What We Do
Engaged Foresight in Action
We don't need better forecasts for the future. We need better citizens of the future. Engaged foresight produces better citizens.
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. Sure, we do get unexpected ideas, but it's really about the shift from top-down analysis of the future by a few to bottom-up engagement with future issues by many. There's a valid place for crowd-sourced analysis of signals and data streams about the future. But 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.
What exactly is Foresight Engine?
Building on IFTF's earlier success with the multiplayer forecasting platform Signtific, 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. Game masters 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.
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.
Examples of Public Foresight Engine Games
- UCSF 2025
- Connected Citizens
- Future of the Hospital
- Pounamu 2012
- Catalysts for Change
- Smart Grid 2025
- Magnetic South
- Breakthroughs to Cures
In the News
- Fast Company Co.Exist—”Foresight Engine Asks The Crowd To Change The Future“
- Forbes—“Over to You Mr. Smarty-Pants: How Would You Fix the World?“
For more information on Foresight Engine, please contact Sean Ness: