What signals did we receive from signal spotters? What are the directions and themes we can see emerging? And what are the implications for youth work in 2050? These were some of the questions our researchers discussed during a meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

During September and October 2023, more than 40 signal spotters collected signals—a piece of information or an early indicator that suggests the possibility of a significant shift or emerging trend in a particular domain. This could be a pattern, event, observation, technology, behaviour, or any other observable phenomenon that carries potential meaning for the future.

As a second step, our research team—Aleksandra Szymczyk, Gisele Evrard, Ozgehan Senyuva, and Darko Marković—met in Ljubljana, Slovenia, from 14 – 15 December 2023 to map, discuss and interpret the received signals. They clustered the signals into significant areas and discussed future scenarios for youth work.

Some of the signals we are sharing with you here include:

  • The digital aspect of youth work will be increasing, and we need to consider the ethical implications of it.
  • The lines between formal and non-formal education will become blurred, and AI can assist in creating individual learning paths.
  • Topics related to the democratic and political dimensions of youth work will become even more prevalent.
  • In the future, there will be a greater focus on aging and intergenerational work.

The meeting also provided an opportunity to discuss the future steps of the Futures of Youth Work project, which include a workshop with signal spotters in February 2024 and drafting the scenarios for youth work.

More insights are awaiting us in the coming period, so to stay updated, be sure to follow us! If you would like to get a glimpse of the meeting, take a look at the video below.