WTF (What’s the Future) of Settlement Work 4 – more about how digital capacity is all about being human

Welcome to the fourth edition of WTF (What’s the Future) of Settlement Work!

(Thanks for subscribing! As always, I’d love your feedback. All you need to do is hit reply and let me know what you liked, didn’t like, what you’d like to see that’s not here, etc. I hope you find this week’s edition a useful read! Marco)

Deep Dive: Human Centred Design

Tech for Humans, Part 2: Designing a Human-Centered Future
Hopefully, you enjoyed last week’s read of Part 1. Here’s part 2: “Technology products are becoming more integrated with our lives every day. And if the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that these products are increasingly shaping the behaviours, relationships, and systems that make up the world around us. Let’s make sure we’re building a world that we actually want to live in. Putting the ‘human’ in human-centered design is a good place to start.”

Here are three changes that product teams should make to put the “human” in human-centred design:

  1. Broaden their understanding of stakeholders
  2. Humanize their user personas
  3. Consider the social and ethical implications of their product

Existential technology thinking

How Technology Could Revolutionize Refugee Resettlement
Fascinating: “Named for Annie Moore, the Irishwoman who was the first person to pass through Ellis Island, the New York outpost that served as the gateway for millions of immigrants to America, Annie is at the core of an ambitious experiment, one that, were it deployed more widely, could transform how refugees are allocated and treated around the world. So while Njabu’s decision to settle in Pittsburgh might seem like happenstance, it has less to do with serendipity and more with technology… There is concern that, as Annie and similar tools improve, an algorithm will take over a critical task—placing refugees—that a human is now performing. Officials at HIAS and the programmers who developed the software told me they were aware of those fears. Their solution: Annie will only ever make suggestions; Monken and her colleagues at HIAS make the final decision.”

Learn, Learn, Learn

Successful Practices in Knowledge Brokering
Watch this video: brokers from Memorial University, University of Guelph, McMaster University and Western University share their insights on knowledge brokering practices on May 17, 2018.

New sector podcast alert! Innovations in Integration Podcast
From the Community Integration Network at Catholic Centre for Immigrants: “While we pride ourselves in presenting relevant PD workshops every year, we also recognize that some of the best real-world expertise comes from the good people doing this work every single day – people like you! And so we’re always thinking about ways to collect your experiences and share them with the network. One of the ways we thought we could do that was to launch our very own CIN podcast! We’re calling it Innovations in Integration. Our aim is to highlight some of the particularly interesting and innovative programs our member agencies have developed, in the hopes that we might inspire others to try similar programs in their communities.”

The interview

More of a presentation and a panel this week. This is the recording of a Statistics Canada event looking at the evolution of ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity and its measurement in Canada. 

Research Snapshots

Sector research

Immigration and inclusion will define our future cities
Good summary of some of the research work being done at Ryerson University: ” Ryerson research shows that with adequate supports, they have a better chance of integrating successfully and becoming vital, contributing members of Canadian society, improving the long-term success of our cities.”

Canadian views on immigrants, refugees hold steady, despite increasing political rhetoric: poll
“The Environics poll shows 44 per cent of Canadians think immigration makes the country a better place, while 15 per cent says it makes Canada a worse place, 34 per cent believe it has made no difference and 7 per cent have no opinion. Directly comparable numbers from 2018 indicate Canadians’ views remain stable, with responses about the impact of immigration varying by only a few percentage points. Asked if immigration levels are too high, most people – 59 per cent – disagreed, compared with 58 per cent last October; the number of respondents who agreed remained steady at 35 per cent over the same period. Mr. Neuman said polling data shows immigration is not a major concern for Canadians.” And, yet, somehow it’s possible it will become an issue during the federal election.

Police-reported hate crime in Canada, 2017
While “hate crimes account for a very small proportion of all crime reported by police each year, making up 0.1% of all police-reported crimes… In 2017, police reported 2,073 criminal incidents in Canada that were motivated by hate, an increase of 47% or 664 more incidents than reported the previous year.” Disconcerting…

Ethnographic/Community-based research

Long journeys require a courageous first step: A Dream Session with Médecins Sans Frontières
Less research than reflection on a research process, there is much value in reading this: “In design thinking, a journey map is a visual diagram depicting the stages patients and providers go through when interacting with steps in the continuum of care. For patients, this can range from the public health system of their home country, to the medical assessment of their destination nation(s), and in between, receiving services in the care centers of MSF, other NGOs, governments and UN agencies. For providers, it can be managing the stress of high workloads, communicating with traumatized patients with different languages and cultures, and having access to the right medical records. These journeys map the emotional oscillations that people go through, between the positive ones of rescue and relief, and the negative ones of stress and sorrows… To be successful, design thinking demands that participants be empathetic and authentic, qualities that the MSF team brought in abundance. Together, in small groups we all underwent our own journeys of imagination, with Post-Its and markers in hand, to devise a more positive experience for patients and providers.”

Tech and innovation research

Your Workforce Is More Adaptable Than You Think
Kinda, sorta, tech related: “Harvard Business School and the BCG Henderson Institute surveyed thousands of business leaders and workers around the world and discovered an important gap in perceptions: Workers are far more willing and able to embrace change than their employers assume. This gap represents an opportunity. Companies need to start thinking of their employees as a reserve of talent and energy that can be tapped by providing smart on-the-job skills training and career development.”

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