Planning a Future Search and Follow Up

Nearly always a Planning Team of key people plans the Future Search. They should be people who, together, can get everyone else to the meeting. 

Their key decisions are two:

1. Selecting the task, and
2. Selecting the right stakeholders FOR THAT TASK.

The goal is to assemble a group that has whatever it needs to take next action steps without asking permission from anyone who is not present.

Planning Meetings

Planning takes several meetings. The planners address the two key decisions of Task and Stakeholders, along with date, time, location, invitation process, documentation, and any other logistics. 

Planning Agenda

  • Future Search Principles 
  • Why Future Search? Why now?    
  • Conference task
  • Stakeholders 
  • Methodology
  • Time frames – how far backward for time lines and forward for preferred scenarios
  • Invitation Process – 
  • Documenting and communicating results
  • Expectations for action planning
  • Worksheets and other materials
  • Site, schedule, food and lodging, transportation 


 Following the Future Search, the most successful ways to sustain the outcomes are getting the report of the meeting out as quickly as possible and having periodic Review Meetings that bring together stakeholders from the original conference and other interested parties. Future Search principles apply. People report what they are doing, what they are planning, and what other people can do to help. A chance to do further action planning can be built in. Review Meetings require no more than 4-6 hours and usually start with a task force or individual action report.

For example:

What we said we were going to do
What we have done
What we are going to do next
What help we need

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