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News from the Future

Future Shock is Here: A Future Now Special Edition #4

curated by Institute for the Future

May 7, 2020 – Issue #40 – View online

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What’s After the Pandemic?
It’s Up to You

Six steps for imagining post-COVID-19 Futures

We’re up to our necks. We’re barraged by daily surprises, conflicting information, and vague ideas about how long the pandemic will last. We’re uncertain about the present (“Will I catch COVID if I go to the drug store?”) and the near future (“Will I get my job back?”). We’re stressed-out and anxious. Yet to quote IFTF’s Marina Gorbis and Kathi Vian: “Even as all these very real crises demand immediate attention, there’s a longer story to be written.”

The time to write that story is now. The sooner we start imagining what’s on the other side, the more likely we’ll be able to shape that future. And because it’s important that many different voices have a say in writing the story of our post-COVID-19 future, IFTF has created a six-step guide for how to craft compelling, internally consistent visions of the future.

We want to hear your post-COVID-19 future story.
Post it to social media with #Imaginable.

“What Can We Build After the Global Pandemic?”

Read the full Post-COVID19 Futures essay co-authored by IFTF Executive Director, Marina Gorbis and IFTF Distinguished Fellow, Kathi Vian.

Escape the Boxes that Limit Your
Effectiveness as a Leader

Bob Johansen’s newest book is now available!

The future will get even more perplexing over the next decade…and we’re not ready. Instead, we’re restricted by rigid categorical thinking that locks us and our organizations in neatly defined boxes that are often inaccurate or obsolete.

Full-Spectrum Thinking, the latest book from IFTF Distinguished Fellow Bob Johansen, helps you identify patterns and clarity outside, across, beyond, and without boxes—all while resisting false certainty and simplistic binary choices.

Johansen lays out the core concepts of full-spectrum thinking and explores the role that digital media—gameful engagement, big-data analytics, visualization, blockchain, machine learning, and more—will play in facilitating and enhancing it. This visionary book provides powerful ways to make sense of new opportunities and see the world as it really is.

Read or listen to a sample chapter of Full-Spectrum Thinking  >>

IFTF Online Collaboration
The Great Communications Hackathon

Public Webinar
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2020
9:00am PT

This webinar had to be rescheduled.
We hope that you can join us on this new date!

Toshi Anders Hoo joins Mark Frauenfelder to explore the future of human communication, collaboration and connection through emerging media technologies. The covid-19 pandemic has instigated an unprecedented global experiment as people around the world try to figure out how to translate their social, personal, and professional lives into the constraints of online tools and networks. The EML is looking both at the urgent futures during this forced global hackathon, as well as the long-term futures of social virtual reality platforms where people will be embodied as 3D avatars and inhabit shared virtual worlds.

Register here to join this conversation >>

Learn to Think Like a Futurist:

Announcing a Very Special Immersive Foresight Package

IFTF Foresight Essentials signature 3-day training, delivered online

For a limited time only, IFTF invites you to an exclusive learning package designed for people looking to amplify their strategic foresight skills and knowledge during the uncertain times of this pandemic. This May and June, you’ll learn the same incredible content as the IFTF Foresight Essentials signature 3-day training, delivered online with two format options and dates for you to choose from.

The package also includes an exciting new opportunity never before offered to our IFTF Foresight Essentials attendees: a ticket to IFTF’s annual futures research conference, in mid-September, when you’ll join IFTF’s global gathering of foresight colleagues for a deep dive into research about the world in the coming decade.

Limited spots are available.
For further information, and to register, please email Neela Lazkani at >> 

Foresight is a skill. Learn from the experts.

IFTF Foresight Talks:
Building the Nation’s First Lab to Explore the Future of Social Work

9:00am PDT

According to Portland State University’s Professor Dr. Laura Nissen, PSU’s new National Social Work Education Health Futures Lab will “create opportunities for social workers to come together and envision a world they would like to be in while building the skills to help get there.”

Dr. Nissen is the new lab’s principal investigator. Make plans to join IFTF’s free webinar with her—she’s also a PSU Presidential Futures Fellow and IFTF Research Fellow—to learn how she’s spearheading significant research projects in technology use and impact, climate change, and more.Register here to join the conversation >>

IFTF in the News

“We Need Herd Immunity From Trump and the Coronavirus,” Thomas Friedman mentioned Marina Gorbis and Cognitive Immunity. (The New York Times, 4/24/2020)“How to Deal With Your Kid’s Annoying Habits,” Jacob Towery quotes Jane McGonigal. (The New York Times, 4/15/20)

“How has Taiwan kept its coronavirus infection rate so low?” Deutsche Welle quotes Nick Monaco. (Indian Express, 4/9/20)

“Coronavirus pandemic: When will life go back to normal? Hopefully never, says Silicon Valley futurist,” David Louie and Alix Martichoux interviewed Marina Gorbis. (ABC 7 News, 4/7/20)


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.


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