After the Pandemic Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
After the Pandemic: Writing the Stories of the Future
Palo Alto, CA - April 22, 2020
IFTF launches community futures project to imagine post-pandemic scenarios—and tell catalyzing stories about the alternatives.
Even as the world stares a hundred-year virus in the face and societies lock themselves down and governments scramble to plug the gaping holes opening in their economies, there’s a longer story to be written. And this story has to be written by all of us. Because the stories we write and the actions we take today will shape how we emerge from this crisis.
With this in mind and with the support of Blue Shield of California Foundation and The James Irvine Foundation—IFTF is launching a project to help communities and organizations think systematically about the future in a post-pandemic world.
Over the course of the next six months, IFTF will develop a “cookbook” of processes, data, and frameworks that individuals, communities, organizations and institutions can use to create visions of long-term, post-pandemic futures that can lead to action in the present.
“The secret to creating the post-pandemic future we want," says Executive Director Marina Gorbis,
“is to harness the power of our imagination, our ability to recognize patterns and signals,
gather data, and tap diverse frameworks to guide policies and actions needed for creating
a desirable post-pandemic future.”
The project will include a six-step recipe for using patterns from the past and signals of the future to tell four distinctive stories about the future—archetypal stories of growth, constraint, collapse, and transformation. Using the recipe, different communities will be able to explore the big uncertainties of the present and the critical choices and values that lead to these very different futures.
The project will launch with four sketches of these alternative futures. These sketches will catalyze the imaginations of experts and lay communities alike as IFTF rolls out the cookbook and its own scenario videos as starting points for these critical conversations.
Says Gorbis: “Storytelling is our human superpower. It’s how we make a shared reality—however fragile that
reality might be—from our individual memories and our collective imagination. This is the promise of futures thinking in a time of pandemic: to unite our human hearts and minds on the long path forward.”
Interested in learning more?
Find further reading about IFTF's After the Pandemic project here.