A sense of belonging and a way to move forward with giving


Neamat Sidani


What an impeccable knowledge venue, an essential bridge between practice and academia. Being a professional for several years, I recently decided to shift my career and pursue my PhD studies on philanthropy. I was referred to this conference by my fellow colleagues during the Covid period and since then I have been following the various insightful online webinars and activities offered by ISTR on regular basis.

I am attending the ISTR conference for the first time in Montreal this year. I was thrilled to have my paper accepted for presentation at the conference and was waiting impatiently to obtain my visa and be able to attend in person.

I started by participating in the PhD seminar (pre-conference) in which I had the chance to meet other PhD students coming from all over the world and exchange thoughts and experience about our research projects and PhD life. I also learnt how to pitch my research in 3 minutes only – by participating in the three-minute thesis competition. At the opening day of the conference, I was lucky to be assigned on moderating a hybrid session tackling the “non-profit sector in the digital era” It was my first experience in such an exercise, and I wouldn’t deny that it gave me goosebumps at the beginning especially that each of the presenters have an exquisite academic and professional legacy. Nevertheless, the encouragement and support of the panellists and audience helped in making it happen!

The sessions were numerous and equally important. I made sure to get myself busy rushing from one session to the other across the hallways of Concordia University and John Molson Business School. I did not want to miss any learning opportunity on philanthropy, the non-profit sector, as well as the way to move forward. I also attended other significant soft skills (teaching and learning venue) and well-being workshops which boosted my confidence in moving forward with my dissertation. Lastly, I attended the Awards Ceremony and was inspired by the motivational speech of the son of Professor Lester M. Salamon to move forward.

Being a new member of ISTR and participating in the conference this year is, for me, by far a life-changing experience. This conference indeed broadened my perspectives on many issues faced by the third sector as well as the enormous research being currently conducted on this topic in various regions of the globe. I was able to interact and learn from professors and practitioners from all over the world in a very friendly, flexible, and supportive environment. I already feel a sense of belonging to ISTR and I am looking forward to the next conference!

Neamat Sidanim, PhD Candidate, University of Liege

Tagged in: #ISTR2022

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