Expert facilitation for the first two Summits was provided by The Future Search Network, a non-profit agency that supports stakeholders from diverse, and often opposing, viewpoints to untangle complex social, economic, technological, and environmental issues and challenges. A Future Search Network Conference, developed by Marvin Weisbord and Sandra Janoff, is a structured two and a half day meeting, based on a set of principles that maximizes the capacity of meeting participants to engage in cooperative action for the common good. The Network has led numerous conferences for communities, schools, hospitals, and non-profits and has a notable track record in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, India, and North and South America.
Future Search is internationally known for brokering lasting agreements and shared initiatives in highly volatile and polarized settings, around a variety of issues related to poverty, health care access, regional and ethnic conflict, and education. Future Search conferences have led to years of ongoing collaboration, beyond what people expect from a single meeting.
In the US, Future Search has also worked with numerous public health agencies including the Center for Disease Control and INOVA Health Systems, health care providers, health care administrators, and communities across the United States to address issues of health inequality. These projects have included initiatives to reform welfare policy and to reduce infant mortality in disadvantaged regions, to reduce economic, racial, and ethnic disparities in health care, and redesign of the patient care process, policy, and local practice around hospital/community collaboration.
Sandra’s international work includes: UNICEF’s Operation Life-Line Sudan and UNICEF, Indonesia. She was involved in an initiative to create a future for the children of Southern Sudan during the North/South Civil War. One outcome was a follow-up effort to demobilize child soldiers resulting in 13,000 young boys going back to their homes. In Indonesia, she ran a Future Search to create region-based education policy and practice across the country. Sandra’s most recent work is a national initiative to end violence against children in schools across Uganda. Additionally, her work in Northern Ireland, during and after the sectarian violence, enabled County Fermanagh and the cities of Derry-Londonderry, Strabane and Coleraine to create community-led integrated economic development plans.
Sandra also consults with international corporations, communities, and non-profits on issues of sustainability, globalization and social change. She and Marvin Weisbord co-direct Future Search Network, an international service organization formed to bring their work to communities around the world.
Sandra has a Ph.D. in psychology from Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. Sandra is co-author of Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground in Organizations and Communities, (Berrett-Koehler, May, 3rd ed, 2010) and Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! Ten Principles for Leading Meetings that Matter (Berrett-Koehler, 2007).