FutureSessions provide the social infrastructure to convene conversations and action planning processes. Sometimes communities create a single physical space for a FutureCenter in which sessions are held, but FutureSessions can be offered anywhere at any time. There are different kinds of FutureSessions, including:
Convene Small Group
Small groups get support to talk with each other around particular problems and possibilities to make it easier to take action themselves.
Take Local Action
Multi-stakeholder convenings around particular issues related to post-disaster organizing -- housing, immigration, job creation, green building, etc. -- to create new action plans, and prototypes which can become long term solutions.
Connect Around Key Themes Across Region
Often solutions to existing dilemmas and possibilities are local or hyperlocal -- they get implemented in a specific place. When people working on issues in their local area convene strategically with their peers from other local areas, regulatory, political and perceptual issues are addressed to support and enable local work.
During disasters we often see people helping each other, pooling resources, community coming together and differences do not matter. After the emergency has passed and people try to return to their lives, conflicts often arise and can be helped with mediation from professionals who know how to listen, reframe and help people find agreements that benefit both.
Heal Grief and Trauma
While there needs to be persistent attention to the grief and trauma that will surge forward for years, there also may be times for a larger convening to help the collective healing.
Take a Breath,
Lots is happening now and will continue to happen. Anyone working to build the new after disaster is encountering many new experiences. Much can be learned by simply pausing, taking a breath together and chewing these experiences. We used to call this reflecting -- but it is really more. It’s digging in, looking deep, taking a step back and surfacing questions about what is possible now that was not possible before.
Create New Stories
In some places disasters have been the opening for communities to create new stories about who they want to be. In Greensburg, Kansas after their devastating 2007 tornado, they decided to become the most green community in America. They created a new story. Transformative Scenario Planning and other approaches based in FutureCenters can be helpful here.