Wednesday, June 17, 2020 from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM PDT
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New Song Church Community Center 
220 NE Russell St.
Portland, OR 97212

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Alex Rice 
VOA Al Forthan Scholarship 

A Futures Lens for Addictions: Collective Imagination, Intelligence, and Agility with Laura Burney Nissen

Please join us for the upcoming training, A Futures Lens for Addictions: Collective Imagination, Intelligence, and Agilitywith Laura Burney Nissen, PhD, LMSW, CADC III on Wednsday, June 17th from 8:30am-12:00pm (registration starts at 8:00). The training cost is $60 - Includes three CEUs from MHACBO. All proceeds go towards the VOA Al Forthan Scholarship to support students who come from families impacted by addiction.


What if there was a way to think about the future in a better way?   In fact, for the last 50 years, there is a set of emerging frameworks and practices developed to refine and better apply, deep and concentrated effort in imagining an array of futures (both positive as well as negative) and aligning our readiness to meet whatever comes. Futures practice is an interdisciplinary established field and worthy of consideration in the addictions field and beyond.   Including, but not limited to, strategic planning and design-related thinking – it involves skills of “foresight” and an ability to conduct and then apply deep scans of ecosystem factors and then apply them in creative ways, aligning them with human-centered values such as equity, justice, freedom and progress.    How do issues like biomedical technology, the future of work, climate change and a host of other emergent issues present opportunities and challenges to addictions advocacy and practice?  Should addictions professionals and advocates be futurists as part of our ethical imperative?  This presentation will challenge participants to consider the urgent need to update our intellectual maps, tools and navigation tools for the next chapter of our shared journey into the future. Bringing the best of imagination, intelligence, diverse perspectives and agency – futures thinking invites communities to increase the chances of building towards a desired future, yet being ready for the full range of possibilities.  

Laura Burney Nissen, PhD, LMSW, CADC III

Professor, and former Dean, Laura Burney Nissen has been a member of the PSU/School of Social Work community since 2000.   She began her tenure at PSU in a leadership role with the national Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative Reclaiming Futures (still operating in the Regional Research Institute in the SSW).    With a long-term commitment to innovative systems change (her research portfolio includes a focus creativity and innovation in macro level social work systems change), Laura has worked with futures practice and lenses throughout her career.   She credits a futures lens with the extended and continuous success of the Reclaiming Futures initiative and its ability to energize and provide architecture to a complex and interdisciplinary juvenile justice reform effort extending beyond a decade beyond its original “demonstration” phase.   She has brought futures thinking into the School of Social Work in the form of a first strategic plan at the school in its 55 year history.  She a Foresight Practitioner and a Research Fellow with the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, CA,  and has spoken on futures thinking in social work and social change at the National Association of Deans and Directors of Schools of Social Work.    Laura remains active in the addictions policy arena as a member of the Oregon Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Policy, and in addition to futures study is actively engaged in research on the intersection of the arts and social change.  She is also a calligrapher/bookbinder and a lover of waterfalls.

To register please click below. If you have any question contact Alex Rice at arice@voaor.org or 503-802-0299.