Experience is the best teacher, but how does one experience the future?

Design Futures is a course that teaches you how to create interactions with "the future," learn from those interactions, and apply those learnings to your life and work. Through a unique curriculum that builds on the deep experience from award-winning design futurists, you will learn to analyze possible futures, build worlds and scenes from those futures, and populate those scenes with compelling artifacts and media. The course culminates with the design of projects and programs that integrate your new knowledge and skills into actionable outcomes.

IFTF Design Futures will help you make the future come alive in the present

In this training, you'll work with IFTF's award-winning design futurists to learn how to create Artifacts from the Future, imagine and prototype informed alternatives to the future, and design transformative offerings and policies for the next decade.

In IFTF Design Futures you will learn to:

  • Expand your design practice with foresight
    Combine design theory with foresight methods and tools to identify forces of change, signals, and alternative futures.
  • Recognize biases and assumptions about the future 
    Identify the visions embedded in products, strategies, and media, and learn how to redesign them.
  • Build future worlds
    Describe future contexts with evidence-based world building and user journeys to anticipate problems, dilemmas and opportunities of the next decade.
  • Prototype experiences of a future world
    Design experiential scenarios to feel life in the next decade, and engage audiences in tangible ways.
  • Design a new offering for the future
    Use a future values canvas to create innovative revenue and impact models for people and systems from the future.
  • Apply insights to current action
    Extract insights from the future and identify opportunities to develop new products, services, and offerings today.
Anyone interested in designing the future, futures thinking, or future-proofing anything you do, this Design Futures course is a must. Ahmed Best | Co-Founder, Afrorithm Futures Group; Professor and Senior Fellow, University of Southern California
A thoughtfully designed and dynamic training that included diverse voices, inspiring presentations, interactive simulations, and provocative activities. It was broad and deep. Expert facilitators ensured that we walked away with the ability to immediately apply learning in our own unique contexts. Tamara Christensen | Consultant, Idea Farm
Looking ahead into the unknown can be a challenging task, but the plethora of tools and frameworks that the team provided us were incredibly helpful. In fact, we have already started applying several of the tools toour current initiatives. Tyler Lauretti | Technology Leadership Development Program, Travelers

This course includes:

  • Live interactive instruction led by IFTF award-winning design futurists, Jake Dunagan, Ilana Lipsett, and Jacques Barcia
  • Immersion in design futures methodologies and processes
  • IFTF Design Futures Toolkit
  • Full set of proprietary PowerPoint presentations
  • Networking with a diverse cohort of foresight practitioners and designers
  • Certificate of completion of IFTF Design Futures Training


IFTF Design Futures is an interactive training that combines core concepts of futures thinking with design and narrative theory. Participants will learn innovative approaches to designing and communicating foresight for immediate application and impact.

In this introductory session, we dive into Design Futures with immersive activities to get you creating future objects right away.

This session focuses on the fundamentals of Design Futures, with a lecture to situate ourselves in the field. We learn and practice two tools from the Prepare section of the Design Futures toolkit, with breakout sessions within small groups and learning pairs to practice the tools and apply them to group and personal projects.

In Session 3, we bring our futures to life! We cover both the Explore and Experience sections of the toolkit, where we learn the fundamentals of worldbuilding and storytelling (Explore), and then put these concepts into practice as we create a scene and learn how to create artifacts from the future (Experience). We also learn some tricks of the trade, hearing from experienced design futurists on principles of design.

Participants learn about Systems Mythology, a framework for understanding and communicating the meaning behind the design of the new systems we are building. We also learn the final tools from the Execute section of our toolkit: Futuring a New Offering and Design Your Project. These tools bring us from the future into the present, providing actionable processes for creating a new future-oriented service or offering.

In our final session, participants work in small groups, alongside an experienced IFTF practitioner, to share and workshop their personal projects. We discuss when and how the tools we've learned throughout the course are best applied and best combined. We end with our expert facilitators sharing from their own experiences, giving concrete and inspiring examples of Design Futures projects.

Training Dates

Session 1: Tue, May 2 | 8-9:30am PDT | 11am-12:30pm EDT | 5-6:30pm CEST
Session 2: Thu, May 4 | 8am-12pm PDT | 11am-3pm EDT | 5-9pm CEST
Session 3: Tue, May 9 | 8am-12pm PDT | 11am-3pm EDT | 5-9pm CEST
Session 4: Thu, May 11 | 8am-12pm PDT | 11am-3pm EDT | 5-9pm CEST
Session 5: Tue, May 16 | 8am-12pm PDT | 11am-3pm EDT | 5-9pm CEST



$3,500 Standard
$3,000 Nonprofit/Education/Government
$3,000 IFTF Vantage partners
$3,000 IFTF Alumni

Email [email protected] to verify your organization’s eligibility to save $500.

IFTF Vantage partners
Email [email protected] to verify your organization’s eligibility to save $500.

IFTF Alumni
Email [email protected] to verify your organization’s eligibility to save $500.

Do you need financial assistance? IFTF offers a limited number of scholarships for individuals who are underrepresented in the field of foresight or using foresight for social good/change. Apply here.


As an originator of experiential and design futures, Jake Dunagan has been at the forefront of the practice and pedagogy of the field for the last 15 years. Jake brings both theoretical rigor and hands-on practical knowledge to his work. He has taught and mentored design futures students for over 10 years at leading institutions around the world such as the University of Texas' Center for Integrated Design, California College of the Arts' Design Strategy MBA program, and CENTRO in Mexico City. Some of his career highlights as a design futurist include ground-breaking projects including immersive scenarios for for the State of Hawaii in 2050, a pandemic-based alternate reality game for the CDC, visions of future cities with the US Conference of Mayors, exhibitions for the Dubai Museum of the Future, and with many other civic organizations, foundations, and businesses.

Ilana Lipsett specializes in participatory design and inclusive futures. She is an experienced workshop facilitator, having led design, foresight, planning, and engagement workshops across the globe for governments, corporations, community groups, and has been a guest lecturer at numerous universities and graduate degree programs, from business to planning to design. She has an MBA in sustainable management, and has worked with companies to implement social impact and sustainability strategies through a futures-focused lens.

Jacques Barcia is a published science fiction author, journalist and designer. He has experience leading innovation processes and facilitating design sprints. He’s worked at technology parks and innovation institutes in Brazil, helping established companies and startups develop new offerings for the futures. Jacques specializes in helping organizations prototype the next decades using storytelling and product design. Jacques holds a masters in design. His fiction has appeared in professional markets and anthologies in the US, UK, and Brazil.