Abstract for: Push the iceberg – a systems and futures-oriented facilitation script for participatory strategic foresight

The paper presents an original facilitation script answering the following question: How to involve a community to identify paths towards desirable futures, based on its own initiatives and on shared understanding of the complexity at stake, considering existing processes and interdependencies. The facilitation scheme, consisting of seven steps, is inspired to the Iceberg model, aka the Four Levels of Thinking and it is integrated with tools derived from Futures Studies: the Causal Layered Analysis and a normative approach to the desirable futures. The script provides practical guidance for participative future-oriented workshops that may include design or valuation of policies, strategies and projects, based on clear and shared visions of desirable futures, but at the same time aware to be in an increasingly interconnected world. The feedbacks from participants confirmed the value as a tool for deliberative democracy initiatives and democratization of future. The facilitation script is of value to educators, practitioners and researchers who seek a practical approach to integrating complexity understanding and participatory practices. The proposed script can be a starting point for engagement of stakeholders in participatory processes as well as in group model building if followed by further analytical steps.