UTSC panel discusses decolonization

The Scarborough campus held its fourth annual International Development Conference, entitled “Decolonizing Development”, on February 7 and 8

The two-day event featured discussions about global issues and workshops to encourage participants to develop ways to address various problems.

In the first session, there were six different workshops that students and professionals attended.
Internet in the Developing World: Creating New Windows for Expressions was one workshop that focused on how information and communications technology can be used as a tool for the world’s poor, marginalized, and developing communities.

The workshop also discussed how the West can use the technology for digital youth engagement, global education, and social change.

Other workshops treated issues such as the limitations of massive pharmaceutical companies, with speakers presenting their projects and future ideas to resolve the problems related to the access, delivery, acceptance, and affordability of medicine in underdeveloped sectors of the world.

One speaker, Rohit Ramchandani, public health advisor for ColaLife, showed how medical suppliers partnered with Coke wholesalers and retailers to bring medicine into remote villages. He explained how shopkeepers’ small supply and demand market and functioning delivery routes were used to bring in medical supplies into the village with the correct type and amount of medicine.

The workshop entitled “Bankers to the Poor: Challenging Culture of Poverty” through Microfinance featured a brief discussion about the ethics of charging the poor interest on loans.

The panellists supported the measures, saying that the efforts of the lenders would otherwise revert to aid and not banking, which they argued would be worse.

Other workshops focused on creative thinking to address issues around the globe.

Participants were invited to use crayons to draw their ideas, encouraging the use of their imagination.

As part of the conference, students and professors also designed social enterprises with the goal of bringing peace between Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians by seeking common ground on shared issues like access to healthcare and water.

The IDC is an annual event supported by the Centre for Critical Development Studies and other organizations.

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