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Future Workshop

A workshop that enables a group of people to develop solutions to social or technological problems. Time is first dedicated to understanding current problems and then there are sessions that focus on innovative ways to eliminate current problems and consider potential future scenarios. A future workshop emphasizes critique, learning, team work, democracy, and empowerment. It is particularly useful when the participants have little experience with processes of creative decision making.

Related Links

The Future Workshop<. Vidal Rene Victor Valqui. Economic Analysis Working Papers , 5, 2006 (4) page 21.

This report describes the origins, principles and practice of The Future Workshop. The fundamental theory and principles of the method are presented, together with practical guidelines to carry out a workshop.

The Future Workshop<, Heino Apel, 2004.

This paper describes the origin of the method, the methodological steps (phases) and discusses the strengths and weakness of the approach.

Wikipedia Future Workshop<

Future Workshop<. Chauncey Wilson, February 2011.

This short article provides a brief overview of the future workshop method.

Jungk, R, & Müllert, N. (1987). Future workshops: How to create desirable futures. London: Institute for Social Inventions.

Detailed description

Future workshops were developed by Robert Jungk to allow stakeholders to become involved in creating their preferred future rather than being subjected to decisions made solely by experts, the elite, and the establishment. Future workshops are strongly action oriented. They aim, first to imagine the desired future, and then to plan it and implement it.

Future workshops have distinctive phases. Those identified by Wikipedia are:

  1. The preparatory phase where the issue that will be considered is identified and the structure and details of sessions are arranged.
  2. The operative phase involves clarification of the issue and articulation of negative experiences in the present situation.
  3. The fantasy stage where participants verbalise their desires, dreams, fantasies and views about the future in a free idea generation session. The participants are asked to forget all the limitations and obstacles of the present reality.
  4. The implementation stage that involves: analysis of the feasibility of ideas and solutions generated in the fantasy phase; recognition of limits and barriers for implementation and discovering how the barriers can be overcome.
  5. The follow-up phase where the plan of action that emerged from the workshop is monitored to check on progress and assess the need for further workshops or actions.


Lifecycle: Requirements
Sources and contributors: 
Nigel Bevan, Chauncey Wilson<
Released: 2012-04
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