Karoline Strauss receives the CY Alliance Prize for the Dissemination of Scientific Culture

Karoline Strauss receives the CY Alliance Prize for the Dissemination of Scientific Culture

With Karoline Strauss

Congratulations to Dr. Karoline Strauss, who was recently awarded the Mediation and Dissemination of Scientific Culture Prize for 2022 by CY Alliance! Offered for the first time this year by CY Alliance*, a coalition of higher education institutions in the Cergy-Pontoise region, this prize honored an initiative that disseminated scientific knowledge.

There were three key criteria for the prize: 

  • Its scope: who was the audience, were there collaborations with other researchers or other disciplines

  • Its originality: both in terms of content and format

  • Its impact: positive effects of the initiative 

It was open to all researchers from CY Alliance members, with both individual and group categories. Dr. Strauss is a laureate for the individual category, for her project on bringing research insights to users via the Future Work Self Tool. This project, carried out with Julija Mell (Rotterdam School of Management), Frederik Anseel (UNSW Business School Sydney) and Annemijn Loermans (formerly a postdoctoral researcher on this project at ESSEC and now assistant professor at Goldsmiths University of London), developed a new approach for how we can think about our future work selves - who we wish to become over the course of our career. With the ongoing digital transformation, people now need to upskill and be proactive about their future, thinking about their hopes and dreams for the future. Dr. Strauss and her colleagues view future work selves as a network of these hopes and aspirations- instead of asking about someone’s five-year plan, their tool asks about these aspirations and how they’re connected. 

The future work self assessment tool 

Users of the tool are first presented with many possible aspirations, selecting the ones that they hope will apply to their future work self. Examples include: 

  • My future self is curious/open-minded

  • My future self has close and caring relationships

  • My future self designs and creates 

Once they’ve made their selection, they also rate the compatibility of the various hopes. Users are then presented with a visual representation of how their aspirations connect, along with a customized feedback report. The feedback report includes benchmarking information and questions to encourage self-reflection and personal growth. The tool stands out from other job-related tools, since it’s not a personality test and it doesn’t aim to tell people which career they should pursue. Instead, it’s designed to help people think about their professional future in a new way and be empowered to fulfill their goals. It can also be used by people in different domains and at different stages of their career, having already been used by people in a range of occupations like cleaners, administrators, and senior executives. It could be particularly useful for people contemplating a career move, looking for purpose, or figuring out a next step after a life event. 

Dissemination of the tool 

The tool has already been widely used in both education and workplace settings. It’s used at universities in three different countries, spanning two continents. For example, At ESSEC, Dr. Strauss uses the tool to encourage self-reflection in her leadership and human resources courses, and it was also sent out to pre-master students in 2019-2020.  

The tool is available in English and French, with a Dutch version coming soon. It’s publicly available and free to take online: users receive a customized feedback report explaining their results and the research behind it. Several thousand people have already used the tool and given positive feedback, indicating that it helped them learn something about themselves - this is especially noteworthy given that the tool can take around half an hour to complete, a not-insignificant amount of time when our attention is so easily diverted. 

Dr. Strauss has also developed an in-person version of the tool to be used in workshops and coaching sessions. Instead of taking the tool online, participants choose cards and physically draw the connections between them. This can be used to launch goal-setting and coaching exercises. 

The future of the future work self tool

The tool is part of a long-term research program led by Dr. Strauss. A paper on this research was awarded the Academy of Management Managerial and Organizational Cognition Division's Best Paper Award in 2021. 

Dr. Strauss is also currently working on other projects to expand the use of this tool, including developing a version for athletes within the ESSEC Sports Chair and using the tool more widely in higher education and in businesses. In terms of other practical implementations, it could also be useful during onboarding, for leadership development, and for people looking for direction. 

This project is an example of how research findings can make a real impact on people’s lives and how findings can be presented in a way that everyone can understand, regardless of their educational and professional background. 

To test the tool, check out https://futureworkself.com/

*CY Alliance members are:

  • ESSEC Business School 

  • CY Cergy Paris Université

  • EBI, Ecole de Biologie Industrielle


  • ENSAPC (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris-Cergy)

  • ENSA Versailles (Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Versailles

  • ENSEA, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de L’Electronique et de ses Applications

  • ENSP, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Paysage


  • INP, Institut National du Patrimoine

  • ISAE-Supméca, institut supérieur de mécanique 

  • ISIPCA-La Fabrique 

  • Sup de Vente-Essym

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