What We Do
Collaborative Forecasting Games: a crowd’s view of the future
Collaborative forecasting games engage a large and diverse group of people—potentially from around the world—to imagine futures that might go unnoticed by a team of experts. These crowds may include the general public, a targeted sector of the public, or the entire staff of a private organization. And the games themselves can range from futures brainstorming to virtual innovation gameboards and even rich narrative platforms for telling important stories about the future.
IFTF has a collaborative forecasting platform called Foresight Engine that makes it easy to set up games without a lot of investment in game design. In the tradition of brainstorming, the platform invites people to play positive or critical ideas about the future and then to build on these ideas to forms chains of discussion—complete with points, awards, and achievements for winning ideas. While the focus of the platform is on Twitter-length ideas of 140 characters or less, a Foresight Engine game does much more than harvest innovative ideas. It builds a literacy among players about the future issues addressed by the game, and it also provides a window on the crowd’s level of understanding of complex futures—laying the foundation for future literacy building. It shows who inspires the greatest following and often surfaces potential thought leaders.
Examples of Public Foresight Engine Games
- UCSF 2025
- Pounamu 2013
- Connected Citizens
- Future of the Hospital
- Catalysts for Change
- Smart Grid 2025
- Magnetic South
- Breakthroughs to Cures
IFTF has recently worked with the Office of Naval Research to develop an open-source version of the Foresight Engine platform called MMOWGLI. It takes the game to the next level by turning the tweet-like ideas into action plans that players can collaborate on to win points and prizes. With immersive video foresight, player’s strategic insight, and collaborative action plans, it completes the Foresight-Insight-Action cycle that underlies much of IFTF’s work.