A directory of Baha'i events across Europe.

2007 Bahá’í Conference on Social and Economic Development (USA)

Revised: November 10, 2007

Your attendance is cordially invited at the December 2007 Bahá’í Conference on Social and Economic Development (SED) in Orlando, Florida, which begins Thursday evening, December 20 and ends at noon on Sunday, December 23.

The theme for this year’s Conference is “Igniting the Will to Serve Humanity”. The Conference Program includes an exciting array of challenging subjects building on this theme that will contribute to the learning and the sharing of knowledge that are the hallmarks of this Conference.

Key elements of the program plan for the Conference include a mixture of compelling plenary addresses and a variety of challenging and inspiring smaller concurrent workshop sessions covering Social and Economic Development principles, concepts and core processes and case studies. There will also be a two-hour networking session on Friday evening to provide an additional opportunity for networking by a range of interest groups.

The distinguished plenary speakers for this year’s Conference include Continental Counsellor Dan Scott (Canada), Continental Counsellor Debbie Kirton (Barbados), Erica Toussaint (NSA of the U.S.) and Adamou Kombo (a Bahá’í based in Paris and serving as an international electoral consultant for the United Nations, IFES (International Foundation for Election Systems) and NDI (National Democratic Institute) with rich experience assisting emerging democracies in Africa and elsewhere). Follow this link to the Conference Overview .

Performing Arts Presentations – Jack Lenz of Canada will again be lending his artistry and warm spirituality to the proceedings this year. Additional artists, including Red Grammer, Adam Crossley, Gwendolyn Watson, Vedad Theophilus, Roya Bauman and Afshin Toufigian, will be joining him to lift our spirits with music and song each evening of the Conference as well as Sunday morning.

Conference Registration and Hotel Information – You may quickly and easily register online using our secure Online Registration Form by clicking on the link above. Or you may wish to call or fax in your registration and credit card information (Phone: 407-740-5415 Fax: 407-647-6079). If you represent an organization or other SED entity or entities, please also provide information concerning that entity (name and your title).

The site for the 2007 Conference will again be the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando (www.rosencentre.com), which is in close proximity to the Orange County Convention Center. A special group rate for up to 4 persons in a room has been arranged for this event. This special rate is valid from Dec. 17 to December 24. Hotel Reservations: Telephone: 1-800-204-7234 or 407-996-9840. Fax: 407-996-3169 Address: Rosen Centre Hotel, 9840 International Drive, Orlando FL 32819-8114, USA. Ask for the Rabbani Charitable Trust or Bahá’í SED Conference rate. To make a hotel reservation online, use this Web address: https://reservations.ihotelier.com/crs/g_reservation.cfm?groupID=43107&hotelID=2018

Early Registration fees (in U.S. Dollars) for the Conference are $120 for adults, $59 for youth (ages 15-20) and $39 for children and junior youth (age 4-14).

Transportation from Orlando International Airport – Mears Transportation offers a variety of shuttle options from the Orlando International Airport to the Rosen Centre Hotel (Zone 3). For complete information, visit their website at: http://www.mearstransportation.com.

Children and Junior Youth Program – Activities are planned during the three morning sessions from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon for the children and junior youth attending the Conference. The age groups of the classes are 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, and 12-14. We are unable to accommodate children ages 3 and under. However, a salon will be made available for parents of these small children to informally share in their care. On Thursday and Friday afternoons and evenings there will be supervised recreation for children, ages 4-11 (pre-youth 12-14 are welcome to participate), as well as for the opening session of the Conference on Thursday evening. There is no provision for children and junior youth activities during the Pre-Conference Development Seminar (see below).

Youth and Young Adult Program – Special offerings for youth and young adults are again being planned this year, to effectively address the interests and concerns of this important segment of attendees (ages 15 and up). Topics of special interest to those in this vibrant age group are being explored for the Conference program for Thursday and Friday, along with some other youth-friendly activities.

Book Sales – A large Book Store provided by the Bahá’í Distribution Service (http://www.bahaibookstore.com/) will be on hand with an ample selection of Bahá’í books and a variety of other materials.

Pre-Conference Development Seminar – Prior to this year’s Conference a two-day (Dec. 18 evening through Dec. 20 afternoon) “Bahá’í Development Seminar” is being planned. At the behest of the planning group, this year’s Seminar will be a working session with attendance by invitation only. The intent is to create an optimum environment and provide an opportunity for a modest number of active and experienced practitioners to delve more deeply into the issues and challenges which must be addressed as they apply the principles of our beloved Faith to the work in the field.

Building upon the lessons learned and interest generated by last year’s seminar on Spiritually-based Indicators, they will be focusing on “Applying a Spiritual Framework to Development Issues.” The goals of this year’s Seminar are:

· To foster a culture of learning among development professionals by exploring the spiritual dimensions of development.
· To practice the practical application of spiritual principles and values in the planning, implementation and evaluation of social and economic development projects.
· To develop resources and a conceptual framework for future application of spiritual values in development.
· To cultivate ideas for promotion of the framework within the wider development community.
· To launch initiatives to apply the framework in one or more projects or communities during the year and report back at the 2008 seminar.
The planners are attempting to limit the group to a workable size, select individuals with the background and experience to significantly contribute to the hoped-for richness of this year’s consultations and enable the group to move beyond a mere exploration of conceptual issues to the practical application of principles and implementation of initiatives. Please be aware that the Trust’s plans for the Conference include offering a workshop on Friday or (more likely) Saturday that will share with Conference attendees the insights gained and results achieved by the pre-Conference Development Seminar.

If you would like to be considered for an invitation to participate in the pre-Conference Development Seminar, please submit an email request for consideration to seminar@rabbanitrust.org (include some specific information concerning your development background and experience and why you are interested in attending), and your request will be forwarded to the Seminar planners for consideration.

As a reminder and aid in better serving you, we suggest that, except as noted above, all electronic correspondence relating to Trust matters, including the 2007 Bahá’í Development Seminar and Conference on Social and Economic Development, be addressed to email@rabbanitrust.org (Seminar/Conference) or Rabtrust@aol.com (all other matters). Postal correspondence and telephone/fax messages related to the planning of the Seminar and Conference may be directed to the Trust at: 8649 Jasmine Way; Boca Raton, FL, 33496; USA (Phone: 561-483-1983). (Please note other phone numbers above for registration and other Seminar/Conference issues.) On all other Trust business, please contact the Trust as follows: Phone: (407) 648-0590; Fax: (407) 648-8335; Postal Address: 306 Lakeview Street, #206; Orlando, FL 32804; USA.

We rejoice in the opportunity to again serve the Bahá’í community and look forward to seeing you in Orlando in December.

The Rabbani Charitable Trust


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