Futures Thinking for the Enterprise
Learn the art + science of Futures Thinking from the 50-year-old organization that pioneered it
Technology has dramatically shifted the traditional strategic planning timeframe for organizations beyond the next one or two years. In these turbulent and unpredictable times, it is essential to anticipate and prepare for the big technological and societal transformations on the horizon. Organizations must:
- sense signals of disruption,
- understand larger patterns of change,
- communicate a clear and inspiring vision for navigating the uncertainty, and
- build a dynamic capacity for the unexpected.
This is the practice of Futures Thinking. It’s a core competency that turns managers into leaders and creates organizations that are more resilient, nimble, and positioned to “get there early.” Futures Thinking informs the new paradigms of strategic planning, amplifies continuous learning, and sparks innovation across all industries and business units, from R&D to marketing to human resources. And now you can learn the art and science of Futures Thinking from the 50-year-old organization that pioneered it.
Founded in 1968, Institute for the Future is an independent, nonprofit research group with a storied history pioneering practical and effective tools for Futures Thinking within organizations of all kinds. We are the world’s first and oldest organization dedicated to bringing the skills and benefits of future forecasting to Fortune 500 companies, civic organizations, and the public. From energized expert workshops to global online games, we’ve developed frameworks, processes, and platforms to tap the best insights of groups to imagine—and create—the futures they want.
Preparing your organization for the future
Every successful strategy is based on a great insight about the future. By systematically studying the long-term future you can make better decisions in the present. A robust Futures Thinking practice transforms organizational strategy into an engaging and persistent process that can be applied immediately to current challenges. Futures Thinking provides the foresight that sparks critical new insights ultimately leading to action within organizations.
Our Futures Thinking trainings are one- to three-day immersions in our most current research and time-tested methodologies. It’s an opportunity to experience the future first-hand while learning to bring Futures Thinking tools to your own organization and to your clients across a range of industries and ecosystems. During the training, we explore how emerging technologies—from augmented reality, automation, and artificial intelligence, to the blockchain, pervasive computing, and the “Internet of Actions”—will change your life and work over the next decade.
Meanwhile, experiential activities and provocative forecasting exercises in our Futures Thinking Practitioner and Facilitation Guide ensure you develop a basic proficiency in the methods, tools, and processes of Futures Thinking. Throughout the training, we work with you to make what you’re learning directly relevant for your organization.
IFTF trainings demystify how to ...
- Systematically sense and analyze signals of rapid change to create actionable forecasts, defined as plausible, internally consistent visions of the future.
- Apply IFTF’s Foresight-Insight-Action framework for Futures Thinking.
- Quickly identify and evaluate emerging opportunities and threats while they’re still on the horizon.
Sample 3-day agenda
- BUILD your foresight mindset and shared language for futures thinking.
- LEVERAGE hindsight to discover patterns of innovation and disruptions.
- DISCOVER powerful ways to construct forecasts from present-day signals of change.
- MAKE SENSE of all the information to get at what’s important.
- DIVE into the world of scenarios.
- EXPAND horizons with visions of four alternative futures
- EMBODY human impact through future personas.
- MAKE the future tangible with artifacts from the future.
- PLOT strategies on the first and second curves of the future.
- DESIGN experiments in future making.
- EXPLORE organizational structures that support a culture of foresight.
For more information about creating a future-ready organization contact:
Sean Ness | firstname.lastname@example.org | 650.233.9517
IFTF Futures Thinking Toolkits + Templates Usage
As a non-profit 501(c)(3) research and educational organization, Institute for the Future’s mission is to build more foresight capacity in the world by providing tools and resources to help people better anticipate the future to make decisions in the present. To this end the IFTF Futures Thinking Toolkits and Templates are held under an IFTF copyright and licensed under the Creative Commons 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). After participating in IFTF's Futures Thinking trainings, reproduction and use of these tools within your organization(s) and in your own practice of foresight education for any non-commercial, attribution-only, non-derivative use is encouraged.