INSP Summits 1995 – 2015

From humble beginnings back in 1995, the INSP summit has grown bigger and more international each year. The highlight of the street paper calendar, it brings together the network to strengthen our connections, share our knowledge and celebrate our successes.

Scroll down to go back in time with the INSP summits and conferences – all the way back to our first gathering in 1995.

You can also check out more information on the next Global Street Paper Summit, and how you could be part of  this vibrant tradition.

INSPired Together: Global Street Paper Summit 2015

summit 2015

Seattle, USA
24-26 June 2015

In 2015, INSP partnered with Seattle’s Real Change for our first ever summit in the USA. Street paper innovators from all over the world congregated to share success stories and plan for the future.

Following on from INSP’s successful 20th anniversary event in Glasgow last August, the 2015 event featured more sessions than ever before. Parallel programmes focused on strategy & business development; editorial & design; fundraising & marketing; and vendors, support and homelessness.

It also featured fact-finding visits to homelessness projects in Seattle, top external speakers, and a benefit concert at the city’s legendary venue, The Crocodile.

You can read about the sessions in our news section.

Our 2015 sponsors:

Real Change

Real Change

Wyncote Foundation

Wyncote Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle University

Seattle University

2014: INSPiring change for 20 years

Glasgow, UK
12-15 August 2014
Co-host: The Big Issue UK

Taking place just after the Commonwealth Games came to Glasgow, INSP’s 2014 gathering continued the buzz with an interactive programme that debuted the now-popular Knowledge Cafe format. The resulting open and creative conversations went on the drive INSP strategy.

Coinciding with INSP’s 20th Anniversary, the event culminated in a celebratory gala dinner – and some traditional Scottish ceilidh dancing. Read Tim Harris’ celebratory address here.

2013: INSPiring street papers in a changing world

29 July – 1 August 2013
Munich, Germany
Co-host: BISS

In 2013, BISS vendors welcomed INSP delegates to their very sunny hometown with an alternative city tour that aims to break down misconceptions about poverty and homelessness. There was also a screening of documentary film Hotel BISS – Vision einer Bürgerbewegungwhich told the story of the street paper’s attempt to turn a former women’s prison into a social enterprise luxury hotel.

Highlights of the programme included examinations of how street papers could update their business models; of how street papers should react to the digital age and of the effect of the global economic crisis on the demographic make up of our vendors.

2011: The Street Paper Success Story: The Next Chapter

19-22 July 2011
Glasgow, UK

The theme of the 2011 conference, The Street Paper Success Story: The Next Chapter, inspired us all to think about where we go next and how to stay ahead of the game. Around 80 delegates from 29 countries attended the event, along with high profile workshop leaders and guests from the UK and international media, government and business.

The conference hosted the opening of the Eyes of the Street vendor photography exhibition, which was produced from a collaboration between renowned photographer David Burnett and The Big Issue’s vendors. Read more about the project here.

2010: Global Collaboration – Real Solutions

17-20 May 2010
Melbourne, Australia
Co-host: The Big Issue Australia

Delegates came together in the land down under to present their inspirational ideas and visions for our collective future. Among the most significant of these was the launch of the brand new INSP News Service website, which allows for the sharing of stories and images across the network.

INSP was delighted to welcome 63 delegates from 25 countries to Melbourne. The Big Issue hosted a memorable evening meal, allowing global street paper staff to meet local vendors. And there was even time for some Aussie rules football.

2009: 15 years on and stronger than ever – the future of global street papers

12-16 May 2009
Bergen, Norway
Co-host: Megafon

The 14th annual INSP conference came at a very special time in the history of global street papers, as we joined together to
celebrate the 15th anniversary of our network. INSP was delighted to welcome 94 members from 29 countries to Bergen, for its longest ever four-day conference and networking event.



Megafon, Open Society Institute, Marthas, ALF, BISS, Baker Brun, Bergen Kommune, Norwegian Embassy, Scanner Grafisk, FERD, One Scotland (Scottish Government), Aibel, Fagforbundet, Hordaland, Fana Catering, Norad, Radisson Bergen, Bergen Reiselivslag, Stiftelsen Bergensklinikkene, LO, Husbanken, Street Noise, Bocca, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland, Edvard Grieg Museum, Kirkens Bymisjon

2008: Speaking From the Ground Up: Street Papers Challenging Global Perspectives on Poverty

19-21 June 2008
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Co-host: The Big Issue

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond welcomed members from 32 countries back to the home of INSP’s global headquarters. The undisputed highlight of the years conference was the first-ever INSP Awards, held in the grand surrounds of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Topics discussed included: the unique role of street papers in the Global South and how to engage street paper readers through campaigning & advocacy.


The Big IssueBISS, Open Society Institute, Mitchell Library, Glasgow City Council, The Scottish Executive International Development Fund, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland Charities Aid Foundation

2007: Street Papers: A United Voice Against Poverty

14-16 June 2007
Poznan, Poland
Co-host: Gazeta Uliczna

In 2007, 35 street papers from 23 countries participated in the INSP conference, making it a truly international

Throughout the conference, delegates worked together to create a joint statement speaking out against poverty through a united voice of the international street paper movement. The conference created significant media interest throughout the region. A 20-minute feature about the gathering was shown on evening news and there was coverage on several other TV channels, as well as radio programmes and newspaper features. The President’s office welcomed the INSP conference to Poznan by hosting a special reception for all delegates.


Sponsors: The Barka Foundation, The Batory Foundation, BISS, Charities Aid Foundation, European Union, Equal Project
Germany Embassy Poland, Open Society Institute, Office of the President of Poznan, The Scottish Executive International Development Fund, Mr John Studzinski, Vikings

2006: Local and Global – Street Papers working together for positive social change

8-10 June 2006
Montreál, Canada
Co-host: L’Itinéraire

The 11th INSP conference in
Montreál brought together, for the first time, members of INSP and the (now defunct) North American Street Newspaper Association (NASNA). The workshops and presentations focused on highlighting the growing gap between rich and poor, and the important role of street papers in diminishing these inequalities in our world.

INSP also presented an exhibition of street papers at the University of Quebec – A Picture of Poverty or Poverty in Pictures.

2005: International Media: The Need for an Alternative Voice

3-5 May 2005
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Co-host: Hecho en Bs. As.

The INSP conference examined the theme of press freedom. Street papers have the opportunity to offer up a real and truthful picture of the world we live in. The conference discussed ways to maximise the impact of street papers as independent media publications.

Delegates visited Hecho’s Puerto 21 art project and worked with local vendors to design a collective piece of art to symbolise freedom of expression and the importance of working together.

2004: Building on the Golden Scenario – Strong Papers-Strong Network

21-25 April 2004
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Co-host: The Big Issue in Scotland

INSP President (now President of the Homeless World Cup) Mel Young was reported that the first ever INSP office had been founded in Glasgow.

The previous year had also seen the first Homeless World Cup, held in Graz in July 2003 and the beginnings of a Global Street News Service, led jointly by NASNA and INSP.

2003: Golden Scenario for INSP

24-27 April 2003
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Co-host: Nový Prostor

Street paper delegates came together to discuss the ‘Golden Scenario for INSP’ which ultimately led to its development from a network to a charity with its own team, headquartered in Glasgow.

2002: Street papers: Consolidating through diversity

Madrid, Spain
Co-host: Milhistorias

2001 INSP conference

Cape Town, South Africa
Co-host: The Big Issue South Africa

It was at this conference that the idea for the Homeless World Cup was first conceived by The Big Issue in Scotland’s Mel Young and Megaphon‘s Harald Schmied.

That was during one of the INSP conferences’ famous late-night discussions. In addition, delegates paid visits to a variety of projects in and around Cape Town. They also heard a passionate speech from Dr. Zola Skweyiya, the South African Minister of Social Development.

2000 INSP conference

Budapest, Hungary
Co-host: Flaszter

1998 INSP conference

St Petersburg, Russia
Co-host: The Depths, now Put Domoi

1997 INSP conference

London, England
Host: The Big Issue

1996 INSP conference

London, England
Host: The Big Issue

1995 INSP conference

London, England
Host: The Big Issue

The first ever INSP conference was a meeting of European street papers to examine the future of street papers.