Visioning & Planning
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Clerk of the Privy Council, 1996.
This document describes the process and the results of the Task Force commissioned by the Clerk of the Privy Council in August 1995. The Task Force used scenario building methodology to look at the future. This process, pioneered by the Royal Dutch Shell Group of companies in the early 1970's and increasingly used by the private and public sectors around the world, is essentially a method of encouraging and facilitating strategic thinking, planning, and dialogue.
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Generon Consulting, 2001.
The purpose of a civic scenario project is to build the leadership to change the course of a country?s history. A group of influential leaders - a microcosm of the society, representing all the principal stakeholders - works together to uncover what has happened, is happening, might happen, and should happen in their country, and what they must do to enact that vision. Through a structured process of action and reflection, with each other and with other societal leaders, they build the shared understanding and commitment necessary to bring forth a better future. This 6-page paper synthesizes Generon Consulting's learnings from their experiences leading civic scenario projects in numerous countries, and outlines a state-of-the-art civic project.
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is about the coevolutionary search for the best in people, their organizations, and the relevant world around them. In its broadest focus, it involves systematic discovery of what gives "life" to a living system when it is most alive, most effective, and most constructively capable in economic, ecological, and human terms. AI involves, in a central way, the art and practice of asking questions that strengthen a system's capacity to apprehend, anticipate, and heighten positive potential.
Backcasting is a method of analysing alternative futures, often energy futures. Its major distinguishing characteristic is a concern with how desirable futures can be attained. It involves working backward from a desired future end point or set of goals to the present to determine the physical feasibility of that particular future and the policy measures that would be required to reach that end point. End points are usually chosen for a time 25 to 50 years in the future.
The Center assists communities in creating Wisdom Councils - randomly-selected, facilitated 'juries' reflecting the larger diversity of the community - which engage in dialogue about the larger system and arrive at creative consensus on shared visions. These visions in turn serve to increase the quality of the dialogue among the larger community. "Dynamic facilitation" is used to facilitate Wisdom Councils, and the Center provides trainings in dynamic facilitation regularly.
Melissa Maracle, Staff writer. Franklin Press (Macon County, Georgia), 2007.
This article provides a nice overview of New Urbanism, and of how charrettes were used in a Georgia town.
Charrettes are typically a potent combination of modern design studio and town meeting, with a dash of the teamwork from an old-fashioned barnraising mixed in. Most start with a hands-on session for citizens and continue in an around-the-clock, energetic push until a plan is finished about a week later. A charrette can be a breakthrough event that helps overcome inertia and creates a meaningful master plan. Properly executed, this technique can produce a master plan that is more useful, better understood, and more quickly produced than one formed by other methods.
Dino C. La Fiandra. Maryland Bar Journal. September/October, 2006.
There is a relatively new planning and zoning tool gaining popularity in Maryland known as "charrettes." A charrette is a series of meetings involving the stakeholders and the charrette team. Contrary to traditional zoning and development principles which apply a rigid set of regulations to proposed development within a defined geographic area, charrettes use a different methodology to design a project uniquely from scratch, or almost from scratch. In Maryland and elsewhere, charrettes have been used as a catalyst to permit a departure from restrictive zoning regulations which obstruct creative development. This article examines the use of charrettes in Maryland and elsewhere as they have emerged over the past few years.
Citizen Participation and Social Inclusion Procedures in Santo Andre, Brazil: Participatory Budgeting and City of the Future Project
Cid Blanco Jr. Presentation delivered at the World Bank Urban Research Symposium in Washington, D.C., December, 2002.
This presentation provides an overview of the research done on participatory budgeting in Santo Andre, Brazil. The author proposes to analyze different aspects of the budgeting, as well as look for opportunities for both positive and negative lessons-learned. The author deals with many challenges that face participatory budgeting and suggests some steps to take in further research and development of new practice.
This paper discusses the inclusive blend of simulations, models and games and other digital and/or online technologies with local/regional "virtual communities" and communities of practice as a potentially powerful and effective approach to comprehensive community emergency preparedness. It broadly scans a range of important theories, publications, software tools, commercial products and prototypes.
The Wallace Foundation's project 'Common Ground: The Future of Iowa - Convening Community Dialogue to Build a Shared Vision of a Sustainable Future' used the play American Dreamer as a catalyst to engage citizens in discussions about pressing issues of developing a vision of a sustainable future. As the project progressed, displays were produced to summarize the process and the outcomes in each county. Photographers were hired to help portray the land, people, and attractions; writers provided their perceptions of each county, a 15-minute documentary was created as a summary of the project.
Carolyn Lukensmeyer and Lars Hasselblad Torres, AmericaSpeaks.
This paper provides a general introduction to the growing field of deliberative democratic practice. The first section provides an overview of the thought and practice that currently constitutes the 'field' of deliberation. The second section explores how deliberation can be used to enhance planning activities and shares a practical example of its application to land-use planning and economic development in Lower Manhattan.
A charrette is an intensive, multi-disciplinary design workshop designed to facilitate open discussion between major stakeholders of a development project. A team of design experts meets with community groups, developers and neighbors over a period from three or four days to two weeks long, gathering information on the issues a community is facing.
Discovering Common Ground: How Future Search Conferences Bring People Together to Achieve Breakthrough Innovation, Empowerment, Shared Vision, and Collaborative Action
Marvin Weisbord and 35 international co-authors, Future Search. Berrett-Koehler, 1992.
Case studies showing theory in action from around the world. A definitive book on the underlying theory, research, and practical applications providing general guidelines for successful conferences. 444 pages.
Blue Sky Productions.
A 30-minute video documenting a Future Search around affordable housing conducted by Sandra Janoff and Marvin Weisbord in Santa Cruz, California. Includes 18-month follow-up.
Dynamic Facilitation is an energy-based way of facilitating where people address difficult issues creatively and collaboratively, achieving breakthrough results. It creates a process of talking and thinking that builds mutual respect, trust and the sense of community.
Evolutionary Salons are gatherings in which people share and explore how individuals, groups, and societies can evolve more consciously and wisely. The first Evolutionary Salon was held in May 2005. It was the brainchild of Michael Dowd, but quickly became a co-creation with a community of leaders in collective intelligence and evolutionary action.
Future search includes a planning process and a 16 to 18-hour meeting usually including two overnights. Participants discover a set of shared values or themes (common ground) and build new dynamics such as inclusion and collaboration into their organization or community. Future search ("future search" is not capitalized) is not owned by anyone and all are encouraged to use the process and experiment with it. It is supported by a network of people called the Future Search Network. It is an open system process, which means it considers anyone a necessary participant who can affect, is affected by or has important information or experience related to the task at hand.
The Future Search Network initiates future search conferences, innovative planning conferences used world-wide by hundreds of communities and organizations. The conferences meet two goals at the same time: helping large diverse groups discover values, purposes and projects they hold in common; and enabling people to create a desired future together and start implementing right away.
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