Skip to main content

On May 9, 2024, the pilot phase of the CIVIC SCOUTS AT WORK Bulgaria programme culminated in a Future Lab in Sofia, organized by THE CIVICS Innovation Hub Sofia. The event gathered experts from the public and private sectors to discuss the programme’s future design. Guiding question for the event has been: “Can we solve the problems of business and the problems of society at the same time with more civic competences?“

Key hypotheses explored included the overlap of professional soft skills and active citizenship, rising trust in companies amid declining institutional trust, and the workplace as a space for lifelong learning. Discussions also focused on labor migration, societal diversity, and the political significance of corporate responsibility.

To bridge perspectives of civil society and of businesses to tackle shared challenges and therefore to further develop CIVIC SCOUTS AT WORK into a tailored programme that enhances civic participation at the workplace, we discussed the following main issues:

  • the main challenges and issues companies in Bulgaria are facing, which are also challenges for civic participation;
  • the messages with which we are reaching out to companies to recognize the development of civic competencies as a priority;
  • the educational formats that are the most lasting in their impact and the most suitable for the dynamic daily life of the companies’ employees.

Main takeaways from the discussions highlighted:

  • Systemic issues like corruption create an unpredictable environment for businesses and society. Addressing this requires fostering intolerance and active resistance to corrupt practices.
  • The need to address workforce shortages by developing both professional and personal skills.
  • The need for building a healthy community through shared values and civic competencies such as critical thinking, tolerance, and communication.
  • The need to cultivate an authentic work ethic with active management support.
  • The need to bridge intergenerational differences through improved communication.
  • Fostering a sense of belonging at work and within communities and society, based on shared values.
  • The importance of effective communication on all levels.

The consensus was that business and societal challenges are deeply intertwined, but a common language and understanding between businesses and civil society is needed for successful cooperation. While civil society offers a broader perspective on social issues, businesses require tailored approaches and formats based on specific needs and contexts. Thus, individualized needs assessments at the beginning are crucial for implementing programmes like CIVIC SCOUTS AT WORK effectively.

Author Guest

More posts by Guest