Conference Theme and Subtheme

About the Conference Program

Our theme -UNLOCKING THE POWER OF VOLUNTEERING- recognizes that volunteering takes place in many ways and, across all sectors and within a multitude of structures. We believe that the underlying values of good practice makes volunteering valuable, sustainable and beneficial for everyone. However, there are underlying values that need to be in place for volunteering to be valuable, sustainable and beneficial to the volunteer, the organization and to the wider community.

Under this theme, we aim to explore all possibilities of creating an enabling environment of volunteering promotion and finding the keys to enhance recognition of the value that volunteers bring as well as improving accessibility of volunteering opportunities.

Program Agenda and Format

We propose a mixture of keynotes and plenary sessions to introduce thinking and practice, and smaller spaces for group discussion, where participants can agree on action points.

Participants will have opportunities to engage as speakers, panel members, presenters, and moderators, in addition to Q&As. In keeping with recent IAVEs, we will include interactive small-group discussions as part of plenary sessions.

We will explore possibilities for remote participation, for example through live streaming and online participation. This would help to mobilize and engage people who cannot attend in person.

Plenary sessions will include keynotes, presentations and panel discussions. Break-out sessions will take the form of parallel dialogues. The conference will be interactive and inclusive, with time for small group work and Q&A sessions.

Case studies will be presented to stimulate debate, moving into discussions about what these case studies tell us about quality.

There will be ample time for networking and informal conversations.

We propose to provide simultaneous interpretation in English and Thai in all plenaries, and in some breakout sessions if needed.


Let’s dive into the five sub-themes:

Make the invisible visible. We would like to recognize and estimate the hidden power of volunteering and address on many more volunteering activities that are in grassroots level contributing to real change in community.

We are encouraging presenters to bring up case studies and researches highlighting the power of community participation and ownership and the changes that sustain in the community.


Measuring impact and reporting results: a) who are the informal volunteers in the communities? How does your project measure beyond traditional collected data of volunteering and its impact using new methodologies? How did this data help you to transform communities by discovering their hidden potentials?  b) Best practice and/or toolkits on how to develop research project “measuring the contribution of volunteerism for reaching the SDG’s” or similar topics.
Community-led approach:  Best practice to enable communities in discover their hidden potential. What community led monitoring- and evaluation tools can help to measure the transformative impact of volunteering and enable the community members to utilize it efficiently?
Creating and enabling environment: How can the hidden contribution of e.g. senior citizen, people with disabilities and women in communities become visible?  a) What environment is fostering their community engagement? b) How to foster youth-adult relationships through volunteering to empower communities?
Disaster and Emergency Situations: a) Best practice of the lifesaving but hidden power of community volunteers in emergency and disaster situations. What did you learn from it?  b) Volunteering as a bridge in the in the Humanitarian Development nexus.

Simple but not simpler. This is said to be the quote of Albert Einstein mentioning about his physics theory. In this context, it gives the meaning as one can describe ‘Don’t overcomplicate your thinking, but don’t “undercomplicate” it at the expense of being incorrect’. This saying is applied to our work in the way that by being simple, we can encourage more organization and people to volunteer and still being able to ensure that volunteering is responsible and impactful.

We would like to invite you to share with us your various inspiring practices when dealing with challenges, how did you overcome it.


Standards of Volunteerism:  What are the minimal standards in different areas such as Duty of Care, Volunteer Management, Designing and Delivering Volunteer Programs and Measuring Volunteer Impact necessary to create an enabling environment for volunteering towards a long lasting impact and to prevent any kind of harm?  What is your best practice and tools? Would you like to provide a training on one of the area?
Making volunteering accessible: what infrastructures and technologies are enabling individuals from different walks of life to volunteer with in their capability skills, time and place? a) Does your organization provides technical solutions b) Best practice of platforms for a wider range of network with shared resources to ensure quality in volunteering?

Stronger together.

Within the field of volunteerism, myriad roles and collaborations occur to penetrate volunteerism. It is undeniable that consistent effort must be remained to develop partnership and foster collaboration.

Within this subtheme, let us explore: What are the benefits of collaboration across the sectors, cultures and demographics? What are the barriers? How do partnerships help to unlock the power of volunteering?

We would like to invite you to lead and drive a powerful conversation where global and local leadership organizations for volunteering, NGOs, corporations, government, civil society and academia join to help shape the kind of future we want for volunteering and how all sectors can work together to realize that future.


Innovative collaboration models across the sectors: a) Best practice of transformative partnerships, going beyond transactional partnerships, showing examples of corporate sector engagement. b) Best practice of co-creation and participatory processes with different volunteer models (youth-, corporate-, national-, international-, -senior and group volunteering) and how it can help to overcome power dynamics within the community and also between local community and the private sector. How communities get prepared to meet companies and institutions as an equal partner to access assistance and to be enabled to drive their aspiration of development forward.
Platforms across the region: Role and responsibilities of practitioner in regional and global networks and examples how the voice of local communities are an active centre of their purpose. Best practice or a facilitation of finding actions point how to move forward in the volunteer sector together.
Cross cultural learning: Best practice from different countries and local leaders how hands-on implementation of policies can create a local volunteering culture and wider volunteer mind-set and what we can learn from different counties.
Volunteering a methodology for cross generation collaboration:  Best practice of youth and senior volunteering to unlock youth-adult relationships. How does volunteering give a platform for young and senior citizen to foster their relationship and how it transforms the social position of both in the community.  How could volunteering help aging society to overcome their challenges now and in the future?

Flipping SDGs conversation. Instead of asking ‘what is SDGs?’, let us ask ‘what makes the life of disadvantaged people better?’ and ‘How volunteering can contribute to sustainable development and what is happening in the region?’. Within this subtheme, we would like to discuss how we can encourage and provide accessibility to people from all levels to engage in volunteerism. Also, what does ‘leave no-one behind’ mean for volunteering today? – how is volunteering reaching into the lives of the poorest people. (* SDGs is UN’s Sustainable Development Goals).


Stakeholder and public engagement Best practice of networks and organizations to channel the voice from the community level into high-level discussions. What are the challenges and learnings? What further actions are needed, and what essential roles are volunteer filling in?
Community Based Monitoring Systems:  Best practice tools and methodologies about measuring the transformative impact of volunteering and enable the community members to utilize it efficiently.  What are the local changes communities aspire and see and does it translate back into the SDG’s discussion for global monitoring?

Unlocking the lock. We acknowledge that volunteering is a powerful way to create better change to our local and global communities. We also realize that volunteering contributes to our own personal development. However, there are challenges to volunteerism. Looking from different perspectives of all sectors, we would like to invite you to explore and discuss

  • What are the existing challenges or barriers of volunteering, what is holding transformative change back from happening?
  • How can we support cultivating national, international networks and partnerships across civil society, private sector and government and unlock the power of volunteering?


Unlocking with technology to make volunteering accessible: a) Technical solutions and future trends about how potential volunteers can access information about ethical and trustful placements matching their skills and capability. How can the sectors asses and promote those? b) Best practice how volunteer use technology to share their skills and time to a social cause remotely.
Unlocking with innovative volunteer group models: Best practice or workshops on how to design a program for a group of diverse volunteers cross cultural, cross generational, cross sectorial what are the benefits and the impact on social change in the long run.
Unlocking the future with Innovative social entrepreneurs: Recently it seems to be a hen-egg discussion. What comes first volunteering or social entrepreneurs. We learn from many examples that it goes very much hand in hand and can have a positive effect for both. We would like to hear more about your experience, ideas and innovations.
Unlocking with Empathy:  What makes us humans different from AI? In our technical world we sometimes forget to talk about our human site beginning in our education and continuing in our daily work life. Empathy comes on different levels the individual, the group and the social level. It is closely related to volunteering. We would love to hear your best practice on how it unlocked both volunteering and the way to social change in today’s modern society.