Agora’s Migration Programme partnered with the wider Open Think Tank Network and Kenyan-based youth empowerment organisation, The Youth Café, to create a participatory workshop series culminating in a policy paper to reflect on potential transformations of migration as we know it. Initially inspired by the unforeseen halt to migration due to Covid-19, the group reflected on the unpredictable nature of future policy making, and developed a methodology to democratise strategic foresight.
Across a three part series of collaborative online workshops, the project engaged over one hundred participants from around the world on our own innovation platform Policy Kitchen. Participants imagined diverse futures of migration, and the team crowd-sourced various potential migration policy actions. Refined with each workshop, the policy ideas for 2050 were grouped in four key areas:
- Fair remuneration and inclusive working conditions for all occupations and contributions to society in order to end exploitative working conditions for migrants, increase employment prospects and access to education in host communities by:
- expanding inclusive occupations and remuneration schemes
- increasingly subsidising continuous vocational development and retraining
- financially acknowledging efforts such as language studies and care work as valuable contributions to society.
- Addressing the positive impact on the social and economic challenges of an ageing society by taking into account the different experiences and skills that migrants bring to the labour market by:
- establishing a job opportunities database
- developing a meaningful and comparable skills assessment tool
- Increase the decision-making power of cities and local level actors in migration policy management by:
- recognising the significant roles and responsibilities of cities in managing human mobility and giving them more competencies to create sustainable urban development
- taking into account the views of all actors involved in human mobility and using them to build inclusive, bottom-up governance structures
- allocating resources to cities and granting them more sovereignty over the establishment of local level residency schemes, visa regimes, and resettlement decisions
- Strengthen urban-rural linkages in the context of climate resilience and adaptation by:
- Breaking down the rural-urban dichotomy and introducing a regional turn in policy action aimed towards climate resilience
- establishing a network of model regions, which act as innovation incubators and develop urban-rural resilience strategies
- adapting these learnings into capacity building guidelines for other regions to apply to their needs.
The participatory strategic foresight workshops resulted in the report Quo vadis? Envisioning human mobility for 2050, which you can read here, and an accompanying podcast series to explore an imagined human element of these policy areas, which you can listen to here.
Hannah Kuehn is co-Head of Agora’s Migration Programme.