The 26th European Social Services Conference took place in Seville on 27th-30th May. This was the best attended conference so far with 610 delegates from 39 countries. Participants came not only from Europe, but also from Palestine, the United States, New Zealand or Australia, and had the opportunity to participate in 8 plenaries, 28 workshops, the project forum that featured 11 projects, and endless exchanges with peers through our web app, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the exhibition area that featured 11 partners.

The conference started on the 27th of May with the Nordic Day, a pre-conference event organised by the Nordic Council of Ministers that looked at the successful inclusion of young migrants and represented a follow-up to our 2017 seminar organised in Stockholm in cooperation with our Nordic members.

On Monday 28th May, we learned about building partnerships between employment, health and social services at local level, universal basic income and community grassroots initiatives encouraged by local authorities as key elements of social investment approaches across Europe and beyond.

On Tuesday 29th May, we focused on investing in social infrastructure and human capital. How social services can link up with private investors for innovative initiatives, to fight austerity or support those furthest to reach in our societies were the focus of presentations.

On Wednesday 30th May, delegates had the opportunity to participate in parallel discussions on service user involvement with a focus on young people’s participation in a session co-designed by youth from across Europe, service assessment, integration of employment and social services, and technology-led services.

We were very pleased to see great engagement in social and wider media and participation through the app and the various meetings that took place during the conference. We would like to thank all of those who joined us. Soon presentations will be available through the app for those who came, and a series of articles will be published in our June newsletter. Watch this space!