In this volatile and uncertain environment, the social work field stands at the nexus of immense opportunities and incredible challenges: demographic and social trends, aging population plus rising economic inequality are increasing the demand for social work services, particularly for the most vulnerable populations.
The growing income gap generates polarization of society that threatens the social fabric of our communities. The rapid growth of technology is affecting society and the future jobs in ways we have yet to fully understand. We talk a lot about artificially intelligent everything, new team dynamics, new forms of leading in the social field.
More question marks are emerging in front of us:
  • Will technology offer solutions to these enduring challenges and rise the relevance of the social field professions?
  • How will the future of social field look like in 10 years time?
  • What are those skills needed for the social field professionals to remain relevant in 2030?

These are some of the questions we are seeking to answer through using foresight discipline and tools within #FOCUS project.

Why Foresight
The human ability to prospect (EN. Foresight) is what makes us wise. Modern day psychologists and neuroscience experts managed to prove that the human brain, allows time travel. Our brains have the ability to look into the future, consciously or unconsciously, and this allows us to learn not only from our own experiences, but also from others.
Foresight is a process that helps organizations to investigate the future, not predict; to assess change, build future preparedness and relevance, to rethink opportunities. The future is always uncertain and these last months proved it more than ever. It can be influenced by our (in) actions and may reveal itself to us in different ways.
Foresight is not about precision or predictions. Rather, it acknowledges and takes into account the existence of uncertainties, allowing thinking about strategic alternatives and planning for several possible ways in which the future might look.
Foresight is a participatory vision building, long term strategy designing and leadership supporting process. Foresight is equipping organizations with the tools and resources needed to understand the changes in the external environment, to ask provocative questions, challenge dominant logic and test assumptions.

Article by Diana Stafie from Future Station, foresight consultant in the framework of FOCUS project. 
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.