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The objective of the FutureScape activity is to lead a group to the creative edge by exploring all the external trends that currently impact the topic of concern. This is an interactive experience that captures and builds on the rich diversity of participants, reflecting the collective consciousness of this group at this time.

“With foresight, we have the ability to influence the future by responding to and influencing what is emerging.” –Irene Sanders

Some assumptions that lie behind the FutureScape activity include:

Whole-brain activity

The FutureScape activity requires non-linear, messy, abstract, intuitive, and instinctive thinking - by design - to tap into what we sense but have not yet formulated into cogent concepts. Attempting to organize the ideas while creating the map is counter-productive.

Global and External

Details only make sense in view of the whole. Hence, the goal is to generate a broad spectrum of ideas, all external to this organization, that together produce a global perspective. We assume that participants bring with them a vast amount of information from their daily experience and observations, which collectively approximates an environmental scan achieved through extensive research (Weisbord & Janoff,p.91).


This exercise is a visual technique for developing awareness of dynamic connections, relationships, and patterns that provide clues to what is emerging. It tips you off to leverage points for influencing the future.


  • A FutureScape “map” of the trends related to the topic of concern
  • A group understanding of important external issues of concern to them

Copyright 2010 Church Futures