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Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report

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Beyond (un)employment is the largest convening program the Impact Hub global team has developed and is based on collective working towards system-wide solutions.

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Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report

  1. 1. Convening & Collaborating With and For Cities The stories and learnings of how five Impact Hubs have convened cross-sector, collaborative learning circles to grow knowledge and communities of action around the unemployment challenges in their cities. October 2017
  2. 2. 2 Contents Introduction Programme session outline Discovery phase summary #1: Zagreb Discovery phase summary #2: Yerevan Discovery phase summary #3: Moscow Discovery phase summary #4: Florence Discovery phase summary #5: Birmingham Discovery phase discussion Common (un)employment themes Key Observations on the programme approach Concluding thoughts A thank you note 3 7 10 15 21 25 31 36 37 40 42 43
  3. 3. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 3 Introduction This paper is a way of sharing the core lessons of the ‘discovery phase’ of the Impact Hub programme beyond (un) employment supported by Robert Bosch Stiftung (foundation). This innovative programme has explored and critically engaged with the reality of persistent local challenges in relation to (un)employment. The lessons drawn fall into two linked areas: firstly, key features of the local (un)employment context; and secondly, findings relating to the distinctive convening processes of this collective learning and solution prototyping programme. Through their convening the Impact Hubs have created safe spacesfordiversecohortstoforgenewconnections,question assumptions, engage in learning as a group around their (un)employment challenge, and in doing so develop their capacities to collaborate in the prototyping of interventions to affect change.
  4. 4. 4 INTRODUCTION: THIS REPORT The programme has been carefully designed to create innovative opportunities for shared learning and discovery by a twenty strong cohort in each Impact Hub, who each bring different knowledge(s), skills and life experiences in relation to (un)employment. The cohort’s shared learning culture has been encouraged at individual Impact Hub level, but also importantly between the five Impact Hubs. This paper is divided into four sections. This first section introduces the programme and approach undertaken. The following section offers insights into the local unemployment situation in the five participating cities. The third section offers a discussion of common themes identified by the five cohorts during this phase of collective learning to help draw out areas of knowledge exchange and future collaboration. The discussion section begins with common aspects of (un)employment challenges, causes and realities; and then moves on to highlight common lessons and experiences relating to the beyond (un)employment programme design and approach. It is striking that despite their distinctivelocalgeo-political,culturalandsocio- economic contexts the cohorts have identified so many areas of common ground relating to both (un)employment challenges and possible intervention points. Finally, the fourth section details concluding thoughts concerning the human centred design and collective learning approach used in this programme. This approach helped reveal perspectives, insights and latent assets, (internal and external to the cohorts), that had previously been overlooked or underdeveloped in efforts to respond to (un)employment challenges. Both the third and fourth sections highlight the key role of the Impact Hubs in convening and designing this collective learning and discovery journey. In the context of persistent and chronic unemployment across large parts of Europe the programme has purposely used a more systems thinking and human centred design approach to explore (un)employment as a factor of social inclusion.
  5. 5. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 5 INTRODUCTION: THE COHORT & THE PROGRAMME The cohort members were invited to engage in a nine month journey (March-November 2017) of collective learning, questioning and prototyping a range of potential solutions in relation to local (un)employment challenges. Each Impact Hub selected their specific problem focus area at the beginning of the programme, using their judgement of the most pressing unemployment challenge and the area with the highest potential impact. The Impact Hub focus areas include: • understanding persistent and increasing youth unemployment (Florence and Zagreb); • the future economy of a regional city post Brexit (Birmingham); • the exclusion of over 50s from employment options (Moscow); and • the creation of alternative models of employment and business (Florence). The local themes are discussed in more detail in each dedicated Impact Hub summary section below (pages 10 to 35). The beyond (un)employment programme is divided into two parts - a discovery phase and a solution phase - which comprise six or more face to face cohort sessions in each phase. See Table 1 below for the programme session summaries. This is the first of two papers written to share learning generated within the programme. This paper pulls together a summary of local cohort findings from the discovery phase relating to local (un)employment challenges, and also the cohort experience of this innovative programme. The second paper (to be published in January 2018), will outline the work undertaken in the programme as part of the solutions prototyping and testing phase (August-December 2017). Please note the findings in this paper are intended as just a summary of the cohort findings and are largely drawn from the lessons gathered by local facilitators. Cohorts of twenty people with a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences in relation to employment and unemployment (e.g students, academics, social entrepreneurs and policy makers) were recruited by each of the Impact Hubs.
  6. 6. 6 IMPACT HUBS INVOLVED IN BEYOND (UN)EMPLOYMENT The programme has been delivered by five Impact Hubs: Birmingham, Florence, Moscow, Yerevan, and Zagreb. Impact Hubs make up a global network of people, places, and programs that inspire, connect and catalyze impact. They build on the believe that change requires collective action. Part innovation lab, part business incubator, and part community center, the 100+ Impact Hubs around the world offer their collective 15,000+ members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration, and collaboration opportunities to grow impact. The map below indicates the Impact Hub locations. If you would like more detailed learnings from a specific location, Click the hub locations on the map to visit their respective webpages. Impact Hubs all all Impact Hubs welcome the chance to share and build on their learning.
  7. 7. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 7 The Programme: Session Outlines All the sessions have been designed to encourage exchange of findings and experiences across the Impact Hubs to help foster cross border learning. Similarly they have been developed to help bring new knowledge from previous sessions, as well as pre-session preparation into each new step in this cohort journey of learning and exploration. Over the following pages, you can see a summary of session themes, goals, aims and core methods used. SESSION ONE Perceptions of (un)employment Exploring viewpoints, rationale and myths around UE in our countries. Opportunity to challenge views and take in new perspectives. Session Aims: Discovering and unpacking different perceptions of unemployment locally in relation to each Impact Hub focus. Working together as a cohort to understand how and why unemployment is framed in that way. Exploring and testing out new frameworks that foster alternative perceptions and understandings of (un)employment. Core Method Ingredients: Open inquiry, reflective practice, world cafe, open space SESSION TWO The views of the (un)employed Getting those affected by unemployment to share their stories and be part of the solution process. Session Aims: To connect with and gain a deeper understanding of the lived experience of (un)employment (as currently experienced, or living with the risk of unemployment, or previous experiences of unemployment). To identify the resonance or disconnect between perceptions and lived experiences To identify key points of interaction/ touch-points in the reality of this lived experience for people locally that might be altered in future. Core Method Ingredients: Deep dive into case studies, reflective practice, systems mapping, future gaze - group open discussion
  8. 8. 8 THE PROGRAMME: SESSION OUTLINES SESSION THREE Past, Present & Future of the Issue Explore the historical, spatial, geographical context of unemployment issue. Understand the present situation for supply and demand of employment. Investigate possible future scenarios from across age, gender and diverse stakeholders. Session Aims: Use of local / national data sets - showing past and present situation - to gain a deeper understanding of key drivers, agents and structural features that support, perpetuate (un)employment. Critical engagement with data to explore temporal and spatial trends and key variables. Core Method Ingredients: Digging into data in groups, academic mini-lectures & group Q&A, group open discussion SESSION FOUR Success & Failures: Learning Across Borders Investigate best practices that inspire from around the globe. Present local initiatives that have failed to deliver and explore why. Create a list of factors that contribute to best and worst cases for insight and learning Session Aims: Use of selected local-global innovative models/ projects that have engaged both successfully and less successfully in changing local unemployment challenges to critically explore lessons and take- aways for future interventions. Use of best and worst case models/ projects to identify and prioritise factors that interact with challenges and opportunities for employment initiatives for social change. Core Method Ingredients: Shared learning, field trip, critical exploration of case studies of best and worst case scenarios ure gaze - group open discussion SESSION FIVE Civic Engagement - Public, Private & Personal Responsibility Create an atmosphere of accountability across stakeholders where individuals recognize where they can positively contribute to change in their circles of influence Session Aims: Cohort exploration (drawing from their diversity of roles and experiences within the ecosystem) of what it means - in private, public and personal spheres - to be an engaged citizen in relation to challenges and opportunities for local (un)employment for all. Exploring and nurturing cohort journeys of increased awareness, empathy and action (and movement building). Core Method Ingredients: World cafe, field trip, open house discussion, reflective practice
  9. 9. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 9 THE PROGRAMME: SESSION OUTLINES SESSION SIX Strategic Solutions Lab Reflect on learning takeaways from previous sessions. List all related problems that are contributing to the cause and consequences of unemployment. Match problems to solutions that can be developed by the team based on interest, abilities and networks to set future direction and specific agendas going forward. Session Aims: Synthesise learning of previous sessions both individually (personal perceptions and actions in life/ work/ organisational) and collectively. Identification of problems to be targeted by the cohort to be developed in the solutions stage. Core Method Ingredients: Deep listen/ interview in pairs, problem/ solution sets, workshops, reflective practice SESSIONS SEVEN -TWELVE Action Plans/Multiplying Impact Sessions 7-12 are the practical solutions focused aspects of the programme. Thus this is left open for local groups to shape/ customise as they need.- group open discussion Note the Impact Hubs were free to tailor these sessions to their particular context so this is shared here as a general programme skeleton only.
  10. 10. Discovery Phase Summary
  11. 11. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 11 Summary They are exploring this challenge in the context of a doubling of unemployment figures in Croatia between 2008 and 2014 (Croatian Bureau of Statistics). Croatia features in the top ten highest unemployment figures in the European Union, and top five highest youth unemployment figures (EUROSTAT). Existing assessments of the situation have pointed to a lack of relevant work experience in the labour pool, with a large mismatch between skills and demand, particularly in relation to business and entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes. There has also been concern relating to an absence of entrepreneurial culture and activity, as well as a ‘prolonged youth phenomenon’ noted by observers. The ‘prolonged youth phenomenon’ is in part explained by young people remaining in the parental family home owing to an absence of employment opportunities, longer periods in higher education, and so a lack of fiscal capacity to live independently. A new educational approach and curricula is currently in development to try to address youth employment issues that have in part contributed to push migration factors, with young people leaving Croatia to find work elsewhere. The Impact Hub have outlined a need to respond to an absence of employment infrastructure relating to youth work experience, mentoring, and social innovation /enterprise training and support. As part of this programme this cohort have sought to develop a much deeper collective understanding of youth unemployment with the intention of prototyping solutions that help build a tailored and connected ecosystem of support infrastructure. The aspiration is that the support infrastructure will in turn help foster the skills, behaviours, capabilities and connections needed for pathways to employment. In addition, they see this programme as an opportunity to explore ways in which to increase the communication and co-operation between education and employment stakeholders to secure more connected action, (for example in relation to the mismatch between skills/ education and labour market demand). The Impact Hub Zagreb (Croatia) cohort sought to understand through this discovery phase the key drivers, agents, processes and experiences of rapidly growing youth unemployment in their city and across Croatia. The findings from the Zagreb cohort learning journey are outlined briefly on the next few pages.
  12. 12. 12 Local Learnings 1. Labour market profile/ local context There were two particular elements of the local (un) employment context that were noted by this cohort. Firstly, in reflecting on their focus area of youth unemployment they felt a more expansive definition of ‘youth’ was needed to better reflect the ‘prolonged youth phenomenon’ which can be linked to the prioritisation of higher education in the light of absence of alternative options for employment. The impact of categorisation and definitions is common feature across the Hubs and is explored in more detail in the full paper discussion on page 36. Secondly, the discovery phase helped the group identify and better understand the relationship between the city’s social and industrial legacy and current (un)employment trends that are characterised by an ongoing decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and social mobility. In particular. they highlight the impact of declining obsolete heavy industries, a cultural shift to open up the labour market to women in the 1960-80s, and the current context of highly skilled workers forced to take on less skilled work. 2. Perspectives and experiences The cohort paid particular attention to identifying the many and varied factors affecting youth experiences of unemployment ranging from gender, disabilities, health, geography, and socio-economic status. Their discovery phase helped them to better understand the diversity of factors that can further negatively effect experiences of unemployment beyond absence of job availability and in doing so highlighted the complexity of this challenge. The wide range of perspectives and experiences of youth (un)employment is explored in contrast to much of the profiling of this demographic in national media. They argue perceptions of young people as not being active citizens is promoted in the media creating further misinformation and barriers to their engagement in the labour market. In exploring the perspectives of young people who have experienced, or continue to experience unemployment, the group highlighted an absence of social capital, or self efficacy that makes securing employment even more difficult. The cohort argue these deficits manifest in a lack of self-confidence, or absence of resilience in the face of unsuccessful interviews. In related observations they note that this demographic are often viewed as being largely risk averse, and as such indicate a lack of appetite for riskier or more entrepreneurial endeavours, with negative knock on effects for employment secured through small enterprises and social innovation.
  13. 13. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 13 LOCAL LEARNINGS 3. Support infrastructure and the future of work Emerging out of this intensive discovery and learning phase this cohort are focussed upon solutions and interventions relating to the need for better quality, and more transparent, support for vocational training, work experience and mentoring. The existing (un)employment infrastructure is undermined by negative experiences of public administration that acts as a further barrier to successful employment. While the absence of effective key agency stakeholder communication and exchange of data has amplified counter- productive siloed working. When exploring positive and negative examples of projects to learn from the group highlighted issues of structural sustainability, noting concerns regarding the negative impact of funding dependency and restrictive bureaucracy. While in the successful examples they highlighted lessons from the development of informal learning models and meaningful models of partnership in the development of pre-employment skills. Drawing upon their learning though this discovery phase this group want to prioritise the role of young people in shaping and informing their own future.
  14. 14. 14 Zagreb’s Journey The research findings highlight how this group really value the deeper exchange of ideas, knowledge and values afforded by the design and extended timescale of the programme learning journey. They also note the importance of the combined influence of the cohort resulting from opportunities to work together that would otherwise not have been realised without the programme helping forge those connections. Specifically, the Zagreb cohort have been struck by the explicit overlaps in their respective areas of work/ interests, and so recognise the previously untapped combined resources, energies and knowledge they can now bring to bear by working in a more connected and collaborative way. However, it should be noted that they feel this sense of possibility of affecting change is more than a function of their pooled resources, but rather the collective capacity born of shared values and motivations, and believing they can achieve so much more together than if they were acting as individual stakeholders. Through the programme the group have been able to forge a clear aspiration to work collectively to bring about change in youth (un)employment. While the extended and rare time to build connections and shared learning was valued, the cohort flagged concerns that this can present practical barriers to inclusion in this form of social change programme. They identified ways to overcome this barrier, including suggestions around flexible childcare to enable this to be replicated or extended to aid greater cohort inclusion. Being exposed to real stories and the voices of those with different experiences of (un)employment was instructive in galvanising the energies, commitment and more empathetic approach of this group to their work. While the role of mapping the core issues, connections and linkages concerning unemployment locally has proved really useful to this cohort in their move towards solutions, enabling them to hold the bigger (un)employment picture while also delving into more specific projects and points of intervention. For more detail about the Zagreb beyond (un)employment journey Impact Hub Zagreb beyond (un)employment: https://zagreb.impacthub.net/beyond- unemployment/ Beyond (un)employment Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ beyondunemployment Impact Hub Zagreb beyond (un)employment:
  15. 15. Discovery Phase Summary
  16. 16. 16 Summary Armed with this deeper insight they have begun to explore alternative models of employment. They are investigating this (un)employment challenge in Armenia’s distinctive geo-political context as a young ex Soviet democracy, with closed trade borders to the east and west with Turkey and Azerbaijan restricting all land trade routes to the north and south via Georgia and Iran. Armenia is a small (3 million), but highly literate population (99% literacy rates), with high levels of emigration (26.3%) since independence in 1991. Current high levels of unemployment (over 19%) and poverty (32%) are compounded by an absence of employment support infrastructure andtrainingsuchascareersadvice,employment agencies, apprenticeships, or vocational training. Despite this there is evidence of high levels of entrepreneurial activity, and potential support from a resource rich diaspora seeking to enable change in their home country. The findings from the Yerevan cohort learning journey highlight the value revealed and challengesfacedbythecohortinengaginginthis collective learning journey. They also highlight a clear mapping of the local context and related macro challenges, as well as a deep dive into the range of social and cultural factors that shape experiences of unemployment locally. Finally, the findings highlight defining features and risks identified by the group in imagining and designing alternative employment futures for the citizens of Yerevan. The Impact Hub Yerevan (Armenia) cohort sought to understand and map factors and drivers that relate to the persistently high levels of unemployment across Armenian society.
  17. 17. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 17 Local Learnings 1. Labour market profile/ local context The high literacy levels in Armenia coupled with limited numbers of skilled jobs has resulted in highly qualified citizens being forced to take low skilled work. The mismatch between labour skills and industry needs is a core feature of this unemployment picture mapped out by this cohort. They also note the distinctive geo-political context and historical legacy of this young ex Soviet democracy which directly shapes trade routes and migration flows. Issues of corruption, collapsing industry, inadequate governance, protected monopolies, and failed growth strategies have all negatively affected post independence industrial/ corporate investment with knock on affects upon the health of the labour market. This situation is compounded by closed trade borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, infrastructure damage and the negative socio-economic legacy of conflict and major natural hazards. The group highlighted the (un)employment related data gap and data reliability challenge that makes developing informed policy decisions problematic. The group note that this data deficit, (in terms of content, accessibility and connectivity) is linked to siloed working by relevant institutions, agencies and organisations. 2. Perspectives and experiences The cohort explored a broad range of very different experiences of (un)employment linked to how citizens are perceived by employers and society depending on their health, gender, and socio-economic status. The group explored the cultural framing of the unemployed from both a capabilities deficit and structural inequalities perspective. For example, societal expectations in relation to gender and class status were highlighted as important factors in shaping experiences of unemployment. While the negative family and community impact of high levels of emigration was also explored by this group. This offered a more sociological interrogation of the impact of unemployment upon familial bonds and inter-personal relationships as well as the loss of human capital. They also explored the links between unemployment and health and wellbeing more specifically in relation to poor mental health, substance abuse and gambling. Interestingly this cohort also framed experiences of (un)employment in relation to expressions of citizenship manifest in civil protest.
  18. 18. 18 LOCAL LEARNINGS 3. Imagining and designing the future It is striking that the cohort experience of the ‘future gaze’ exercise surfaced feelings that it was almost impossible to imagine zero unemployment in Armenia. This indicates that the high levels of unemployment are so normalised and entrenched that they make designing alternative employment free futures really difficult. This pervasive ‘psychology of unemployment’ is a central area of learning for the group. They feel that unpacking, challenging and changing this perspective may be one of their biggest achievements in seeking to affect positive change in relation to (un)employment in Yerevan. With this in mind it is unsurprising that a more hopeful and positive employment future was characterised by this cohort as offering improved personal and collective civic pride, and a greater sense of connection to the country. They also made clear that reduced unemployment would require a future Yerevan with gender equality and a higher quality of life for its’ citizens. An inspiring field trip to Kalavan village (an eco-village that enjoys full employment) has been central to the learning journey for this cohort. Their on site enquiry into the key elements of the recently transformed Armenian eco-village and tourism destination allowed the group to consider alternative community development and employment models. As well as the inspiration provided by Kalavan the cohort also reflected upon the vulnerability of such alternative models in terms of key individual or organisational dependancy. Their mapping and thinking for the solution phase takes account of these risks, but also the need for inspiring examples to help overcome feelings of hopelessness (i.e. linked to the ‘psychology of unemployment’). [See link to Kalavan village case study below]. The cohort have identified four areas to delve deeper into in the solution prototyping phase including: mentoring, peer to peer networking, resources and information, and a public service/ media campaign.
  19. 19. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 19 Yerevan’s Journey The programme was welcomed as an opportunity for a highly diverse cohort to engage in a much deeper exchange of ideas than is ordinarily possible. The creating of a trusted space and nurturing of cohort relations enabled ‘deep and honest’ sharing of personal experiences that again would not otherwise be possible and helped build the connections across the cohort members. The appetite for this discovery and learning journey to be followed by a solution phase was so great that visiting speakers joined this cohort in their journey. This exploration of different experiences was engaged in sensitively by the cohort who feared any unintentional contribution to misinformation or false perceptions owing to the language or discourse used through their programme activities. The system mapping enabled the group to build a more holistic and inter-connected picture of the wide range of factors that impact upon the reality of (un)employment in Yerevan. Thecollectivelearningjourneyhasenabledthisgrouptodevelopasharedmission,and build upon shared understandings of the challenges with a clear focus on what they can achieve as a group with their combined resources and networks. The group did acknowledge that the time commitment necessary to be part of this learning journey was a challenge for cohort member. The cohort reflected that another challenge of the discovery phase was trying to resist rushing towards solution building before the full local (un)employment picture was established. The cohort have stressed the value going forward of working with the insights gained through this discovery phase as well as the benefit of their pooled assets and energies. They also make clear the importance of approaching the solution phase with honesty by working to their groups’ strengths so that they can develop an actionable solutions package. For more detail about the Yerevan beyond (un)employment journey Impact Hub Yerevan beyond (un) employment: https://yerevan.impacthub. net/programs-and-events/beyond- unemployment/ Impact Hub Yerevan Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/ impacthubyerevan/ Kalavan Village case study: http://repatarmenia.org/en/engage/ inspiration/a/armenia%27s-kalavan-village- a-community-development-model-for-others
  20. 20. Discovery Phase Summary
  21. 21. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 21 Summary The group engaged in a detailed exploration and mapping of the skills and behaviours required by this demographic to engage in current and future employment models. They centred their conversations on the lifestyles of the over 50s and how this group can find ways to support the citizens in this demographic find the specific work that suits their needs and aspirations. This was coupled with an open and honest explorationofthedeepersocietalculturalnorms,(heldbythis demographic, their families, employers, policy makers and society more generally) that act to compound infrastructure and policy barriers to engagement in employment for older generations.The cohort explored this employment challenge in a specific cultural and demographic context. A shifting balance of Russian population to an anticipated 40 million retirees by 2022 (i.e. 27% of the population), coupled with the high (and growing) cost of living in Moscow, has meant the quality of life for unemployed over 50s is a particularly pressing concern in the capital. The main reason for those seeking employment in this demographic is the need for additional income, but also a sense of relevance and social interaction. Internal migration and a high percentage of younger skilled workers in Moscow amplifies the pressure upon limited employment opportunities for this group of older citizens. The aim of the cohort is to enable representatives of this demographic to feel part of the co-design of a future where the over 50s have an important and respected role in economic growth, innovation, research and civic society. The hope is that the partnerships, learning and projects that emerge from this programme will help in time to shift negative and excluding societal perspectives of over 50s that act as a barrier to engagement. They stress that core to this shift will be a move to more empathetic and inclusive design in possible solutions that take better account of the needs, aspirations and potential of older generations. This cohort have focussed upon identifying the necessary infrastructure and training to help prepare and support older generations into the work they want and need. In addition they are interested in looking at the entrepreneurial potential of this demographic and developing a specific business curriculum for this group. The findings from the Moscow cohort learning journey highlight the value of mapping the big picture through the programme as well as perhaps the unexpected depth of connection across the cohort. The mapping explores the distinctive demographic and cultural context of this employment challenge as well as helping explore the range of social infrastructure solutions. Their solutions focus upon inter-generational relations and support exchange as well as targeted myth busting communications to undermine discriminatory and exclusive perceptions of the over 50s in society and business. The Impact Hub Moscow (Russia) cohort sought to better understand the barriers to, and factors involved in fostering conditions for greater inclusion of the over 50s population in employment.
  22. 22. 22 Local Learnings 1. Labour market profile/ local context The detailed mapping of the current landscape highlighted the absence of state activity in this area and the ineffective or unintended negative consequences of policies relating to tax and pensions that creates further barriers for older generations. The current demographic of over 55s are described as part of a transition generation from the more paternalistic and formalised USSR context to modern day Russia. This has socio-economic and cultural implications that they explain make this transition generation ill equipped for Russia’s current labour market. This vulnerability needs to be accounted for and understood in exploring solutions. The group explored the knowledge and capabilities deficit experienced by this demographic that compounds a private sector that prioritises a younger recently qualified workforce. The group did surface a sense of not having any capacity or power to change state infrastructure that might impact upon key factors, drivers and agents of change in relation to this (un)employment challenge. As part of their exploration of complex work needs and aspirations of this growing population the group found it useful to divide the demographic into: • 45-55 (before retirement) - the group found that women are more vulnerable when it comes to discrimination, so understanding and addressing this was the focus of learning for this group. • 55-70 (during retirement) - the group found that this age group are mostly looking for flexible working conditions at this time. • 70+ - the cohort found that for this target group the focus isn’t work, but rather other forms of social involvement that supports their health and wellbeing.
  23. 23. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 23 2. Perspectives and experiences Through this deep and honest discovery of personal experiences the group were able to unpack and challenge broad assumptions regarding barriers to employment for the over 50s. The group shaped their conversations around seven key interconnected areas including: social connections; employment; health; level of income and quality of life; hobbies and free time activities; education and personal development; and finally access to information & opportunities. These conversations helped reveal the precarious situation of (un)employment for many in this demographic. This vulnerability was framed in terms of citizenship and unrealised rights. As a related point the group found this demographic experience widespread discrimination which manifestsinarangeofbarrierstoemployment.Underpinning elements of this discrimination are traditional societal expectations that the older generation should remain in the community supporting domestic work such as child care. LOCAL LEARNINGS The group suggested there is a business sector cultural norm that prioritises and values the youth labour market that acts as a further barrier for older generations. Identifying, understanding and challenging these cultural norms formed part of this discovery journey. The group investigated the valuable societal benefits of increased employment for over 50s in terms of inter-generational knowledge exchange and stronger relations. Conversely, they highlighted the risk of the impact upon communities of financial, health and wellbeing vulnerability of the over 50s if these employment barriers are not overcome.
  24. 24. 24 LOCAL LEARNINGS & JOURNEY 3. Alternative support infrastructure and designing the future Recognising the value of stronger inter-generational relations the group are exploring in their solution phase opportunities for inter-generational support, knowledge/ skills exchange and connection. Specifically, possible solutions that provide (un)employment system navigation via sign-posting and knowledge/ or capabilities development. They recognise as a result of this discovery phase that there is a need to create welcoming hubs/spaces for sharing of user-friendly information with regard to work, learning and support opportunities including skills development. The group feel that the cultural perception of this demographic needs to be changed through challenging stereotypes and false perceptions and are exploring this in terms of communications. In addition they are looking at the improved wellbeing of older generations through increased opportunities for interesting social interactions within their communities and across generations. Thoughts on the programme approach This group identified a wide range of factors that impact upon experiences, aspirations and opportunities for employment for over 50s in Moscow. Again this illustrates the value of the learning journeys in recognising and mapping the complexity of the challenges. The extended time necessary for this detailed discovery phase was a challenge for the group, but also created the space and time for strong connections and understanding of cohort member motivations and experiences that helped forge group relations. For more detail about the Impact Hub Moscow beyond (un) employment journey Impact Hub Moscow: http://www.impacthubmoscow.net/beyond-un-employment/
  25. 25. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 25 Discovery Phase Summary
  26. 26. 26 Summary The Impact Hub Florence (Italy) cohort sought to better understand the challenge of persistent youth unemployment across Italy (26.2% of 15-29 year olds), and specifically as experienced by the young citizens of the Tuscany region. They have undertaken a detailed discovery phase to better understand the existing labour market challenges, driving factors and the reality of youth unemployment experiences. The cohort have sought to explore through this learning journey what interventions and innovations of the existing system might help Florence move towards an alternative future labour market where the structural failings that currently trap young people in cycles of long term unemployment are disrupted. They have critically engaged with the role of public employment services, as well as alternative models of employment support, and how they better reflect the sense of identity and communication norms of their target youth demographic (i.e. in terms of both technology and language used by this group). The Impact Hub is especially interested in the power of more connected working between cohort members that better reflects the inter-dependency of the different factors, The Impact Hub Florence (Italy) cohort sought to better understand the challenge of persistent youth unemployment across Italy (26.2% of 15-29 year olds), and specifically as experienced by the young citizens of the Tuscany region. drivers and agents in youth unemployment they are able to influence. They recognised the opportunity made possible through this programme to help build design and systems thinking behaviours, knowledge and skills within the cohort to enable this way of working to address complex social challenges. This cohort are seeking to identify and help foster better pathways to employment through apprenticeships and traineeships, but also importantly, through fostering conditions where young people can inform, and be part of the co-design of emerging future labour markets. The Florence cohort were also interested in understanding the role of spaces/ or platforms like the Impact Hub acting as a connecting space, where public employment services and young people can come together to co-design more aligned education, training, orientation and guidance. As part of this learning journey they are interested in the role of collaborative spaces in nurturing alternative models of business and employment where young people develop professional networks and incubate new enterprises.
  27. 27. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 27 Local Learnings The findings from the Florence learning journey highlight a real focus on developing cohort trust and capacities for collaboration, as well as testing new skills concerned with design and systems thinking. This detailed discovery phase refined the groups’ knowledge of the existing drivers and core factors affecting youth unemployment while making sure these were informed by the reality of young people’s experiences. The cohort have worked collectively to begin to design interventions in the solutions phase that aid the alignment of labour supply and demand via: new learning spaces and pathways to work; related school to work mechanisms; and the development of a co-designed skill chain. 1. Labour market profile/ local context Data digging helped the cohort evidence and reflect upon the causes of the rapid increase in youth unemployment between 2004 and 2017 in both the 15-24 years and 25-34 years categories. The data also illustrated a growing skills mismatch and so a disconnect between labour demand and supply. Concerns were also raised by the group concerning the absence of relevant work experience in this target group. This led on to questions concerning the knock on effect of skills, capabilities and experience based deficits within the future labour market. This was discussed in the context of a growth in emigration of young Italians travelling across Europe in search of work. 2. Perspectives and experiences The programme brought a diverse group together that helped surface a wide range of perspectives on the factors involved in youth (un) employment. For example, the group discussed a disconnect between youth work expectations and the reality of the labour market. This was discussed in relation to a parallel disconnect between qualifications secured and work availability. These disconnects are compounded by negative interactions with public administration that creates further barrier to employment. This was identified as an experience that has the potential to be designed differently for more positive outcomes.
  28. 28. 28 LOCAL LEARNINGS 3. Alternative support infrastructure and designing the future The group tested out a range of ideas around how to create opportunities for young people to be involved in shaping of new infrastructure, relationships and processes determining the labour market. There was a recognition that any future labour market will likely have different qualities such as increased mobility and flexibility, with precarity of work increasingly normalised. The skills, capabilities and support needed to respond to this new context were discussed by this cohort. The programme design and facilitation encouraged the cohort to think creatively about these challenges, and re- frame their usual approaches to (un)employment. For example, the group are experimenting with alternative learning spaces and pathways. They are exploring the possibility of a skill chain that would help young people sum up in work compatible language the value of their range of experiences and skills. As part of the move to the solutions phase the group are exploring prototypes where the use of technology to develop a skills block chain mechanism would demand shared infrastructure, close collaboration of stakeholders and agreement on a common taxonomy of skills. In a parallel experimentation they are exploring potential projects for the solution phase that would help develop alternative ‘school to work’ mechanisms. Both of these projects are part of a broader effort by this group to explore and design interventions that aid the alignment of labour supply and demand in Florence. Through their initial hacking of this local (un)employment challenge they have looked at the role of the employment centre, businesses and technology.
  29. 29. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 29 Florence’s Journey This learning journey has prioritised the building of trust and collaboration within the group which helped them share more intimately, as well as identifying and valuing new ways of working together. They stressed how much they valued the strength born of working together on this complex challenge. The open and expansive engagement with the issue resisted reductive definitions and framing of who should be categorised as part of their youth focus, or what employment might look like in future. Their enquiry considered current and future youth challenges, as well as those who are under- employed, or not in their job of choice. As well as alternative categorisations of the focus and nature of employment, this group also thought creatively about the alternative tools (at a range of scales and sectors), and working practices that would be needed in future labour markets to help respond to this challenge. This learning and discovery journey has involved in-depth and big picture mapping that has helped the cohort to identify inter-connectivity, overlaps and possible points of intervention.Forexample,theyhaveexploredboththeagency of, and impact upon, the environment, neighbourhoods, and families in relation to existing and future models of employment. For more detail about the Impact Hub Florence beyond (un)employment journey Impact Hub Florence beyond (un)employment. Programme introduction: https://florence.impacthub.net/2017/04/03/beyond-unemployment/ Beyond (un)employment blogs: https://florence.impacthub.net/2017/05/08/beyond-unemployment-giovani-lavoro/ https://florence.impacthub.net/2017/06/16/beyond-unemployment-giugno/
  30. 30. 30 Discovery Phase Summary
  31. 31. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 31 Summary Through this discovery phase the cohort have explored the loss of EU job mobility, Birmingham’s regional-city context, and broader narratives and perceptions of (un)employment. The cohort are exploring these issues in the context of persistently high unemployment in Birmingham (three times the UK national average); higher than average working age population with no qualifications (double the UK national average);andpocketsofseveredeprivationwithinthecitythat have been compounded by nearly a decade of government austerity. Birmingham has a distinctive governance and political context - as the largest local authority in the country, that also forms a core part of the recently devolved West Midlands Combined Authority (2017) - that results in a unique mix of responsibilities, challenges and budgets. Further, the social, cultural and economic implications and potential of a post Brexit economy warrant particular focus in a city with the youngest and most diverse working age population in the UK (40% of working age individuals are from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds). The Impact Hub Birmingham (UK) cohort seek to better understand how leaving the European Union (EU) will affect the future workforce of their regional city. The Birmingham cohort highlighted the importance of the collaborative learning process, where alternative perspectives, concepts, and values in relation to work have made clear the need for a more expansive, and empathetic approach to an aspiration for zero unemployment. This collective learning journey has enabled the group to question, imagine and gain a deeper understanding of the challenges, processes, and drivers that shape (un) employment in Birmingham. This discovery phase has been heavily informed by, and indeed challenged by, gaining insights into the reality of employment and unemployment from a broad range of citizens. The cohort findings are summarised in the following pages.
  32. 32. 32 Local Learnings 1. Labour market profile/ local context The data digging by this cohort highlighted key trends relating to local (un)employment including: a reduction in those taking retirement; a drop in public sector employment (in the context of fiscal austerity and redundancies across the public sector); higher unemployment in Birmingham than the rest of the West Midlands region with a picture of extremely low average wages, a skills supply and demand mismatch driving internal migration, and an absence of growth in Gross Value Added (GVA) since 1997 indicating poor productivity. The data also illustrated a marked spatial unevenness in the socio-economic profile of the city with particular concentrations of high unemployment and poverty in east Birmingham. The group critically explored this profile exploring relations between areas of the city with severe deprivation, high unemployment, low wages and poor health (indicated by lower life expectancy). Barriers to employment were identified around access and representation. The group noted uneven access to training and qualifications, networks, and personal development opportunities. The group also stressed the absence of representation (i.e. role models) for members of some communities meaning that job opportunities and careers outside cultural, familial, or community expectations are not known, valued, or even possible for some. The group explored toxic narratives around unemployment, immigration and social benefit claimants that have been pervasive in UK media and parts of UK society in the context of Brexit. However, their data digging indicated that current figures show less than 50% of those eligible for unemployment support claimed that support. This led to the cohort exploring barriers to accessing support (including misinformation, negative interactions with the relevant agencies and processes, as well as feelings of shame compounded by xenophobic narratives). Furthermore, the implication of the potential loss of the economic contribution from EU citizens (via skills, labour, businesses, or supply chains) was explored in terms of an economy characterised by uncertainty.
  33. 33. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 33 LOCAL LEARNINGS 2. Perspectives and experiences From the beginning of their learning journey the cohort encountered a broad range of perspectives and recognised the powerful impact of cultural signifiers such as language, categorisation (labels), and conversational norms around work and employment. This was particularly explicit in relation to Brexit with rhetoric around race, migration and unemployment prominent throughout. The group reflected upon ideas and values relating to ‘what is valuable work?’ by exploring a range of formal AND informal expressions of work, volunteering, learning, and care. This surfaced ideas in relation to different spaces of work and unemployment for example: domestic, civic, community, public, the job centre, and private businesses; and also different temporal factors in relation to work for example: the gig economy, retirement, redundancy, part- time, occasional, job for life and shift work. The cohort highlighted the networked impact of (un) employment upon familial and community relations stressing how this programme explores unemployment in a highly interconnected and social framing. The intimate sharing of experiences around the impact of unemployment and unhappy employment helped surface important links to housing, transport, mental and physical health, wellbeing, familial relations, cultural norms and expectations, immigration, gender, age, race and citizenship. Approaching employment from a deeply human perspective in this way helped in drawing a much broader and systems based understanding of the role of work and employment in our society. A lite systems analysis highlighted structural inequalities in the city/ region that compound, or directly cause social injustice in relation to (un)employment.The nature and impact of some existing responses to these inequalities such as, trade unionism, social infrastructure (e.g. the NHS or unemployment support), universal basic income campaigns, and anti-austerity protests have been considered in terms of a future where there is zero unemployment in the city. The link between (un)employment and our multiple identities has been explored carefully and thoughtfully by this cohort. This has raised multiple questions in terms of: the legacy of empire and colonialism; immigrant experiences of Birmingham; Black, asian and minority ethnic British citizens’ sense of belonging in a post Brexit UK; attitudes to and experiences of: retired citizens, carers, those suffering from poor mental or physical health; as well as highlighting concerns relating to inter-generational (dis)connections, and cultural exchange or isolation. The context of Brexit has forced a greater interrogation of the complex and different anxieties of the British citizenry in relation to their individual and collective identities and sense of belonging. Understanding these links in relation to (un)employment has helped inform their development of possible interventions.
  34. 34. 34 LOCAL LEARNINGS 3. Designing the future economy of zero unemployment In seeking to design interventions to work towards a city of zero unemployment this cohort have challenged themselves to consider what is needed for a future regional economy characterised by hope, creativity, and the ability for all to live a good life. The group have resisted their instinct to rush to solutions, and instead used this discovery journey to develop new ways of working that help them think critically about the links between individual project solutions and the wider systems picture. These will also aid collaboration going forward to help release previously untapped assets, networks and insights; and draw upon their learning from examples of interventions that are designed around principles of empathy, trust, embracing of ongoing experimentation, and pathways to sustainability. The role of data visualisation and systems mapping continues to be really useful for this group in self-organising around topics of interest and identifying priority areas of intervention.
  35. 35. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 35 Birmingham’s Journey Throughout this first phase of discovery the Impact Hub facilitators have prioritised the nurturing of conditions for collaborative learning (for example through the design of spaces, exercises, interactions, experiences, or invitations to engage). These conditions have been central to forging trusting relations across the cohort so that they feel comfortable sharing personal experiences, values and ideas. As a consequence the cohort have stressed the value they now place upon co-creating knowledges, the collective intelligence they share relating to local (un)employment issues, as well as celebrating the potential of collaborations and sharing of resources and assets. The group used a range of methods to explore a future of zero unemployment. For example, data visualisation, project field trips, and film viewing all introduced very different spaces, framing narratives, and provocations that helped the group approach their challenge in ways that were often unfamiliar and challenging for them. Further, the focus upon developing new skills and capabilities relating to design approaches and systems thinking, were gently introduced via sessions that included active listening, reflective practice, systems mapping, and critical enquiry or research skills. For more detail about the Birmingham beyond (un)employment journey https://birmingham.impacthub.net/mission/beyond-unemployment/
  36. 36. 36 Discovery Phase Discussion Despite the very different local geo-political and socio- economic contexts the analysis of facilitator feedback shows there are considerable areas of overlap in their respective (un)employment challenges and lessons learnt from previous interventions. Further, the following discussion outlines common programme specific themes in terms of: the important practice of convening undertaken by the Impact Hubs; as well as the value of a more human centred design approach to discovery used in this programme that engages systems thinking, empathy and collective learning.
  37. 37. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 37 Common (un)employment themes Through the analysis we can see three key routes of enquiry broadly divided into people space and time. Firstly,thepeoplerouteofenquiryhelpedthegroupunderstand theimpactof(un)employmentfromanindividualperspectivevia the reality and intimacy of the experiences of (un)employment of both cohort and non-cohort members. The second route of enquiry helped explore the multiplespatial factors influencing (un)employment challenges. This route of enquiry explored the hyper-local specific unemployment challenges; the role of internal and regional migration; as well as globalised geo-political and economic factors (such as trade routes). The third route of enquiry considered the role of time in factors affecting (un)employment. All the cohorts drew on ‘the long view’ by situating their current unemployment challenge within an historical context, alive to the legacy of the near and distant past and its’ capacity to shape both the present and future (e.g. legacies of the British Empire, USSR and European Union). Similarly, exercises in imagining alternative futures gave the analysis an aspirational forward motion, whilst also recognising the time it takes to shift societal perceptions of work, the nature of work, and who should be working/ and in what capacity. Via these multiple routes of enquiry the cohorts were able to reveal the complex relations between different aspects of (un)employment and the wider social, cultural and economic context. This exploration of connectivity of different factors that influence the unemployment reality locally made clear the need to understand the wider system in order to create positive interventions without unintended negative consequences. Connected factors raised included education and employment with cohorts stressing a mismatch between labour supply and demand. This connection was in turn linked to migratory push/ pull factors, skills/ experience deficits, as well as unrealised assets/ skills and under-employment. As well as this obvious skills and education link, the cohorts also looked more broadly at the interactions between housing, transport, health and (un) employment. While the negative networked impact of (un)employment across families and communities (both in close proximity, but also via global diasporas and migratory forces) was a common finding. Through this line of enquiry the cohorts explored (un) employment interventions concerning the connections with inter-generational relations and knowledge exchange. Complexity of challenges unpacked using different routes of enquiry All five cohorts engaged in the discovery and learning about their challenge through multiple vantage points or routes of enquiry that helped them unpack the complexity of factors affecting (un)employment.
  38. 38. 38 COMMON (UN)EMPLOYMENT THEMES Citizenship and identity A number of the cohorts framed the experiences and impact of (un)employment within notions of citizenship, for example, in terms of rights for state support, personal responsibility, and civil protests in relation to labour and welfare rights (e.g. universal basic income). All the cohorts surfaced a wide range of perspectives and experiences of (un)employment and gained insight into how they in turn relate to our multiple identities (for example, as citizens of a particular nation state, or as immigrants, or as children/grandchildren of immigrants, or as a retiree, or as a young person). This link was evident where the absence of positive representation of role models from different communities was highlighted as a distinct barrier to training and employment in roles that lie outside of cultural expectations. While in some national contexts the experience of chronic and persistent unemployment has made imagining an alternative future almost impossible, highlighting how persistent complex social challenges can scar our public consciousness and imagination. In one case this was explored in terms of national identity and sense of belonging. Understanding these identities and how they interact with experiences, or life opportunities relating to (un)employment will help the cohort better design possible solutions to local (un)employment challenges. Language and narratives The agency of language and narratives became apparent throughthislearningjourney.Forexample,allthefacilitators stressed the power of story-telling in enabling their cohorts to access and empathise with alternative narratives and perspectives concerning (un)employment. In contrast, a number of the cohorts explored the role of language, definitions and categorisations within (un) employment that can be inflexible, pejorative and excluding. Further, these cohorts also noted the use of common narratives that animate negative cultural framing of citizens in relation to their (un)employment status with assumptions made about their capabilities and attitudes according to their age, their socio-economic status, their ethnicity, their nationality, and their gender. The inter-play of these narratives and structural inequalities in relation to (un)employment was explored through this learning journey.
  39. 39. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 39 COMMON (UN)EMPLOYMENT THEMES Infrastructure experiences and deficits Formostofthecohortstherewasacommonconcernrelating to ineffective, counter-productive, or even toxic experiences with (un)employment agencies / state infrastructure. A number of the cohorts have focussed on prototyping alternative infrastructure experiences, (including innovative linkages between education, training, work experience, soft skill development, networks and fiscal support). The cohorts also noted the common disconnect, or siloed activities by different organisations (public, civic and private), which they identified as being compounded by: lack of trust, examples of corruption, risk averse organisational cultures, key person over-reliance, extensive bureaucracy, and areas of data/ knowledge gaps or data inaccessibility. This highly flawed organisational/ civic infrastructure makes more connected policy planning highly problematic, and commonly results in siloed interventions with unintended consequences. (Un)employment, health and wellbeing The cohorts all discussed the negative relationship between (un)employment and ill health (both physical and mental). Issuesofselfconfidence,senseofidentify,senseofbelonging, and self efficacy are all highlighted as being detrimentally affected by the day to day reality of unemployment. Risk of ‘lost generations’ The pervasive and accelerating unemployment levels in certain demographics across Europe raises the prospect of the loss of the potential of large parts of generations. The risk of ‘lost generations’ is stressed by the cohorts who argue we are not creating the opportunities and pathways to opportunities that will help citizens unlock their skills and capabilities to live happy and good lives that contribute in a range of ways to their communities.
  40. 40. 40 Key Observations on the programme approach The careful design of the invitation, experiences and spaces for building of a collective knowledge and wider set of capabilities is central to the success of exploring these complex local (un)employment challenges together as a cohort. In the second phase of the programme this design approach will be used by the Impact Hubs to support experimentation and innovation for alternative ‘solutions’/ interventions grounded in: the insights and capabilities built in the discovery phase; as well as the cohort energies and trust nurtured during this phase to make collaboration possible; and also the freedom/ confidence (again built up through the programme) to think creatively beyond the usual organisational norms, structures and ways of working. The analysis highlights how much the cohorts have valued such a rare opportunity to come together as a diverse group to engage in a more intimate, extended and creative discovery phase, that allows for a deeper exchange of ideas, values, experiences. The resulting trust and comfort from this convening by Impact Hubs has forged stronger relations across the cohort members and created fruitful conditions for collaborations. These collaborations and connections in turnhavenurturedasenseofhopefulnessandabeliefintheir collective power to affect change that was otherwise absent in their capacity as individual stakeholders. The groups now share a common and more complex understanding of their local (un)employment challenge in addition to understanding each other’s interests and capacities which sets them up to worktogethermoreeffectivelyastheymoveintothesolutions phase. Through these stronger ties and understanding they are now able to more meaningfully share data/ resources and make better use of their collective spheres of influence. Through coming together the cohorts have gained new knowledge in relation to key drivers and interdependencies affecting (un)employment locally and globally. They now hold more nuanced insights and understanding of alternative and challenging perspectives in relation to (un)employment that allows them to more thoughtfully participate in prototyping possible interventions that better reflect the complexity of the challenge. The programme has not just helped share and reveal knowledge, but also purposefully helped develop capabilities and skills in relation to critical enquiry, systems mapping and thinking, and design approaches to complex challenges that include cycles of discovery, prototyping and testing. A design approach to convening and collaborative learning The role of the Impact Hubs as platforms convening collaborative learning and change making is a distinctive feature of this programme.
  41. 41. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 41 A flexible approach to the programme facilitation meant responding to the energies, needs, and circumstance of the local cohort and the specificity of their (un)employment challenge. This involved the facilitators tailoring their local session programmes accordingly. For example, some Impact Hubs facilitated conceptual discussions of what constitutes work and the nature of good work in order to entirely reframe and unpack notions of (un)employment. This more open discovery and learning approach helped consideration of alternative solutions (e.g new economic models that separate labour and money). All the cohorts struggled with the time commitment demanded by the programme which includes preparation time, session time and follow-up/feedback time. Finding ways to support this considerable time commitment for the cohorts might help any programme model transfer (e.g. consideration of child-care provision). That said the extended time commitment did help create the conditions to build deeper connections and trust within the cohorts over a relatively short, but intensive period. This enabled the groups to benefit from the programme momentum that helps them to move from deep enquiry to prototyping possible solutions. KEY OBSERVATIONS ON THE PROGRAMME APPROACH Some knowledge exchange lessons The Impact Hubs have worked to exchange insights and experiences across the different cohorts through videos, blogs and facilitator summary notes. However, given the complexityoftheissuesengagedwiththerewasafeelingthat there needs to be a greater introduction to the local context to help enable a more meaningful knowledge exchange. Also in relation to knowledge exchange the Impact Hubs intend to ensure that the beyond (un)employment programme insights are strategically introduced to wider debates and action.
  42. 42. 42 Concluding thoughts It is worth stressing in this concluding note the emotional reassurance the cohorts gained from recognising the commonality of both challenges faced and potential interventions being developed across highly diverse contexts. This sense of ‘not being alone’ helped erode feelings of isolation that can otherwise be toxic for innovation and aspirations for change. There are a number of core ingredients in this part learning journey/ part solutions lab programme that have been introduced over the course of the discussion above that can be usefully highlighted here. Firstly, the programme draws on design and systems thinking that has encouraged and enabled the cohort members to explore (un)employment in a more holistic way. This approach acknowledges the complexity and interdependency of multiple dynamic variables affecting (un)employment. Through this acknowledgement of complexity the programme has sought to explore ways to avoid siloed interventions that can have unintended or negative consequences. Instead, beyond (un)employment foregrounds collective learning, knowledge exchange and collaboration across range of scales and contexts. With this in mind the bringing together of such a diverse range of cohort members for an extended and intimate learning journey has been key. In addition, the programme has taken a more human centred approach that has involved prioritising techniques that help the cohort to use a more empathetic line of enquiry that enables deeper insights into multiple perspectives on (un)employment. In this way it is hoped that the groups are better able to design possible interventions that respond to the reality of citizen needs and aspirations. While this first phase has prioritised discovery and cohort relationships, it has done this with a clear view of what it takes to move towards an action and solution focus in the second phase. With this in mind it has been designed to help foster the skills, capabilities and conditions for collaboration. In this way the programme seeks to build a legacy that strengthens civic involvement in employment issues as a factor of social inclusion.
  43. 43. Beyond (un)employment Discovery Phase Report // 43 A thank you note Thank you to Anne Merkle (Impact Hub Global) and Dan Zastawny (Impact Hub Birmingham) for helping me rapidly navigate the programme, and for allowing me the freedom to dig into the discovery phase findings from facilitators in a way that lets us reflect upon the distinctive ways of working in this programme. - Johanne Orchard-Webb, Research Reporter TotheRobertBoschStiftung,especiallyMarikaBaur,Markus Lux and Natalie Ferber, who went with us on a journey to explore new ways of tackling the challenge of unemployment in Europe.Combining our believe for bottom up change and community empowerment, we jointly designed this program to be locally meaningful while ensuring knowledge exchange across countries. Thank you for sharing from your rich pool of experience and for being courageous and visionary. To the beyond (un)employment Impact Hubs, who were 100% committed from day 1 to create impact on the local unemployment challenges together. You shaped this program into a deep learning journey for the participants and made every minute they invested matter. You are holding the space for honest sharing and bold steps towards life changing solutions. Thank you for taking ownership and investing your time, energy and passion into this program.“ - Anne Merkle, Programme Manager, Impact Hub Company The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company and has managed the philanthropic bequest of company founder Robert Bosch for over 50 years. Indeed it was his entrepreneurial vision, political farsightedness, moral fortitude and charitable initiatives that set the standards for the work of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The Foundation is divided into areas to support and operate its aid program. In order to pursue the Foundation’s objectives, it promotes external projects and initiates its own projects for developing and running programs. Within the foundation 200 employees manage an average of about 800 internal and external projects a year. The Robert Bosch Stiftung has its headquarters in Stuttgart and an office in Berlin. The Robert Bosch Stiftung is active in five areas: 1. Health 2. Science 3. Society 4. Education 5. International Relations The focus areas on current social challenges are: • Migration, integration, and inclusion • Social Cohesion in Germany and Europe • Sustainable living spaces
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