War Prevention Initiative attended the GlobalPDX Conference on October 24, 2019 at Portland State University.
The theme of the conference was Local to Global: Sustainable Solutions for a Changing World. Local nonprofits, development organizations and international charities attended the event to share insights and best practices to address global challenges. The panel discussions and breakout sessions covered a wide range of topics including climate change, the refugee crisis and Portland’s unique context in addressing these challenges. In addition to knowledge exchange, an underlying objective of the conference was to unite and strengthen the international Portland community and foster networking and partnership.
The wide range of topics discussed highlight the plethora of global challenges being tackled by Portland organizations and their novel perspective, which positions them to be most effective. The panel discussion on climate change and development underscored the importance of advancing an intersectional approach to building climate change resilience and shifting the response from reactive to proactive. As noted by the panelists, an ounce of effort spent on prevention costs less than an ounce of effort spent on emergency response. Another key area in which Portland organizations are engaging is refugee assistance. Recently the U.S. has curbed the flow of refugees into its borders, but the need remains high for refugee resettlement. Frequent climate shocks, which are only predicted to worsen, and the associated conflicts are a significant motivating factor for people to relocate. A consistent theme of the conference was that Portland is uniquely situated to cultivate a response to many global challenges. The progressive spirit of Portland remains a force to be reckoned with, as evidenced by the creation of the Portland Clean Energy Fund through ballot initiate and the commitment to passing environmental legislation, namely HB 2020 and similar bills, in the next year.
War Prevention Initiative was honored to attend the conference and we look forward to building partnerships with local organizations to advance our mission of a world beyond war.