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"Vision without action is a daydream, action without vision is a nightmare." Japanese proverb Inspiring Quotes 21

"A shared vision is not an idea. It is not even an important idea such as freedom. It is, rather, a force in people's hearts, a force of impressive power. It may be inspired by an idea, but once it goes further -- if it is compelling enough to acquire the support of more than one person -- then it is no longer an abstraction. It is palpable. People begin to see it as if it exists. Few, if any, forces in human affairs are as powerful as shared vision." Peter Senge Inspiring Quotes 2

Local Agenda 21 and similar sustainability programmes have often included a visioning stage. In simple terms it seeks to answer the question "Where do you want to be?" (applied to a network or community, typically in a few years time). Arguably one of the successes of programmes such as Local Agenda 21 (following on from the Rio Earth Summit) was in introducing more widely the idea that all stakeholders need to be involved in a visioning process for citizens and communities so that they get to feel some sense of ownership of the resultant vision statement.

Criticism of visioning Edit

Visioning can sometimes feel like just a paper exercise that may not actually move things forward. Typically, within a broader strategic planning process, it is followed by an action planning and then an evaluation ("how did we do?") phase. If citizens and communities are not involved in all stages of the full process it is not surprising if there are various forms of disconnect.

Selected examples Edit


Related Wikipedia content Edit

Visioning is a popular method in the studies of desirable futures and the one that gives emphasis to values. It is extensively used in urban planning. The visioning process is based on the assumption that images of the future lead peoples’ present behaviours, guide choices and influence decisions. Images of the future can be positive or negative and cause different responses according to the perceptions.

Vision is usually seen as a positive, desirable image of the future and can be defined as a compelling, inspiring statement of the preferred future that the authors and those who subscribe to the vision want to create.

There are a number of issues that need to be addressed while using the visioning method. Vision comprises peoples’ values, wishes, fears and desires. In order to make the visioning process work it is necessary to ensure that it is not making an idealistic wish-list; that vision is an image of the future shared by a whole community; and that the vision is translatable into reality. [1]

See also Mission statements and vision statements though this is written very much from an organisational and business angle, rather than a network or civic society angle.

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