The future search conference is a revised version of the "search conference" which specifically targets the future. It is also known as the "laboratory of the future" or "future workshop" (it is similar to the Zukunftswerkstat practised in Germany). This method is used to plan the becoming of an organization or a community. In this respect, it might be useful to solve conflicts arising from diverging viewpoints by encouraging the production of new ideas and an area of dialogue among the different groups involved in the conflict. The dialogue necessarily bears with a temporal dimension and needs to be carried out over the past, the present and the future of the organization / community. Participants organize themselves and produce working groups. The rule of the game is that they agree to align on whatever agreement they may reach over future plans for the organization / community.
The "future workshop" is one of the four models of citizen panels. It brings together one or several homogeneous groups (generally composed of citizens, but they might be experts as well), assisted by moderators divided in workshops that work in three stages. Participants define which questions are relevant to them (i.e. in the form of a "values tree"), then release their creativity to unfold possible futures — including utopias — before they conclude by a stage of concretisation, (how to align this future with the existing situation and possibilites?).