News from the Future


curated by Institute for the Future

July 14, 2022 — Issue #76
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How will the world look in 10, 30, or 100 years? How will technology evolve? How will we address the climate crisis?

IFTF's work is dedicated to shaping public forecasts with scenarios that affect not only how you might imagine your own future, but to help leaders and policymakers plan for the future for civic endeavors too. Recently, California 100 partnered with IFTF to develop Mega Scenarios: A Toolkit for the Future of California from the core research from 13 expert reports. For a new article in Capitol Weekly, IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis and the California 100 leaders talk about developing these future scenarios.

Across the country (and also supported by IFTF), the Smithsonian's FUTURES Exhibition likewise inspires visitors to consider their personal futures in 2050 with a stirring new interactive online feature called Your Future Guide. Using video clips that introduce viewers to bricks made of psyllium, new types of vaccines, air taxis, ocean-floating cities, ways to revive extinct species, and much more, it offers positive future possibilities for our lives and livelihoods.

These creative projects serve as the inspirational antidote to the daily news cycle. Check them out!

Signals from the Future


🦾  Bionic muscles for those with mobility challenges

Researchers at ETH Zurich have devised a human-machine collaboration called a "wearable textile exomuscle" that boosts upper body strength and endurance for people with limited mobility. It consists of a vest embedded with sensors, motors, and cables that act as an extra layer of muscles.


🍑  Georgia peaches threatened by climate collapse

Georgia peach trees require a certain number of cold hours each year. But those are becoming harder to find: the state’s warmest consecutive five-year interval was between 2016 and 2020 with 2016, 2017 and 2019 being the warmest years on record. Rethinking our food systems is no longer optional.


🌱  Artificial photosynthesis produces food without using sunlight

Here’s hope, though. Using a two-step electrocatalytic process that converts CO2, H2O, and electricity into acetate, scientists have found a way to bypass the need for biological photosynthesis and create food independent of sunlight. Welcome to the new fossil fuel century.


🤐  Online LGBTQ+ communities stuck in a “digital closet”

The consequences of computational propaganda: in his new book, researcher/professor Alexander Monea shows how social media platforms are censoring, silencing or demonetizing LGBTQ+ social media content creators by removing their posts.


💡  Corporate climate action becoming an employee perk

Early this year, Bank of America employees who had worked at the bank for at least three years and made less than $250,000 were offered $4,000 to help buy a new electric car. The idea isn’t new—cap and trade had a stormy start—but it’s becoming more common, especially in tight labor markets.

Find hundreds of categorized Signals from the Future at Future Factors, IFTF Vantage's proprietary, easy-to-use platform for sharing and synthesizing signals from today that are likely to affect tomorrow's transformations.

The New Operational Environment
is Wide Open


This decade began with enormous challenges — challenges that felt sudden and unexpected but were merely symptoms of a bigger transition in our operating environment: one that operates at a much larger scale than a single organization or government. But if you can anticipate how these transitions might unfold, you can help shape their nature and identify more resilient organizational responses.

IFTF is releasing Anticipating and Shaping the New Operational Environment, a new IFTF Vantage research summary report. Enjoy exclusive early access to it, including seven deep-dive reports that can help you or your organization better anticipate and shape this new operational environment:

  1. EQUITY: getting to the roots
  2. COLLABORATION: sentient hybrid teams and distributed workplaces
  3. PRIVACY: granularity of consent
  4. EVIDENCE: multiple truths and serious consequences
  5. BELONGING: the paradox of expansion
  6. MEANING: scaling back to recreate context
  7. OWNERSHIP: breaking up the bundle of rights

Thinking of a career in foresight?

IFTF has some unique opportunities for like-minded futurists.

Get to Know Your Future Guide


Future Guide, a futures-thinking, at-home interactive that IFTF helped bring to life for the Smithsonian's FUTURES Exhibit is still live! Dig into it to explore your favorite futures topics. 

Upcoming IFTF Events and Training

IFTF Foresight Essentials Training
July 19-21 — ONLY 2 SEATS LEFT!
Comprehensive tools and methods for the complete foresight professional.
Learn more here. >>

How to Use Foresight to Build Responsible Smart Cities that Align with Our Values

Thursday, July 28 | 9:00 a.m. PDT
Register today. >>

IFTF Foresight Essentials Training
September 7-October 12
Register today. >>

IFTF Fast Futures: Foresight for Beginners in 90 Minutes
Thursday, October 6 | 9:00 a.m. PDT
Register today. >>

Designing Sustainable Futures

October 7-28, November 4-28, December 5, 12
In this eight-week intensive program, participants will explore and practice the essential skills of strategic foresight and world-building for a more resilient future through the framework of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals for industry and community.
Register today. >>

IFTF Design Futures Training

*NEW DATES!* October 13-14, 2022
To be held at IFTF's HQ in Palo Alto, California.
Register now to ensure your spot! >>

IFTF in the News

"What will California look like in 100 years? These futurists want to help politicians shape the next century." IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis is interviewed by Adele Peters. Fast Company (7/7/22).

"Five Ways Business Schools Can Cultivate Better Leaders." IFTF Research Director Rebecca Shamash writes an op-ed. Stanford Social Innovation Review (7/8/22).

"Gwyneth Paltrow x Jane McGonigal: How to Think Like a Futurist." IFTF Director of Game Development and Research Jane McGonigal is interviewed by the actress and businesswoman. The GOOP Podcast (7/12/22).

"Making the leap into California’s future — and the unknown." IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis is the focus of an article by Seth Sandronsky. Capitol Weekly (7/13/22).

Tell Us More!

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About Institute for the Future

Institute for the Future is the world’s leading futures organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments, and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies. IFTF methodologies and toolsets yield coherent views of transformative possibilities across all sectors that together support a more sustainable future. Institute for the Future is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Palo Alto, California.

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