Transformative scenarios process: how stories of the future help to transform conflict in the present

What role can “stories of the future” play in transforming conflicts in the present? Scenarios are stories of possible futures. Human beings have always used stories to talk about things that are difficult, complex, or even taboo, to encourage a change in thinking, illuminate pathways, and inspire right action. Creating and telling stories about possible futures allows us to lift our gaze above our current stuck situations and polarized conversations into a longer time horizon and ask ourselves “what if?”

In this addition to the Berghof Handbook for Conflict Transformation, Mille Bojer engages this question in light of her decades-long experience as organizer and facilitator of social dialogue and transformative scenarios processes around the world. She draws on work in the Americas, Brazil, Colombia and South Africa, on issues ranging from drug policies across land reform to post-war peace processes to present a transformative approach to scenario planning and dialogue across divides.

About the Author

Mille is a creative and experienced practitioner and thought leader in the space of social transformation and systems change. She co-founded the Reos Partners offices in Johannesburg, São Paulo, and Geneva, where she is now based.

She is the lead author of Mapping Dialogue: Essential Tools for Social Change, which outlines a variety of transformative dialogue tools and change processes. Her expertise includes facilitating complex and high-stakes multi-stakeholder processes and building purposeful networks and organisations.

Mille has worked as a lead facilitator on numerous transformative scenarios processes including Alerta Democratica and Cyprus Futures. She was the interviewer, facilitator and knowledge manager on Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas and she convened and led facilitation on Leadership and Innovation Network for Children.

A Danish national, Mille has lived in seven countries on four continents. She has also published a cookbook.