The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives, and strengthens communities. The pandemic has resulted in the postponement of the October 2020 IAVE World Volunteer Conference hosted by the Emirates Foundation in Abu Dhabi until the autumn of 2021. However, the conference theme chosen for 2020 of ‘volunteering together to enable change and create a better world’ has never been more relevant or more real.
As part of the preparations for the conference, the Emirates Foundation had agreed to support the writing of seven context papers on the conference sub-themes. This project has continued in order to provide for greater consideration of the issues, particularly with relevance to volunteering and COVID-19, and to enable wider dissemination of knowledge that will add value to those supporting and developing volunteering around the world.
The context papers seek to bring forward current thinking and any relevant research, highlighting case studies to demonstrate impact. The papers will be published and available between July and December 2020. In addition, an incredibly special series of online Forums is being organized to enable the sharing of knowledge and discussion of the issues. The papers and the Forums provide information and insight on the following key topics:
- Volunteerism and Community Resilience – Locally Owned Solutions Delivering Impact
- Future Leadership – the Role of Youth Volunteers
- Tolerance and Inclusion – Volunteering Enabling Community Cohesion and Embracing Diversity
- Volunteering and the Digital World – Extending the Power of Volunteering through New Technologies
- Corporate Volunteering – Delivering Business Objectives through a Values Focused Mission
- Measurement and Impact – Providing the Evidence that Volunteering is Good for Society and Good You
- Volunteering 2030 – New Paradigms