Future Search The Method

Building A Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Uppsala: 2005
By Eva Stromberg, Consultant and Future Search Network member

It began with a woman at the Christian Council of Sweden (nearly all Christian churches belong to this organization). She wanted to do a future search on UN's declaration of "Peace and Non-Violance for the Children of the Earth," and wrote to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to get money for it. She got the money!!

A group of us started planning for a future search and decided to offer it to Uppsala, a city about 45 miles north of Stockholm. The head of the Department for Youth in the City Hall and the Police were asked to participate in the project group. Both liked the idea and sent people to join the planning group. We then added two young people to the team.

Our first planning meeting was in December 1999-we had 12 meetings in all. We decided on the following stakeholder groups for the future search: Schools, Business, Politicians, Media, Social Service, Youth Activity Places, and Culture. We talked over the decision of having a special group for young people, but decided on having young people in all of the other groups, ideally two or three in every group. The theme was "A Culture of Peach and Non-Violence in Uppsala: 2005."

Forty-five people turned up (56 were expected) in a modern church in the centre of Uppsala. They went through the steps of the design with great seriousness and commitment. The history, of course, was about violence in their own lives, in Uppsala and in the greater world.

Three Projects

On the last day, three projects came up. One group set an agenda for dialogue, a very strong theme during the meeting. They are now working on an education program for young people to go out in schools and teach other young people about non-violence. Another group decided to what there is for young people to do in Uppsala and have benchmarked several places. They have had four meetings and are going to discuss how to work further in January 2001.

One group of five people committed themselves to take this further in Uppsala, trying to get a visible network of all other people working on the theme: "How can we get a greater impact working together?" There will be a meeting on that in February, 2001, where a map on what has been out so far will be presented and there will be a discussion on how people want the group to work.

In January, 2001, Jim Lawson from the U.S. came to lead a workshop on non-violence. He is a former colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King. There is also work being done on trying to get Uppsala to join a worldwide network of cities. This network has gathered in Portugal in November and will be getting together in Finland in June 2002.


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