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Social Work Futures? What ‘social work’ does the world need now? June 28th 2021 

28 Juni

Social Work Futures? What ‘social work’ does the world need now?

For this event we invite those working in social work and related fields to take the long view and consider the broad, speculative question of what social work the world needs now and in the years to come. Our aim is to create a space that is at least partially removed from the claims making typically expected in university and profession (e.g., individualized insight; what social work can offer the world), tuning instead into disciplinary problematics and shared problems of knowledge. We expect participants will engage with and introduce interdisciplinary domains of learning and debate that social work, as both an academic unit and a particular entrance point into the world, might fruitfully engage. We assume that much of the work presented will be new to many in social work, and we hope to foster a collegial environment in which presenters can share and strengthen their work and connect with others similarly exploring the edges of what is currently intelligible. Examples of interdisciplinary conversations include but are not limited to:

  1. Community beyond anthropocentricism
  2. Emotion, as both perceived problem and solution (e.g., populism, care)
  3. Environmental crisis, geopolitics and racializing imaginaries
  4. Questions of progress, theories of change
  5. Reconceptualizing crisis
  6. Revisiting the human, the biosocial question
  7. Science and technology, artificial intelligence, information infrastructures, datafication
  8. The limits of liberalism as a foundation for social work, questions of freedom and social engineering




Professor Susan Kemp 

The University of Auckland


Professor Walter Lorenz 

Bozen and Charles University Prague


Professor Stephen Webb 

Glasgow Caledonian University


Practicalities and Dates When: June 28th 2021

This day long online event will be scheduled across three timezones (GMT -4; GMT +1; GMT +13 ) with breaks between presentations blocks. Presentations will be recorded and posted online.

Abstracts: Please submit a 250 word abstract by April Friday 30th 2021. We will review and notify potential presenters by May 7th.

Registration: Registration for this event will remain open until June 23rd. There is a £10 registration fee for both presenters and general attendees.


Contacts: This event is organized by the Social Work Futures? Research Group at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. For more information, or to submit an abstract, please email:


Dr. Tina Wilson
Dr. Heather Lynch




Dr. Tina E. Wilson

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow

School of Health and Life Sciences | Glasgow Caledonian University | Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Social Work Futures? Research Group




28 Juni