Building bridges

During this period of social challenge, new needs and emerging phenomena, Social Work should move forward from three different perspectives: finding alternative responses to promote human well-being, so as to enable everyone to become fully integrated in social life; developing actions and policies in order to ensure people fundamental rights without losing sight of their abilities and capabilities; promoting the development of welcoming and educating local communities, empowered through people participation.
Italy may be seen today as a vast arena of social debate, thanks to the presence of many dynamic social actors and new experimentations already operating throughout the country, and presents itself as a promoter of international comparisons and reflections aimed at finding new solutions on the above issues, also based on the presentation of these rich and varied experiences.
These alternatives, in accordance with the founding principles of social work, can build bridges between social actors in the community (public institutions. non-profit organisations, for-profit agencies, etc.) with the aim of creating a new solidarity network. The promotion of rich human relationships and empowerment depicts a distinctive trait of the Italian Social Work, historically engaged in working with and within the local community.

The following topics are proposed within this framework:

1. Bridging space: North - South and East - West migration and globalisation require social work to promote human relations and interactions within States and between them, especially in relation to migrant populations. Italian Social Work provides such a bridge between Europe and the rest of the world;
2. Bridging time: Social Work stands at a crossroads between its historical roots and the future challenges as articulated in the Global Agenda. Its role is to help make sense and support social transformation;
3. Bridging between social actors to supporting social cohesion: social reality requires social work to promote the transition from the “traditional public welfare” to a new “generative welfare system” including community development, civil society, third sector actors, for-profit agencies and other social actors.


1. Social Protection
2. Poverty
3. Health and Mental Health
4. Human Trafficking
5. Interpersonal Violence
6. Human Rights
7. Child Welfare
8. Disability
9. Gender Equality
10. Ageing
11. Sustainability
12. Population Change
13. Migration
14. Labor
15. Education and Training
16. Disaster and Environmental Change
17. Social Work Practice
18. Community Development
19. Social Action
20. International Social Work
21. Safety
22. Corporate Social Responsibility
23. Housing
24. Criminal Justice
25. Human Service Technology
26. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights
27. Respect for spiritual rights and religious beliefs
28. Transition from the “traditional public welfare” to a new “generative welfare system”
29. Building an Economic and Socially responsible community
30. Others


Promoted by

Organizing Partners