A volunteer perspective of the 2022 Montreal ISTR Conference


Stephanie Doughty


It took a lot of hard work, dedication, flexibility and resilience to make this conference happen… Navigating in turbulent times, indeed! Despite the ever-looming presence of Covid, I am going to go ahead and call this conference a smash hit. Truly, our hats go off to you for having taken the time, energy, and risk of coming to our fair city during these uncertain times. Merci.

Over the past week, my colleagues and I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting and chatting with some really wonderful ISTR conference-goers.

While you have all been attending to the hard work of trying to make the world a better place, sussing out how to best encourage and implement third sector research locally and globally, my colleagues and I have been deeply encouraged by the fact that it is you wonderful people who are at the helm of this task.

Personally, I have had the opportunity to talk to some lovely people about everything from a particularly hilarious Randy Newman song, to skyrocketing inflation, to poodles, to outstanding social activists, all the way down to the relative merits of Tim Horton’s coffee (Café Myriade for the win, good people). What an absolute treat!

In the midst of these uncertain times, and in a world where it seems like an endlessly Sisyphean struggle to effect positive change, I for one am glad to know that you are on the case! We need more people doing good things, and from what we’ve seen the proof is in the pudding.

In a funny way, the fact that we are living in turbulent times has possibly energized us even more to ensure that you’ve all enjoyed your stay. Behind the scenes, the volunteers and I have been doing everything we can to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. While it has certainly been important to us that you enjoy your stay in our city (not that we are biased or anything), it has been of crucial importance to foster a space in which this special community of third-sector researchers can congregate and make some magic happen. If the world is in need of anything, it is certainly that little bit of extra caring magic, isn’t it?

On behalf of all of the volunteers, I would like to thank you for your hard work, your funny stories, your smiles, and your resilience. Truly, I hope you’ve had a great time in Montreal, and—when you are ready—we are happy to have you back for your next visit. Have a safe journey home and oh! Keep on fighting the good fight!

Stephanie Doughty is a MA Political Science at Concordia University.

Tagged in: #ISTR2022

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