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CODE Forum 2022

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Critical Approaches to Community Development and Diakonia in a Time of Crisis

CODE Forum, 28–29 September

The CODE Forum will take place on September 28th and 29th at the main campus of Diak (Kyläsaarenkuja 2, Helsinki, Finland).  

Visiting Programme in Helsinki Area, 27 September

An optional visiting programme to projects and initiatives will be on organised on Tuesday September 27th. It is possible to join for the whole day or just the afternoon.

An optional workshop for those interested in the future planning of the Forum will be on Friday 30th in the morning.


The CODE Forum brings researchers and practitioners together around approaches that relate community development and diakonia. It is a space for the exchange and development of research and practice. The Forum has met twice previously, but the meeting last year was postponed due to covid travel restrictions. The Forum is linked to the CODE research group at VID, Norway and the seminar will be in Finland by the kind invitation of Diak. The CODE Forum has wide international and interregional participation.

At the Forum, there will be space for the presentation of papers and reports from practice. We also invite contributions to the discussion of research ideas and proposals for new research as well as posters. The Forum aims to offer a space for the exchange of experience and the development of ideas. It aims to support innovation in the field and the development of research and learning programmes.

The CODE Forum and ReDi

The CODE Forum is a recognised as a thematic network of ReDi and the seminar is an activity of several institutional and individual members of ReDi in collaboration with the Association. Papers previously presented at the Forum have been published in the Journal ‘Diaconia – Journal for the Study of Christian Social Practice’. 

Main Themes of the CODE Forum 2022

1. Critical Approaches to Community Development and Diakonia in a Time of Crisis

The present time is marked by deep crises to which community development and diakonia are responding. The crises include the global covid pandemic, the impact of the war in Ukraine and in other world contexts. The covid pandemic and large-scale war together with civil conflict, the growth of inequality & segregation in cities, and environmental crises are challenges for community development. Crisis leads in some contexts to a new awareness of the importance of community whereas in other contexts, the crisis signals or causes the destruction of community. In many contexts, community development and diakonia are responding and the Forum would like to focus on learning from this experience and looking to the future.

Responding to a crisis needs short term action, but also needs to take a longer-term perspective on the causes of the crisis and related sustainable futures. This can include community development as a contribution to strengthening democratic practice, overcoming divisions and peacebuilding and working for comprehensive approaches to health, education and welfare.

Contributions are invited which address a specific crisis and analyse the contribution of community development and diakonia. These can also include reports from and reflections on actual practice as well as developing proposals.

 2. Innovative Approaches to Community Development 

In addition to this main theme, the Forum invites papers on community development and diakonia which raise critical questions for theory, theology and practice. This may include:

  • Challenging the ‘Inclusion’ paradigm (including both diversity issues and economic inclusion) This would include community development approaches related to inclusion in the ‘imagined mainstream society’ and the rhetoric which surrounds economic inclusion such as ‘leave no one behind’ and community development approaches.  
  • Innovative concepts for Diakonia and Community Development such as seeking conviviality, ubuntu, buen vivir…). 
  • A critical look at Asset Based Community Development – theory, practice, theology (especially in relation to neo-liberalism and critical approaches, the Biblical and theological basis). 
  • Community development, diakonia and the diaconal church concepts, practice, alliances and professional profiles. 
  • The dignity, agency and power of marginalised groups community development perspectives  

Call for Contributions

Contributions to be presented and shared at the CODE Forum can be academic papers, proposals for or interim reports from research that you would like to discuss with colleagues, or a poster with a key idea that you would like to discuss. It can also be an account of practice that raises issues related to the Forum themes.

Please send your abstract or proposal to Stephanie Dietrich and Tony Addy. Please indicate the form of your contribution and indicate which theme your contribution belongs to.

Abstracts and short descriptions of contributions should be submitted by 3rd June 2022, and you will receive the decision as to whether your contribution is accepted at the latest by 17th June 2022.

Please send your abstract or proposal to Stephanie Dietrich ( and Tony Addy (

Other Optional Programme Activities 

1. Future Planning Workshop

After the last CODE Forum, a group worked on developing and submitting an application for funding under the EU Horizon framework. This received very positive feedback, but unfortunately, we were not successful. As part of CODE Forum 2022, a meeting for those who wish to further the development of common research project(s) will take place on 30th September in the morning.  

Those interested in joining this meeting should register for it. The basic framework will be to map the interests and approaches and to search for funding instruments. It is then hoped, as last time, to form a core group to proceed with the application(s). More information will be sent to those who register. 

 2. Visiting Programme

There will be a visiting programme on 27th September, which will enable participants to experience a diversity of local diaconal projects in the Helsinki area. There will be a possibility to join the programme for the whole day, or in the afternoon. More details will follow when you register. 

Timetable Outline

  • 27th September
    Optional visiting programme starting at 9 for the full day and at 13.00 for the half-day programme.
    Arrivals for the seminar
  • 28th and 29th September
    CODE Forum Seminar with presentations, working groups, and evening programme.
  • 30th September
    Optional future planning workshop


The quota of single rooms has been reserved for the participants at the Hotel Arthur (

  • Price: 90€ per night for a single room and 105€ per night for a twin room. The room price includes breakfast and VAT.
  • Location: The hotel is near the main railway station and the airport bus terminal and is also near the tram/bus stop for the short connection to the Diak campus.
  • Booking should be made by e-mail, or by telephone +358 9173441. The sales department is open from 8.00-17.00 (Fridays 8.00-16.00). Please use the code “CODE” to get the reduced price.
  • Note that the room should be booked before 27th July.
  • Evening Meals: Arrangements for the common evening meals on the seminar days are in process.


The registration fee is 90€ and it includes meals, refreshments, coffee and snacks during the Forum. The invoice will be sent by email after the registration. If the registration fee causes difficulties for your participation, please consult Jouko Porkka (address below).

Registration will be via an Online Registration Form. The registration will be open 1st June – 27th July 2022.

You can choose to participate in the CODE Forum Seminar or the CODE Forum Seminar and the optional Future Planning Workshop and Visiting Programme. It is not possible to join the optional programme activities if you do not participate in the CODE Forum.  After the registration, you will receive further information about the event, travel instructions etc.

NOTE:  Places at the CODE Forum are limited and we would encourage you to register as soon as possible!

More Information

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