Our Conference Theme

Volunteering Together to Enable Change and Create a Better World.

Sharing and exploring how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.

Sub Themes

1. Volunteering 2030 – New Paradigms

Rapidly changing societal trends, technological innovation, virtual landscapes, and a global commitment to enabling the Sustainable Development Goals for everyone, everywhere creates an emerging dynamic where established boundaries for volunteering are being challenged and changed. Such a ‘borderless state’ often within countries but sometimes across nation states requires more collaboration, integration and sharing of resources to bring about the change the world needs. Partnership across organisations and sectors, new ways of engaging citizens and volunteering across borders can bring innovation and greater impact to the involvement of volunteers.

2. Future Leadership – the Role of
Youth Volunteers

Youth volunteering is seen as providing an important experience for young people to engage with their communities and the issues they care about while enhancing their own personal development. Learning to lead through volunteering often creates a pathway to employability and social entrepreneurial activities. Young volunteers are increasingly vocal in what they think about the world and how they want things to change. It is an important priority to channel the energy, passion and commitment of young volunteers into leadership roles to sustain and grow the volunteer effort. Young people themselves need to have a say in what volunteering leadership means to them.

3. Tolerance and Inclusion – Volunteering
Enabling Community Cohesion and
Embracing Diversity

Volunteering is vitally important to providing a sense of belonging to one’s community, it is a practical way to showcase resilience by including everyone in helping themselves and others to overcome problems whether they are, for example, economic, social, humanitarian or environmental. Volunteers are working across divisions and between cultures showcasing in practical ways the respect for others that builds more tolerant societies. Organisations that involve volunteers also need to be committed to the value of inclusion, showcasing tolerance and embracing diversity in their involvement of volunteers.

4. Corporate Volunteering – Delivering
Business Objectives Through a
Values Focused Mission

Today’s business leaders see their organisations and their employees as together having a stake in the wellbeing of their communities. The focus is changing from what corporations can do for you to what they can do with you. Corporate volunteering plays a big part in this shared sense of social purpose that gives the win-win-win effect, good for business, good for employees and good for wider society.

5. Volunteering and the Digital World –
Extending the Power of Volunteering
Through New Technologies

As technology evolves it is being harnessed to give greater access to volunteer involvement and enhance how volunteers carry out their roles. Going to the computer or phone to find out how to connect to volunteering opportunities is the norm, virtual volunteering is a growing trend. Social media creates an instant global sharing of who volunteers are and what they are doing. New technologies such as artificial intelligence will bring further change and challenge as to how these new digital opportunities can also support and develop volunteering.

6. Measurement and Impact – Providing the
Evidence that Volunteering is Good for Society
and Good for You

It has always been important for volunteers to know that their involvement has made a difference, volunteering can also be of great benefit to the individual volunteer. Increasingly the focus is on providing the evidence to record, measure and showcase the impact of volunteering. As an example, the United Nations, in taking forward the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda, is seeking to scale up the measurement of impact to evidence how volunteers are making a positive difference to solving the world’s problems. Everyone understands that impact measurement is important but not that easy to do. Learning from experience is helpful, organisations and institutions need to share information on what they are measuring and how they are doing it.

7. Volunteerism and Community Resilience – Locally Owned Solutions Delivering Impact

There is a growing realization that emergency resilience activity should be aligned with broader community resilience building and vice versa. The activity and approaches to build community cohesion and tackle, for example, health and well-being issues such as loneliness and isolation of older people, also build community resilience in response to crisis. Building resilience within communities is about engaging community members in considering the challenges faced by the diverse parts of a community that make up its totality. It is about following through on the SDG’s aspiration ‘that no one will be left behind’. Volunteering makes connections, builds networks and stakeholder relationships, aids communication and supports cooperation, vital components for community resilience. The people power of volunteers has been shown to anticipate and challenge issues, take ownership and responsibility, identify novel solutions and give leadership to transformational change.”


What is IAVE?

IAVE stands for the International Association for Volunteering efforts (IAVE) and exists to promote, strengthen and celebrate volunteering in all of the myriad ways it happens throughout the world. With members in 70+ countries, IAVE is the connective tissue of a global network of leaders of volunteering, NGOs, businesses and volunteer centers that share a belief in the power of volunteers to make a significant strategic contribution to resolving the world’s most pressing problems.

What is the IAVE World Volunteer Conference about?

The IAVE World Volunteer Conference is part of The International Association for Volunteer Efforts (IAVE) which began in 1970 with the birth of IAVE and is organized every two years in a different country around the World. The conference aims to bring together the volunteering community from across the world to share their experiences, learn from one another and build bridges across cultural, political and linguistic barriers.

What is the Format of the Conference?

The conference includes a series of stimulating plenaries and workshops with inspirational speakers and experts from around the World. Workshops include compelling topics, discussions and debates on challenging issues confronting the volunteering sector around the World.

Who usually attends the IAVE World Volunteering Conference?

The World Volunteer Conference brings together participants from civil society, government sectors, and corporations to share and explore how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.

Where and when will the conference take place?

The 26th World Volunteering Conference will take place on October 11-14, 2020 at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Company (ADNEC)

How can I register to the event?

Registration can be done directly from the website: http://www.iave2020.ae/

Are the costs to participate?

Yes, please check the registration on the website for more details on the different categories of participation. http://www.iave2020.ae/registration/

Do I need a visa for Abu Dhabi?

Ctizens of Australia, Andorra, Austria, Brunei, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States of America and the Vatican State can get a free-of-charge entry visa upon arrival at Abu Dhabi International Airport.GCC citizens do not need a visa to enter the UAE.

Where I can stay during my visit?

We have chosen a range of hotels across all price levels, all within walking distance of the conference site. Discounted prices will be announced in mid-February.

What is the theme of the 26th IAVE World Volunteering Conference?

The Theme is Volunteering Together to Enable Change and Create a Better World: Sharing and exploring how volunteers as agents of change provide the practical action that builds hope and resilience, improves lives and strengthens communities.

What are the highlights in the conference agenda?

The 26th World Volunteering Conference includes the following topics:

  • Volunteering 2030 – New Paradigms
  • Future Leadership – the Role of Youth Volunteers
  • Tolerance and Inclusionin volunteering
  • Corporate Volunteering
  • Volunteering and the Digital World
  • Measurement and Impact of volunteering
  • Volunteerism and Community Resilience