Forthcoming: Pathways to Resilience IV Conference: ‘Global South Perspectives’, 14-16 June 2017

The Pathways to Resilience IV Conference: ‘Global South Perspectives’ will be held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 14-16 June 2017 with pre-conference Site Visits scheduled for the 13 June at Etafeni Day Care Centre Trust, Community Action for a Safer Environment (CASE) and the Desmond Tutu Foundation Youth Centre. The conference will be held at Century City on the 14-15 June and at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on the 16 June (See conference link at:

This fourth Pathways conference will the first one that the Resilience Research Centre (RRC) at Dalhousie University has hosted outside of Halifax, Canada. The RRC is proud to co-host the event with the Optentia Research Focus Area at North-West University, South Africa and with organizational support of the Primary Healthcare Directorate, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town. The goal is to focus on the Global South where people are often disproportionately challenged by double and triple jeopardies (e.g., being both socially marginalized because of race, gender, ability or class, while at the same time experiencing climate change, armed conflict, and structural inequality).

In the face of the apparently intractable challenges to human wellbeing, knowledge of how and why individuals, families and communities adapt to adversity and transform their worlds has become increasingly important. Pathways to Resilience IV will provide a forum for understanding how this adaptation varies across cultures, how those in the Global South define resilience, and what can be done to meaningfully support health, wellbeing and social justice.

Ultimately, optimal individual, family and community functioning is the reason we study resilience. Pathways to Resilience IV will advance this agenda. The aim is to make a real difference to those who are tasked with responding to adversity, not only in the Global South, but through what we learn, in the Global North as well.

The conference is organized by Dr Michael Ungar, Director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University and Dr Linda Theron, an extraordinary professor in Optentia Research Focus at North-West University. Both are working group members of the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN) Resilience Working Group led by Prof Steve Reid based at the Primary Health Care Directorate, University of Cape Town.

The WUN Resilience Working Group was initiated in 2014 and is currently made up of 25 members. It comprises two thematic project groups which include the ‘Youth Resilience Core Global Project’ whose aim is to investigate the individual, family, school and community factors that promote resilience in migrant youth across cultures, as well as the ‘Resilience in Service Providers in Public Health Project’ which is comprised of five linked research projects.

Members of the Service Providers project group which is coordinated by Dr Pamela Fisher based at Leeds Beckett University will be presenting a combined 90-minute symposium consisting of three presentations titled “The development of resilience in service providers in 3 countries”. Based on three studies conducted in South Africa, Australia and the UK, this symposium considers understanding and enactments of resilience among diverse groups of service providers (professionals, semi-professionals and community volunteers) working with young people in situations of adversity. The findings suggest that adversity can prompt innovative and creative ‘professional’ practices.

The presentation includes Dr Fisher’s abstract on “Emerging approaches to community resilience in the UK”; Assoc/Prof Rob Cover’s abstract on “Social Strategies, Digital Media and Social Change: The Resilience of health workers and service providers working with LGBTI youth in Australia”; and Dr Janet Giddy and Prof Reid’s abstract on “Resilience alone is insufficient: health systems need innovation and advocacy”.

The Youth group which is coordinated by Dr Justine Gatt based at the University of New South Wales will be presenting a symposium entitled “Pathways to resilience in adolescent migrant youth: An international project” featuring speakers from an international consortium who together aim to understand the impact of migration on mental health and resilience in adolescent youth across six international sites. The talks will encompass findings from a literature review and pilot study, and an explicit discussion of protocol development.

The presentation includes Dr Theron’s abstract on “Pathways to resilience: A review of wellbeing-enablers among migrant young people”; Dr Gatt’s abstract on “Mental health and resilience in migrant vs non-migrant youth: Initial pilot study results”; Assist/Prof Qiaobing Wu’s abstract on “Acculturation, Resilience and the Mental Health of Migrant Youth: A Cross-Country Comparative Study”; and Kristin Hadfield’s abstract on “What we learned from conducting a multi-country investigation of migrant youth”.

For further information on the conference, please click on the following link: