Episode 164 - Dr. Richard Smith: A Social Worker's Report from the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

Monday, March 30, 2015, 9:08:45 AM

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In this episode, our guest Dr. Richard Smith describes his attendance and experiences at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Highlighting Social Work's long history of working to improve environmental conditions, end poverty, and foster social development, Dr. Smith discusses the conference's takeaways and the implications for social work practice.

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Average Rating: 4stars  sustainable solutions and social work role, Sunday, January 31, 2016

By Kellie Schmit :

Throughout this podcast, Dr. Smith touched on two issues of social work that gave me greater insight into community and international community development forms of social work. He discussed sustainable solutions through the environment and also, toward the end, understanding the roles of each sector. Dr. Smith talked about one organization that he worked with in Brazil that was monitoring the gentrification and forced relocation of populations due to the building of Olympic stadiums. Later he discussed the implications that the environment has for social workers. As a student, it is often easy to focus on the systemic issues that exist while neglecting the interconnectedness of those issues and the environment in which they exist that was outlined in this podcast. With this, Dr. Smith discussed the importance of understanding that the roles of the public sector, the for-profit sector and the non-profit sector are very different. He expressed that social workers need to continue to have a strong voice for public concern. It seems essential that we recognize that the other sectors have different foundational agendas than social workers. It would have been interesting to hear a bit more about the Sustainable Development Goals and how they will continue impacting the work of social workers and social services both internationally and within the United States. Overall, I gained a greater understanding of environmental influence and sustainability through Dr. Smith's discussion and it has added to my understanding of the role of social workers in the international and local communities.

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