Welcome from the Chair
2022 has to be different. We step into the year cautiously, but readily and more acceptingly of the challenges brought forth by the manifold crises - the environment, health, gender and of ethnicity.
Troublemakers ask us to ‘look up’ while the dominant discourse says, ‘don’t look up’! What should we do? We carve different pathways, individually and collectively. We at DSAI offer to facilitate another year of public discussions on ‘looking up’, ‘looking within’, and ‘looking forward’.
We aim to ‘look’ throughout the year using the idea of sustainable development. And we invite you all to join us in this endeavour to do some real looking! We can ‘look’ using open debates and discussions on uncomfortable subject matters through our ten study groups, our research methods summer school, the annual conference, and other collaborative forums.
Our vibrant study groups plan to continue their collaborations locally, nationally, and internationally to take the debate on ‘development’ beyond borders. As such we continue to weave a rich tapestry of knowledge and experience of development practice across creed and colour in all our forums including discussion papers, reports, working papers, seminars and workshops. Watch this space!
Our 2021 annual conference brought together ‘duty-bearers’ from people’s movements, the UN, international organisations, and academics on the same platform. Our panels included speakers from the field bringing us updates on COP26; scholars raising uncomfortable questions on the dominance of western European ideals in academia with evidence-based data; and researchers from South Asia deliberating on critical development thinking. Our three keynote speakers covered different aspects of emerging concerns. The conference began with Gustavo Esteva’s reflections on the emergence of new hope at grassroots in the backdrop of institutional and climate collapse. Sarah Lister deliberated upon the challenges to research, policy and practice to act more globally and more sustainably. And it ended with Jonathan Glennie’s observations on the changing nature of international cooperation as dominant paradigms and global economic relationships evolve.
So once again, on behalf of DSAI, I invite you to support and act upon the Irish Dream of creating a Better World - a Cinderella or a Circular economy, a doughnut, decolonial or Pluriverses? To facilitate constructive dialogues leading to developmental transformation, reflexive research and practice, we need ‘troublemakers’ like you and me. Because, as President Higgins’ calls out - ‘the time has long passed for debate on the science, useless apportionments of blame, or idle comparisons’!