The philosophy of Advantaged Thinking is fundamental to the development and operation of accredited Youth Foyers in Australia..
It was devised by the UK based Colin Falconer (pictured above) during his 14 years as director of innovation at the UK Foyer Federation. At its core, Advantaged Thinking is the recognition that all young people have a vital contribution to make to the social and economic life of our communities and society. But In order to make that contribution, all young people should have access to the opportunities and social networks that facilitate social and economic participation.
But how do young people and those working with them in Youth Foyers keep the spirit of Advantaged Thinking going through the COVID-19 pandemic – an event described by United Nations chief Antonio Guterres last week as a threat to the “whole of humanity “?
Despite the overwhelming nature of the pandemic, Colin Falconer says some simple Advantaged Thinking messages can be used to help prevent people from drifting into negativity. Social lockdown does not mean we should be chained to a deficit mindset, he says.
These messages contain seven simple truths:
Talk about People
Keep affirming positives.
Avoid a language of crisis and doubt
Keep on listening to people’s stories.
Recognise the strengths we all bring.
Work with people
Keep on collaborating with the talents around you.
Guide others to make the most of themselves.
Invest in people
Keep on investing in what people need to thrive into tomorrow.
Look beyond just surviving through today.
Believe in people
Keep on trusting in the good people can do.
Amplify potential to everyone.
Keep on sharing power and opportunity.
Include the experiences of those you seek to help.
Challenge ourselves and others
Keep on being focussed and active.
Push against everything that gets in the way of people.
Colin Falconer is director of Inspirechilli, an innovation consultancy that harnesses asset-based approaches for organisations across the UK to Australia. Colin has worked in various education, employment and quality assurance initiatives including the UK Foyer Federation. You can read more about his work on his website.