Report: Facing Grand Challenges Together

The working conference "Facing Grand Challenges Together" attracted academics, strategic advisors, politicians, activists, journalists, social workers, police officers and artists to discuss local responses to forced displacement.

Hosted by the Center of Excellence in Public Safety Management (CESAM), Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), on a former lighthouse boat Vessel 11 in the heart of Rotterdam, this working conference provided a platform to discuss approaches to the humanitarian as well as economic challenges that exist. In addition to sharing the everyday experiences and existing practices, it also aimed at strengthening the learning alliances and networks for the future.

Around 70 participants enjoyed the inspiring conference day with a diversity of speakers in a unique location. The leader of CESAM, Prof. Dr. Gabriele Jacobs gave the welcoming speech and introduced keynote speakers Marios Andriotis Konstantios, the International Relations advisor to the Mayor of Lesvos, Greece, and Martijn Vroom, the Mayor of Krimpen aan den Ijssel. Other speakers were from NGO’s, media, business, policy making and academia.

The three main questions throughout the conference day were: What are the main challenges in forced displacement in different localities? How can co-creation between different actors lead to better outcomes? How can we learn from our own experiences and from the work of others and then share the learning outcomes?

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This working conference was organised by Dr. Ilona Suojanen, Prof. Gabriele Jacobs, Mark van der Giessen and Bep Klop from CESAM, RSM, in collaboration with Mieke Kox and Dr. Gabry Vanderveen, from Criminology department at the Erasmus School of Law; and Dr. Conrad Heilmann, from the Erasmus School of Philosophy.

The day was funded by grants from the LDE Centre for Safety and Security, the Erasmus Initiative “Dynamic of Inclusive Prosperity” and the Partnership Resource Centre, Erasmus University.