Dil nā-umīd toh nahīñ nākām hī toh ha
Lambī hai ġham kī shaam magar shaam hī toh hai
Faiz Ahmed Faiz
(Translation: Oh yes, I grieve, but I do not despair, The dusk of sadness is long, but it’s just a dusk, that’s all.)
The Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) brings its annual 26th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) from 21 – 23 November 2023 in Islamabad, Pakistan. The overarching theme of this year’s Conference is “Light at the End of the Tunnel: Hope in Times of Despair”.
The SDC is a flagship event of the Institute that not only provides a forum for SDPI’s own research but also invites other researchers, practitioners, policy makers and academia from the world over to share their work and engage in a dialogue with fellow panellists and audience. This annual event has been established as a prime Conference in South Asia and beyond.
Carrying on with the tradition, SDC will be presenting the way forward amidst the global times of trial. SDPI, through its annual Conference, would be upholding a beacon of light and be a source of inspiration.
Troubled times, dangerous times, times of uncertainty, times of political and economic turmoil, touching the rock bottom, deep in the abyss – such has been a bleak picture in Pakistan and various regions the world over.
The world is going through unprecedented times of political and economic turmoil, marked by uncertainty and despair due to multiple crises, conflicts, climate change, and the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. These challenges have severely impacted the development agenda, particularly in South Asia, where the effects of these crises have been most acute. Despite these challenges and trials, there is still hope for sustainable development. The light at the end of the year will depend on the actions of governments, civil society organizations, private sector, and individuals who are actively engaged in addressing these crises and promoting sustainable development. The Conference aims to inspire hope and optimism for the future of the region and contribute to a more sustainable and resilient South Asia and beyond.
The Conference invites scholars, researchers, practitioners, legislators, bureaucrats, and other speakers to place their solutions on the table and share message of hope, inspiration, and optimism in times of despair. In retrospect, we need to examine the mistakes and take away the lessons learnt. Looking into the past 75 years, where does the future take us another 25 years down the road? How will the regional alignments be beneficial? Learning from the past, what kind of economic, foreign, and social policies could be derived? How can the bridging divides be overcome? What are some of the pathways to sustainable development? The broader agenda is to have a futuristic discussion to achieve SDGs amidst the triple-C crisis, i.e., conflict, climate change, and COVID-19.
Over the years, SDPI has taken the initiatives in providing policy guidance to the various governments in Pakistan. Year 2023 is a year of elections for the country. The Institute’s mission has been to catalyse the transition towards sustainable development with a view of being a centre of excellence on sustainable development policy research, capacity development and advocacy in Pakistan. In this context, this SDC would assist the newly elected Parliament in its agenda-setting for a better tomorrow and a better Pakistan.
Under the overarching theme of “Light at the End of the Tunnel: Hope in Times of Despair”, the SDC will be holding sessions on related sub-themes. We invite papers on sub-themes including but not limited to:
Numerous other sub-themes that will be part of
the overarching theme.
Further details of the sub-themes and sessions
being planned will be regularly updated at https://www.sdpi.org/sdc.
Call for Abstracts/Papers: 21 August 2023
Speakers are invited to submit their abstracts against a relevant sub-theme of a panel. A list of panels will be shared and regularly updated on the weblink for SDC 2023 along with authors’ guidelines. Before submitting an abstract, speakers are requested to:
1. Click on the active link of the panel title, review its focus, sub-theme, objectives, and the specific questions that the panel will address under the overarching theme of the Conference.
2. Specify the panel title in the MS Word file of the abstract as well as in email’s subject line. The abstract should be between 150 - 200 words.
3. Author’s name and 30-word bionote should be included in the abstract.
4. Random abstracts not in line with the panel title will not be entertained.
All abstracts go through a software review for originality and if cleared are reviewed by an Editorial Committee. Only those speakers with short-listed abstracts will be contacted and requested to submit their draft papers and PowerPoint presentations by 15 October 2023. The paper should not exceed 6,000 words. The PowerPoint presentation should be contained within 8 to 10 slides.
For details of the panels, authors’ guidelines, submission deadlines, etc., please continue to visit the SDC 2023 weblink: https://www.sdpi.org/sdc Information will be updated regularly along with the list of panels.
SDC 2023 Conference Outcomes
Recap of the 25th Sustainable Development Conference 2022
The overarching theme of the Silver Jubilee
Conference was “Sustainable Development in Unusual Times: Building Forward
Better”. The mega event was held in a hybrid format where speakers/audience
were able to join in person as well as online. Alongside SDC 2022, SDPI also
hosted UNESCAP’s Sixth South and South-West Asia Forum (SSWAF) on the SDGs.
This mega-event was jointly co-hosted by SDPI and the Ministry of Planning
Development & Special Initiatives. The 25th SDC and UNESCAP’s
Sixth South and South-West Asia Forum was attended by 345 panellists from 21
countries/region. Speakers joined the sessions from Afghanistan, Bangladesh,
Bhutan, Cambodia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Germany, India, Iran, Italy,
Malaysia, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey,
the UK, and the USA. All the sessions had a keen and interactive audience. The
President of Pakistan, H.E. Dr Arif Alvi, was the Chief Guest at the Special
Plenary at the last day of the Conference. Altogether a total of 46 sessions
were organized of which 11 were plenary sessions and 35 concurrent sessions. An
audience of over 5,000 attended the four-day hybrid Conference.
SDC 2023 Team
For further details, please contact the Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) team:
Ms Uzma T. Haroon, Director SDC Unit; Ms Tayyaba Hanif, Associate Coordinator SDC; Ms Romila Qamar, Associate Editor SDC at email@example.com
 ChatGPT, personal communication, March 27, 2023