Coronavirus 2020

CORONAVIRUS: the management of pandemic and the impact on Agenda 2030
18th WASD Annual International Conference
(20-22 July 2020)


MONDAY 20 JULY 2020              TUESDAY 21 JULY 2020                  WEDNESDAY 22 JULY 2020

As a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, for the first time since its inception the Annual Conference of the World Association for Sustainable Development (WASD) will be organised remotely via video conference technologies. In doing so, WASD will use the latest technology in video conferencing from London with participants from allover the world connecting from homes. 

The conference objective is to explore the impact of coronavirus pandemic on the global efforts to achieve the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SD). More specifically, the conference aims to discuss and explore various approaches and different ways planned by governments which can contribute to enhance and support the implementation of Agenda 2030 after the coronavirus pandemic across the world. 

Despite the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the entire world, today more than ever before in human history, there is an urgent need for wake-up call for all countries across the world to find a path to SD. The coronavirus pandemic has turned the entire world into ghost new world disrupting everything in our daily life and shutting the entire countries and cities across the globe. Although still early but many people and international organisations already predicting that the coronavirus pandemic will have more severe impact than all previous outbreaks including SARS and other deadly health epidemics.

The conference is expected to brings together researchers, policy makers, educators, consultants and employers from around the world to exchange knowledge and experience and discuss recent developments and current challenges in both theory and practice, you can also browse sample of  our previous speakers here. The conference program will be published two weeks before the conference date and will normally be tentative and subject to changes due to the large number of participants. For a sample program structure, please check our 2018 and 2019 conference programs. 

The deadly consequences of coronavirus pandemic, will of no doubt send shocking warnings for all governments to realise, accept and accomplish their  natural and ascribed duties to continue their progress to achieve the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. All governments must confront new realities rapidly manifesting themselves in the large number of people loosing their lives due to the coronavirus. Business as usual will not suffice and therefore governments need to be expansively re-focused in order to overcome the many steps back as a result of the coronavirus. More importantly, all governments need to undertake robust national and international fast-track polices and strategies to achieve the 2030 Agenda. It is now clearly recognised that innovation and knowledge, as well as being a central driver of economic growth, are also recognised as very important tools to help achieve SD. 

In 2015, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted the 2030 Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The conference will critically address the question of how countries can achieve the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda and to provoke forward thinking on developing new methods and approaches to suit the challenges and opportunities of this new era of digital revolution. These new approaches call for actions to create different appropriate ways of doing things and of doing new things that will be essential to solve our future problems and help in the implementation of the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. Systematic search for opportunities is important for helping to ameliorate the many problems facing countries. We must therefore produce, consume and organise ourselves differently.

Participants are therefore invited to address the following key issues in their contribution:

  • Reflect the SDGs in your own research activities towards any recovery plan after the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Disaster prevention and management as well as recovery strategies.
  • Social impact and community resilience and engagement.
  • Disaster prevention and management as well as recovery strategies.
  • The role and power of science, technology and innovation particularly enabling technologies relating to telecommunication and the internet.
  • Education and learning under isolation and how do you see the role of higher education and research institutions (science, innovation and entrepreneurship) in service of the 2030 Agenda?
  • Revisiting our current healthcare policies and strategies: infectious disease prevention and control.
  • Issues to do with strengthening capacity in health systems including field laboratories during the coronavirus epidemic outbreak.
  • Rapid vaccine development and vaccination policies across the world.
  • Logistics and supply chain management.
  • Impact on the hospitality, leisure and tourism. 

Global Minds Roundtable Debate

These roundtables are part of the conference and they aim to stimulate and excite people from across the world about the topic of the conference. Given the current global lockdown from the Coronavirus pandemic, WASD is planning to organise various roundtable discussion live on WASD Facebook page using live streaming app focusing on 2020 conference theme. Each roundtable will feature 3 international experts talking live for about 45mins to 1hr max, no slides but rather global minds conversation. For full details of the various roundtables for 2020 and previous years please check here.

Youth and Women

Youth Engagement: WASD is very keen to encourage the engagement of children and youth from across the world in the conference. We are keen to make the voice of all our children and youth heard and consequently enabling the decision makers to consider those views and ideas in their big decisions. The entire concept of SD is about the future and the future is all about the children and youth! Youth population is growing rapidly in all regions of the world and we are very keen to understand the children and youth perspectives and expectations for their future to help them be ready to grasp the various opportunities generated in the digital economy. We strongly believe our children and youth should be the cornerstone of any strategy by all governments and policy makers. We must listen to our children and youth and more importantly how we can help our youth with their future employment plans and aspirations. Youth from all-over the world are encouraged to participate in the conference and present their research, perspectives and initiatives.

Women Empowerment: Women across the world have an untapped potential as a primary mover of greater development within their countries and regions. Their role is very crucial for increased development, but challenges remain. And so, significant reforms in economic, social, and political institutions must be made to create an enabling environment for women participation and empowerment. However, it appears that investments in human development are not readily translated to better economic and political outcomes for women. Unfortunately, women’s potential and crucial role in development across the world is still impeded by these economic and social factors. Women’s participation is also very important in advancing peace, unity and combating terrorism, which is a most serious threat to SD across all regions of the world. It has also been recognized that women have been largely excluded from the processes of conflict management and prevention and that their role is important in the achievement of lasting peace and security (UN, 2015). With this, there is a need to increase women’s participation in peace processes since out of 31 global peace processes from 1992 to 2011, only 4% of key stakeholder representatives were women (UN WOMEN, 2011 cited in OXFAM, 2016). Women in peacekeeping missions are also crucial given their broad set of skills that helps in improving trust in communities as a whole (OXFAM, 2016). In general, women’s participation helps in accelerating resolution and countering terrorism while ensuring that women’s rights are protected.