Structure and focus: The foundation for this roundtable are three recent systematic reviews of the emerging social work literature on the environment, each of which assessed the literature using different methods and approaches to delimiting the field. The roundtable brings the authors of these distinct studies into dialogue to explore convergences and tensions between their perspectives on the field and, in conversation with the audience, to construct a more complete analysis of where we stand and where we should go from here. One focus of conversation will be the diverse values and conceptual frameworks that have been used to define and delimit social work's engagement with the environment. How much conceptual unity does a “young” field need? A second focus will be on how scholars can best target their research to support practitioners in bringing about change. Given the interdisciplinary and inter-professional nature of efforts to address environmental change, where can social work make the most impact? The roundtable will tackle these definitional and pragmatic concerns together, seeking to clarify how the nascent subfield is taking shape and chart a course forward.
Methods: Four participants will briefly present key findings from the three systematic reviews of the literature as well as any questions that emerged from the study. A fifth participant will serve as discussant and facilitator, identifying cross-cutting themes and facilitating discussion of the two major focuses of the roundtable (conceptual frameworks and promising directions for research).
Engagement/Implications: After initial discussion among roundtable participants on these two topics and any additional topics raised by the discussant, the audience will be invited to pose questions and give comments. Fifteen minutes will be reserved at the end of the discussion for identifying concrete “next steps” for strengthening the field.