The growing demand for citizen participation characterizes the widespread changes in social policies in European welfare states. During this Summer School participants will explore various concepts of participation, as well as their consequences for the lives of citizens, the practice of professionals and the development of professions.
The general aim of this summer school is to start a collaborative and joint process of exchange and discussion on four kinds of participation in European welfare states: political, economic, civic and social participation. The Social Work Summer School 2016 is both a conference and a course, with presentations and assignments. It is organized, this year by, the social work master programs of three universities: University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, HAN University of Applied Sciences and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences.
Creating spaces for social change from a do-think-tank perspective
Chris Sigaloff is one of the keynote speakers. In the face of fast moving, global, often elusive developments, national governments and their counterparts (public sector) find it eminently challenging to innovate policies and public services to answer pressing societal needs. Vice versa, how do we re-engage with the state as citizens? It is this subject that Chris Sigaloff, director of an independent think-tank Kennisland, grapples with.
To arrive in a new, more inclusive relationship between citizens and the state, with new practices and better outcomes on the ground, she believes that we need to start in practice, with people and their stories. What do they aspire to in life? What enables them to thrive and to what extent are they willing and able to contribute to society?
For the last couple of years Kennisland has been developing ++Social LabsAlso see our publications Lab Matters and Lab Practice. as a temporary action research setting. A lab in which citizens, civil servants, professionals and policymakers search for new approaches for pressing issues.
During this Summer School Chris will share her stories running these labs. Facilitating a social lab successfully means becoming extremely competent in managing the frictions that arise while trying to innovate within existing conditions. It means learning, trying, failing and improving.