MLW:Vision Building

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Vision Building is a workshop to be organized in Bucharest on the 3rd and 4th of May, 2011, and to be coordinated by Dr. Philine Warnke, Dr. Elna Schirrmeister, and Prof. Francois Jégou.



A vision describes an idealised desirable future of a specific system that is substantially different from the status quo. A vision is relevant to the actors concerned and thereby motivates, inspires and directs action towards the vision. In contrast, scenarios describe different plausible futures that usually contain desirable and non-desirable elements.

In business, policy circles and civil society communities, shared visions are increasingly recognised as highly relevant for initiating transition processes and achieving goals.

Powerful, inspiring visions cannot be generated in a top-down manner. They need to be co-created in a participatory process. Accordingly, interactive visioning processes are an important element in the Foresight toolbox. However, in comparison to other approaches such as scenario building, Delphi surveys and roadmapping there is only little theoretical work on visioning.

While in principle visions can be “tacit”, Foresight aims at expressing visions in an ex-plicit manner through images, metaphors and texts to communicate and share the “idealised” future. Even though different practitioners use different visioning approaches they share certain elements such as exploration of individual and personal visions, investigation of shared values, assessing the legacy of the past and exploring dreams for the future. Very often visioning involves visual and other creative elements as a catalyst of expressing wishes and values. Scenario analysis can be used as a first step in visioning process in particular to deal with the external environment of the area that is tackled.

Workshop Concept

In the Bucharest Mutual Learning Workshop we would like to share with participants, expectations and experiences on visioning processes, jointly engage in a small visioning exercise for a topic of interest to the participants and jointly generate a set of best practice lessons for the design and implementation of visioning processes.  


Day 1, Tuesday 3.5.2010

Introductory Session

Welcome, Outline of the day, participants introductory round 0,5h

Session 1: What’s in a “vision”? 1,5h

Philine Warnke and Elna Schirrmeister: Overview of recent Foresight literature on visioning, placing visioning within the foresight/Futures toolbox, tentative definition of “vision” (20 min)

François Jégou: Examples from visioning exercises presented with different visualisation techniques (20 min)

Discussion including joint elaboration of the purpose of a visioning

Session 2: Vision Co-creation - Methodology 1,5 h

Francois Jégou (with support from Philine Warnke): Overview of different co-creation processes specifying contexts, steps, tools, stakeholder involved, dura-tion (40mn)



Session 3: visioning exercise (rest of the day) topic agreed in advance Facilitation: Francois Jegou, Elna Schirrmeister, Philine Warnke

Outline: session 3 will be dedicated to a series of short visioning exercises on a predefined theme. Visioning approaches will be adapted in order to condense in 3 hours time a complete process co-creating a vision and experiencing some of important tools available.

Step 1: Story-telling exercise (intuitive/creative input)

The purpose is to first explore creatively the topic identifying a series of em\blematic and desirable situation and depicting them at micro-level through a short and rich narrative.

(elaboration in subgroups / presentation in plenary / discussion of each contri\butions / positioning in a concentric scheme of desirability-feasibility)

Step 2: Feeding the vision exercise (deductive harmonization input)

The purpose is to extrapolate from the stories selected as core for the vision, how the whole focused system would look like and infer its main characteristics.

(groups collaborating to build 1-2 vision / prepared questions describing different aspects of the system / patchwork of input on large paper / resulting panorama of the vision to be presented and discussed).

Step 3: Visualising exercise (evidencing/communication input)

The purpose is to experience the visioning through images approach and build a 'visual atmosphere' of the vision.

(searching individually images from the Internet / fine-tuning the meaning of the images with text / discussing pertinence to the vision)

Day 2, Friday 4.5. 2010

Session 3: Practical Exercise Continued 9-10.30

Step 4: Synthesizing the vision (presentation issue)

The purpose is to pull together the inductive/deductive input and present all the creative material generated into a dense and attractive form. (selecting key material generated the day before / discussing more pertinent and emblematic aspects of the vision / preparing a short 5 min. wrap-up / pres-entation and videotaping to capture a short self-standing clip presenting the vi-sion)


Session 4: Lessons Learned 11-13

Lessons learned: conclusions for other topics/visioning best practice

Jointly drafting a FORWIKI article


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