Future search conference

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A future search conference helps a group of people attempt to create a shared community vision of the future, and agree on a plan of action.


  • Canvas people to be invited to be part of the future search.
  • Book venue.
  • Hire a facilitator.
  • Advertise event.
  • Brief participants and the facilitator on the aims and objectives of the session.
  • Provide a background briefing for participants if required.
  • Conduct discussion. One methodology for conducting the discussion outlined by Emery identifies five stages to the process:
  • External environment: ‘the futures we are currently in’ are described by the participants.
  • Desirable futures: groups construct a list of desirable futures that build upon the current situation.
  • Desirable futures are transmitted into more explicit pictures.
  • Testing desirable futures against the reality of the current situation and the criteria generated earlier in the meeting.
  • Discussing the implementation of the desirable future, based on current circumstances and resources.
  • Record issues raised by individuals and report back in the plenary sessions.
  • Compile a report of proceedings.


  1. http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/effective-engagement/toolkit/tool-future-search-conference
The author of this article is UNIVE team
The article has been reviewed by Plan Bleu and PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.