After the Pandemic
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
We stand at the threshold of a future we didn’t bargain for.
If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that the story of the future can change in a single breath. And it can change in ways no one expects.
Foresight in this moment is not about finding the one path forward. It’s about nourishing our many human visions of what’s possible now, next year, and over the decades to come. It’s about the diversity of our hopes and dreams in the wake of a world-changing pandemic.
Executive Director Marina Gorbis takes us on a journey through IFTF’s post-pandemic scenarios to explore four alternative paths. Read her essay: Post-pandemic Transformation: Building a Mutualist Future.
Four Scenarios: Explore What Might Be
We can start with four alternative scenarios—four very different visions of how the future might unfold in the wake of the crisis. Economic recovery and growth. Widespread health constraints. Breathtaking political collapse. A bold transformation of our human society.
Scanning the possibilities, we quickly recognize that we’re all engaged in a multi-dimensional game of chess where we must operate in four alternative scenarios simultaneously. The pandemic has already set these futures in motion. The impacts will intertwine as they play out over the three horizons of change, rewriting the stories of health, food, education, work, data, and the climate.
Want to learn how to craft compelling alternative futures scenarios?
Enroll in , a new course that teaches you how to think systematically about extreme uncertainty through the alternative futures scenarios methodology. Learn how to use this rich, complex, and rewarding framework in order to better anticipate opportunities, risks, and coming challenges.
This live-online course is offered over five 3-hour sessions with IFTF's expert futurists.
Non-profit/education/government discounts available.
A Toolkit for Transformation: Building What We Want
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a deeper underlying disease. It has unmasked high-risk fractures in the systems of our daily lives. What happens next depends on us. This is a human moment to take stock and take action. The Toolkit for Transformation gives us the prompts we need to imagine new ways to act today to create the futures we want.
Look inside for all the tools your need to start your own community conversations. A guide to getting started. Three decks of cards—Patterns from the Past, Innovations for the Future, and Actions for Transformation. There's even a facilitator’s guide with detailed instructions for two paths to work: the fast path and the long game. The kit will take you through the process of sorting the data, signals, and actions to create an action roadmap.
Public Scenarios Briefing: What Happens Next? Shaping a Post-COVID Future
January 13, 2021
We invited the public to participate in a web-based conversation with IFTF Executive Director Marina Gorbis and Research Director, Rachel Maguire. The conversation provided an overview of IFTF's newest scenario work, “What Happens Next: Shaping a Post-COVID Future," sharing the process used for developing our scenarios, as well as guidance on how to use these scenario materials. We discussed the tools IFTF has created to help organizations and communities navigate today’s uncertainties, with guidelines for users to create their own future visions and action steps to get there.
Urgent Futures: After the Pandemic
What's Next? PANEL DISCUSSION
September 15, 2020
With Special Thanks
This work was made possible through the generous support of our partners the Blue Shield of California Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, California Endowment and The California Wellness Foundation with the goal of helping communities and organizations think systematically about the future in a post-pandemic world.
In addition, we are grateful for the thoughtful contributions of the many guest voices in our forecast workshops for the post-pandemic future. They continue to help shape our work.
- Kenneth Bailey
- Milton Chen
- Hodari Davis
- Natalie Foster
- Ben Gansky
- Sam Gregory
- Emma Guttman-Slater
- Millicent Johnson
- Gabriella Mont-Gomez
- Colin Mutchler
- Wellington Nogueira
- Tess Posner
- Paul Radu
- David Rolf
- David Thigpen
- Drew Sullivan
- Vinitha Watson
- Mike Zuckerman
- Leonardo Bonanni
- Louis Hyman
- Mason Marks
- Michael McAfee
- Smari McCarthy
- Elizabeth Merritt
- Stephen Morse
- Danielle Nierenberg
- Ben Oppenheim
- Anne Price
- Favianna Rodriguez
- Anthony Townsend
- Haeyoung Yoon
For more information on this and other research from Institute for the Future, please email IFTF Executive Producer Jean Hagan | firstname.lastname@example.org.