Methods | #gutlebendigital


#gutlebendigital uses proven methods from futurology and organizational development to make the collective intelligence of the participants visible and to connect them with each other. The key question of the process is: How can we design digitalization in such a way that it has the most positive effect on people’s quality of life? The entire procedure is described in this study (German).

The 1,200 answers to the 4 questions of the first dialogue phase of #gutlebendigital were structured with the help of 10 topics from the quality of life discourse. In addition, two basic topics became visible from the answers. In 11 of these 12 topics

  1. the picture of the desirable – consciously positively formulated – future was worked out,
  2. possible indicators to measure the way there where composed,
  3. appropriate recommendations for action for various actors in line with the vision of the future were developed and
  4. concrete projects were presented which may make the desirable future more likely.

The second dialogue phase

Between August 2018 and January 2019, we presented these interim results for discussion online, at events and in bilateral discussions: Is the description of the desirable future coherent in this way, or are important aspects missing? Do the proposed indicators make sense and are they already being collected? Do the recommendations for action fit the vision of the future or are important points missing? Are there any other concrete projects that fit the vision of the future? The answers to these questions were incorporated into the revision of the results.



Appreciative inquiry or appreciative exploration: The method developed by David Cooperrider and Diana Whitney focuses attention on existing strengths and positive potentials. The first step is to find out what worked particularly well and when. Then a desirable future will be described without potential restrictions. Concrete goals are derived from this general vision in the fourth phase. And finally, a binding definition is made of who will do what to achieve these goals.

Future Search: The method of Future Search, which Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff have developed over decades, follows a strict plan that proves to be effective time and again. Here, several interest groups (stakeholders) are working on a question that is relevant to all of them. It begins with a look into the past to explore differences and similarities. Then the major trends of the present and their effects on the core question are analysed. This is followed by the development of a shared vision of an ideal future. It concludes with concrete measures for each interest group.

Futures Literacy Labs are used worldwide by Riel Miller, the futurologist of UNESCO. Here it is a matter of first making expectations, forecasts, and assumptions about the future visible (Reveal) and then mirroring one’s own assumptions within another possible future (Reframe). Finally, new, deeper questions are asked and the own view of the future is questioned (Rethink). The Director of the Center for Societal Progress has collaborated on the book “Transforming the Future: Anticipation in the 21st Century”, published by Routledge in April 2018.

Further methods are presented on the site of the Center for Societal Progress.

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