Alliance Annual Conference 2018 “Tomorrow’s World”

Alliance Annual Conference 2018 “Tomorrow’s World”

25th September 2018

On 25th September, the third anniversary of the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Alliance welcomed members, stakeholders and partners from across the country to its Annual Conference 2018. In recognition of this important anniversary and the Year of Young People in Scotland, the theme of this year’s conference was the role of young people in development across the world. Delegates had the opportunity to engage in discussions across a range of themes, including global citizenship education, using the SDGs to campaign for change, climate justice, safeguarding and more.

Photo Competition

We launched a photo competition where we asked members to submit pictures illustrating sustainable development through the eyes of young people. The top entries were displayed at the conference. If you missed them or would like to view them again, you can do so in the album below! To read more about the photos, please click here

Congratulations to the winners: Children of Rwanda, Feed the Minds, Scottish Love in Action and WaterAid

Session Summaries

Did you miss the conference? Or would you like to know about the sessions you didn't attend? Check our the session summaries below. 

Aya Chebbi


Aya Chebbi, award-winning Pan-African activist, got straight to the point about the importance of youth-led movements in a powerful speech about her experience during the Tunisian revolution. 

She said: “When youth have the agency to see themselves and to be perceived and treated as solutions not problems, as drivers not subjects of development, as job creators not seekers, as people you serve not beneficiaries; with only this mindset you can contribute to advance Africa’s development.” 

Read more about Aya and her work here

Imogen Davies


We were honoured to have a live link-up to Bangladesh to hear about youth-led activism and empowerment in a Q&A between delegates and Arif, a youth activist from the Oxfam Empower Youth for Work programme in Bangladesh, facilitated by our second keynote speaker of the day Imogen Davies, Programme Advisor on Youth, Gender and Active Citizenship at Oxfam GB.

The diagrams that Imogen used in her speech can be found here

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP


In the First Minister’s well-received speech in the opening plenary session of the afternoon, she commended the Alliance and its members for the work we all do, every day. 

She also emphasised the Scottish Government’s continuing support for international development, and stressed her belief that is our moral duty to play our part in creating a fairer world. 

She said: “For our part, promoting international development is an absolutely essential part of being a good global citizen. It's worth stressing that point, given some of the discussions taking place elsewhere on these islands. The Scottish Government does not believe, we never have believed and will never see, that aid is given primarily for our own national interest.” 

You can read her full Speech here.

What’s next for global citizenship education in Scotland?  


Panellists:  Charlotte Dwyer, ScotDec, Sandy Radford,  Holy Rood RC High School (Teacher), Eva Hewitt, St Roch's Secondary School (Pupil), Howard Msukwa, JTS.
Chair: Tanya Wisely, Oxfam 

The conference session explored different ways in which global citizenship education is understood and how it supports a social justice rather than a fundraising/pity framing through holding critical thinking at its heart and exploring root causes. Panel members spoke about aspects of their own experience that led them to engage with it personally and professionally and explored its relevance to those with lived experience of poverty and to young campaigners. The need to be true to local contexts was emphasised and the fundamental importance of building deeper understanding of global challenges in the current climate was strongly communicated.

The following documents were highlighted to participants:

Climate change: culture and climate justice  


Hosted by: 2050 Climate Group 

2050 Climate Group introduced their new project Malawi Climate Leader Project which aims to empower young Malawians to be leaders on climate change action.  A video was shown where the project coordinator in Malawi- Promise Matatiyo talked about the project, the importance of including young people, challenges as well as hope for the future. To view the video please click here. Discussions then focused on intercultural learning, youth engagement as well as climate justice.  

Some take away points were;  

  • Intercultural learning means peer-to-peer dialogue and mentoring and equality;  

  • Meaningful engagement and co-design are key for youth engagement;  

  • Inter-generational justice is very important to younger generation.  

Spotlight on Safeguarding 


Hosted by: Philippa Ramsden (The Alliance), Anna Ross (PEACE consulting) 

At the “Spotlight on Safeguarding” session there were three key areas of discussion.  

  1. Update on Safeguarding in the UK and Scotland was provided, highlighting the mobilisation of the sector to transform standards in safeguarding.  

  1. Headline findings from the research report. (   

  1. Introducing the draft Safeguarding Support Package, “Safer for All” and resources within the package.  

Organisations are invited to use the resources within the package, so that it can be refined for launch at the Alliance’s AGM on 5 December. 
View the Safeguarding Template Pilot document here

Bright Ideas: innovation, entrepreneurship and technology in development


Presentations: LilypadsGEN International and Opportunity International.  

Take away points: 

  • Lilypads is an enterprise passionate about ensuring no women is isolated or disadvantaged because of their period. Lilypads now involves 38 women selling products in 3 geographical areas and some 200 girls are using the pads.  

  • The Global Ecovillage Network is operating in 120 countries across the world and currently reaching 10,000 communities. One of the key messages from this talk was “An ecovillage is a process, not an outcome”.  

  • Opportunity International’s focus is to transform the lives of uneducated and unprivileged youth in Ghana through gaining skills which they can use for trade and income. Learn more 

Using the SDGs to campaign for change


Chair: Paul Bradley (Scotland’s SDG Network
Panellists: Jimmy Paul (British Council Future Leaders Connect programme), Heena Qamar (First Aid Africa) and Paridhi Singh (UN House Scotland)  

This panel discussion looked at how young people can campaign for the change they want to see. Panellists raised the importance of partnership, and how giving young people a voice is important.  

Take away points: 

  • The SDGs are a great way to bring the people together who are working with the same goals, use the framework to bring people together 

  • Do not forget the underlying principle that all SDGs are important, move away from ‘silos’ and seek interconnections 

  • Encourage those around you to use the SDG framework – not as a series of policies, but as shared language that actors can use globally, to solve shared problems 

What are the SDGs? See video below! 

Measuring impact of interventions – Youth mental health and psychosocial wellbeing


Hosted by: Professor Alastair Ager (Director of the Institute of Global Health and Development) and Cicely Clarke (Senior Programme Officer, Middle East, at Mercy Corps

Professor Alastair Ager, presented the collaborative research project on Mercy Corps ‘Advancing Adolescence’ programme with conflict affected young people (aged 10-19) in Jordan. 

Bright Ideas: innovation, entrepreneurship and technology in development 


Chair: Geraldine Hill (Advocacy Manager, SCIAF
Presentations: Manuela Coletti (Youth for Economic Justice), Joshua Williams Kwari (The Centre for Climate Justice) and Dr Andrew Blaikie 

  • Manuela presented a case study on community development enterprise, founded by Scottish government, in partnership with local organisation in India resulting in increased salaries, self-esteem and decreased rates of early marriage.  

  • Joshua talked about trying to incorporate climate modelling and climate justice to obtain effective resource management. He highlighted the gap between climate modelling and climate justice.  

  • Andrew is an ophthalmologist and presented his invention, the Arclight- a low-cost device to diagnose blindness and deafness. Read more about it here

Scottish Fair Trade Forum 


Speakers: Hazel Oakley and Ross Isdale  

Scottish Fair Trade Forum introduced the launch of the International Fair Trade Charter! If you would like to support the charter you can download a copy here

HERE you will find a form that: 

  • Explains what recognition means; 
  • Allows you to confirm your recognition; 
  • Gives ideas on how you can communicate your support of the new Charter now that it has been publicly launched.


Continue the conversations and discussions from this year’s Annual Conference on the Alliance Community

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