Hello Future Search participants! 

I hope everyone is doing well, and getting excited for our upcoming Future Search, I know I am.

It is with great pleasure that I introduce Future Search co-founder Sandra Janoff.

Sandra Janoff, PhD co-developed the principle-based methodology called Future Search, a process used world-wide to get the “whole system” focusing on the future and creating values-based action strategies.

Sandra works with organizations and communities around the world on such issues as: Finding a Future for the Children of South Sudan during the North/South Sudanese civil war. This resulted in a second Future Search in South Sudan to demobilize child soldiers and over 13,000 children were released and sent back to their homes.  In a current UNICEF initiative, Preventing Violence Against Children in Schools in Uganda, she is working with stakeholders on all levels to address the issues of corporal punishment, rape and other violent acts against children and to create a nation-owned mandate for zero tolerance.

In Northern Ireland, she supported a city-wide effort for a unified regeneration plan after decades of sectarian violence.  One outcome was Derry winning the first UK City of Culture to be held in 2013.  The cities of Strabane and Coleraine and the county of Fermanagh have also engaged all stakeholders to formulating their own integrated economic plans.  

Sandra does strategic planning with international corporations such as IKEA, 3M, AT&T, Haworth Furniture and Cigna Insurance. Specific projects include: IKEA on redesigning the pipeline of a business area (raw resource to customer); IKEA on rethinking the structure of the global supply chain; IKEA on creating partnerships with suppliers in China; IKEA on sustainability; IKEA on the Store of the Future; and Haworth Furniture on building a global corporate culture and strategy.

She has worked with many communities and networks in the U.S. on a variety of social issues: Child Poverty in Rochester, Reentry in Massachusetts, a national agenda for Civil Rights in the 21st Century and a shared agenda among all providers for Home Birth.

In the world of books, Sandra is proud that Berrett-Koehler Publishers and Malloy Lithographing have each run Future Searches to build their strategic direction.

Sandra is co-director of Future Search Network (FSN).  She and Marvin Weisbord founded FSN to involve consultants and local leaders in voluntary social change. The Network has members on every continent building collaborative planning opportunities in every sector of society. FSN’s mission is to provide support for whatever people can afford.  She is co-author of Future Search: An Action Guide to Finding Common Ground (Berrett-Koehler, 3rd ed, 2010) and Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There! Ten Principles for Leading Meetings that Matter (Berrett-Koehler, 2007). 

Sandra has been working with us closely on the steering committee, and will be guiding us through our Future Search later this month. 

Earlier this week Sandra wrote to us explaining what drew her to our particular Future Search, why it is important to her, and to shed some insight into the world and foundation of The Future Search Network (FSN).

Today we share this with you.


A Word From Sandra

When I first heard of Kepler’s history of community loyalty, near-death and rebirth, and powerful drive to transform, I became a Kepler enthusiast. I was deeply impressed with Kepler’s relationship to its customers over generations and the commitment of the community to keep it alive. Each one of us who loves books knows the plight of community bookstores and appreciates that any hope for the future lies in bold and creative thinking.  When Praveen asked us to be part of the Kepler 2020 initiative, we, at Future Search Network, immediately agreed to co-sponsor the Future Search and I was happy to say yes to help plan, design and facilitate the meeting.   

I’d like to share a bit about Future Search Network (FSN). Marvin Weisbord and I co-founded FSN in 1993.  We are an international community of dedicated volunteers providing Future Searches in any culture for whatever people can afford. We have helped communities tackle complex issues for almost two decades and know the conditions for success. The most essential is the commitment to bring together a cross-section of those with a stake in Kepler’s future. Not a small feat. It took over four months of intense planning by a committed team to organize the meeting and invite publishers, staff, community, authors, booksellers, patrons, customers and media to be a part of the journey.  On July 26, over 72 participants will gather for 2 1/2 days to pool their experiences, understand the complexity of the issue, discover a shared vision, chart Kepler’s future and create a model that can influence the future of community bookstores across the nation. I believe this collaboration is the best shot we have for achieving a breakthrough and breathing life back into the community bookstore.  I feel privileged to be a part.  


Sandra Janoff, PhD
Co-Director, Future Search Network 


That's all for now, but keep an ear to the ground.

All of us here on the steering committee are extremely excited about this upcoming Future Search, and we hope you are as well.

We look forward to working with all of you later this month.



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