Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact
Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact

Latest update: 2012-10-02

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Plenary Speakers

Ms. Michelle Bachelet

Ms. Michelle Bachelet (Chile)
Plenary video greeting on Sunday 8 July 2012

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

Under Ms. Bachelet’s leadership, United Nation´s Women will lead, support and coordinate the work on gender equality and the empowerment of women at global, regional and country levels.

Ms. Bachelet was the President of Chile from 2006 to 2010. A long-time champion of women’s rights, she has advocated for gender equality and women’s empowerment throughout her career. Ms. Bachelet also held ministerial portfolios in the Chilean Government as Minister of Defence and Minister of Health.
Hans Rosling

Photo: Elisabeth Toll
Hans Rosling (Sweden)
Plenary speech on Sunday 8 July 2012

Professor in International Health at Karolinska institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.
Co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation.

The Gapminder Foundation develops software that converts statistics into animated graphics. Professor Rosling ”has become famous for his energetic lectures, in which he narrates mind-blowing statistics on development and public health”, writes Foreign Policy Magazine, which included him among the 100 most important global thinkers in 2009.

Among other things, Professor Rosling is known for dispelling common myths about human development, and for arguing that the world’s population growth can balance out at nine billion people in 2050. He was a plenary speaker already in Hong Kong in 2010. This time the title will be ”Is there an optimal inequity?”
Tom Shakespeare

Tom Shakespeare (United Kingdom)
Plenary speech on Monday 9 July 2012

Technical officer, World Health Organization

Dr Shakespeare has an BA, MPhil and PhD in social sciences from the University of Cambridge. His PhD research explored conceptualizations of disability. His subsequent research projects at the Universities of Sunderland, Leeds and Newcastle explored sexual rights of disabled people, childhood disability, and quality of life in restricted growth. He has published extensively in disability. Disabled himself, Dr Shakespeare has been active in the disability community for twenty years.

Dr Shakespeare joined the Disability and Rehabilitation Team (DAR) in the Department of Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability in March 2008. He is an author and editor of the World report on disability and is part of the team working on the launch and implementation of the Report. He also supports the Task Force on Disability, a WHO-wide network which aims to remove barriers to the participation of people with disabilities and to support mainstreaming of disability in technical programmes. His collaborations across WHO include several projects with the Reproductive Health Research department. Dr Shakespeare is also a member of the WHO Ethics Review Committee.
Maria Larsson

Maria Larsson (Sweden)
Plenary speech on Monday 9 July 2012

Ms. Larsson is the Minister for Elderly Care and Public Health of Sweden. She was appointed Minister representing the Swedish Christian Democrats after the election in 2006 and her areas of responsibility includes Public health and social services. 1998 she was first elected to the Swedish Parliament and has been member of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs and the Parliament Committee on Industry and Trade. Since 2003 she is also First Deputy Chair on the Swedish Christian Democrats.

Ms. Larsson has a Primary School Teacher degree from the Växjö Institute of Education.
Vishantie Sewpaul

Vishantie Sewpaul (South Africa)
Plenary speech on Monday 9 July 2012

Vishantie Sewpaul is a Senior Professor at University of KwaZulu Natal and one of the Vice-Presidents of Schools of Social Work (IASSW-AIETS). She is also the President of the Association of Schools of Social Work in Africa (ASSWA) and immediate past President of the Association of South African Social Work Education Institutions.

Professor Sewpaul is actively involved in several national structures on the cutting edge of policy and standards development in social work in post-apartheid South Africa, and in developing social work in Africa. In 2007, she became the first President of the new non-racial, unified National Association of Social Workers, South Africa (NASW, SA).
Thomas Hammarberg

Photo: Council of Europe
Thomas Hammarberg (Sweden)
Plenary speech on Monday 9 July 2012

Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe since 2006 (until 1 July 2012).

Mr Hammarberg has occupied a number of international top positions and is one of Sweden’s most experienced Human Rights defenders. As early as 1977 he received the Nobel Peace Price as behalf of Amnesty International. He was then chairman of the Swedish section, and later (1980-1986) he was Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The rights of children and refugees are considered special interest of Mr Hammarberg. He was involved in the birth of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and he later took part in the UN expert committee responsible for monitoring how the ratifying member stats fulfil their obligations towards children.

Mr Hammarberg is also a well-known writer and lecturer on various issues related to, among others, security, international affairs and refugee policy.
Michael Marmot

Michael Marmot (United Kingdom)
Plenary speech on Tuesday 10 July 2012

Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of London

Sir Marmot has led a research group on health inequalities for the past 30 years. He is Principal Investigator of the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality. He leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. He chairs the Department of Health Scientific Reference Group on tackling health inequalities. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and is an honorary fellow of the British Academy.
Cindy Blackstock

Cindy Blackstock (Canada)
Plenary speech on Tuesday 10 July 2012

Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada
Associate Professor, University of Alberta

Ms Blackstock is the Executive Director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, which provides research, policy and professional development services to First Nations child and family service agencies in Canada. She worked in front-line child protection for provincial and First Nations child welfare agencies for over 13 years before moving on to her current position. Pursuing a PhD in social work at the University of Toronto, she also serves as Co-Convenor of the Working Group on Indigenous Child Rights for the UN-based NGO Group on the Rights of the Child.
Fred H. Besthorn

Fred H. Besthorn (USA)
Plenary speech on Tuesday 10 July 2012

Dr. Fred H. Besthorn is Associate Professor of Social Work at Wichita State University. He holds a clinical social work and social welfare policy as well as a Master of Divinity in religious/theological studies.

Professor Besthorn has published extensively and spoken widely on the integration of Scandinavian philosopher Arne Naess’ concept of Deep Ecology. His research interests also include an emphasis on the interface of spirituality and religious traditions to the evolution of an eco-spiritually informed understanding of social and ecological justice.

He is the creator of The Global Alliance for a Deep-Ecological Social Work (GADESW) website whose aim is to provide a forum for social work and human service professionals sharing a commitment to incorporating deep ecological awareness into conventional social work practice.
Malcolm Payne

Malcolm Payne (United Kingdom)
Plenary speech on Wednesday 11 July 2012

Mr. Payne is a professor and social worker.
His textbooks in social work are the most translated and read that we know of.

Mr. Payne is a social work writer, practitioner, educator and blogger, based at St Christopher's Hospice London and Opole University Poland. He has worked in the state and voluntary social services and in academic posts in the UK. He is author of many articles and books on social work and healthcare subjects.

Malcolm Payne is Policy and Development Advisor, St Christopher's Hospice London.
Mehdi Garbi

Mehdi Garbi (Sweden)
Plenary speech on Wednesday 11 July 2012

Editor, Tunis News.

For more than a decade Mehdi Gharbi was the secret editor of the Tunis News newsletter. His critical articles about the regime were a part of the opposition that initiated the Arab Spring. All directed from his home in Stockholm.

In January 2012, Mehdi Gharbi was granted the Martin Luther King Award, founded by different Swedish civil society organisations as way to honour Dr. King’s legacy of hope and reconciliation.
Chakib Benmoussa

Chakib Benmoussa (Morocco)
Plenary speech on Wednesday 11 July 2012

President of the Economic and Social Council of Morocco.

The Economic and Social Council of Morocco was launched in 2011, and has an advisory roll in relation to the government and parliament. A key priority is to develop a new social charter.

Mr Benmoussa has had a long career as a top politician and public servant in Morocco. Between 2006 and 2010, he was Interior Minister and the lead negotiator for the Moroccan side in the Western Sahara conflict. He has also been Secretary General in the office of the Prime Minister.

Mr Benmoussa holds a Master of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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