3. Conference Program

The conference will include six affiliated events. A day-to-day detailed schedule of the conference program is provided in Appendix 1.

3.1 Sharing and Discussion on Revival of Ordained Nuns (bhikkhuni) in the Theravada Tradition

A sharing and discussion on the revival of the lineage of fully ordained nuns (bhikkuni) in the orthodox Theravada Buddhist tradition will be conducted on the morning of January 22, 2016 at the Gothama Thapo Wanaya, close to Diyatha Uyana, with senior bhikkhuni’s from Sri Lanka, Bhikkhuni Dhammananda from Thailand, and Bhikkhuni Chao Hwei from Taiwan.

3.2 Public Symposium and Opening of the Conference

The conference will officially start with an evening public symposium on January 22ndbased on the UN Millenium Development Goals, their achievements, and lessons learned as well as a new proposal on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.The opening speech of the evening will be given by the President of Sri Lanka followed by a speech by the head or a seniorrepresentative of the UNDP regarding the past MDGs and future SDGs. There will then be a series of responses and contributions from senior Buddhist social activists and scholars as well as from those representing other inter-faith perspectives. The evening will end with a cultural show followed by dinner.


3.3  Visit to the Good Market (a market for eco-friendly and fair trade products)

A half-day visit to the Good Market on the 23rd morning will be organized for all participants to talk with the main organisers as well as vendors and customers. Participants will be able to enjoy organic foods and drinks and buy some local fair trade products to take back home.

3.4 Study Tours

On the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of January 2016, participants will be able to participate in study tours, divided into 2 different themes:
· Ecosystems, climate change, and sustainable development
· Pluralistic and inclusive societies

The ecosystems, climate change and sustainable development study tour will travel to visit the Sinharaja World Heritage rainforest, Selyn Handlooms in Kurunegala, and the Millennium Elephant Foundation in Kegalle. Participants will be able to experience one of the most unique rainforest ecosystems in the world at Sinharaja and learn how the forest and the surrounding communities are adjusting/adapting to the problems of climate change as well the effects that humanshave made on such habitats. They will also learnabout what the neighbouring communities are doing to protect their heritage. At the Good Market, Selyn Handlooms, and the Millenium Elephant Foundation, participants will also see what these organisations are doing in terms of sustainable, holistic development and get an idea of how to set up eco-friendly establishments successfully.

The pluralistic and inclusive societies study tour will travel to Nagadeepa, Jaffna where participants will be able to see and experience how three cultures and religious communities co-exist on one small island, approximately 10km in length. The island is home to around 2,500 Sri Lankan Tamils and around 500 Sri Lankan Muslims,with many Sinhalese visiting throughout the year to pay homage at the NagadeepaBuddhist Vihara. Participants will also have a closed-door session with the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) Singhalese Buddhist organization and Muslim leaders on the 23rd afternoon to discuss Buddhist and Muslim relations, current issues being faced by each party, and how to tackle these issues and co-exist peacefully.

3.5 INEB Biennial Conference

The main INEB Conference with a thematic focus on Converging Streams: Engaging for Holistic Development and Inter-Faith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability will be held from January 26th to 27th, 2016, at Islander Center, Anuradhapura. This biennial event will be expanded to inviteinter-faith leaders to participate actively in the program. This event will be organized around key INEB program areas and will provideopportunities for participants active in various ongoing working groups to update, give and receive input, and expand their outreach.  The INEB biennial conference provides an opportunity to look beyond regional politics to see issues of common concern and opportunities for collaboration and exchange.

The program schedule is given in Appendix 1.  The event will open with keynote speakers and panel discussions in the morning on both dates.  The afternoons onboth dates will be interactive sessions allowing participants to exchange their own views and ideas in response to the morning themes in the style of World Café and Open Space. They both use an informal non-structured format in which participants can propose a topic or issue of concern and invite others to join in a group discussion. As mentioned above, this will also include time for pre-existing INEB working groups to meet and continue their collaborative work. A session for ideas on a general INEB collaborative platform will also be held. All participants will then come back together for a facilitated sharing and summary session. A closing ceremony on the 26th will be a Cultural Performance and Exchange.


3.6 INEB Advisory Committee (AC) and Executive Committee (EC) Meeting

The annual INEB AC and EC meeting will be held January 28, 2016.  Current AC and EC members will review reports from 2015 and budgets and plans for 2016while discussing long-term strategy for strengthening INEB regional networks, program activities, and inter-faith partnerships.


Affiliated Events 

January 22, 2016 (Morning)

Sharing and Discussion on the Revival of Ordained Nuns (bhikkhuni) in the Orthodox Theravada tradition

January 22, 2016 (Evening)

Public Symposium and Opening Ceremony of the INEB Conferenceat Sri Lanka Foundation Institute

January 23, 2016 (Morning)

Visit to the Good Market

(a market for eco-friendly and fair trade products) 

January 23-25, 2016

Study Tours                                                                                           Group A: Ecosystems, climate change, and sustainable developmentGroup B: Pluralistic and inclusive societies 

January 26-27, 2016

INEB Biennial Conference Proper

Converging Streams: Engaging for Holistic Development

An Inter-Faith Dialog for Peace and Sustainability

at Islander Centre, Anuradhapura

January 28, 2016

INEB Advisory Committee / Executive Committee Meeting

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