World Congress

Vendredi, Novembre 16, 2007 - 16:15 - Samedi, Novembre 17, 2007 - 16:15
Point with a center of latitude 46.210249600187 and longitude 6.15234375.

Within the framework of the celebration of the Centenary of Scouting, the World Organization of the Scout Movement is organising a World Congress that will take place on 16-17 November 2007 in Geneva at the UN 'Palais des Nations' and the Hotel Ramada Encore.

Education and the World Scout Movement :
Experiences and Challenges

World Scientific Congress,
UN 'Palais des Nations' and the Hotel Ramada Encore
16-17 november 2007

World Scientific Congress - Presentation

For one hundred years the Scout Movement has not only represented a unique educational phenomenon but, it also provides a sound and systematic approach to education, through The Scout Method, now termed ‘nonformal’ education. Its social impact however, reaching beyond the Scout community, has not been accurately assessed. The World Scientific Congress on the contribution of the Scout Movement to the development of education will offer a crucial opportunity to debate the personal and social impact of Scouting with the international scientific community involved in research in pedagogy and social sciences, the history of education as well as management and leadership.
Download World Scientific Congress - Presentation

Why are we holding this Congress?
Throughout the world, there are millions of social workers, activity leaders and educators working in the field of non-formal education. They develop hundreds of innovative projects in such varied areas as education for peace, sustainable development, leadership and engagement, AIDS prevention, job preparedness, and much more.

Scouting has been doing its full share in these areas for a whole century. Not only has it often been a pioneer in these areas, its role in non-formal education in general is increasingly becoming recognised for its importance.

However, Scout leaders, like many social workers in other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), have too often tended to conduct their programmes without the support of a scientific framework. The reason is that the majority of these people are volunteers doing what they can in their spare time.

A Congress for researchers and field practitioners
The Preliminary Programme envisages a constant dialogue between researchers from universities or other research institutions and field practitioners in Scouting and other NGOs. Both the plenary presentations and contributions to the workshops will enable everyone to compare scientific research with the outcomes of action research carried out by field practitioners. Thus, for example, in the workshop on peace education, the discussion will be fed by scientific research and accounts of field experiences on this subject.

This is why a call for presentations from researchers and field practitioners has already been launched: we are hoping for contributions to each of the 12 workshop themes that you will find in the preliminary programme. Two forms with practical information are available for this purpose: one for contributions from researchers and the other is for field practitioners.

Call for Presentations (Universities, research institutes)

You are invited to submit a presentation proposal on one of the 12 workshop themes presented in the preliminary programme agenda. Please define the issue clearly with a brief outline of the salient points (+/-250 words) and attach your CV (max. 1 page).

Please send your submissions to the Secretariat of the Organising Committee or email at by 30 May 2007.

Call for Presentations (Scouts / ONG / OIG)

You are invited to submit a presentation proposal on one of the 12 workshop themes presented in the preliminary programme agenda. Please define the issue clearly with a brief outline of the salient points (+/-250 words) and attach your CV (max. 1 page).

Please send your submissions to the Secretariat of the Organising Committee or email at by 30 May 2007.

The Scientific Committee will examine all the proposals and select those that correspond the most to the issues that will be addressed by the Congress

How can you take part?
This is a world congress that is open to all and in which national Scout associations have a major role to play.

Just as is the case with Scouting, this Congress aims to bring together all categories of people, young and less young, both in terms of presenters and participants.

This Congress hopes to include representatives from NGOs, intergovernmental organizations, researchers and, more broadly, everyone with an active interest in Scouting and non-formal education.

Please fill in the attached form if you are interested in participating and send it to

A congress open to all

Thanks to financial support from the Council of Europe, special funding will enable 30 young researchers or non-formal education practitioners to take part. To submit a candidature, please contact the Preparation Committee.
The profile required is that of students who have completed a thesis related to one of the Congress themes and/or youth leaders (whether in Scouting or another organisation): social workers or young people who have led non-formal education projects. Candidates must be under the age of 30 to benefit from funding.

Once the Scientific Committee has selected the candidates, several young people will be invited to make a presentation during the congress.

A world congress

The Scientific Committee hopes that, as a whole, the participants will be as representative as possible of the world’s cultural diversity. WOSM will seek to ensure geographic representation and the Scientific Committee will select presentations for their geographic, cultural and linguistic diversity as well as for their quality and relevance.

The United Nations agencies (FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO) and the World Bank will be invited to take part and become involved in the workshops. In cooperation with WOSM, they have undertaken numerous field and research projects that will certainly enrich the work of the Congress: child labour, a culture of peace, education for sustainable development, the fight against AIDS, etc., are all areas in which these international organisations can offer their expertise and dialogue with researchers, practitioners and participants.

What role can national Scout associations play?

In order to ensure the success of this Scientific Congress, the participation of national WOSM member organisations will be indispensable at several stages.

You can play a very important role in your own countries by identifying researchers or practitioners and by encouraging them to send in their candidatures to present their work during the Congress.

You are invited to take part in the discussions during the Congress and, amongst other things, to help develop the “Agenda for Change” for the future. You can register as of now via the Registration Forms.

Finally, you are invited to contribute to an exhibition on the most significant projects and to another exhibition on the history of Scouting around the world. In effect, in conjunction with the Scientific Congress, we are hoping to organise a short symposium on Scouting’s history. The theme is: ‘‘What lessons can we draw from Scouting’s history to build the future?”. This part of the exhibition (on Scouting’s history) will show photos of past activities, books, brochures, etc.

Call for Posters

Each national WOSM member association is invited to submit:

An outline description of a poster illustrating one of the 12 workshop themes presented in the preliminary programme. The posters may be related to one of the presentation proposals, although this is not a prerequisite.
An outline description of a poster illustrating archived documents (photos of past activities, books, brochures, etc.) to complement the symposium on Scouting’s history that will take place in conjunction with the Scientific Congress.

Call for Posters

You will evidently also be invited to play a piloting role in the post-Congress phase.

After the Congress?

The Centenary Congress also aims to strengthen long-term cooperation with universities and other research institutions in the world:

The Congress report will contain the main presentations made in plenary and in the workshops, a summary of the debates, a presentation of best practices and the “Agenda for Change”. This report will be the basis for the World Scouting Report 2008, which will be widely disseminated amongst university and research institute networks and within the World Scouting network.

During the Congress, participants from universities or other research institutions will be invited to think about research that could be carried out that would strengthen the ties between scientific research and non-formal education.

A real scientific network could thus be established to accompany the “Agenda for Change” for the future and, more generally, to enrich the practices of national Scout organisations. This scientific network would involve researchers from a variety of disciplines: sociology, education sciences, history, geography, medicine, management, and so on. Thus, scientific articles could be published in the years to come that would help the work of everyone promoting non-formal education - this field in which Scouting has always played such an important role.

In conclusion
Scouting’s Centenary Congress will establish the know-how acquired from a hundred years of experience in non-formal education and it will mark a turning point in the links between the scientific community and Scouting. The outcomes should enable Scout leaders to improve the synergy between the scientific community and Scouting’s non-formal education.

In addition, it is hoped that this World Congress will be the starting point for more local cooperation between the world of research and the universe of Scouting.

Other congresses at regional or national level could ensure a follow-up and serve as a relay for the World Congress by working in more depth on one or more of the themes addressed in Geneva, according to the local context.

More than a celebratory public relations event, this Congress would thus be a tool to develop better non-formal educational practices in Scouting at a time when its new century is dawning on a world in which education is the key to sustainable development.

Also see Youth Event


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