actualised: 29.8.2005
A clearing in the methodological jungle

The Future Workshop (FW) Method is
viewed here from different perspectives.
First, we consider definitions of what
makes a Future Workshop.

Future Workshop Method

Besides the texts excerpted here, our links page contains numerous references to other Internet pages describing the nature of Workshops for Futures.

Even we have a considerable and hitherto hardly utilised potential in social fantasy. Once the London Institute for Social Inventions (founded in 1984) anounced a reward for social inventions which should be both unusual and useful. A never-ending flow of proposals began. Some other time a Danish broadcast series began by help of "future workshoppers". The purpose was to collect and dispute ideas for the future of city of Copenhagen - it was crowned with success that no one augured. My German collegues set off a series of Future Workshops within a governmental programme of modernisation in North Rhine-Westphalia. Their subject was the social compatibility of technology (Technology Assessment) - the workshops always were "sold out". The experiments to talk with citizens about their desired futures - eminently in Switzerland in the early 1980s - catched on and became exceptionally effective. [...] Especially important seems to be overcoming the "homelessness" of social innovators by giving them opportunities to meet resembling companions and talented partners who will face each other at public announced places with their intention of exchanging views and swapping new ideas. Unheard and undreamt ideas will prosper by working together in such a receptive (in the sense of non instructed) atmosphere of solidarity.

Unautorised translation by Stephan G. Geffers – therefor only for the use in scientific research. No guarentee can be given if the translation is exactly what the author originally desired. The original source in German is the book written by Robert Jungk: "Projekt Ermutigung – Streitschrift wider die Resignation" ("Mission encouragement – argueing paper against dejectedness / resignation") Berlin (published by Rotbuch-Verlag company) 1988

Future Workshops originated in the 1960s, when it became clear that knowledge of the possibilities of the future meant power. Consequently industry, government, political parties and the military had experts plan out a future as the former saw fit. Tomorrow was carved up in advance by these special interest groups. [more... / in English]

A Future Workshop does indeed "work" on the future, but in a metaphorical sense, more verbally, with ideas, than with hands. [...] The essential point is for people to deal with their yearnings within a group and by freely developing their desires and hopes keyed to the future. The aim of working in Future Workshops [more... / in English]

On understanding one's role as a Future Workshop Moderator: The Moderator's role is based on the aim of the Future Workshop to aid participants in developing and realising their desires and utopias. [more... / in English]

Future Workshops generate processes for working together – thematically coherent – open in content – interdisciplinary – goal-oriented – problem-solving.
Impacts of Future Workshops: programmes and projects are reviewed [more... / in German, sorry no English translation available]

The methodological concept of Future Workshop in key words:
Characteristics group-oriented, methodological, open-ended in content, goal-oriented – Phases critique and complaints, fantasies and utopias, realisation and practice [more... / in German, sorry no English translation available]

Besides the texts excerpted here, our links page contains numerous references to other Internet pages describing the nature of Future Workshops.

ZW2005 – looking towards the futures:

[Welcome] - Website for networking between moderators and facilitators of Future Workshops
[Insight] - The Annual Meeting of Future Workshops

More pages in English language are intended on this site, but not realised so far. Please give uns some more time, and send an e-mail to participate in building up the website. Write to members of the team who publish this site.

We would like to thank very much to
Mr Theodore Talbot from Saarbrücken (D), who gave us the basic of professional translation from German to English as a present.