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Strategic planning: Join an upcoming strategy hive


illustration of people in discussion online.

Thank you to everyone who has provided input into FIFSW’s new strategic plan. We are now moving to the next phase of the consultation process! In May, the Faculty will be hosting strategy hives, where we will co-create the priorities, intentions and shared commitments for our next strategic plan. 

Below is an overview and detailed information on each hive. FIFSW faculty, students, staff, alumni, program partners and collaborators are encouraged to register for as many as possible!

Strategy hive dates

All hives will be online.. Click the links below to register.


Throughout the “pollination” phase of the strategic planning, we heard many perspectives about FIFSW’s strengths and impact — across global leadership in research, excellence in clinical practice, a supportive community and a shared ethos of continuing to work for a more just world. The conversations surfaced a profound commitment to continual evolution and shared learning, and appreciation for a space that “balances evidence-based approaches to practice with principles of anti-oppression.”

As we move into the next phase of planning, we shift from surfacing ideas, hopes and needs to co-designing intentions and priorities for FIFSW’s future.  In a series of five “strategy hives,” we will explore key strategic questions to shape the strategic framework.

Strategy hives are 2.5 hour sessions where mixed groups develop shared intentions, priorities and initial and ideas for actions around strategic questions.  These topics are NOT the ultimate strategy framework, but overlapping conversations that surface the core strategic themes and priorities.  Underpinning all of the Hives are the conceptual questions of:  Who are we and why does what we do matter?  What is the future and story of social work?  How do we shape our research, teaching, partnerships, collaborations, advocacy and relationships to achieve our highest purpose?

Between each Hive, we will synthesize the highlights from the previous sessions, which will allow the conversations to build on each other.

Participants are welcome to one or all of the Hives – the best sessions have a diversity of participants and perspectives. Please register for the hives you are interested in attending via the links below.

Strategy hive topics

All hives will be online, except May 17. Click the links below to register.

How do we shape the future of social work as a discipline?

Hive #1 (May 1st 9:00 to 11:30am) – ONLINE

The Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work is recognized for fostering strong clinical practice and world renowned research, nested in a deep commitment to supporting individuals while continually evolving a more just, equitable and inclusive social world.  Against this foundation, the discipline of social work is in significant transformation.  In this Hive, we will explore how FIFSW can lead in shaping the evolution of social work, recognizing shifting context around practice environments, decolonization, the role of professions, increasing transdisciplinary work, economic sustainability of practice, opportunities for novel partnerships and how to evolve greater understanding of the value and impact of social work. 

What does the future of applying critical EDI lenses to research, teaching and delivery of social, human and health services look like?

Hive #2 (May 1st 2:00 to 4:30pm) – ONLINE

Anti-oppression, decolonization and structural equity are at the core of all of the work of FIFSW.  As we shape the next strategic plan, setting intentions about the next evolution of these principles fundamentally influences all priorities.  In this Hive, we will explore the next iteration of EDIA, across research and teaching practices, holding and evolving our ethos in a polarized world, and creating a truly inclusive community where everyone can  “feel in their bones that they belong,” (as one focus group participant expressed).

What experience of “learning and becoming” do we want to create in classrooms, fieldwork and other learning spaces? 

Hive #3 (May 9th 1:00 to 3:30pm) – ONLINE

FIFSW is continually evolving and innovating the learning experience for everyone connected to the Faculty, balancing curriculum needs, practicum experience, regulatory shifts, inclusion and accessibility, evolving practice environments and the space for learners to increasingly define and shape content.  As the profession of social work evolves and as the Faculty continues to challenge and transform power structures, what does the evolution of the learning experience look like? In this Hive, we will explore the future of truly inclusive curriculum and classrooms, expanding ways of knowing and demonstrating knowledge, generative space for reflexivity and “becoming”, the evolution of accessibility, sustainable fieldwork and other opportunities to “live” our ethos in innovative ways.

Where is FIFSW being called to lead in the research and practice of Social Work?

Hive #4:  (May 16th 1:00 to 3:30pm) – ONLINE

The research, practice and advocacy led by FIFSW faculty, students, staff, alumni, and other collaborators are fundamental in evolving global understanding of critical topics that influence social worlds.  As we look forward to the next several years, the FIFSW will be called on the shape and influence issues that influence everyone’s lives, including Artificial Intelligence, climate justice and sustainability, sustainable and accessible public healthcare, policing, and commercial determinants of health.  In this Hive, we will explore the impact FIFSW wants to have in these and other critical areas, and what innovations, partnerships, collaborations and other approaches to action will make the biggest difference.

Hive #5 Update

As we move through this process, we have realized that the conversation around the desired impact for the Faculty is being well addressed through our other four hives and other discussions.  We are therefore cancelling that planned time, so if you have registered for the May 17th session, please join either Hive 3 or Hive 4 instead (if you are able).

NEW! Macro Hive for FIFSW Students

Macro Hive for Students (May 13 12:00 to 1:30pm) – ONLINE

This strategy hive was set up to ensure that MSW year one students who are currently completing their practicum are able to participate, however any FIFSW community member is welcome to join on this date. During this hive, we will be asking participants to create future-focused visions from a student perspective for the key strategic questions that we’ll explore in the other hives. This conversation will be short but go deeply into the core questions of the future for FIFSW, and participants will receive questions in advance to think about or consult their colleagues on.

Please note that students who are able are still encouraged to join as many of the other hives as they want in addition to this one.

Learn more about the consultation process for FIFSW’s new strategic plan