Books and Videos about Future Search


Future Search – 3rd Edition – An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations & Communities by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff.  Bestseller –  over 35,000+ copies sold

The latest edition of the definitive book on a change method proven effective in most of the world’s cultures. Thoroughly revised and updated, with nine new chapters. Provides a wealth of tools, handouts, and practical aids. Berrett-Koehler 2010. list price: $29.95

Lead More, Control Less – 8 Advanced Leadership Skills That Overturn Convention, by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

Can you really be a more effective leader if you give up trying to change or control people? Using examples and case studies, Weisbord and Janoff show leaders how they can share responsibility, defuse group conflicts, enable everyone to get the big picture, and more. Berrett-Koehler 2015.  $19.95

Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There – Ten Principles for Leading Meetings That Matter, by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff

Rather than trying to change people, why not try to change the conditions in which they interact? A presentation of often contrarian insights into how to design meetings that actually accomplish something. Berrett-Koehler 2007.List price: $20.95

Discovering Common Ground  – How Future Search Conferences Bring People Together to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation, Empowerment, Shared Vision, and Collaborative Action
by Marvin Weisbord and 35 international co-authors.

Do you want to take a whole systems, stakeholder engagement approach to strategic planning? Case studies showing theory in action from around the world. A definitive book on the underlying theory, research, and practical applications providing general guidelines for successful conferences.  Berrett-Koehler, 1993. List price: $28.95

Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century, 3rd Edition, 25 Year Anniversary, by Marvin Weisbord

Strategy and Business 2012 Organizational Culture Book of the Year!
This third edition of the classic resource is smart, well-written and well-researched, thoughtful, somewhat provocative, and a one-of-a-kind review of the integration of economics, technology, and people. It covers such topics as: the work on self as integral to organizational change; the revision of Lewinian concepts for a new era; and the history behind “getting everybody improving whole systems” as a response to fast change and increasing diversity.  Wiley 2012. List Price $75.00. e-book $69.00

Future Search in School District Change : Connection, Community, and Results
Case studies from members of the Future Search Network, 2005
Edited by Rita Schweitz and Kim Martens

Here are sixteen compelling case studies that illustrate the power of Future Search to create lasting, whole system change. Future Search in School District Change chronicles ways in which educational institutions have used broad-based stakeholder involvement to improve education. These experiences, by individual authors, will help those tasked with improving education by offering ideas that have proven successful.


Discovering Community – A Future Search as a Springboard for Action in Santa Cruz County
A 30 minute Blue Sky Productions video documenting a Future Search on affordable housing conducted by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord in Santa Cruz, California. Includes 18 month follow-up.

The Children of Southern Sudan
A 30 minute Blue Sky Productions video documenting UNICEF-sponsored Future Searches with Sudanese children and adults to address the crisis of losing a generation of children to the turmoil of a brutal civil war, led by Sandra Janoff.

Seizing Salford’s Moment: Connecting People with Opportunities
An 8 minute video documenting a Future Search held in Salford, UK, that brought community leaders and citizens together to address inequities and link people to opportunities for work.

Future Search in Action
A 12 minute Blue Sky Productions video showing Future Search applications in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. You see the leaders who sponsored Future Searches talk about their experience in Whole Foods, Haworth, Inc, INOVA Healthcare, Topeka Pet Foods, Roxbury community Health Services, Ko’olau Loa, Hawaii and Advanta financial services.

In October, 2017 Sandra Janoff presented a brief talk to answer the question “What do we do when we don’t know what to do?”.  In this video, Sandra describes the challenges of keeping a group focused on the Future and Common Ground to discover what they want to accomplish together. Learn how practicing the 4 Principles of Future Search can create the conditions that move people to cooperate. ( 22 min).

Interview with Marvin and Sandra
A 3 minute interview with Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, founders of Future Search Network, whose members practice one of the first and most successful participative methods for whole system interactive planning and organizational development.

G8 Youth Summit in Norther Ireland, UK
Over 100 young people, in interactive dialogue and discovery, created a communique to the G20 world leaders who were meeting in the same location one month later. Very inspiring. Our next generation really cares, wants its voice heard and has a profound message for us. (6 min)

Interview with Sandra Janoff
Sandra Janoff, co-developer of Future Search Methodology, talks to Dr. Hüseyin Özdemir (oezpa Institute) about Future Search, Tavistock, Eric Trist, Future Search Network and Marvin Weisbord. (22 min)

Future Search Principles in Animation
A very clever and engaging animation that shows the dynamics of a participative meeting and the principles of Future Search. (3 min).

Interview with Sandra Janoff
Sandra Janoff, interviewed in Budapest, Hungary, tells about Future Search through a number of examples of what communities and business have accomplished. (8 min)

Making Every Child Matter, Bolton, UK
Bolton, in north-west England, ran a Future Search on Making Every Child Matter. Children, some still in primary school, attended the meeting and worked with energy and commitment equal to the adults. Watch this 3 1/2 minute video if you wonder whether to bring young people into your meeting. It’s a testament to our teenagers. (Notice the faces of the young people as they arrive, and then… their engagement over the 3 days.) Click here for the blog that students started in the meeting and continued after.  

Marv Weisbord presents his Learning Curve, first published in Productive Workplaces, 1987.  He shows how OD strategies for effective organizations have evolved over the last 100+ years.  An incredible journey from Experts Solving Problems to Everybody Improving Whole Systems. This is a video keynote for the Asia OD Network. (28 min).

Sandra Janoff is interviewed at the OD Network.  She, Marvin Weisbord and Future Search Network had just been awarded the Sharing the Wealth Award, given in honor of Kathie Dannemiller, a seminal thinker in the field of organizational change. Sandra talks about Future Search Network, its mission and accomplishments.

Miranda O’Connell, Auckland NZ, ran a Future Search in September, 2020 with the indigenous people of Waiheke Island and their diverse communities of interest, as part of the Waiheke Marine Project.

Another resource is the written report on the Waiheke Marine Project that includes good description of the FS component.

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