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IHEU is calling for expressions of interest from Member Organizations to host the World Humanist Congress in 2020.

This page contains a summary of the procedures and responsibilities for hosting the World Humanist Congress.

Potential host organizations should also refer to the full, formal IHEU Congress Regulations.

Procedures and Responsibilities of the Host Organization

All IHEU member organizations are welcome to bid for hosting a Congress. IHEU Congresses are organized by an IHEU member organization in coordination with IHEU.

The host should set up an Organising Committee to make all the arrangements and to formulate the programme. IHEU will appoint an Executive Committee (EC) Congress Liaison Person who needs to be kept informed of the progress of the organization of the Congress and who will report back to the EC.  The Chair of the Organising Committee and the IHEU Liaison person will need to be in regular contact.  There may also be an Organiser (often a staff member of the host organization) to deal with all the practical arrangements.

The Congress Committee will be in charge – through a Congress Secretariat – of making practical arrangements, offering information and assistance to those who need to make their own visa applications when needed, meeting venues and accommodation, and of course, importantly, for developing a programme which adequately reflects the vitality and variety of the Humanist movement around the world, and which will also have a balanced gender and international representation.

The Congress Committee will also propose a theme for the Congress and interact with the Speakers etc. The Congress Committee is empowered to produce a brochure, accept a Congress logo (incorporating the “Happy Human” symbol) and where so agreed, to bring out a publication of the Congress proceedings. The Congress Committee also takes care of any cultural events. Congress languages are both the local language and English. However, if many of the speakers and/or participants speak in the local language, then simultaneous interpretation arrangements will need to be made.

The official congress language is English but it is possible to use also the language of the host country provided that simultaneous translation is provided for any plenary session. Workshops may be in different languages, provided it is clearly stated in the programme and there is a sufficient range of other options in English also provided at the same time.

IHEU’s Role

It will be IHEU’s responsibility to provide maximum publicity to the Congress worldwide. Where possible IHEU will extend funds to help the travel of participants in developing countries, and funds from the Congress registration fees may also be used by the organizers to fund such arrangements. The host is responsible for making all arrangements, setting the budget for the congress, and takes any profit, but also the financial risk of hosting the congress. IHEU is not liable for any costs of the congress. However, the travel subsidies traditionally provided by IHEU to participants from developing countries constitute IHEU’s contribution to the Congress budget.

Though sometimes organized in a university setting, IHEU Congresses are not academic conferences, but should be events with popular appeal and an interest for the media.

How to Express Interest

IHEU Member Organizations are invited to email IHEU with their expression of interest and setting out plans for the Congress, including possible dates and venue. The application should specifically confirm that the expression of interest to IHEU is authorized by the Board of the Member Organization and give an idea of the human resources that will be available for the Congress organization. IHEU’s Executive Committee will process the bids and present its decision to the General Assembly.

For further information, please read the IHEU Congress Regulations.

Please write to the Executive Committee of IHEU via office@iheu.org.

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