Forum 2003



22-27 June 2003

Organised by the Arkleton Centre for Rural Development Research at the University of Aberdeen and the UHI Millennium Institute, this event builds on previous conferences in Queensland, Australia, and Vancouver Island, Canada. It is however, the first International Conference of the International Rural Network of rural scholars, practitioners and policy makers established in 2000.

The International Organising Committee is particularly interested in papers, posters, displays, audio-visual or multi-media presentations which give accounts and analyses of local community initiatives. Proposals should highlight the ways in which such initiatives have increased the Community’s power over education, health, welfare, environment, quality of life, governance, and economic development and led to positive outcomes for people living in them. In addition to ‘home grown’ initiatives, the Committee is also interested in accounts and analyses of rural initiatives, policies, programmes and projects which lead to empowerment of disadvantaged rural communities and groups. These could include rural development, education and health programmes which have encouraged local initiatives and participation, and which have led to improved health, education and development outcomes as judged by local people. Delivery of papers to be presented by practitioners / policymakers / academics in conjunction with the relevant community will be encouraged.

The Committee is anxious to encourage participation from as wide a range of countries and experiences as possible. To this end they are seeking funding for scholarships for participants from the CEEC and CIS countries of E Europe and the Developing Countries, as well as the indigenous peoples of Australia, New Zealand, N America and Scandinavia. They are anxious to encourage attendance of local community representatives of relevant initiatives, as well as rural development, health and education practitioners, policy makers and scholars. In many cases, scholars or practitioners could usefully be paired with local community initiatives or processes which they have studied.

Proposals to organise workshops/roundatables on specific themes will be welcomed. So far, ideas include:

  • Money in Rural Empowerment (trade, and credit);
  • Community Land and Resource Ownership and Management as a means of Empowerment;
  • Arts Language and Cultural renewal;
  • Renewable Energy for Community Power;
  • Information and Communications Technology as a tool;
  • Community theatre and facilitation;
  • Gaining control over Data and Knowledge;
  • Engagement of Young People;
  • Planning and Evaluation for Participative Partnerships;
  • Networking and Community Health Initiatives;
  • Life-long learning and community schools.

On Thursday 26th and Friday 27th June the Nordic-Scottish University Network for Rural and Regional Development will be holding a parallel meeting at the same venue. Participants at Taking Charge can choose to attend some of this meeting if they wish. The theme of this meeting is Rural Entrepreneurship with presentations on Thursday focusing on 'Entrepreneurship from Unique Local Characteristics and regional Identities' and on Friday on 'Education and Support for Entrepreneurial Skills'. A programme can be dowloaded from this site closer to the date.

There are two committees involved in shaping the content of the Conference and managing the logistics of the event. One operates at an International level the other at a local level. The members of these two committees are listed below:

Venue Committees Sponsors and Links Documents


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