The 19th International Symposium of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) will focus on transforming society dealing with key international social development issues at the local, regional, and international levels.​

This theme builds on the previous ICSD conferences emphasising good governance, as well as new and emerging issues in social development requiring attention. At the same time, strong community leadership is needed to tackle the problems of an increasingly polarised and troubled world. Vibrant models of social development for transforming communities will be explored in addressing the pertinent current issues, as well as the challenges and opportunities in the coming decades.

The key areas of focus for this Symposium are on social and community leadership for transformation of society and impact on social development. Potential issues or topics include:

  • Community organising, neighbourhood and grassroots leadership
  • Social leadership, leadership development and volunteerism
  • Economic crises and implications on international social development
  • International migration and employment
  • Social and political conflict, stability and cooperation
  • Civil society, democracy and alternative models
  • Human rights perspectives and human well-being
  • Social equity, poverty and income disparity
  • Dynamic children and youth development
  • Ageing populations and cities for all ages
  • Models of women and minority development
  • New diversity, social inclusion, integration and development
  • Sustainable development and the environment
  • Innovative social enterprise projects and corporate social responsibility

Vibrancy of Social Development
The various themes of the conference can also take on a regional outlook with specific focus on issues related to the developing nations in the world, and Asia, in particular, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

Singapore is also the gateway to the ASEAN region and has a vibrant social development record. The hosting of the ICSD Symposium in Singapore provides an opportunity to profile the development models in Asia and the region. It also serves as a very effective conduit for representatives from the other Asian and developing countries to participate in this conference and present various pragmatic approaches to social development.​


Guest of Honor

Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Deputy Prime Minister, Singapore

DPM Tharman is the Guest of Honour for the ICSD 2015 Conference. He was appointed Deputy Prime Minister in the Singapore Cabinet in May 2011. He continues to serve as Minister for Finance since December 2007. DPM Tharman will address the participants at the Opening Ceremony.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Noeleen Heyzer
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
[ View Bio ]

Prof Michael Sherraden
GWB School, Washington University
[ View Bio ]

Mr Ang Hak Seng
CED, People's Association
[ View Bio ]
Daniel S. Sanders Peace and Justice Memorial Lecture

Mr Lawrence Wong
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth
[ View Bio ]
Plenary Speakers

Mr David N Jones
Past President, IFSW
[ View Bio ]

Ms Ang Bee Lian
Director of Social Welfare, Singapore
[ View Bio ]

Prof Vimla V. Nadkarni
President, International Association of Schools of Social Work
[ View Bio ]

Professor Leila Patel
Professor at University of Johannesburg
[ View Bio ]

Professor Manohar Pawar
Professor at Charles Sturt University, Australia
[ View Bio ]

Professor Mariko Kimura
Regional President, International Federation of Social Work Asia Pacific Region
[ View Bio ]

Tribute to Pioneers
This exciting session hosted by Professor James Midgley will pay tribute to the extraordinary men and women who helped found ICSD and pioneered the organisation's development. President Barbara Shank will highlight the key roles of the past presidents in the context of ICSD's history and contribution. Professor Dave Hollister, as one of the original pioneers, will give us a glimpse of the early years, especially the work and contribution of the founding President Professor Dan Sanders. Professor Chuck Cowger will then talk briefly about the role of Professor Jim Billups, who succeeded Dan as President of ICSD. Professor Vijay Pillai, the current editor of Social Development Issues, will provide an overview of the journal's history, and Professor Midgley will end the session by commenting on the intellectual contribution and future challenges facing our dynamic organisation.

Special Workshops

  • Pre Conference Workshop (7 July 2015, 2.00pm - 4.00pm)
    Mediation of Family and Community Conflicts [Synopsis]
  • Post Conference Workshop 1 (10 July 2015, 2.30pm - 4.30pm)
    Community-based Strategies for Reaching Out to Caregivers [Synopsis]
  • Post Conference Workshop 2 (10 July 2015, 2.30pm - 4.30pm)
    Community Based Child Centric Social Work Practice [Synopsis]

Pre-conference, Community Visit & Field Visits
The conference hosts will arrange several pre- and post-conference events which will include visits to sites of interest. These visits will feature the conference themes.

International Advisors for Scientific & Publications Committee
Professor James Midgley, Professor David Hollister, Professor Hugo Kamya and Professor Michael Sherraden


Supporting Partners