Future Search Principles and Conditions for Success 

  • Get the “whole system” in the room. Invite a significant cross-section of all parties with a stake in the outcome.
  • Explore the “whole elephant” before seeking to fix any part. 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.
  • Urge full attendance – Keep part-time participants to a minimum.
  • Meet under healthy conditions – This means airy rooms with windows, healthy snacks and meals, adequate breaks.
  • Work across three days (sleep twice) – People need “soak time” to take in everything that happens.
  • Ask for voluntary public commitments to specific next steps before people leave.

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