Finding the Good - Conference

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About the Conference

Finding the Good is about bringing academics and practitioners together to share ethical international development ideas and practices.  

The event will make a constructive contribution to problems through the discussion of how to advance social justice, inclusion and human rights in international development efforts.  With escalating challenges to ideas of fundamental human dignity and social inclusion, this project will expand the space for communities to find the ‘good’ in the current era.   

Sessions will help to ignite and sustain an ecosystem in which dialogue between scholarly insights and practical development work will, ultimately, improve the participation of people experiencing poverty, social marginalization, discrimination, and oppression.   


Sessions will explore:

  • The Sustainable Development Goals

  • Women, Gender and Feminism

  • Universal Values and Inclusion

  • Global Citizenship & Education

  • Public-Private Partnerships

  • Knowledge, Technology & Innovation

  • International Security

Keynote Speakers

david hulme webDavid Hulme is Professor of Development Studies at the University of Manchester where he is Executive Director of the Global Development Institute and CEO of the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre. He has worked on rural development, poverty and poverty reduction, microfinance, the role of NGOs in conflict/peace and development, environmental management, social protection and the political economy of global poverty for more than 30 years. His main focus has been on Bangladesh but he has worked extensively across South Asia, East Africa and the Pacific.  His recent books include Should Rich Nations Help the Poor? (Polity, 2016), Global Poverty: Global Governance and Poor People (Routledge, 2015), Governance, Management and Development (Palgrave, 2015), and Just Give Money to the Poor (Kumarian Press, USA, 2010).

chloe schwenke webChloe Schwenke is the Director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights, and Inclusion at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She is a human rights and social inclusion scholar and an international development practitioner with over three decades of international experience – nearly half of it while living in Africa and Asia. Prior to joining ICRW, Chloe served as vice president for global programs at Freedom House in Washington, D.C., and before that she was a political appointee of the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor on Human Rights at the Africa Bureau of the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  Chloe’s scholarship and programmatic work are informed by feminist ethics, the capabilities approach, social inclusion, and human rights moral concepts. Through her work, she addresses the challenges of keeping international foreign assistance grounded in an ethically explicit and justifiable framework – with a focus on achieving pragmatic, measurable results on the ground. Chloe received her Ph.D. in public policy at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park, where she was Alumna of the Year for 2013. In that same year she was awarded a National Public Service Award by the National Center for Transgender Equality, and in 2016 she was awarded the Global Advocate Award by DC Center – Global. She is the author of Reclaiming Values in International Development (Praeger 2008), and her memoir will be published by Red Hen Press in 2017. 

Chloe Schwenke's Keynote address Building Essential Bridges to Human Dignity will discuss 
the changing context in which universal moral values and the recognition of human dignity is increasingly silenced. Her talk will briefly explore the competing notions of how human dignity is being articulated by leading thinkers, and how it remains at best a rhetorical flourish among government policy makers. She will challenge the audience to use the emerging discourse on human dignity as a means through which to proactively bridge between the highly fragmented international development community to build a coalition to defend and promote the premise of human dignity.  

michael simpson headshotMichael Simpson is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Prior to working for BCCIC, Michael was the Executive Director of One Sky – The Canadian Institute for Sustainable Living. His work with One Sky varied from leading major bilateral projects in West Africa including Nigeria and Sierra Leone to working in Latin America on projects ranging from forest conservation to leadership development. Simpson was an active voice for Canadian civil society at international forums ranging from the World Summit on Sustainable Development to UN meetings on renewable energy. With a keen interest in integral theory, Simpson has been active in exploring the nexus between developmental psychology and social change. Prior to his work with civil society groups, Simpson was an award winning documentary producer who ran a video production company for fifteen years specializing in programming on environment, development and human rights. He spent many years working in conflict and post conflict areas of the world with a special focus on Latin America. His most recent focus has been on leadership development within the context of social movements, including both the private sector and civil society. An avid networker, Simpson is a current director of the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and currently manages through BCCIC the Inter-Council Network (ICN) of eight Provincial and Regional Councils.



At this premier event, 24 leading thinkers in political science, philosophy, history, geography, law, international relations, public policy, and public administration, will assemble.  Experts will arrive from across Canada, the US, and from around the world, including Switzerland, Peru, the UK, South Africa, and Costa Rica.  Experts will bring their experience studying and working globally, including in Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Mexico, China, India, Bangladesh, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, Singapore, the Middle East, and Peru. 

Experts also bring extensive background in multilateral institutions, governmental agencies, research institutes, and national policy advisory bodies, including: the World Bank, the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, the International Jurist Organization, the Academic Council on the United Nations System, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, the High Commission of Canada in Australia, the Africa Bureau of the US Agency for International Development, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Parkland Institute, the Women, Peace and Security Network, and the Institute for Human Development in Latin America.  

List of Participants

David Black is Lester B. Pearson Professor of International Development Studies, and Professor and Chair of Political Science at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

John Cameron is Associate Professor of International Development Studies at Dalhousie University.

Kenneth Christie is the program Head of Royal Roads University, Human Security and Peacebuilding Programme in Victoria, BC, Canada, and author, co-author, editor and co-editor of 10 books, the most recent being Freedom From Fear, Freedom from Want: An Introduction to Human Security (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016) with Robert Hanlon.

Deval Desai is a postdoctoral fellow with the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

Jay Drydyk is Professor, Department of Philosophy, Carleton University, and President of the International Development Ethics Association. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Human Development and Capability Association.

Alistair D. Edgar is Executive Director of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS), Faculty Associate and Advisory Board member at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies, and is Associate Professor of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Linda Elmose is Continuing College Professor in the Department of Political Science at Okanagan College.

Marc Epprecht is Professor and Department Head, Queen’s University Department of Global Development Studies.  

Robert J. Hanlon is Assistant Professor in Political Science at Thompson Rivers University and an associate faculty member in the School of Humanitarian Studies at Royal Roads University.

Keith Hyams is Associate Professor in Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics, University of Warwick, in the Department of Political Theory and Interdisciplinary Ethics.

Michael MacLeod is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of Social Sciences at St Mary's University in Calgary, Alberta.

Thaddeus Metz
is Distinguished Professor at the University of Johannesburg (2015-2019), where he is affiliated with the Department of Philosophy.

Eric Palmer is Professor of Philosophy at Allegheny College. He is co-editor of Journal of Global Ethics and President of the International Development Ethics Association.

Jane L. Parpart is Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University as well as Adjunct Professor in International Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the University of Ottawa and Carleton University.

Hans Peter Schmitz is Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego.

Mitu Sengupta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University, and a full member of the Yeates School of Graduate Studies.  

Timothy M Shaw holds degrees from Sussex, Makerere & Princeton & has recently directed graduate programmes in London (Commonwealth Studies), Trinidad (IR) & Boston (Global Governance). He previously taught at Dalhousie for three decades & has been visiting professor in China, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.

Meenal Shrivastava is Professor of Political Economy and Global Studies at Athabasca University and Chair of the Centre for Social Sciences.

Mario Solís
is professor of Philosophy at the University of Costa Rica.

Rebecca Tiessen is Associate Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa.

Areli Valencia is professor at the School of Government and Public Policy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru (PUCP), where she also acts as a Director of Research at the Institute for Human Development in Latin America (IDHAL-PUCP).


For nonprofit groups or businesses, this event will explicitly incorporate opportunities to co-create new research projects with experts in the field, ensuring that future research more closely reflects their needs and experiences. Finding the Good will facilitate networking, knowledge advancement and access to the most innovative ideas emerging within the sector. It will help to inform policy, planning, and leadership at local, regional and global levels. For students, Finding the Good offers an unrivalled opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced thinkers and practitioners in the field.

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Online registration opens soon! Follow this link to register for conference updates.

Contact us

Dr. Rosalind Warner, BA (SFU) MA, PhD (York)
Professor of Political Science
Okanagan College

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