What We Do
Make the Future with Foresight, Insight, and Action
In a world of abundant data, ubiquitous social media, and participatory platforms—where impossible futures can become overnight realities—traditional strategic planning tools are ripe for transformation. Today, many strategic planning processes remain stuck in the past. Small teams work in silos, isolated from organizational momentum and trapped by institutional inertia. Often they communicate in dense PowerPoint presentations and even denser reports that pale next to the richly visual multimedia of today’s daily communication flows in a highly connected population. Even if their plans reach the minds and hearts of their intended audiences, they usually drive sporadic action rather than persistent attention to the change that’s needed.
Case Study: University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)
This framework unleashes the energy of today’s connected communities and channels it to create clear visions of the future. It builds on provocative scenarios in our online Foresight Engine—a collaborative forecasting platform—to gather the broadest intelligence from your community. Tapping this intelligence, it invites diverse members of the community into foresight studios to design creative but concrete visions of the way forward. It turns a sporadic, limited exercise into a dynamic pulse-taking experience for a broad set of stakeholders, all in the service of making a more desirable future.
3 Steps to Participatory Strategy
Step 1: Tap your People
Every organization has a community of people with hidden, untapped intelligence. Participatory strategy unleashes this intelligence by provoking their imagination and creativity in a collaborative forecasting event using IFTF’s Foresight Engine, a social forecasting platform. Over a few days, short video scenarios designed by IFTF inspire hundreds or even thousands of participants to capture their best visions of the future in short forecasts that others can build on. The result is often long chains of thousands of forecasts, synthesized into compelling future themes.
Step 2: Design your Future
Building on IFTF scenarios and the collaborative foresight from your community, participatory strategy launches leaders from across your network into a series of foresight studios—intensive design-the-future sessions that use unique IFTF processes and toolkits to bring desired futures into focus. The outcome is a visual map of the future that organizes the big ideas and can continue to serve as a tool for engaging both internal and external stakeholders.
Step 3: Act Together
Participatory strategy builds on community engagement and leadership foresight to support dynamic strategic decisions across the organization—all aligned with a shared framework. IFTF convenes an immersive event for the larger community with a focus on creating alternative pathways to action, surfacing internal champions at every level and ensuring a greater likelihood of success in the face of changing external conditions. This event sets coordinated action in motion.