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PaRD Annual Forum 2023: Multiplex Collaborations in a Multipolar World

Learn more about PaRD’s Annual Forum on Religion and Sustainable Development 2023 in Berlin, Germany, October 17-19, with the theme ‘Multiplex Collaborations in a Multipolar World.’ Explore the event’s purpose and objectives.

Last year's Annual Forum on Religion and Sustainable Development gathered more than 130 people in Bali, Indonesia. ©PaRD/GIZ

PaRD’s Annual Forum on Religion and Sustainable Development brings together a diverse group of representatives from government, academia, civil society, including religious organisations, and developmental experts. The forum provides a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and the development of actionable recommendations to amplify contributions by religious actors to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and increase their global visibility. 

The Annual Forum this year recognises the importance of multiplex collaboration in an increasingly multipolar and globalised world. Multiplex collaboration involves inclusive efforts of stakeholders across key sectors and levels of society and acknowledges the interconnectedness of actors and their ability to leverage their unique strengths and resources in a complementary way to contribute to sustainable development. Nurturing human values that foster respect, inclusion, equity and cooperation is a prerequisite for multiplex collaboration. This includes an openness to overcome linear and growth-based paradigms and foster circular thinking, which involves a holistic approach that considers the interdependencies within social, economic, and environmental systems. By nurturing values such as collaboration, empathy, inclusivity, and long-term thinking, stakeholders can develop innovative recommendations and strategies that contribute to sustainable development.

The Annual Forum has three main objectives: 

  1. Facilitate knowledge sharing among participants. This includes the exchange of best practices, success stories, and learnings in the field of religion and sustainable development, as well as successful multiplex collaborations that address the current complex challenges and crises the world faces.
  2. Generate concrete policy recommendations through interactive sessions and panel discussions. These recommendations will be designed to strengthen legal frameworks, promote sustainable practices, and enhance collaboration among stakeholders at local, national, and international levels with a deliberate approach to include the contributions, resources, and expertise of networks of religious actors. 
  3. Serve as a platform for raising awareness about the importance of religion and its role in sustainable development, by fostering ethical reflections throughout the Forum and reflecting on the common values and principles that can contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world.

By fostering a greater understanding and commitment to sustainable development efforts, the forum aims to inspire action and policy change on a long-term basis. Through multiplex collaboration and the integration of religious and spiritual perspectives, stakeholders can contribute effectively to the achievement of the SDGs and create positive change at local, national, and global levels.

The Forum will span multiple days, with an interfaith opening and a guided tour through Berlin. The first day consists of PaRD’s General Assembly of Members. It will include reflections on achievements and challenges in the past year, management and funding discussions, and the progress made along the key indicators of the five-year strategic planning of PaRD. PaRD members will also be introduced to the new leadership and engage in workshops led by the Workstreams on Health, Environmental Protection, Gender, Peace, Freedom of Religion and Belief. On the second and third days, the conference opens to a wider audience, allowing high-level speakers to share their visions and experiences, and external participants to engage and contribute in interactive sessions to the discussions and initiatives presented during the forum. 

The Forum is designed to foster collaborations, learn from one another, and develop positive relationships between the diverse members of PaRD, contributing to this year’s theme. It will be composed of panel discussions, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and will include a marketplace that will allow members to share their work and good practices.