Critical Conversation Retreat
Looking Backward to Move Forward:
Who and What do we want to become?
September 30 & October 1, 2010
St. Paul, MN
The Critical Conversations Retreat is designed to be “an intellectual holiday” for people who care about youth work and the issues and tensions facing youth workers. The agenda is premised on the idea that our field will take its shape based on how we describe it, name it, and live out the work in daily practice. To make sense of the emerging nature of the youth development field and youth work practice, we must look to our history, reflect on our present and dream together about our future.
The agenda was created to engage a group of learners in stimulating talk and hearty debate. It is not a working meeting designed to come to recommendations — and we don’t need to produce an action plan! We want to get fresh new ideas on the table as we think about the tensions and challenges facing youth work today. We do this in the belief that in naming the tensions, we take a step toward resolution. In naming our future, we move toward achieving it.
Ultimately, the conversation will inform two ongoing pieces of work. In Minnesota, the big ideas will help shape the way Youth Community Connections (YCC) frames its strategies to identify how systems can best support and expand youth worker expertise, promote field-building strategies, and help address some of the fundamental tensions affecting the workforce today. Nationally this conversation will inform the planning of the Next Generation Youth Work Coalition to give thought leadership on an important issue related to strengthening youth work practice and building career pathways for youth workers.