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Sarajevo Conference 2011

Sarajevo Conference

Bosnia and Herzegovina


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Coping Resilience International Conference Dubrovnik Brisbane Institute

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A Charles Sturt University Initiative

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Professor Lesley Chenoweth

Responding to the Challenges of Contemporary and Future Human Services - Beyond Survival to Proactive Change

The Role and Direction of Social Work and Human Services in the current Economic environment

Cooking for Social Work

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Working With Challenging Clients: Motivation, Cooperation And Assisting Behaviour Change

workshops Sarajevo, Bosnia, Vive Zene, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Sarajevo Conversations 2011

Sarajevo 16-18 SEPTEMBER 2011  


Sarajevo the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina shares a common heritage and a common history of change within this European region that has affected the lives of the people in many ways. Coping with change has never been easy for individuals, groups, communities and nations. The societies and nations are expected to become resilient and meet the ever going needs, aspirations, expectations of its people while continuing to develop a future that is peaceful and hope fulfilling.

Dubravko Jeremic Konferencija u Sarajevu

This conference for the first time pilots and urges the use of the metaphor of ‘the solution societies’ rather than ‘problem societies’ and offers a rather modest but robust agenda around which a number of papers, ideas and narratives from across the world are invited. What would be known as the ‘Sarajevo Conversations- 2011 will be the precursor for a progressive conversation of positive people, positive change and positive societies within the region and elsewhere in the world.

We invite you to take part and shape this event - This first International Conference on Strengths Based Management of Social Change to be held in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, envisions productive discourse and conversations around

·         Role of youth in national development

·         Entrepreneurship development

·         Corporate Social Responsibility

·         Governance and people strengthening practices

·         Volunteers for development  

We are hoping that experts from around the world would consider this as an opportunity to talk about their work and participants would have opportunity to learn and network for future development. The Conference is set for transformational dialogue and metalogue and to build a truly learning society. The road that societies need to take to reach the ever growing demands of its people for peaceful and hope fulfilling, designs, structures, governance and institutions is  bound to be a phenomenal challenge.

Cutting the ties with processes of central control in institutional politics, economics and people governance and to move into empowering of individuals, groups, communities, smaller organizations and businesses, the conference believes,  is ripe with surmountable contests.  

Successes stories and narrative accounts from around the world, how some societies fared well and continue to build supportive ethos to  bring about attitudinal change  in the context of massive changes that they have gone through, would  be of great interest to this conference. We believe such accounts, papers academic and practiotioner perspectives will generate parallel thinking and assist in building a  parallel processes for  collaborative working around the world.

How has the world responded so far?

How has the region responded so far?

The world of Transition Societies:

What strengths baaed accounts exist of transitions around the world?

To understand best practice in transition, the conference invites case studies from countries that have transformed from previously distinctive political orientations.

For example Nepal, Sri Lanka and Malaysia in Asia, Turkey Middle East and parts of Africa have a boutique of ideas to showcase some important strides amidst the political changes and continuing social impacts. Similarly countries like India, Australia, to name a few have demonstrated experience of how they fared the global recession at individual and group levels as businesses did not give up but flourished even during the global recession. How do they do it?

The Conference believes that central to the process of development in all societies is its youth that takes pride in their nations and their immediate environment. A culture that allows for enterprising young adults to partake in the economic processes and a country and its leadership interested in empowering these processes.

Conference Sub themes

Given a variety of approaches to management of social change and nation building, papers around transformational change at the level of individuals, groups, and the collective psyche; moving from resilience to hope building and reviewing practicing skills to enhance in each of these areas are central to the themes of this conference.

This conference clearly is an opportunity for addressing them from a number of perspectives.  Viewed from a Strengths based practices SbPs, presentations at the conference will focus on the inherent strengths of individuals, groups and organizations. We are looking for empowering alternatives to traditional methods with individuals, group or organizational work. We wish to see strategies that facilitate change by assisting to look at / what has worked? What does not work? And what might work presently making it important for those who facilitate and those desiring change to be integral to this process of change.

Some of the illustrative topics are listed below:

  • Cross-cultural patterns of transformational change management building and working with resilience;

  • Dealing trends and changes in demographics within regions due to transmigration; skilled migration;  Alternate developments; consolidation of Human Resources for national development

  • Entrepreneurship development; small and medium business leadership development

  • Mentoring the youth; building tomorrows leadership in all spheres of nation building;

  • Interventions in the youth sector human services sector, social care,  the soft sector vulnerable sections, marginalized populations; children; gender issues; youth  and frail aged in adverse circumstances

  • Best practices in helping individuals in crisis;  in empowering communities facing crisis and disasters; Asset-based community development

  • Evidence based management of Public and Corporate services;  creating efficient user pay systems

Indigenous people and heritage enterprises; strengthening resilience through e-communities and use of information technology

Who will be at the conference?

The range of applied, clinical, scientific, legal, social, managerial and practice and policy issues that will be addressed in the conference program make it directly relevant to a whole range of people that include managers, project managers, CEOs in the corporate and the government on one hand and the Management academies, Universities, management students, managers, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, rehabilitation consultants, and psychotherapists, Health  and medical specialists; cultural anthropologists, youth workers, NGO activists, community and humanitarian workers; spiritual leaders; emergency service and disaster workers, defense, police; justice and legal professionals, policy makers and finally media of Television and Print that as high potential for  bringing about attitudinal change in the society.

Brisbane Institute is supported in this endeavour by Ausaid under its ISSS scheme.

Conference Patron

The Bosnia and Herzegovina Presidency member Zeljko Komsic is the patron of the Sarajevo Conversation 2011 Conference, and has expressed his pleasure and keenness to have this  Conference in the Capital City of B&H, Sarajevo.



Download PDF File about the Conference

The BISbP and NGO Bukovina & Hrastovina from Bosnia and Herzegovina are working together to achieve

the goals of the Conference.


More about Bukovina & Hrastovina


The Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice -  the first visit to BiH in May 2010 - READ MORE


UNSA University of Sarajevo Coference Venue

UNSA - University of Sarajevo endorses the conference.

The Conference will be held in the premises of the Rectorate of the University of Sarajevo

Society for Psychological Assistance (SPA) Zagreb

"The regional mental health non-governmental organization Society for Psychological Assistance (SPA), based in Zagreb, Croatia endorses the conference".

Carers Australia is the national peak body representing carers in Australia.

Carers Northern Territory

Municipality Centar -

"The pivotal resilience and hope building non-governmental organisation that works with indigenous communities - particularly the stolen generation of the Australian Aboriginal Communities endorses the conference"

The Bosnian Community Center for Resource Development

The Bosnian Community Center for Resource Development

(BCCRD, Inc.)

A nonprofit agency created in 1998 by a group of former -Yugoslavs and Americans to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to the 7,000 to 8,000 refugees from the former Yugoslavia who have resettled in the greater Boston metropolitan area.  

The support provided by the team at the Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice has been invaluable and we hope to maintain a positive relationship with them into the future. Kamal Touma MD FACPsyMed, FAChSHM. Chief Editor –

The Nepal School of Social Work - nurturing social workers to create a just society - in Nepal (a joint venture of Kadambari Memorial College, Nepal College of Development Studies and Tulsi Mehar Memorial College), Shankamul, Ganesh Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal.



*   *   *

International Advisory Committee

(Program and  Organisation)


Dr. Piotr Salustowicz, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences, Bielefeld, Germany and Professor at the Warsaw School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Warsaw.

Goran Bubalo, Project Director at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Aunty Lorraine Peeters, Indigenous elder, Australia, Managing Director, Marumali

Dr Dora Marinova, Professor of Sustainability Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, WA

Dr. Margaret McKenzie, Head of Department - Department of  Social Work and Community Development 

University of Otago, New Zealand

Dr Dean Ajdukovic, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology and Head of the Chair of Social Psychology, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Dr Susan Young, Discipline Chair,

Social Work and Social Policy, University of Western Australia

Mrs. Senada Softic Telalovic, World Congress of Bosnian Diaspora

Dr Michael Clark, Director, Center for Strength-Based Strategies, USA

Pamela Trotman, Member AASW
Northern Territory, Australia

John Dommett, CEO, Connecting Home Organisation, Victoria, Australia

Dr Bala Raju Nikku, Director, Nepal School of Social Work, Nepal

Jasna Zecevic, Director, Vive Žene, Tuzla, BiH

Prof. Ranaweera Amaravamsa, Head of Department of Social Work, National Institute of Social Development, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dr  Marina Ajdukovic,

Professor, Department of Social Work, Faculty of Law University of Zagreb

Richard Hill, Director, MindScience Institute., Australia

Prof Lesley Chenoweth, School of Human Services & Social Work ,

Griffith University, Australia

Dr Mercuito. M. Motshedi, School of Social Sciences North West University (Mafikeng Campus), South Africa

Dr. Sarah Buila, Program Director and Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, USA

Dr Dinka Corkalo, Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Carol Tosone, Associate Professor of Social Work, New York University

Peter Binyon, President, Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice

Stefan Bakaj, Member, Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice
advisory committee

Dr Venkat Pulla, Director of the Conference


*   *   *

Youth Advisory Committee!
Nensi Hadzic - Faculty of Psychology, University of Sarajevo

*   *   *

Local Organising Committee

and Logistics


Prim. Dr. Narcisa Kamberovic, Psychiatrist - Chairperson Local Organisation

Asim Sahinpasic and Dubravko Jeremic - NGO Bukovina i Hrastovina Inc - Deputy Chairpersons Local Organisation

Dragan Bombek - Brisbane Institute of Strengths Based Practice - Logistics Coordination

Download PDF File


Sarajevo Conversations 2011 - Sarajevo 16-18 SEPTEMBER 2011


Conference Venue - The Rectorate of the University of Sarajevo


Professor Ranaweera Amaravamsa Conference Sarajevo
Profesor Dr Hazim Basic Prorektor Konferencija Sarajevo Jasna Zecevic, Director, Vive Žene, Tuzla, BiH

Professor Dr Dean Ajduković, Professor of PsychologyUNSA University of Sarajevo Rektorat univerziteta u Sarajevu

Internacionalna konferencija Sarajevski Dijalog 2011
Professor Dr. Faruk Caklovica, Rector, University of Sarajevo Professor Dr. Boris Tihi, University of Sarajevo Dr Svetlana Broz Gariwo Sarajevo BiH
Dr Venkat Pulla, Impetus Global, Director of the Conference Asim Sahimpasic Bukovina i Hrastovina Zoltan Milic Bukovina i Hrastovina organizacija
Professor Dr. Piotr Salustowicz, Professor at the University of Applied Sciences Jovan Divjak, Senada Softic Telalovic Sarajevo Bosna

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