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Future Workshop

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• Development of visions
• Planning

Description of the tool

This description is taken from:

The notion of "future workshops" was developed by Robert Jungk (1913-1994) in the late sixties.

This method, which lays particular emphasis on setting utopian objectives, is aimed at developing a common vision. It is a tool designed to generate creative energy while seeking to solve problems and conflicts and is based on the equal participation of workshop participants (i.e. between different hierarchies, social classes, and occupations).

The key to a successful future workshop lies in strictly following the sequence of three distinct phases:

- critical appraisal;
- utopian fantasy;
- implementation.

Critical appraisal provides an opportunity for the discussion of current structural problems and deficits. In the utopian fantasy phase daily problems are left behind and a common vision and goals developed. During implementation, the latter are reviewed: How realistic are these goals? How can they be achieved?

The basic principle behind a future workshop is as follows: A team of moderators ensures that the three phases are carried out accordingly, that the basic principles of the future workshops - "everything is important", "everything said is important", "everyone gets the opportunity to speak", "everything is written down/visualized" - are observed. Lastly, it is important that the working methods be changed (see below). In this way the variety of opinions, ideas and proposals are ensured (associative method/procedure).

Future workshops offer the following advantages:
• - the socially excluded become participants;
- use the knowledge of citizens (not the knowledge of experts);
- encourage people to take an interest in their future and to fulfil their dreams;
- is an instrument for empowerment.

The method is applicable when people want to analyse existing problems, develop new ideas and clearly wish to implement them. It has been applied in the fields of ecology (e.g. Agenda 21), education, local development, organizational and product development, and in "social inventions" such as new working/labour models and new time structures.

Project phases: problem analysis, development of ideas and planning for the realization of the most important proposals and evaluation of results.


• future workshops form a link between rational-analytical and intuitive-creative elements aiming at a common vision;
• everything is important, everyone gets the opportunity to speak, all opinions are equal;
• the common cause has precedence over diverging issues;
• in the utopian fantasy phase, everything is possible;
there is no intellectual property.

Techniques employed include:

- brainstorming;
- ranking;
- mind-mapping;
- fantasy travelling;
- other creative methods: role play, reportage, collage, painting, handicrafts.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

up to 50, ideally 20-25, and 2 moderators

and addresses

Youth Initiatives, Project Management, Organisational Management

Materials needed:

see description


one day to one week, on average 1.5 days, or 4 hours per phase.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by


(If you can claim authorship of this tool, please contact !)

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Evelina Taunyte (on 7 October 2005)

and last modified

17 December 2008

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