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When development conferences cost the Earth (Devex)

June 18, 2019

From the article:

The global development conference season is upon us. The past month alone has seen the World Health Assembly in Geneva, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague, the Istanbul Development Dialogues in Turkey, Women Deliver in Vancouver, the EAT Forum in Stockholm, and now the European Development Days in Brussels — to name just a few.

While the proliferation of development conferences has enhanced dialogue across the sector, it also comes with a significant carbon footprint, with thousands of people flying in to be under the same roof. The conferences named here range between 1,000 and 6,000 delegates in size.

“We need to think a lot more about these events in terms of time, environment [and] money,” said Susannah Hares, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development who has previously described the number of conferences in the international development sector as “overwhelming."

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Susannah Hares
Co-Director of Education Policy and Senior Policy Fellow