Conference and Workshop Report
On March 10-11, 2016, the Mobility & Politics Collective put on an international workshop and conference highlighting the role of International Organizations in the realm of migration management. This event was attended by emerging scholars and practitioners across the globe, including many of our own students from Carleton. Attendees were able to witness talks and engage in discussions with other scholars from across Europe, the Americas and abroad. The ultimate aim of the event was to increase awareness surrounding the growing involvement of IOs in national, regional and global politics, while closing the significant gaps in our own scholarly understanding of IOs and their contribution to world migration politics and governance.
This 1.5 day workshop/ conference began with a kick-off evening at The HUB in downtown Ottawa where everyone gathered to meet and listen to various representatives speak about recent and current activities regarding refugee flows in Europe as well as local refugee re-settlement efforts here in Ottawa. An open discussion around the administrative processes, common obstacles, and recommendations on further research in the area followed.
The following day took place in the River Building of Carleton University. Packed with back to back sessions from 9am to 8pm, researchers and scholars from diverse backgrounds related their findings to the management of migration, opening the floor to many meaningful discussions. To highlight the global and interdisciplinary nature of the event, some of the attendees included Luísa Fondello, an independent researcher & NGO employee situated in Cairo, Egypt, Antoine Pécoud from the Université Paris 13, who contributed by presenting through video call and Catherine Bryan, Dalhousie University who participated in a roundtable discussion by talking about IOM and Manitoba in managing migration. Furthermore, scholars flew in from the Netherlands, Germany, Greece, U.S.A and across Canada to join Carleton students in the sharing of knowledge. An entire listing of the program and presenters can be viewed here: http://mobilitypolitics.org/managingmigration/program/.
Throughout the day, Carleton students who did not take to the stage, displayed their own research projects in poster format and volunteered their time to talk about their personal findings. Many also volunteered to ensure that the day ran smoothly as it did by providing ideas and hands in both the planning and execution stages.
The evening concluded with a networking event where open discussions proceeded and students got the chance to interact with the presenters, exchanging experiences, insights, and advice.
The content was diverse to maintain engagement, while the exchanges were facilitated by the safe spaces used, the time reserved for discussion and the networking evenings. The short-term goal of the event was exceeded, as not only did it bring in scholars and practitioners to raise awareness in the gaps related to our scholarly understanding of IOs and their contribution to world migration politics and governance, but also engaged students and the wider Ottawa community. It is in this way too that the event holds many strong long-term implications: inspiring students to contribute, to be aware of the opportunities and connect them with people and topics that can help drive them forward in their early steps.