News from the Future


curated by Institute for the Future

August 2, 2022 — Issue #77
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Join IFTF on August 10 as we rebuild enterprise in the 21st century!

There's a reason why Maid, the critically acclaimed series about a young woman who becomes a housecleaner to support her daughter, is Netflix's most-watched limited series. It's the same reason why Uber has come under fire for breaking laws, deceiving police, and secretly lobbying governments. It's because citizens and governments are recognizing the corrosive effects of shareholder capitalism on healthy society in general and on work in particular.

IFTF has been studying the future of work for over a decade. We launched our Equitable Enterprise Initiative with a key insight that emerged from over a decade of research on the subject: we must rethink shareholder and stakeholder capitalism and envision new ways of building enterprises to achieve a more equitable world.

On August 10, please join us for an open public convening as IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis shares findings from the newly released ReWorking the Future: Strategies for Building Enterprise in the 21st Century and the crucial levers required for system change such as labor, capital, ownership, and more. Marina will also present a panel of leading-edge experts who are remaking and innovating business education, creating non-extractive finance models, and developing alternative visions of more equitable business and economic systems.


Signals from the Future

🛣  In Phoenix, painting streets to ward off heat

Climate positivity comes in every color. Traffic engineers in Phoenix, Arizona, are starting to paint their city’s streets gray, which reflects the sun rather than absorbs it and is typically 10 to 12 degrees cooler than regular asphalt. 


🍼  Baby hunger-predictor for new parents

Babies cry when they’re hungry, but by then it’s too late. A new machine learning monitor can predict hunger’s onset by studying the child’s face, head, and hand cues that precede the yowl. Welcome, digital conductors!

🥱  Mattress tricks you into falling asleep

How did you sleep last night? A team at The University of Texas at Austin has developed a mattress and pillow system that helps you nod off by simultaneously cooling your body’s central areas while heating your neck, hands, and feet.


✂️  Salpingectomies and vasectomies on the rise

Healthcare is changing — abuptly. Here in the U.S., the dissolution of Roe v. Wade has awakened the realities of pregnancy for cisgendered folks. More women are having their fallopian tubes removed,  and more men are getting vasectomies.


🧠  Racial discrimination affects the brain’s microstructure

For many in the U.S., well-being is a luxury. A new study of Black women demonstrates how the experience of racial discrimination affects the brain’s microstructure and increases the risk of asthma, diabetes, and chronic pain.


🔫  A new plastic recycling option?

Scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed a custom-designed material called polydiketoenamine — PDK — that can be recycled efficiently and indefinitely and could be the future of plastic manufacturing.

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.

How to build a future-ready professional education network

New ways of sharing and mobilizing knowledge in 2032

Global disruptions have changed how we access professional development information. Keeping up with traditional methods of creating and sharing knowledge has become more challenging, and Covid-19 prevented us from solving problems together.

This report explores how professionals in the coming decade will access knowledge, as well as how professional networks can support their members through new methods of evaluating, personalizing, and delivering that information. IFTF composed this research with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Read the research here »

Thinking of a career in foresight?

IFTF has several unique opportunities for like-minded futurists:

Learn foresight in person with the experts!

We're excited to announce that several of our upcoming IFTF Foresight Essentials trainings will be in person! Interested in reconnecting with F2F foresight?

Check out these fall dates!
October 11-13, 2022
IFTF Foresight Essentials Training is partnering with Steelcase to co-host our next in-person training at their Learning+Innovation Center in Munich, Germany.

October 13-14, 2022
IFTF Design Futures Training returns to our HQ in Palo Alto, California.

Last month, we were lucky enough to meet a few of you in person at our IFTF Foresight Essentials training in Palo Alto. We had a blast! 

Upcoming IFTF Events and Training

IFTF Foresight Talk: Agents of Change: Teaching Futures Literacy to Youth
Wednesday, August 31 | 9:00 a.m. PDT
Register today »

IFTF Foresight Essentials Training
Jumpstart your professional foresight practice with our popular flagship training.
September 7-October 12
Register today »

Learn with IFTF: Foresight Essentials
Wednesday, September 14 | 9:00 a.m. PDT
Register today »

IFTF Fast Futures: Foresight for Beginners in 90 Minutes
Curious about foresight, but don't have a lot of time? Sign up for IFTF Fast Futures to learn 3 basic habits of futurists.
Thursday, October 6 | 9:00 a.m. PDT
Sign up now! »

Designing Sustainable Futures

October 7-December 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 Foresight Essentials Training

October 11-13
IFTF is headed to Munich, Germany! We're partnering with Steelcase to co-host our next in-person training at their Learning+Innovation Center.
Save me a seat in Munich »

IFTF Design Futures Training

October 13-14
Sometimes it's not enough to think about the future—we need to feel and experience it to make an impact. Come learn how to turn abstract forecasts into vivid, concrete futures from our award-winning faculty face-to-face this October. 
Register now to save your spot »

IFTF Foresight Essentials Training
Jumpstart your professional foresight practice with our popular flagship training.
November 21-December 15
Register today »

  • Feb 1-Mar 8, 2023 | Live-Online 
    5 p.m. PST | 9 a.m. +1 CST/SGT | 12 p.m. +1 AEDT
  • Feb 28-Apr 4, 2023 | Live-Online
    9 a.m. PDT | 12 p.m. EDT | 5/6 p.m. CET
  • Mar 28-30, 2023 | In-person 
    Palo Alto, CA 
  • May 3-Jun 7, 2023 | Live-Online 
    9 a.m. EDT | 2 p.m. BST | 3 p.m. CEST
Get there early to save $500!
Register today »

IFTF in the News

"The 4 Digital Skills Everyone Will Need For The Future Of Work." Bernard Marr writes about IFTF's Future Skills for Forbes. (7/22/22)

"What should California’s future look like?" Dan Walters describes California 100 Mega Scenarios for CalMatters/MSN. (7/17/22)

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.
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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.

201 Hamilton Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94301

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