, broad themes for this landmark conference. We have raised the lodgepoles of the teepee if you will, and now require the cloth of your input, woven with collaborative conversation to complete our gathering place.

Calgary has been declared one of the world’s “most liveable cities,” and one of the world’s “cleanest cities.” The city is very affordable (especially by European standards), has easy flight connections, and visitors can take advantage of a favourable exchange rate. For many, Calgary is a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list trip. We’re less than an hour from Banff and stunning Lake Louise in the Rocky Mountains, with many attractions and world heritage sites.

So, come to Mohkinstsis, July 15-18, 2020 and be part of the conversation. Be part of the future. We need the wisdom of the world’s social worker’s more than ever and we want you to be a part of this.

Dr. Jackie Sieppert, PhD, RSW
Dean, University of Calgary, Faculty of Social Work
SWSD2020, Calgary, Local Organizing Committee

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