16 July 2024  -  19 July 2024
Antwerp, Belgium

International Society for Third Sector Research Conference 2024

The International Society for Third Sector Research Conference 2024 will take place on 16-19 July 2024 in Antwerp, Belgium.

Over the last decade, the world has been hit by consecutive crises both at the global and local levels. In almost all of them, the Third Sector plays a critical role in solving different problems caused by these crises. This context explains the focus of ISTR’s Sixteenth Conference (Antwerp, 2024) on the role and position of the Third Sector in times of crisis and conflict, which are frequently marked by increasing inequalities and challenges to democracy and participatory governance.

Further, the Third Sector plays a crucial role in the pursuit of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), for which it might also be engaged by governments and for-profit firms to establish goal oriented networks and cooperation. This requires particular attention as it is evident that the Covid19 pandemic has at least ‘slightly derailed’ SDG efforts.

Finally, citizen participation in governance at all levels is under threat in times of crisis. A strong Third Sector is needed to respond in those environments facing the rise of more authoritarian regimes. In all civic spaces, Third Sector organizations have a role to protect and improve citizen participation in governance. This requires standing up to subtle and not so subtle limitations on freedoms of expression, assembly and association, and also fully embracing opportunities enabled by innovations in digital technology.

Philea is a member of the Host Committee.