News from the Future


curated by Institute for the Future

March 10, 2021 — Issue #70
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We are immensely saddened by the tragic war in Ukraine. Like everyone else, we’ve been watching and reading first-person accounts of the horrific bombings and acts of violence its people are suffering. We are also awed and humbled by everyday Ukranians' unselfish acts of resilience and bravery in the face of death. Our hearts go out to the victims of this unprovoked attack and the families, friends, and colleagues whose lives have been upended by the events. 

We join the world in calling for an immediate end to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine. Many in our community are working to help Ukrainian refugees in different ways—some on the ground in border regions, others by providing financial and other support. For example, IFTF Fellow Mike Zuckerman, who works with humanitarian groups aiding displaced people in many parts of the world, is currently on the Polish-Ukrainian border assisting in efforts there. You can follow his account of the situation on the ground and his work with here.

At IFTF, we remain dedicated to creating safe spaces for people to dream and imagine how we can build a better, more humane, and equitable world. We need this more than ever.

Signals from the Future


🗺  Google Maps tracks the Ukraine invasion

Maps are visual frameworks. But now your phone’s ubiquitous geo-locating app has become a tool for visualizing military action in Ukraine, tracking troops and helping civilians seek shelter.


🔬  Internet debunks Russian propaganda

Russian propaganda is as old as Russia. As the nation floods its social and state-controlled media with claims of Ukrainian aggression, savvy folks are using open-source intelligence tools to debunk it. (Not to mention posting TikToks on how to hot-wire abandoned tanks.)


🚰  Water sector girding for Russian hackers

American utilities have quietly began preparing for Russian cyberattacks that could lead to drinking-water contamination, service disruptions, and ransom demands.


🙍🏼‍♂️   Americans have fewer friends than they did 30 years ago

Besides working too much, it turns out we’re also ending friendships due to political disagreements and pandemic strain. Let’s teach ourselves some future skills instead.


🦌  Head for the woods—doctor’s orders

Canadian physicians and therapists are now authorized to issue passes to national parks as prescriptions for their patients. It’s the original ecosystem for well-being!

Future Factors is IFTF Vantage’s proprietary, easy-to-use platform for sharing and synthesizing signals from today that are likely to affect the transformation of tomorrow.

IFTF Future for Good Fellows 2022


Since its inception in 2012, the IFTF Future for Good Fellowship Program has been identifying and supporting innovative changemakers to bring forward-looking skills and new thinking to the critical challenges of the 21st century. This year, we are thrilled to announce our 2022 Fellows—a group of thoughtful, connected innovators with a commitment to reducing inequality and creating a more sustainable planet.

We're honored that these seven Fellows will work with IFTF for ten months to collaborate and inform our work on IFTF’s Equitable Enterprise Initiative, a two-year study examining how businesses, financial institutions, health organizations, schools, and civic institutions can distribute assets more equitably. Projects range from labor reform to advancing workers' racial, social, and economic justice to new methods of distributing and creating wealth within communities.

IFTF is proud to announce the new IFTF Future for Good Fellows:

Interested in working for a more inclusive and equitable future? Join us and get updates on the work of the IFTF Fellows and the Equitable Enterprise Initiative.

Get Equitable Enterprise updates!

California 100: Four Scenarios for
California's Future

Tuesday, March 29, 2022  |  5:30 p.m. PDT

You've heard a lot of the future of work in California. What about the future of transportation? What about the future of housing and community development? Of energy, environment, and natural resources? The future of tech?

For more than nine months, IFTF has been supporting the work of the California 100 initiative to develop 13 issue and future scenario reports by research partners from across the state, all with the goal of providing a set of policy alternatives for the future of California's infrastructure. 

We invite you to join a panel discussion and open event hosted by California 100 as it unveils the initiative's first round of reports: the futures of work, transportation, housing & community development, energy, environment & natural resources, and advanced technology. Panelists include:

  • Annie Fryman, Abodu & California 100 Commissioner
  • Erica Manuel, Institute for Local Government
  • Sean Randolph, Bay Area Council Economic Institute
  • Dr. Carolina Reid, UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation
  • Dr. Brian Taylor, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies 
  • Dr. David Wooley, UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy Environmental Center
  • Dr. Karthick Ramakrishnan, California 100 Executive Director

Register here. >>

Jump-Start Your Climate-Positive Strategy

Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. It’s responsible for supply-chain deterioration, water shortages, health risks, extreme weather, and more. And yet: businesses that seek to become climate-positive—and do so with urgency—can be well-positioned for resilience and profitability.

IFTF's Climate+ is a portfolio of three of new climate strategy offerings, extracting the riches from our climate-positive forecasts to help your organization  identify opportunities for reducing its carbon footprint.

You can choose a single offering or a combination:

  • Roadmap For Organizational Transformation (half-day workshop)
  • Ecosystem Opportunities Development (one-, two-, or three-day workshops)
  • Climate-Positive Organizational Transition Plan (one-year engagement)

Whichever option you select, you’ll learn how the climate crisis will impact your strategic planning, gain an understanding of what you can do in the long term, and become informed on how to become a climate-positive organization.

Accelerate my climate-positive strategy!

What is 'Imaginable' Now?

In her upcoming book, Imaginable, Jane McGonigal draws on the latest scientific research in psychology and neuroscience to show us how to train our minds to think the unthinkable and imagine the unimaginable.

Pre-order your copy of Imaginable today, and you'll receive an invitation to a private book club meeting with Jane on April 12, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. PDT (limited to U.S. customers). Order before March 22, and you'll be automatically registered for this exclusive event.

Upcoming IFTF Events



Friday, March 11 | 12:00 p.m. PST 
A social simulation is an opportunity for dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people to imagine the same future together. Want to take part in a practice social simulation and get personal coaching from IFTF simulation designers? Join the Alpha Gal Crisis simulation team and RSVP for this simulation party!

Join Urgent Optimists here.>>

WEBINAR—IFTF Foresight Essentials
Tuesday, March 15 | 5:00 p.m. CET
About Designing Sustainable Futures
Take part in the presentation day of the Higher Education Course in Designing Sustainable Futures. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about the training offer of the new eight-week course, offered by IFTF and #polidesign starting in April 2022.

Register here.>>

WEBINAR—Live Conversation
IFTF Ask a Futurist: Technology Forecasting with Brad Kreit
Wednesday, March 16 | 9:00 a.m. PST
Explore how IFTF combines a deep understanding of both technology and societal forces to identify and evaluate discontinuities and innovations in the coming decade and beyond.
Free public webinar by IFTF Vantage.

Register here. >>

Scenario Club meetup! "Thank You Day"

Wednesday, March 16 | 10:00 a.m. PDT
Every month, Scenarios Club is invited to imagine a different future scenario: How would you feel if you woke up in this future? What would you do to react or adapt? Our first scenario is "Thank You Day." Join us to imagine how you might celebrate a brand-new holiday designed to be part mental-health boost, part social division healing, and part economic justice. Our meetups are like a book club but for scenarios, so come prepared to share your reactions and personal reflections!

Join Urgent Optimists here. >>


TRAINING—IFTF Foresight Essentials
IFTF Scenario Building, Orientation + 5 Sessions; Live-Online
March 23 & 30; April 1, 4, 6, & 8
Learn the art and science of crafting alternative futures scenarios and develop an action plan around them. Join expert IFTF faculty in this in-depth training on scenario building, where we'll introduce the mythic underpinnings of the alternative futures method as practiced at IFTF.
Sign up today!

WEBINAR—Live Book Event
Tuesday, April 12 | 5:00 p.m. PDT
Join author Jane McGonigal for a live virtual event that will help you tap into your own sense of authentic hope for the future. Jane will teach you how to play her favorite games from her new book Imaginable. And she'll show you how to practice creative mindsets that can keep you feeling motivated and ready for anything—even things that seem impossible today. Festivities include an audience Q&A, so come with your questions.

To register, pre-order a signed copy of "Imaginable" by March 21. >>


TRAINING—IFTF Foresight Essentials
Designing Sustainable Futures in partnership with POLI.Design
April 29–June 24 | 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. EDT | 2:00–6:00 p.m. CES

Designing Sustainable Futures is an eight-week intensive program to develop the skills and mindset of practitioners who are passionate about building a better world. Whether you have a design or management background or want to create a for-profit or nonprofit, the course will enable you to strengthen your resilience for making an impact. Starting with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, specific participants will explore and practice the essential skills of strategic foresight, world building, and transformation.

Learn more here. >> 

WEBINAR—Live Conversation

Wednesday, May 4, 2022  |  2:00 p.m. PDT
What is IFTF Vantage? How can your organization become future ready? This is an opportunity to learn about IFTF Vantage and get answers to your questions.

Register here. >>

Tell Us More!

We want to know what you want to know! There are so many ways to be a part of the IFTF community—we would love to hear from you about what interests you most. We've created a form to guide us.
Tell us more!

IFTF in the News

"Zooming from Cocoons: VUCA in Start-ups." Dr. Manoj Joshi interviews IFTF Distinguished Fellow Bob Johansen. CEO World (2/28/22).

"The great reset & the great narrative: programming people to comply with unelected globalist agendas." Tim Hinchliffe references work by IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis. The Sociable (3/5/22).

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.

201 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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