On February 4th, 2015, Borderless World Volunteers hosted its 4th Global Development Forum. The forum was conceived to act as a fundraiser to support McGill students who are planning international trips to implement sustainable projects in the developing world, through Borderless World Volunteers. It has grown into a yearly tradition that feeds the academic dialogue on McGill campus with real-world instances of community and international development. Here are a few words from the organizer of the event, Mina Bahrami.
How has the forum grown since its inception?
GDF started in a smaller venue in Leacock 132, and since then I believe that GDF has grown significantly. This year we moved to a wonderful venue, Redpath Hall, which is extremely exciting for me. It has become an event known by many students on campus, and has been able to attract a wonderful list of prominent speakers. It’s amazing that students are able to arrange such an event.
What were your visions for the Forum going into it?
I wanted the Forum to be an entertaining and informative event, with a chance for students to network with each other. I believed that a panel format would be best for these topics, as it allows for more interaction between speakers and students.
How did you decide the topic for the forum?
This year I aimed to attract students from all disciplines, not just development. For that reason, I decided to choose the topic of sustainability and development. Sustainability is a topic which covers social sciences, sciences, and management, and we were able to attract McGill students from all of these disciplines.
What were some of the biggest challenges that you faced?
I think our biggest challenge, like many development projects, is the funding. I previously served as VP Sponsorship in 2014, and I speak from experience when I say that it is not an easy task to secure sponsorships from both small and big businesses.
Where do you see the forum going in the future?
I see the Forum becoming bigger and better than ever. This year, I noticed many people from the McGill community recognized it, and I hope it will be a memorable event on campus that McGill students will attend in the years to come. I hope to see a higher attendance from the greater public, because at this point it is only attended by the McGill community.