By Patti Agatston, PhD, IBPA President
The International Bullying Prevention Association was proud to be a sponsor of the inaugural World Anti-Bullying Forum in Stockholm, Sweden. The exceptional conference was organized by Friends, International and was a showcase of thought leaders in the area of research to practice in the field of bullying prevention. According to Friends, the aim of this international and multidisciplinary conference was to “broaden the understanding of bullying, harassment, discrimination, and other of forms of inhumane actions and violence among children and youth.”
Some of the leading researchers in the field either presented keynotes or participated in a general session research panel, including Dr. Jun Sung Hong, Dr. Donna Cross, Dr. Dorothy Espelage, Dr. Dan Olweus, Dr. Christina Salmivalli, Dr. Peter Smith, and Dr.Elizabeth Payne. The International Bullying Prevention Association was also well represented at the conference. I had the honor of presenting the closing keynote on the first day of the conference entitled Social Media, Online Cruelty and Cyberbullying: Addressing Harmful Conduct from the Youth Perspective, and my fellow IBPA board member and leading researcher Dr. Sameer Hinduja presented the closing keynote on the final day of the conference on Cyberbullying: What We’ve Learned and What We Can Do.
There were approximately 550 individuals in attendance and we were thrilled to see and hear His Royal Highness Prince Karl Philip and Her Royal Highness Princess Sofia of Sweden welcome attendees and share their commitment to eradicating bullying in all of its forms. Dr. Hinduja and I also had the privilege of participating in a small reception with the Royal Highnesses where we were able to present briefly on the topic of cyberbullying and take questions from the audience. In addition general attendees received a video message from Maria Santos Pais, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Violence Against Children, that confirmed the importance of addressing bullying and the recognition that “children need to be at the heart of bullying prevention.”
While many people contributed to the success of the conference, special recognition goes to Friends Director Jakob Flard Aspegren and Acting Secretary General Carolina Engstrom, as well as all of the Friends staff and volunteers. IBPA looks forward to continuing our partnership with Friends and is in discussions with them to collaborate on the next World Anti-Bullying Forum.
If you would like to view the recorded keynotes and interviews with presenters from the World Anti-Bullying Forum, please visit: