Futures Wheel

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Smart governance, Smart economy, Smart environment, Smart living
Futures Wheel method is a way of organizing thinking and questioning about the future – a form of structured brainstorming. It is a foresight method that provides model of the future, based on the consequences of a decision/event/process. It organizes thoughts about the future development and put them down in a structured way. Using interconnecting lines, it is possible to visualize interrelationships of the causes and changes. The method can therefore assist in developing visions of future development. By organizing the Futures Wheel session, you organize multiple people at the same time that brainstorm together about the future of specific subject: they predict what could be the effect of change, adjustment, decision. Futures Wheel first identifies what’s changing and then possible direct consequences that are connected to this change. The same is repeated for the second/third/forth/etc.-order consequences. The material output of the process is a visual map that lays out all the implication of the decisions/event/process thus allowing you to manage the situation properly. The power of visualisation ensures that all participants feel engaged and better understand the consequences. The method was originally created to identify the potential consequences of trends and events, but it is now also used in decision making, (change) management, impact analysis.

Before meeting

- Identify the change that you need/want to consider. This could be an event, decision, problem etc. - Select a group of participants to take part in the process of Futures Wheel.

Meeting execution

- Write the identified change in the centre of a paper of on a flipchart.- Identify direct consequences. Brainstorm to identify possible direct consequences of the proposed change. Write each consequence in a circle and connect it from the central change with an arrow. These are first order consequences. - Identify indirect consequences. Now brainstorm all the possible consequences of each of the first-order consequences you wrote down and add them to your diagram in the same way. These are the second-order consequences. Repeat the process to identify the third, for the etc. order consequences. - Analyse implications. When you completed all the levels you have a picture of possible direct and indirect consequences. List them. - Identify actions. Take negative possible consequences and think about how you will manage them. Take positive consequences and think about what you will do to take full advantage of them.

After meeting

After the workshop you have an overview of the positive and negative possible effect of the change.- If necessary, reformulate the change stated at the beginning of the process and repeat the process.
Village, Town, Municipality, Region
One time event / recurring event, 60 - 180 minutes
5 - 10
Moderator skills required, moderator knowledge required.
Sector: Policy, management, future development.