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🎖️Youth Work 2050: Key Takeaways from EAYW 2024

"One of the things about the future is that it is often a new version of the past, hopefully, new and improved, sadly sometimes just a second-rate copy. Let’s try and make our futures something better."

More than 200 people with different roles and backgrounds: youth workers, educators, trainers, researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and for the first time this year, students of youth work with their special role and assignment gathered in Krajnska Gora for the third residential edition of the European Academy on Youth Work.

Key features included:

  • Workshops based on presentations of innovative practices, which will be selected in the frame of a public call;

  • Inspiring inputs and discussions of key questions related to innovation, current and future trends and developments, which should help to address the needs of youth work in different environments and build the capacities for innovative approaches of the participants and their organisations;

  • Presentation of the EAYW research: Futures of Youth Work – Potential Future Scenarios and validation of the research outcomes by the participants;

  • Inviting spaces for community-building, networking and joint reflection about futures of youth work;

  • Useful outcomes of the discussions and suggestions for follow-up that can help to build the knowledge and capacities of the youth work field to respond to new needs and developments.

During the European Academy on Youth Work, attendees delved into the complexities of perceiving the future, recognizing that there is not a singular future for all humanity. They explored how gains for some may mean losses for others, prompting critical discussions on the factors that have influenced youth work over the past decade and what will shape it in the next ten years.

INEDNET's CEO Diana Yeghiazaryan was part of this Academy and is a member of the Advisory Board. In her words, she said: " One thing I learned from this edition of the Academy, is that the future is not linear, even if we make lots of foresight (not predictions), we have to admit that we will have different futureS. Going to the future, we move backwards and always look at the past. I am quite positive about the future of our youth work, as this event helps us feel that nobody is alone and that we as humans will adapt.

Researchers presented collaborative findings on the main emerging areas and scenarios of youth work up to 2050. They examined how youth work might evolve in the coming years, identifying emerging trends and developments that are already visible today. The discussions raised important questions about the connections between possible futures and the present realities of youth work. Participants entered the session room with many questions and left with even more, a clear sign of a highly successful panel.

In her closing speech, Sonja Mitter, the driving force behind the Academy, emphasized the goal of this third edition: to foster a future-oriented mindset, support ongoing processes, and create space for meaningful conversations. She highlighted the importance of being future-ready and reiterated the need for collective action, shifting from an individualistic "I" to a collective "WE," and understanding that futures vary across different realities.


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