What Is It?
Journal of the Future is a multi media tool to generate possible scenarios for a desired future. It is a powerful visual way to create vision, align teams, and identify business partners and pitch innovative products and services to stakeholders and potential investors.
Participants envision their desired future and visualize the outcome of their strategy or business plan in a video news item, several years from now. Looking back from the future, they come to grips with the often surprising ways to get there.[/column]
What Does it Do?
Journal of the Future is designed to create collective insights and generate collaborative action.
By directly acting in a future scenario, it supports the embodiment of vision and helps to anchor personal and group commitments towards realizing a common vision.
The analogies of filmmaking and storytelling imbedded in Journal of the Future serve the client to engage in the project as a learning journey. It also helps to raise the energy level, shift the focus and change the mood in an existing project that is stuck.
For new projects it is a playful way to explore the ‘why’, the ‘who’ and the ‘how’ of a company or a project and safeguard its future.
The storytelling minds of the participants are triggered. All elements of a scenario will show up and reveal how they influence the project at hand: arena, protagonist, antagonists, obstacles, primary objective, motivation, context, resistance, time frame, means, red herring (false clue), symbolism, modus operandi.
Journal of the Future is offered in conjunction with a coach or facilitator that works with the client in real time to help clients see themselves as the protagonist of their own story and bring clarity to how they can rise above the challenges they perceive to move towards the final goal.
The methodology of Journal of the Future is based on Back Casting, Appreciative Inquiry, Systemic Constellation and Theory U. The structural elements of Journal of the Future are based on basic principles of storytelling, drama and filmmaking.
Protagonists, when filmed in the future, speak in present time, to capture a spontaneous train-of-thought. There are four phases of the process: envisioning, sketching scenarios, observing your future (identifying resources and collaborators) and creating a Journal of the Future.
A. The Envisioning Phase
This phase facilitates future thinking by setting the stage for a new reality. This can be done by a simple guided meditation, an outdoor experience, or a creative process like combining music with drawing. In each case, the protagonist experiences a process that provokes the imagination and the values that drive personal or collective vision.
B. The Sketch Phase
This phase is based on a personal interview. A moment in time is selected from the envisioning process and the protagonist is interviewed as if he or she were speaking in the future. The element of being video taped creates a raw, intuitive response to the interviewer and the story unfolds without rehearsal or forethought. The interviewer plays a key role in helping the protagonist verbalize the future by defining the main concern, the desired achievements, the strategy used and the characters that become necessary to fulfill the vision.
C. Observing Your Future
This phase is a self-reflective process of observing the story in video. The protagonist connects to the power of his or her own story and assumes the responsibility of its fulfillment. New declarations are made about what is needed and how it might feels to act upon what was said. During this phase, resources and specific people are identified that will play a role in the next steps. A sense of conviction and possibility come alive. This is a defining moment to see whether the protagonist is committed to investing the time to make it happen.
D. Creating a Journal of the Future
In groups and organizations, the collective Journal is done with everyone present. The imagined future moment is defined by the leader or founder of the idea and it is shared on video for all the others to hear. A dynamic process of co-creation unfolds with each protagonist adding his or her contribution into a multi-layered story. Each person speaks from the role that they have in the fulfillment of the vision and new ideas emerge from a diversity of perspectives.
In a personal Journal, a constellation of the imagined future can be played out with other people to bring texture and tension to the storyline and enrich the possibilities of a desired future.
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