Futures of Settlement

Foresight

Working together to imagine alternative futures with enough detail to provoke conversations and to begin crafting the future they want to see in Settlement.

Who is it for?

Frontline Workers are often not as included as they should be when we look at the future of the settlement sector. We want to know your your vision of the future of our sector.

What's in it for you

You’ll learn a new approach to thinking about your work and its future. You’ll be able to immediately use this approach in your own work, introduce it to your organization, and find it useful in your client service work as well.
Futures of Settlement

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What is Foresight all about?

The Futures of Settlement is inevitable and so is a discussion that impacts both Newcomers as well as Settlement Practitioners. Automation, AI, & incremental technology all factor into discussions about the future of work. However, there is little focus on how community services need to pivot to meet the needs of Newcomers in this future. Few forums address the Future of Settlement for Newcomers or what that future might look like for the Settlement and Inclusion services targeting them. Even fewer involve clients in the discussion. Settlement Practitioners are expected to learn about the future of work and its implications for their clients and communities. Left out of the discussion are implications for how Settlement work should evolve.

We are proposing to bring Settlement Practitioners together to determine how Settlement services can be reimagined to better meet their needs, in terms of context & content, timing, as well as format (eg. online, in-person, blended).

We believe this discussion needs to start with Frontline Practitioners to capture their knowledge, insights and perspectives so that the future of Settlement is reflective and responsive to their needs.

We’re going to dream, but it will be based on things you know, as well as things you want. We’re going to use an approach called Foresight. Foresight invites participants to work together to imagine alternative futures with enough detail to provoke conversations and to begin crafting the future they want to see in settlement. Foresight is a thinking tool. Foresight invites us to work together to imagine alternative futures. The goal of imagining alternative futures is to paint pictures of the future with enough detail to provoke conversations but not enough detail to create the illusion of a crystal ball.

In a typical Foresight process, there is a research and discovery phase. This phase is intended to collect data about the past and the present to decide where the future is headed. We frame the issue or challenge we want to focus on. That means starting with what we can see and know: collection and analysis of the changes that are actually taking place right now. We surface our current assumptions and knowledge. We scan for signals and trends within our sector as well as outside of it. And we map our systems.

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Why it's for you

What is your vision of the future of our sector? Frontline Workers are often not as included as they should be when we look at the future of the Settlement Sector. The focus of this session is to get you excited, share sector wide trends and learnings, as well as to start looking at how you can imagine and drive the future of Settlement technology innovation.

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What you'll get out of it

You’ll learn a new approach to thinking about your work and its future. You’ll be able to immediately use this approach in your own work, introduce it to your organization, and find it useful in your client service work as well.

We will be “working in the open” and “learning together”. A Knowledge Mobilization (KM) approach will be used as a tool to “work in the open.” We will consistently and continuously share our approach, discussion, and results with the broader Immigrant and Refugee-serving sector while soliciting their input and feedback. The approach will ask people to do something with the information, to take action based on the work done in this project.

Our project and process will be transparent to the sector as it unfolds, with an open invitation for feedback. We will utilize existing spaces where the sector convenes, such as SettleNet.org. We will also provide communications materials for other sector organizations to share with their networks. We will share all project materials, publicly available, along with additional opportunities for discussion, reflection, and sector feedback during and after the project funding ends.

We will be “learning together” through a facilitated foresight fellowship. We will guide frontline Settlement sector representatives to think deeply with us every 2 months. This cohort will become a learning & action group. You will research, synthesize and create content alongside our team. The cohort will pilot a foresight toolkit in their own communities and agencies to expand our data gathering and knowledge. Our goal is not only for a knowledge repository to be made available at the end of the project, but for the work started in local communities to continue beyond the life of this project.

Who are we?

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Jennifer Chan

Jennifer brings expertise in facilitating and training the foresight process. Jenn will lead foresight facilitation, curriculum development, research and managing the learning cohort.
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Marco Campana

Marco brings expertise in knowledge mobilization and community animation. Marco will lead knowledge mobilization as well as community animation/engagement through curation and sharing of content created during the project.
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I try to stay on top of technology and innovation news, trends, and good ideas in the immigrant and refugee-serving sector in Canada. If you'd like a weekly newsletter of what I find - interesting research, tools, resources, projects and people, subscribe to my newsletter.