We are pleased to announce that the second edition of the Future Forum will take place 11-12 May 2022. This edition will focus on the theme of human capital.
Almost a year after the first Future Forum in June 2021, we are organising the second edition of the EUDiF annual conference on 11-12 May 2022. The Future Forum is the EU’s annual multi-stakeholder, interactive consultation on diaspora engagement for development – a must-attend for the whole diaspora engagement ecosystem!
Although designed specifically for interaction between diaspora organisations in Europe, the EU and authorities from our partner regions (Asia, Africa, EECA, LAC, Middle East, Pacific), the Future Forum also welcomes international organisations, academia and others active in the migration-development nexus.
At the first conference we dedicated one day to taking stock of the global state of play on diaspora engagement in terms of policy frameworks and practices, before using the second and third days to explore topics with huge growth potential for the future of diaspora engagement, namely green transitions and youth.
The second edition is equally future-facing, but this year the guiding topic is ‘human capital’, with youth skills and employment addressed as important sub-themes.
What is human capital?
Human capital includes skills, education, knowledge, capacities or other intangible assets. The importance of human capital is enshrined in the New European Consensus for Development, the European Green Deal and the New EU Digital Strategy, as well as the EU Skills Agenda. Human capital is the cornerstone of sustainable development, the twin green and digital transitions, and recovery from the socio-economic impact of the covid-19 pandemic. When we talk about human capital in terms of diaspora engagement, as well as its different forms, we must consider how it can be built, transferred, celebrated and mapped.
Human capital is the theme for the second Future Forum because it allows us to build on the thematic discussions of last year’s conference and the series of six regional thematic meetings held during the last 12 months. Human capital connects the topics of youth, labour migration, entrepreneurship and mentoring, skills transfer and digitalisation, and many more sustainable development topics and diaspora-engagement approaches besides!
Inspired by the European Year of Youth which strives to “shine a light on the importance of European youth to build a better future – greener, more inclusive and digital”, we will apply a youth lens to all discussions, paying special attention to practices to develop and transfer youth skills. Speakers will also explore the potential of human capital programmes to create employment opportunities for young people in countries of heritage. After all, one of the main takeaways from the ‘youth drive’ day at last year’s conference was that “empowered young people are key for a sustainable future.” How better to empower than through skills and human capital development that leads to increased agency and employment opportunities?
What makes the Future Forum so special is being truly global and multi-stakeholder, in terms of speakers and audience. This year is no different: there will be speakers from the European Commission, EU Member States, partner countries, diaspora organisations, academia, international organisations and the private sector. The Future Forum is a unique opportunity for discussion and exchange that crosses borders, organisation type, generation and topic, with audience participation and interaction opportunities at the heart of each session’s design.
The sessions will go from big-picture to fine detail, kicking off with a high-level panel before digging into practices from around the world. Panel discussions will be primarily at technical level, providing opportunities to discuss two to three specific practices within an area of human capital.
Since the last forum, EUDiF has increasingly concentrated on technical support through the Capacity Development Lab (CDL) and Diaspora Professionals 4 Development (DP4D) mechanism, meaning that this year we have the privilege to promote the inspiring work of our partners and beneficiaries. They will share hot-off-the-press insights from ongoing actions, all of which are designed with and around diaspora human capital.
Capacity development workshops
Following the high demand for technical support via the Capacity Development Lab and Diaspora Professionals 4 Development mechanism, and recurrent themes raised during our diaspora consultations and regional thematic meetings, this year we introduce a new format: Practical workshops. Reflecting EUDiF’s operational phase, on the second day of the conference we will host three workshops on communication, skills auditing and partnerships in the MSME ecosystem, respectively for government partners, diaspora organisations and a mixed group. These bitesize workshops are being designed with experts and will provide tools and tips that participants can put to immediate use in their activities.
Although the workshops are invitation only, with applicants for technical support first invited, you can register interest for the waiting list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
In conversations on development, ‘youth’ is both a topic and a hyperdiverse and dynamic group of people. As a topic, youth is already high on the agenda across the sessions, and this year we introduce a new role for diaspora youth in the running of the conference itself: Diaspora Youth Rapporteurs.
Last year, there was much discussion of the need to involve young people in decision-making processes. At EUDiF we see the huge added value young diasporans bring when they have a seat at the table for policy making and project design and implementation. Our Diaspora Youth Internship is created with this at its heart and contributions from our eight interns so far have enriched the project enormously (see some of their work linked below). That’s why we are so pleased to make their contributions more visible and invite current and former interns to act as youth rapporteurs. The rapporteurs will share reflections on the different sessions and wrap up the conference with a presentation to the European Commission.
We pride ourselves on creating opportunities for interaction and breaking down the barriers between speaker and audience. This year, before the conference we will share as many practice summaries as possible so that the speakers can get straight into the details and audience members can come prepared with questions and make the most of having direct access to the experienced panellists. Any we don’t get out before the conference, will be shared afterwards as an aide-mémoire.
What did people say last year?
After the first conference in June 2021, which saw 500+ people get involved, we learned that some participants met each other to continue conversations and develop collaborations offline – some of which turned into applications for capacity development support. Dialogue and exchange are fantastic in and of themselves, but even more valuable when they lead to collaborations. Join us in May to continue this trend!
“A groundbreaking multi-day online conference, 18 thematic sessions, 80+ practitioners and effective engagement! Looking forward to the 2nd edition of this excellent initiative.”
It was a good occasion to meet people with the same visions.”
Thanks to the EUDiF team for this meaningful three-day conference, and we look forward to many more of such in the coming weeks and months!”
“I want to first and foremost thank you for inviting us to your productive program where I learnt a lot of things and I hope to be one of your participants in the next upcoming program.”
Keeping in touch
Pencil the 11 and 12 May in your diaries for two days of exploring all things human capital and diaspora engagement for development. Registration will open in mid-April; it will be announced via our website, Twitter, newsletter (subscribe at the bottom of the page!) and via email.