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. [...] Especially important seems to be overcoming the "homelessness" of social innovators. [more... in English]

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 (creating) Workshop Facilitator:

The Facilitator's role is based on the aim of the Future Workshop to aid participants in developing and realising their desires and utopias.

Facilitators pay attention to...
staying on the self-chosen subject,
keeping conditions of time limits and communication rules,
adopting a neutral position,
arising a favorable climate for working together,
acting like a model, not censoring matters of different-minded.

Tapered in other words: Facilitators of Future Workshops...
they will help groups to find approaches to solution of their problems,
they will know methods and textures of change,
they will prove methodological background and springes in team-working,
they will hold the framework in which the group can operate without drifting away from the aim by reason of group dynamics and never-ending discussions.

Translation by Stephan G. Geffers who is one of the authors – but only for the use in scientific research. No guarentee can be given if the translation is exactly what the co-authors originally desired.

The original source was slightly modificated. It is a booklet (a handout to a training for facilitators of future workshops) written in German by Stephan G. Geffers, Cornelia Krieger, Rainer Kopp and Angelika E. Solle (organised as open team called Ring of Facilitators in the Rhine/Ruhr Region): "Zukunftswerkstaetten anleiten – Moderationsfortbildung 1997" ("To facilitate future workshops – Training 1997") (self-published by fesch – Forum Eltern und Schule (Forum parents and school) in Dortmund) 1997

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.