• Links: 

    1. Executive Summary
    2. Final Report
    3. Video

    Shared Future Project Background

    Since September 2018, 30 people from Charleston County have come together to co-create a set of four scenarios about the future of education in Charleston County. This diverse group bridges race, sectors, geography, politics, age, and roles. This community effort, called Charleston Shared Future, took into account previous studies, like the Clemson Study on Diversity and Inclusion, Post and Courier’s“Minimally Adequate” series, The Avery Institute’s Racial Disparity Study, the 1998 Harvard Study on Charleston’s Education System, the recent CCSD strategic plan, and other relevant data and experiences. After several months of work, the scenarios were shared to the Board of Trustees on January 28, 2019. 

    These scenarios present four different stories about what the future of education might look like in 2035 in Charleston County and some possible paths to get to those endpoints. They are not predictions, nor are they a vision, proposal, or plan. They are, however, plausible—the events and actions presented in the scenarios make logical sense and could take place. They are challenging—they offer a chance for us to notice our blind spots and may present us with ideas or insights we hadn’t considered before. They are relevant—they take into account what is happening and has happened in Charleston County.

    Finally, they are clear—each scenario incorporates critical certainties—things that we know about 2035 for sure, and then uncertainties—things that could change over that period and cause different things to happen in each scenario, which is what makes the four scenarios distinctive and clear.

    What is the Shared Future Project?

    In August of 2018, representatives from Clemson University’s Office of Inclusion and Equity shared with the Charleston County School Board their findings from their Inclusion and Equity Study over a six-month research process. In addition to their findings, the Clemson team recommended that CCSD continue the work using local stakeholders and an outside facilitator to delve deeper into the concerns raised in their report.


    The work will continue as part of the Shared Future Project, a process designed to integrate and build on results of CCSD initiatives such as the Clemson Study on Inclusion and Equity, the Charleston County School District’s Strategic Plan, and Phase V of the Charleston County School Construction Plan, along with non-traditional approaches to education being discussed in the community, and required employment skills identified by the business community.


    A team of 27-30 people, along with staff, convened in September 2018 to engage in the first of three, 3-day scenario workshops (Sept., Oct., Nov.)

    The team includes those who are insightful, influential, and interested and who have the capacity to make things happen. The team is diverse in that from their different positions and perspectives, they can understand and influence all of Charleston County’s communities and they come from all facets of diversity – age, gender, race, and ethnicity.


    The Shared Future Process

    • Phase 1: Initiate the project – Deliverable: synthesis of the perspectives, concerns, and questions of leaders from across the system
    • Phase 2: Construct the implementation scenarios – Deliverable: a set of 2-3 useful implementation scenarios/plans
    • Phase 3: Implementing the scenarios/plans Specific strategies for creating educational outcomes that have been considered through the lens of possible futures we may encounter in Charleston County
    Discussions about equity and inclusion in Charleston County School District, recently identified in a Clemson University study, are the centerpiece of a collaborative process called Shared Future, which began its work last year with a 27-member team of stakeholders from diverse backgrounds.


    Reos Partners has been contracted by Charleston County School District to help facilitate the recommendations made in the Clemson University Inclusion and Diversity Study.

    The organization has been designing and facilitating systemic change projects for 20 years and have built up a rigorous set of transformative methods.

    Reos Partners has been practicing a rigorous set of methods that help people make progress on complex, stuck challenges. Their approach both opens and creates paths to crucial systemic transformations. The starting point is a diverse coalition that is ready to challenge the status quo, together.

    To learn more about Reos Partners visit reospartners.com.


    Don Kennedy, Charleston County School District, donald_kennedy@charleston.k12.sc.us