Adam Kahane  

Adam organizes, designs, and facilitates processes that help move people forward together on their most important and intractable issues.

Adam Kahane is the best-selling author of Solving Tough Problems, Transformative Scenario Planning, and Power and Love. Nelson Mandela said of Solving Tough Problems, “This breakthrough book addresses the central challenge of our time: finding a way to work together to solve the problems we have created.”

In 1991 and 1992, Adam facilitated the Mont Fleur Scenario Exercise, in which a diverse group of South Africans worked together to effect the transition to democracy. He has since led influential cross-sectoral dialogue-and-action processes in more than 50 countries. During the early 1990s, Adam was head of Social, Political, Economic and Technological Scenarios for Royal Dutch Shell in London. He later held strategy and research positions with a number of corporations and institutions.


Systemic transformation, complex situations, conflict resolution

Selected Projects
    •    Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas
    •    Possible Canadas
    •    Bhavishya Alliance for Child Nutrition
    •    Sustainable Food Lab
    •    Electricity Innovation Lab
    •    Transformative Scenarios for the country of Thailand
    •    Bogotá Escenarios 2025

    •    Adam Kahane - Transformative Scenario Planning webinar
    •    Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future
    •    Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change
    •    Solving Tough Problems

News Posts
    •    Chapter 1: Collaborating Is Not The Best Option
    •    Introduction: “I Could Never Work With Those People!”
    •    Reading Power and Love in Asia
    •    The Bandung Scenarios: Possible Futures of Energy in Indonesia
    •    Progress on Agreeing New Strategies to Deal with the Drug Problem in the Americas
    •    Exploring Alternatives to the War on Drugs
    •    Accelerating Innovation in the U.S. Electricity Sector
    •    Drugs Scenarios Reos Partners Supports “Game-Changing” Scenario Project on Drugs in the Americas
    •    Announcing the Launch of Adam Kahane's New Book: 'Transformative Scenario Planning'
    •    Transformative Scenario Planning
    •    Learning by Doing: Using the Change Lab Approach to Design New Change Labs
    •    Interview with Adam Kahane on Thailand
    •    Learning from Experience: The Mont Fleur Scenario Exercise
    •    An Introduction to Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change
    •    Changing the World by Changing How We Talk and Listen


Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future 
by Adam Kahane  

Getting Unstuck

People who are trying to solve tough economic, social, and environmental problems often find themselves frustratingly stuck. They can’t solve their problems in their current context, which is too unstable or unfair or unsustainable. They can’t transform this context on their own—it’s too complex to be grasped or shifted by any one person or organization or sector. And the people whose cooperation they need don’t understand or agree with or trust them or each other.

Transformative scenario planning is a powerful new methodology for dealing with these challenges. It enables us to transform ourselves and our relationships and thereby the systems of which we are a part. At a time when divisions within and among societies are producing so many people to get stuck and to suffer, it offers hope—and a proven approach—for moving forward together.

Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change
by Adam Kahane

War is no way to resolve our most problematic group, community, and societal issues, but neither is a peace that simply sweeps our problems under the rug.
To create lasting change we have to learn to work fluidly with two distinct, fundamental drives that are in tension: power—the single-minded desire to achieve one’s solitary purpose; and love—the drive towards unity.  They are seemingly contradictory but in fact complimentary. As Martin Luther King put it, “Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.” Using revealing stories from complex situations he has been involved in all over the world—the Middle East, South Africa, Europe, India, Guatemala, the Philippines, Australia, Canada and the United States—Kahane reveals how to dynamically balance these two forces. Just as when we are toddlers we learn to shift from one foot to the other to move ourselves forward, so we can learn to shift back and forth between power and love in order to move society forward.

Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities
by Adam Kahane

Adam Kahane spent years working in the world's hotspots, and came away with a new understanding of how to resolve conflict in a way that seems reasonable - and doable - to all parties. The result is Solving Tough Problems. Written in a relaxed, persuasive style, this is not a ""how-to"" book with glib answers, but rather, a very personal story of the author's progress from a young ""expert"" convinced of the need to provide cold, ""correct"" answers to an effective facilitator of positive change - by learning how to create environments that enable new ideas and creative solutions to emerge. The book explores the connection between individual learning and institutional change, and how leaders can move beyond politeness and formal statements, beyond routine debate and defensiveness, toward deeper and more productive dialogue. Both tough and inspiring, the book explores models, technologies, and examples that foster and facilitate ""dialogues of the heart.""