Resonance Workshop

How might the future of youth work look like? What could be potential scenarios for youth work in the future? These were questions we posed to our signal spotters and other participants during the Resonance Workshop in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


illustration of four people sitting behind a table and one has their hand raised, two have lap tops and one has a bigger phoneWithin our research project “Futures of Youth Work,” we aim to explore emerging and future societal developments of relevance for young people and youth work, and to develop scenarios for the future of youth work. The Resonance Workshop built on some steps that had already been taken within the research, including introductory workshops for signal spotters, collecting signals, interviews with some additional experts, and mapping the collected signals in relation to larger trends or themes.


The Resonance Workshop gathered a group of twenty signal spotters as a sounding board to explore, together with the research team, the initial findings of the research. It also aimed to create and test draft future youth work scenarios. Additionally, the participants had the chance to deepen their understanding of youth work’s potential for change and/or transformation.


During the two days, our signal spotters had the opportunity to think about possible futures of youth work. How do we think of and relate to the future? At the workshop, we used the following concepts of future to find out more about how we relate to it, personally, and which perspective could be useful when imagining and engaging with future scenarios. The concepts are adapted from the book “Facing Our Futures: How foresight, futures design and strategy creates prosperity and growth” by Nikolas Badminton (Bloomsbury Business, 2023). The concepts are the following:

  • Emerging Future: Focuses on sensing and looks at seeds in the present. It is “benevolent” and long-term focused.
  • Upcoming Future: The future that we are facing, with a focus on inevitable events. It is medium and long-term focused.
  • Planable Future: Focuses on strategic thinking and shaping, believing in a sense of agency. It is short-term focused.
  • Projected Future: Centers on “business as usual” and the continuation of the past and present. It is short-term focused.
  • Preferable Future: Involves wishful thinking and aligns with our values, judgments, and assumptions. It is medium/short-term focused and opposed to an undesirable future.
  • (Our) Potential Future: Considers what we might become, emphasizing the importance of awareness of that potential within a larger context. It is long-term focused.
  • Possible/Probable Future: Relies on thinking about what could/will/might be, considering what is ‘realistic’ from the current ‘knowing’. It is short and medium-term focused.


A magnifying glass that shows a green arrow facing upwardsOur signal spotters had the chance to create possible scenarios for youth work and discuss how today’s signals might affect the future. They came up with four drafts of youth work scenarios and discussed how to become future-ready, and what conditions we need to create and invest in.


The outcomes of the workshop will be integrated into the research findings and the scenarios that will be presented during the forthcoming European Academy on Youth Work in May 2024.


A draft version will already be presented during our first webinar on 21st March 2024. You can find the call HERE.


If you are interested in finding out what happened at the meeting, take a look at the video below. Enjoy!