Stuart A. Umpleby







Department of Management Science

The George Washington University

Washington, DC 20052







May 12, 2004







A report on a demonstration in an undergraduate class at the Faculty of Economics

University of Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, May 12, 2004









On May 12, 2004, Stuart Umpleby conducted a demonstration of the Participatory Strategic Planning procedure developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs.  The participants were undergraduate students in Prof. Aziz Sunje's management class in the Faculty of Economics of the University of Sarajevo in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.  The Participatory Strategic Planning (PSP) process involves five steps:

  1. Operating Vision
  2. Underlying Contradictions
  3. Strategic Directions

4.      Systematic Actions

  1. Implementation Timeline


Each step of the PSP process uses the Consensus Workshop method. This method entails five steps:

  1. Context
  2. Brainstorm
  3. Cluster
  4. Name
  5. Resolve


About 40 students participated in the exercise.  The exercise was conducted in English.  The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate group facilitation methods, to learn what Bosnian students are thinking about the future of their country and to encourage the students to use such methods for improving the performance of organizations in Bosnia.


Five focus questions, all related to the future of Bosnia, were suggested. 

  1. How can we promote social, political, and economic integration in Bosnia?
  2. How can we promote the economic development of Bosnia?
  3. Sarajevo as an international city
  4. How to create a common urban-rural culture?
  5. How can Bosnian expatriates help Bosnia?


The students chose as a focus question, Sarajevo as an international city.


When a planning exercise is conducted with a business or government agency, usually it is conducted during a weekend, often in a "retreat" setting, when there is more time.  Ideally people from outside the organization are also involved particularly during the final parts of the planning activity.  These people can relate their experiences with similar problems, suggest alternative actions, and provide sources of needed materials or skills.  In addition outside observers may be impressed with the planning exercise and decide to conduct one in their organizations.







Sports and cultural center

Olympic games again (5 cards)

Eurosong winner

Win MTV music awards

Final champions league in Sarajevo (soccer)

Soccer champion league


Joining Europe

No wars

Entering the EU

BiH in EU

Enter the EU

No foreigners in politics

No foreign influence

People from many countries in Sarajevo

International meetings held in Sarajevo


Growing economy


Foreign investment

Buy domestic products

Decrease unemployment

Better economic situation

Improved living standards



Tourist Center

Sarajevo as tourist center of Balkans

Legalize marihuana, Sarajevo = Amsterdam

Winter tourism

Development of tourism


Improved infrastructure (particularly transportation)

Finish 5 C highway


New highways



Many academic institutes

Sarajevo as an educational center

Student exchanges

International Institutes


Safe and attractive environment

Cleaner streets

Renovation of destroyed buildings

Removal of mines





Political system (2)

Bad politics (2)

Strange politics

Politics based on ethnic groups

Politics (3)



Low economic growth rate


Unemployment of youth

No jobs


Low living standards

Bad economy

Bad economic situation

Weak economic situation

Unstable environment for foreign investors


Too much corruption

Corruption (8)


Inappropriate Constitution and legal system

Bad laws

Contradictions in government

Two entities – RS and Federation (2)

Internal borders

One country, three presidents

No sanctions for obstructing the law


Low political consciousness

No interest in politics and economy

Irresponsible citizens (lack of interest)

Passive youth

Political incompetence and lack of commitment to political situation

Skepticism and lack of optimism


Inappropriate political judgments

Wrong people in positions of power

Wrong people in power


Officials take advantage of their positions


Foreign influence in government

Too much foreign influence

Interests of foreigners in government

Foreign lobbies


Lack of qualified management

Wrong education, not relevant

Lack of professionalism

Lack of good management


Lack of reconciliation

Sense of injustice

War criminals are not in jail


Consequences of the war

Physical and emotional scars of war

Technologically behind other countries





Restructure the government

Reorganize the political system

Change (remove) government leaders

Politically unite BiH

Remove separate entities (RS and Federation) (2)

Create a united people in Bosnia

Conduct politics without foreign involvement


Balance imports and exports

Increase exports

Decrease imports and increase exports

Increase taxes on alcohol and cigarettes

Better control of imports

Higher customs duties


Improve educational system

Educate people

Higher educational standards

Better education

Acceptance of law concerning education

More practice in educational institutions


Improve legal controls

Punish corrupt officials

Control the government

Stronger sanctions for breaking the law

Put war criminals in jail


Improve government management

Decrease administration/ bureaucracy

Change some aspects of the law

Make political reforms

Make government more effective


Encourage buying domestic products

Increase government budget for buying domestic products

Better marketing of domestic products

Government support for SMEs

More jobs


Improve economic environment

Low interest rates

Reduce taxes

Obtain foreign investment


Increase worker involvement

Worker participation

Include workers in management

Invest in Human Resources Management


Positive engagement in Sarajevo’s future

Don’t worry, be happy  J

Deeper involvement of citizens


Upgrade infrastructure

More technologies

More investment in infrastructure


Use local resources

Use natural resources

Use domestic resources


Define and promote the unique features of Sarajevo and BiH

European promotion of BiH potentials


Appropriate support for retired people





Encourage students to become a member of a political party

Create better communication between students and government

Increase participation of BiH youth in politics

Start student political organizations


Start a student organization

We need to help each other

Advertise student movement


Adopt educational innovations

Have practice in projects before finishing school

Increase ecology education


Write articles about today’s Sarajevo


Start or revitalize student newspaper


Organize charity auctions to raise money


Show all people the real situation in Bosnia





                                                                                                                Quarter of the year

Actions                                  2/ 04                                        3/ 04                                    4/ 04                           1/ 05


Involve students                  Recruit students                   Students work                   Work with officials

in politics                               for campaigns                       in campaigns                      to implement programs


Start student                         Check into history               Create plan for                     Find students for

newspaper                             of student newspapers         starting or improv.             various jobs


Create or revitalize                                              Survey students to                                           Organize around the

student govt                         identify key issues               key issues





Umpleby, S.,  Medvedeva, T. and Oyler, A. “The Technology of Participation as a Means of Improving Universities in Transitional Economies,”  World Futures, Vol. 6, Nos. 1-2, pp. 129-136.


Umpleby, S. and  Oyler, A.  “A Global Strategy for Human Development:  The Work of the Institute of Cultural Affairs,”  Proceedings of the annual meeting of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, Crete, Greece, July 7-11, 2003.