Open Talent (OT) provides an excellent new way of thinking about how to enable people, especially those experiencing disadvantage and social exclusion, to establish sustainable livelihoods. Based on advantaged thinking, OT provides a positive lens for working with young people in EFY Foyers and beyond.
There are 5 Key Practice Areas – Places, People, Opportunities, the Deal and the Campaign – that inform all aspects of the EFY Foyer approach: from the building design, the staffing profile, and the strategic relationships with the community and business. All of the processes and tools used in the referral, intake and assessment and the subsequent operation of the EFY Foyer are designed from an Open Talent perspective.
Importantly, OT also transforms the language used to describe young people and the way they engage with the EFY Foyer.
I do like the way the Foyer disregards words like disadvantage etc. and just looks at the things that you want to do rather than looking at what you haven’t been able to do in the past. (EFY Foyer student, Jason)
Open Talent asserts that instead of investing in young people's problems, the community needs to re-direct investment to building and nurturing their abilities and harnessing them for personal as well as social good.