Friday, 12 December 2014

9 – 15 h: Workshop „Future Search“ with Cultural Institutions (Wissenschaftsforum at Gendarmenmarkt, Markgrafenstraße 37, 10117 Berlin)

Introductory statement: Olesya Ostrovska-Lyuta (Deputy Minister of Culture of Ukraine)

Key players from Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova are able to form networks amongst themselves and with their German counterparts, exchanging best practices and future plans for civil society and cultural activities.

Facilitation: Carolin Savchuk and Constanze Stoll


Saturday, 13 December 2014

9 – 15 h: Workshop „Future Search“ (continued)

Content and Process

During the three-day international congress on “Values and Change” one of the working-units will be a two-day workshop, facilitated by Carolin Savchuk and Constanze Stoll. In accordance with the idea of the congress to open space to discuss the future of societies in flux, exchange best practices and develop future action-oriented concepts for political, cultural and social actors – we designed the workshop as a „Future Search“.

The major benefit of „Future Search“ is transforming a system's capability for action. The emergence of the tool is to be seen in the context of research about social and cultural change and the development of planning methods. Historically and from a systemic point of view planning methods in the 20th century evolved on two axes: the one axe is the «who»: there was a development from «experts only» to «everybody»; the other axe is the «what»: planning methods developed from focusing on «problem-solving» to focusing «whole-systems improvement».

Let us quote from the handbook «Future Search» by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Jannoff, the authors of the moderation method: «Future Searches enable organizations and communities to learn more together than any one person can discover alone. Bringing the «the whole system into the room» makes feasible a shared encounter with the complexity and uncertainly leading to clarity, hope, and action. The key word is shared. When we explore common ground with others, we release creative energy, leading to projects that all value and none can do alone.» Future search is time efficient and allows groups to work on a highly participative and productive level. A Future Search typically involves 60 to 100 people who share a common purpose. We do five activities of two to four hours each, 16 to 20 hours in total, spread over (ideally) three days: review past, explore the present, create desired future scenarios, discover common ground, and make actions plans.

Future Search is led by the following principles:

Get the "whole system" in the room: different people from different fields of work bring the multiple realities and facts to overcome particularism and get a better understanding of the whole.

Explore the "whole elephant" before seeking to fix any part: We want to get everyone talking about the same world. Think globally, act locally.

Put common ground and future focus front and center while treating problems and conflicts as information, not action items.

Encourage self-management and responsibility for action by participants before, during, and after the future search.