Over the course of three days participants shared their own experiences and perspectives, exploring three key themes:
- Tracing Linkages between Social Isolation and Poverty
- Learning from Stories of Community Resilience
- Fostering a Sense of Belonging and Reciprocity
Participants came from across spectrums of society, sectors, and the world, including representative from indigenous communities in Canada, the Special Olympics, personnel of programmes being run in developing and developed countries, and academics, government, civil society and business representatives.
Through dialogue and creative sessions, participants started to build a collective understanding of isolation and the actions – local and global – that could be used to build connectedness. This report synthesizes the resulting discussions by looking first at our understanding of isolation, and secondly, at solutions and ways to build social connectedness.
At the end of the symposium, participants committed to undertake post-symposium actions. The last part of this report captures these commitments.
The symposium was more than a gathering of different voices and perspectives. It was the beginning of a movement of understanding and of action for change focused on social connectedness.
We hope that this report will act as a base from which we can build new bridges – bringing our ideas to others.