The Grand Challenges for Social Work is striving to Go•Grander and is beginning a renewal process that we hope will result in new working papers and, even, additional Grand Challenges. Go•Grander provides the opportunity for new issue areas can become Grand Challenges, new working papers can expand the existing Grand Challenges, and new partners and stakeholders can engage with the initiative’s efforts in new ways.
Launched in 2016, after a multi-year planning process, the Grand Challenges for Social Work (GCSW) initiative has made great strides throughout the field, but not without important feedback and critique. As an initiative for the field and for society, it was imperative to recognize the ways in which the Grand Challenges could, and should, be more inclusive of the societal challenges that social workers have long strived to address throughout the profession’s history. Out of this grew the Grand Challenge to Eliminate Racism.
Since the initiative began, considerable progress has been made in tackling the 13 identified issue areas that constitute the Grand Challenges for Social Work. As a result of dedicated network leadership, we have seen state and federal level policies address several challenges of our society, particularly in the Grand Challenges to End Homelessness, Promote Smart Decarceration, and Build Financial Capability and Assets for All. Innovative interventions have been developed and implemented to Ensure Healthy Development for Youth and Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality. And, there is growing attention and response from the field to the urgency of society’s need to Eliminate Racism, Create Social Responses to a Changing Environment, and Harness Technology for Social Good.
This next phase of the Grand Challenges presents an opportunity to identify the most pressing issues facing our field in the coming years. With an emphasis on addressing racial, ethnic, and gender disparities that exist within each Grand Challenge area, the initiative is ideally designed and uniquely positioned to address the massive inequities in our communities.
The initiative’s network structure has enabled and supported collaboration across campuses and disciplines, and encourages innovation in research, policy and practice of our field to promote the science and impact of social work. Through partnerships with leading social work organizations (i.e. CSWE, NASW, SSWR, and others), and over 60 universities, the initiative has continued to build awareness and engagement from faculty, students and stakeholders committed to improving the communities in which we live.
The momentum of the initiative’s success thus far can help make even grander strides in solving the greatest challenges of our society by embracing the addition of new Grand Challenges for our field. Moving forward, GCSW will broaden its impact by continuing to expand the social work pipeline, broadening interdisciplinary partnerships, and further supporting innovative and interdisciplinary approaches through research, education, policy, practice and collaboration.
How can I or my team Go•Grander?
This is an Open Call for proposals for the duration of the Grand Challenges for Social Work initiative. There is no anticipated end date for the opportunity to propose new Grand Challenge efforts. We are looking for new and innovative issue areas, development opportunities, and partnerships. We hope Go•Grander will allow for better cross-fertilization across Grand Challenges, across campuses, and across disciplines. You can Go Grander by connecting your work to ongoing Grand Challenge activities and efforts, or by submitting a proposal for new Grand Challenge activities, including working papers, working groups, sub-networks, and new Grand Challenges.
Go•Grander is not just about new or more. It’s about going deeper on existing work, thinking innovatively about solving ongoing issues and challenges, and making a bigger impact on society. We welcome all ideas. View guidelines and criteria here.
Note: We will be reviewing proposals as they are received. We plan to connect those of you who submit similar or related proposals to consider working together in an effort to continue building networks of scholars and stakeholders around particular challenge areas.
We also reserve the right to suggest that your submission be considered for a different type of Grand Challenge work. For example, if you propose a new Grand Challenge, we may suggest that you consider creating a sub-network under an existing Grand Challenge.
How has the Grand Challenges for Social Work influenced your work?
As part of our efforts to Go•Grander, we invite you to share your Grand Challenges Testimonial! Many are working towards the Grand Challenges for Social Work in their every-day efforts, how has the GCSW initiative supported your endeavors?
(view the interactive version with live links here)
(Survey closed Dec. 31, 2022)
Complete the Go•Grander survey and share your thoughts on expanding the impact of the Grand Challenges for Social Work.
The Grand Challenges for Social Work invites you to participate in a brief survey to provide input into the initiative’s efforts to Go•Grander! Data collected will be used to inform the next phase of the initiative as we work to expand the impact and reach of the Grand Challenges. It will also help us better understand who is involved with this initiative and in what capacity. The 11-question survey takes less than five minutes to complete. Thank you!