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Future o fsocialwork


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Future o fsocialwork

  1. 1. The Future of Social Work A Lecture by Brij Mohan Dean Emeritus LSU School of Social Work April 1, 2016, Ag Center , LSU Retired Social Workers Group
  2. 2. Abstract • On the cusp of ‘fourth revolution’, a new techno- dependent culture is emerging out of the ashes of a feudal-industrial society. However, the specter of change is fraught with ambiguities of hope. This presentation explores problems and possibilities that social work practice and education confront to adjust to and escape from realities transforming i) nature of ‘social’ and ‘work’’, ii) artificial intelligence and delivery of services; and iii) patterns of human-social development.
  3. 3. Basic Assumptions • Future of Unknowable; Preparation for Change is Evolutionary Necessity • Fissures of ‘Democracy’ and ‘Globalization’ will fundamentally change the shape and function of the Welfare State • Techno-Digital and Politico-Ideological Forces metastasize INSTITUTIONS as we know
  4. 4. Toward a New Brave World “Social” • The ‘Social Contract’ • “Social Contract II” (Mohan, 2011; 2015) • Devolution of Social Institutions “Work’ • Disappearance of ‘Work’ • Obsolescence of “things’ • EVOLUTION of ‘Work’ • (Functional basis of work & its implications for SW)
  5. 5. CONTENTS: Past, Present & Future 1. Being and Becoming of a Social Worker: My Own Journey Across Nations (ref. latest lectures at the universities of Delhi & Lucknow, Dec ’15 ). 1. Being might trump the essentials of Becoming 3.Individual-societal Relationships: Political Calculus (A new social contract)
  6. 6. “Social Work...End of Itself” (Mohan, 1999) • The GOAL of all problem-solving professions is to SOLVE problems. • Social Work, as I held and continue to believe, ought to be be problem solver---NOT PART OF THE SYTEM THAT INCUBATES SOCIAL MISERIES. • Look at the next slide and see for yourself if you can really SOLVE any social issue!
  7. 7. NASW-CSWE-Aaswsw: Grand Challenges for Social Work NASW NEWS, March 2016, 61,3: 9 • 1.ENSURE healthy development for all youth • 2. CLOSE the health gap • 3. STOP family violence • 4. ADVANCE long and productive lives • 5. ERADICATE social isolation • 6. END homelessness • 7. CREATE social responses to a changing environment • 8. HARNESS technology for social good • 9. PROMOTE smart decarceration • 10. BUILD financial capability for all • 11. REDUCE extreme economic inequality • 12. Achieve equal opportunity and justice • Social Work Day ( (Accessed March 24, 2016)
  8. 8. “The Radically Simple Solution to Homelessness” (Tine, March 14,’16: 19) • Traditional Approach: “Issues First”/”Treatment First”; “Housing Later” • Founder of ‘Pathways to Housing’, Sam Tsemberis , psychologist, reversed the equation: “Housing First,” “Treatment Later” • A Therapeutic Society must RETHINK!
  9. 9. “No traffic. No accidents. No deaths” TIME, March 7, 2016
  10. 10. AI & Human Wellbeing • AI will Benefit AI WILL DESTROY IT • Ray Kurzwell Stephen Hawkins • Sam Altman Nick Bostrom • Michlo Kaku Elon Musk • ARCHGENIOUS DAVID GELERNTER / BILL GATES*** • ***See, TIME, March 7, 2016: 44-49
  11. 11. EXAMPLARS of COMPLEX ISSUES and SIMPLE Solutions • I designed and taught course on Radical Social Work in 1979-80. • Simple solutions suggested for complex problems: – In US criminal justice systems works for the rich and guilty; poverty and innocence are punished (N.O.) – Treat your daughter-in-law as your own daughter (family violence will stop) – Stop ‘Opiates’ as the lead to Cocaine addiction (Legalize medical marijuana) – Higher Education: Deconstruction of the System • Tenure; hierarchy; maintenance; excellence vs. diversity
  12. 12. TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERINCES • Self-transformation precedes social transformation • 3 Case studies (SP; K; M) • An ordeal in perspective • “Be the change you want to see in the world.” MK Gandhi • Gandhi Vs. Mohan  
  14. 14. HALF-EARTH: Our Planet’s Fight for Life (2016) • “For the first time in history a conviction has developed among those who can actually think more than a decade ahead that we are playing a global endgame.” —Edward O. Wilson • In The Meaning of Existence (2014), Wilson underscores role of HUMANITIES and concludes that “advances in science and technology may bring us our greatest moral dilemma since God stayed the hand of Abraham.” • How to save man from himself ? This is the question! To be or not to be.....?
  15. 15. CONCLUSIONS 1. When meanings of ‘work’ change, all societal interactions will re-evolve as a new system-- 2. Which will be impersonal, fast, un-bureaucratic and expensive (or free); and 3. Personal-social services and all ‘communitized’ HELP will become both public and private enterprises without statist interventive modalities. 4. The New Social Work will probably be more effective and but less visible.
  16. 16. Robots, Humans, and Humanity 1. Artificial Intelligence, Start Ups, and New Corporate Culture Will Ultimately be Constitute a Dehumanize Force 2. Personal-Social Relationships & Institutional Meltdowns Will Re-Structure Inter-Intra-Societal Relationships 3. The HOPE is, Computers Will Never be Able to Delude and Hallucinate!!! ‘Social Work [still] remains a humanizing principle.’ Thank you!!! © Brij Mohan, 2016 (March 24)