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Stories of Change: Three Horizons

The fourth film in our Stories of Change Series featuring the Three Horizons Model: Humanising Healthcare in Fife, Scotland.


The Three Horizons framework is a simple and intuitive tool for thinking about the future. It helps groups explore systemic patterns to identify which of the dominant patterns are no longer fit for purpose, how the emerging trends can shape the future, and what visionary action is needed to collectively move us towards a viable future. In this story, we tell the story of Shine - a project born in Fife, Scotland, about using the Three Horizons framework to try and think differently about winter planning for NHS Fife.

The film

Why frameworks and stories for systems change?

We use frameworks as part of systems change practice because they help us navigate complexity. Humans are visual beings, and we like structure. We are able to understand great levels of complexity, patterns and interconnectedness in this way.

Frameworks allow us to scan a situation, bring some things to the foreground and let others slip away. To move beyond the need to know or see everything and start seeing the patterns of things that matter for the work we’re trying to do.

There are multiple frameworks in the field of systems change across the world. We’ve started to curate some of them into a series of multimedia resources we’re calling Stories of Change, hoping to make them more accessible to people working towards a sustainable future all over the world.

The resources

As part of the collaboration with the International Futures Forum and Glider, the aim of this project is to create accessible resources to co-learn and help change agents to design more systemic strategies and action. This project supports system change facilitators to introduce systemic frameworks using stories of change in history to a wider audience.

Three Horizons Facilitator Pack

This facilitator pack gives readers tools, worksheets and additional resources to host a session on Three Horizons.

Download Facilitator Pack

Webinar Recording April 2022

This webinar was recorded at the Skoll World Forum in 2022 with Bill Sharpe (author of Three Horizons), Marion Birnstill, and Laura Winn.

Watch the webinar

Special thanks to:

Bill Sharpe, Graham Leicester and Margaret Hannah at International Futures Forum; Marion Birnstill from the Johnson & Johnson Foundation, and Glider.

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