In a few days, over 100 delegates from 30 countries will arrive in Munich for a unique conference event which will benefit thousands of homeless worldwide. The 17th annual INSP conference is this year hosted by Munich’s own street paper BISS, as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations.
The conference is hosted in a different city each year, in partnership with a local street paper organisation. The event is specifically tailored to street paper needs and is the only forum where street paper editors, directors and social workers can meet with colleagues from around the world to learn from each other, share experience and form partnerships. For many street paper organisations operating in isolation with limited resources, the conference provides them with vital inspiration, motivation, ideas and support.
This year’s conference- ‘INSP-iring street papers in a changing world’- will focus on street paper sustainability during a period of significant changes in the global economy and media landscape, to ensure that the network continues to support homeless people in the most effective way. Through workshops, discussion groups and panel discussions, delegates will explore how street papers can stay relevant in the 21st century, how they can survive in the digital age, how the face of homelessness is changing and which marginalised groups they could and should be supporting.
Lisa Maclean, INSP’s Executive Director, said: “The world has changed dramatically since the first street paper hit the streets of New York in 1989. The global economic crisis has challenged us to re-visit the street paper business model and adapt to meet the changing needs of our vendors. The way we all consume media is also changing – shifting from print to digital – and it is important that our street papers react to these changes. This week we have an opportunity share innovative ideas and learn from each other. With so many creative, engaged minds in one place, we are sure great things will come from this conference, for the benefit of our 16,000 vendors around the world.”
Serge Lareault, INSP Chairperson and Executive Director of L’Itinéraire street paper in Montréal, said: “We are looking forward to our conference this year in Munich in partnership with one of our most established street papers. BISS leads the way in the street paper network for employing vendors, so we look forward to learning more about this model, and share other examples of best practice from across the network; from Montréal to Munich, from Tokyo to São Paulo. INSP exists to support street papers to enable them to be strong and sustainable and we are looking forward to all the positive results that come from this conference in Munich. Working together as one network, we will be better equipped to tackle some of the challenges we are all facing, ensuring we continue to best serve our vendors’ needs for years to come.”
This year’s conference also includes the ‘International Street Paper Awards’ which highlight the outstanding, independent editorial and social enterprise achievements of street papers; and their contribution to social justice. The winning entries will be announced at a ceremony in Munich on the 1st August. Click here for the finalists.