On Thursday, 18th April 2024, the second webinar of the Third European Academy on Youth Work took place on the theme of “How future-ready are you?”. Interested to find out more? Then read the excerpts of the report written by Nik Paddison. The whole report can be found here.


The second EAYW Webinar was attended by over 70 professionals in youth work and related fields from across Europe. For the majority, this was their first interaction with an Academy event, with the majority of those saying that they would also be attending the residential event in May. The facilitators, Anita De Silva and Darko Marković, posed a number of challenging questions: How do you relate to the future? Are you in love with it or is it “complicated”? Are you adventurous in the way you imagine it, or are you nostalgic about your “past futures”? Do you feel ready to commit to more future-oriented thinking?


Exploring our mindset

Right from the outset, the participants were being encouraged to explore their thoughts and feelings, their mindset about futures thinking and youth work. Six statements were posed for the participants to respond to, and you can see the results below.



A question was posed to the group; “as youth workers/supporters what are your thoughts about how to get future-ready? What can support and what can block this ability?”. The participants commented; there is a need for cultivating mental wellbeing, the movement for recognition must continue and keep improving, the education and training of youth workers must take future thinking into account, keep listening to young people, maintain awareness of societal realities, and embrace technology.

During the webinar, a silent floor was held, where facilitators posed a question and the participants responded just in the chat. This led to a dynamic exchange, not only to the questions being posed but between the participants as well. Answering the question, “what skills or knowledge are needed by a youth worker for navigating the future?” participants mentioned compassion, empathy, resilience, critical thinking, computing, communication, teamwork, and flexibility. We need to learn to unlearn, the future is changing so quickly at times that it isnecessary for us to unlearn things – even if they were working well.

Another question that sparked discussion was, “how we, as the youth work field, can get ready for the future and support one another?”. As a sector we need to share and communicate; cooperate, talk, discuss, network, listen and collaborate. We need more Academies, more actions and activities that bring the community of practice together and so build a creative and supportive community. Another core response was related to being civically engaged, we need to understand the policies and politics that affect young people and youth work, and we need to be behind upcoming policies.


This second webinar closed with the presentation of some core resources for people to further explore futures thinking:


Connected to this article you can also find the visual summary of the webinar, created by graphic designer Mireille van Bremen, who explores more of the content in her illustration. You can download the visual HERE.



Next Steps of the EAYW Online

WA girl speaking through a large megaphonee will live-stream two key sessions of the residential Academy event on Wednesday, 15th and Thursday, 16th May on the EAYW Youtube channel. You can find more information here.

The next EAYW webinar, “Meeting the future – What can we do?” is on Thursday, 6th of June, at 10.00 CEST. The call for applications will be published soon! Stay tuned for more info coming your way!


If you are interested in having a look at the recording of our second webinar, please find it down below.