Social work scientists look to the future with global conference

Social work scientists at Glasgow Caledonian University have organised a unique online event crossing three time zones and involving experts from around the world.

The ‘What social work does the world need now?’ virtual conference is the brainchild of researchers Dr Heather Lynch and Dr Tina Wilson, from GCU’s Social Work Futures? Research Group.

Dr Lynch and Dr Wilson decided to organise the conference because they felt that social work, particularly in the UK, was behind the times when it comes to addressing big global challenges like climate change, environmental crisis and new technology.

Staff, students and anyone interested in the field of social are invited to join the daylong event being held on June 28. Sign up by clicking here.

There will be an array of experts and panellists sharing their research across three times zone blocks – Australasia, Africa and Europe, and Americas – throughout the day.

Keynote speakers include Professor Stephen Webb, GCU Assistant Vice Principal Community and Public Engagement and Chair of Social Work, and Professors Susan Kemp, from the University of Auckland, and Walter Lorenz, from Bozen and Charles University Prague.

Dr Wilson, from McMasters University, Ontario, will be chairing the event. She joined GCU last September after the Department of Social Work clinched a prestigious two-year Canadian national Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Post-Doctoral Fellowship.

Her innovative research is entitled ‘Social Work and the Climate Crisis: Caring on a Damaged Planet’ and she is also working with researchers on a number of major projects including this latest conference.

Dr Lynch said: “This conference is very exciting and will be held across three time zones. We have experts from around the world sharing their knowledge on climate change, the environment and technology.

“Social work has been behind the times when it comes to big challenges that face society right now like climate change, environmental crisis, new technology. We will be examining what these challenges mean for social work and how we can address them.

“My work is around post-humanism and environmental studies and we thought it would be really interesting to examine what this means for social work because we know there’s more work going on in Australia and North America than anywhere else, particularly around the environment.

“We thought it would be good to get the experts talking to people in Europe and the UK in particular which is extremely behind the times.

“For us it was a chance to network and have a conversation with people around the world. COVID-19 has given us the opportunity and inspiration to reach out internationally in terms of technology. “Financially and practically it makes it possible – you can’t replace being in a room with people – but the pandemic has helped because we know people will come to an online conference.”

The Social Work Futures? Research Group is part of GCU’s Research Centre for Health (ReaCH) – improving health and wellbeing for all.

ReaCH makes a direct and significant contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 3 – good health and wellbeing – issued by United Nations in 2015 as a blueprint for peace and prosperity across the planet.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.