What We Do
Engaged Foresight in Action
Foresight Engine is about engaged foresight, not just crowd-sourced forecasts. It's about expanding our collective wisdom about the future more than it is about tapping the wisdom of the crowd for unexpected ideas. It's an opportunity to shift from top-down analysis of the future by a few to bottom-up engagement with future issues by many. The Foresight Engine™ is intended as a tool for engaging people with issues of the future. Creating a place for people to express their hopes and fears, concerns and constructive ideas about the future empowers them to engage more actively with present-day issues.
The Foresight Engine’s collaborative process creates a community driven by futures thinking, and allows voices to surface that normally are not included in strategic planning processes.
IFTF first launched the Foresight Engine™ in 2009 and has since used it to engage leaders, organizational stakeholders, global foundations, and everyday citizens in rapid conversations about important and pressing issues of the future. IFTF uses the platform and this method of engaged foresight along with its partners as just one of many inputs into larger participatory strategic planning processes. At IFTF we believe that we don't just need better forecasts for the future. We need better citizens of the future. Engaged foresight not only facilitates better plans but produces better and more engaged citizens.
How Foresight Engine Works
The Foresight Engine is a platform for engaging various publics in rapid conversation about pressing issues of the future, using basic game dynamics to make it fun and to encourage participation. These conversations take place in Twitter-length micro-forecasts that players can build on by agreeing or disagreeing, or expanding on by taking them in new directions.
Players compete by engaging in conversations that grow the chains of forecasts—or cards. They earn points every time someone else builds on their idea. Players can level up through 7 levels of achievement as well as win awards. Gamemasters mark cards as super-interesting and blog about key themes emerging in the game to help people sort through the fast-paced play. Games typically last 24-72 hours, and all anyone needs to play is a browser and an Internet connection.
Here are the Basics:
EXPLORE other people’s ideas. Check out the bubble graph or the feeds, or use the search engine to find future possibilities that grab your attention.
REACT to ideas. Click the “emoji” face the best represents how you feel about it.
REPLY to their ideas. Ask a follow-up question, or share why you find it exciting or concerning, or take it a step further. If that happens in the future, what else might happen?
ADD A SIGNAL to ideas. A signal is a link to an online story, video, blog or website that is an example of something that is already happening today that connects to this idea.
Foresight Engine focuses on the future. We work with lots of organizations and communities in lots of different ways, but we always use the future as a "safe place" for people with diverse views to talk about challenging issues. We start by immersing players in a future scenario. We use short, compelling videos to create this immersion in a future setting, inviting players to bring the best of their own experience to future challenges. From the game dashboard, players can see cards already played by the community and track other players more easily.
Get Involved Today!
On November 14 -15, 2018 the Institute for the Future (IFTF) in partnership with California State University Long Beach (CSULB) will launch Imagine BEACH 2030 to engage CSULB faculty, staff, students, alumni, and the Long Beach community neighbors (and beyond) and it will encourage participants to share their most imaginative ideas and opinions on how to reimagine the future of the university and better prepare student for life in the twenty-first century.
Public Foresight Engine Events:
- Imagine BEACH 2030 - Re-imagining the Future of Higher Education
- Face the Future - Award-winning game about the Future of Empathy with Facing History
- Learning is Earning 2026 - Re-imagining the Learning Economy with ACT Foundation & SXSW Edu
- Envision UC Davis - Adapting to lead in education and research in the 21st Century
- Innovate2038 - Remaking the Future of Research and Innovation
- UCSF 2025 - Reinventing a Health Sciences University
- Pounamu 2013 - Imagining prosperity, good health, sustainability, resilience and accessibility for all New Zealanders
- Connected Citizens - The Future of Connected Citizenship through governance innovations and services
- Future of the Hospital - Reinventing the hospital in the United States with participants across 5 continents
- Pounamu 2012 - Creating a better future for New Zealand
- Catalysts for Change - Imagining paths out of poverty with the Rockefeller Foundation
- Smart Grid 2025 - Exploring a new energy future
- Magnetic South - Rebuilding for a resilient city
- Breakthroughs to Cures - The Future of Medical Research
- Fast Company—"Foresight Engine asks the Crowd to Change the Future"
- Forbes—"Over to You Mr. Smarty-Pants: How Would You Fix the World?"
- Fast Company—“Crowdsourcing the future of Citizenship,”
- Fast Company—“Can this game help cure diseases?
SHORTY Award—Gold Distinction in Education
For more information on Foresight Engine, please contact: