actualized: 10.11.2003.
Future Workshops
on the Blast Furnace Route -
where the Past has met the Future

This has been the motto of the Annual
Meeting 2003 of moderators and facilitators of
Future Workshops. The meeting took place at
Duisburg in North Rhine Westfalia (Germany) from 10th to 12th of January 2003.

The idea of connecting the past with the future inspired the preparing team to aks for the actual position of the Future Workshops: Is this method, which was invented forty years ago, still relevant in society and politics of the 21st century? Exciting experiences: What is it like when young collegues filled with enthusiasm meet the elder practioners of future workshopping? How can we strengthen the network of co-operation between the ample and various approaches in practising Future Workshops?

[ Goals ] [ Success ] [ Participants ]

The Annual Meeting 2003 took place in an industry reserve called "Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord" (situated in the river Ruhr area in the county of North Rhine Westfalia, Germany). A century ago the developpers of industrialization had put a huge blast furnace for steel production on these grounds.

The non-commercial Team ZW2003 consists of six experienced Moderators for Future Workshops. They made the invitation to the Meeting in co-operation with fesch (Association for political education from the town of Dortmund). Und thirty-three participants came from north and south, from east and west.

Future Workshop Annual Meeting for 2003

  • Network different approaches to working in Future Workshops
  • Stimulate others' interest in one's own work environment in Future Workshops and develop an interest in others' work environments
  • Experience working together with peers and plan joint projects for 2003

How it all started:
Open invitation to the Annual Meeting

Annual Meetings of the Future Workshops have been regularly held since 1987, alternately organised by different teams at different locations in Germany and Austria. The programme proposed in 2003 in Duisburg (the "shift plan", so called because of the special industry reserve's location) was an open invitation and largely spontaneously organised by the participants. The Moderation Team charged with preparing Future Workshop 2003 deliberately chose not to lay down the content in advance, not thematically to prepare any sessions and – unlike past years – not to plan input from experts.

In the spirit of the Future Workshop method, the concrete content of the Annual Meeting was flexibly geared to the current needs, knowledge and areas of experience of all the participants. The Team provided the framework and a variety of methodological suggestions.

Has the Annual Meeting of Future Workshop been successful?

The procededure as it is described above was disputed. We've heart the voices of those, who wish a Annual Meeting with high level, experts' discussions about specialized aspects of Future Workshop practice. Others gave a very positive feedback: They said it has been perfect, just like it was. A lot of newcomers were able to get in contact with the experienced practioners. In the meetings held in the years before there were less participants every year. Now in 2003 we stopped the trend: More than half of all met on an event like this for the fist time...

But who was not there, and why?

A lot of reasons can be mentioned to decare, why some of the formerly well known and traditionally often seen collegues did not come to the meeting. Are economic situations increasingly difficult? We are very interested to know the reasons why you have not been here. Please give critical and/or encorageous feedback so that we can see clearly for the forthcoming Anual Meetings.

What sorts of people attended the Annual Meeting?

Participants of the Annual Meeting of Future Workshops before mounting the blast furnace (late shift on Saturday)

Thirty-three participants (16 men and 17 women) came to the Annual Meeting of Future Workshops 2003 in Duisburg. See the Brief Portraits for details on the participants.

  • 11 of them have been regularly attending the Annual Meetings for years,
  • 5 returned after a few years' absence and
  • 17 were newcomers.
  • 6 participants came from eastern Germany,
  • 22 from the west part of Germany and
  • 5 from 3 other European countries:
    Austria (A), Suisse (CH), Netherlands (NL).
ZW2003 – looking towards the future:
  • [Insight] – Workshop protocol in Open Space ZW2005: How to make Future Workshops fit for Europe?
  • [Glance] – Welcome to the homepage for moderators and facilitators of Future Workshops
  • [Methods] – A clearing in the methodological jungle
More pages in English language are intended on this site, but not realized so far. Please give uns some more time, or send an e-mail to the members of the Team who have published this site.

We would like to thank very much to
Mr Theodore Talbot from Saarbrücken (D), who gave us the professional translation from German to English as a present (sections: "Goals", "How ist all started", "What sorts of people"). All other section on this page were translated by Stephan G. Geffers from Cologne (D).