The objectives of this conference are to explore how socio-economic trends are affecting the use of wood products and the challenges and opportunities that will arise as a result of these developments. More specifically, the conference aims to examine the following issues:
- how wood use can make a greater contribution to sustainable development; and
- how wood producers and users can benefit from increased prosperity and the growing demands for more sustainable consumption and lifestyles.
This conference will bring together a number of researchers, experts, wood users and producers to explore how the changing expectations of consumers and society are shaping the future for wood products. It will examine how producers and users of wood can respond to these changes to identify potential opportunities and strengthen sustainability in the sector. In particular, it will focus on the social, aesthetic, cultural and traditional aspects of wood use and how the strong linkages between wood and society might be used to support the future development of the sector as a whole.
The conference will last for three days and will be organised around three main themes:
- Emerging trends in economies and lifestyles: what are the main trends affecting wood use and how can these be utilised to strengthen the forest products sector?
- Stories portraying the winds of change: case studies showing how some wood producers and users have already developed strategies or innovated to build successful enterprises based on changing consumer demands and needs.
- Wooden paths to a sustainable future: how can the linkages between wood use and sustainable development be strengthened and used to promote more and higher-value wood use?
Further details of the topics to be covered under each of these themes is given under the information for authors (see also the provisional list of invited and voluntary papers that will be presented on the "timetable" webpage).
Based around the overall theme of the art and joy of wood, this conference will include plenary sessions, workshops, exhibitions and cultural events exploring, amongst others, the following topics:
- What are the broad social and economic trends affecting the markets and end-uses of wood products?
- How are producers and users of wood responding to these trends and what more can be done?
- What is the scope to develop higher value wood products that capture some of the benefits of rising prosperity?
- Why do negative perceptions of wood use persist in some places and how can these be overcome?
- How can stakeholders in the wood products sector develop strategies to strengthen the linkages between wood use and sustainable development?
To try to answer some of these questions, participants will hear about the experiences of wood producers and users from around the World as well as the views of leading industry and technical experts. Participants will also be encouraged to share their views and experiences and network with colleagues so that everyone will come away with a better understanding of the outlook for the sector.
- What types of support are needed from policy makers, researchers, technical experts and industry associations?