IFTF Foresight Essentials will help you learn to embrace strategic foresight, navigate large-scale change, and lead your organization into a vibrant future.

This one-of-a-kind course is designed to help individuals and organizations develop their skills in the art and science of foresight. You’ll learn to make sense of the constant stream of news and information; transform urgent foresight into actionable insights; disrupt short-termism; and develop and test your own experiments in future-making. Upon completion, you’ll receive an IFTF certificate and will be welcomed into an exclusive network of like-minded specialists committed to promoting and supporting futures thinking across the globe.

In IFTF Foresight Essentials you will learn to:

  • Use 22 practical tools to cultivate a robust foresight practice

  • Transform your mindset to imagine new possibilities

  • Facilitate and lead thoughtful, strategic futures experiences and conversations

  • Generate insights to drive innovation, equity, and growth

  • Integrate foresight into your workflow, organizational culture, and community

  • Build a global network of inspiring futures colleagues

  • Grow your career as a foresight professional

This course includes:

  • Immersive, content-rich, multi-session instruction facilitated by experienced IFTF faculty

  • A proprietary IFTF Foresight Essentials Toolkit with 22 specialized tools and processes built on 50+ years of proven research and methodologies

  • Video lectures on the foresight fundamentals

  • Exercise templates to use in your own foresight practice

  • Complete set of presenter slides, including key takeaways

  • Two optional meet-ups to get to know fellow learners and learn from other foresight professionals

  • Personal access to instructors during dedicated office hours

  • Networking opportunities with participants from a wide range of professions and sectors

  • Certificate of Completion demonstrating your accomplishment, to share with potential employers or clients

  • Personalized applied futures project plan to guide your next steps

  • Membership in the global IFTF Foresight Essentials alumni community, with exclusive meet-ups

Agenda

Day 1
Through small group work and whole group discussion, we get to know each other and orient ourselves toward the basic skills and practices of strategic foresight. We explore the four fundamentals of foresight: the foresight practice, the foresight mindset, key foresight terms, and the forecast. We learn how to prepare evidence from today, frame futures questions, and loosen up our minds for futures work. We end the day by developing an initial set of forecasts — “stories and narratives about the future, designed to provoke insight in the present.”

Day 2
We flex our foresight muscles and practice structuring our forecasts in multiple ways. Through upbeat peer-to-peer interactions and group discussions, we reflect on how to integrate these tools and processes into our day-to-day practice. Then we shift from Foresight to Insight — the “aha moment” — when you draw meaningful connections between an outside-in view of the future and your present-day context. Insight tools include mapping the implications of foresight for various stakeholder groups or impact domains, and identifying waves of change.

Day 3
We learn tools and processes for moving from Insight to Action, such as assessing catalysts of change and rallying our networks. After all, the purpose of strategic foresight is to take new, different, and better actions in the present. Our capstone activity provides peer feedback and coaching on your personal, practical action plan for weaving the foresight methodologies into a meaningful project. Participants can use the original project they had in mind—or develop something entirely new. In small groups facilitated by IFTF faculty, we share our plans, challenges, and questions.

Session 1: Orientation (1.5 hours)
In our kickoff gathering, we frame our upcoming learning journey, orient to our tools and platforms, and get to know each other.

Session 2: Prepare (4 hours)
Building on the pre-work videos on the fundamentals of foresight, we reflect on the four different roles of the foresight practitioner, connecting them to our strengths and current contexts. We look back over history to identify patterns, then build our evidence from today , the building blocks of forecasts: signals and drivers of change.

Session 3: Foresight (4 hours)
We practice the ability to interpret futures evidence and work on developing forecasts— “statements about the future designed to provoke insight in the present"—with a wide range of foresight approaches. Foresight tools include drawing out consequences, revealing unexpected possibilities, artifacts from the future, and more.

Session 4: Foresight to Insight (4 hours)
Session four continues our work with foresight tools and the transition from Foresight to Insight—the “aha moment” when you draw meaningful connections between an outside-in view of the future and the work you’re doing today. Insight tools include mapping the implications of foresight on various stakeholder groups or impact domains and identifying waves of change.

Session 5: Insight to Action (4 hours)
In our final tool-based session, we discuss tools and processes for moving from Insight to Action. After all, the purpose of strategic foresight is to take new, better, and different actions in the present. In addition, we cover instructions, tools, and guidance for our capstone activity — an action plan for weaving the methodologies into a project that is meaningful to you. Participants can use the original project they had in mind or develop something entirely new.

Office Hours (25 mins, varying time slots)
Coaching session with an IFTF veteran to help you refine your applied futures project plan.

Session 6: Building Your Foresight Practice (4 hours)
We start our final session with an exercise consistently ranked as a highlight of the training session—peer feedback on action plans. In small groups facilitated by IFTF faculty, participants share their plans, challenges, and questions. We gain insight into alternative ways to implement the tools and thoughtful commentary from peers and IFTF. And we participate in the final rite of the program—graduation—knowing that the community will continue to be a resource moving forward.

Training Dates

Optimized for U.S., Asia, Australia, New Zealand
American Time Zones:
Session 1: Wed, Feb 1 | 5-6:45pm PST | 8-9:45pm EST
Session 2: Wed, Feb 8 | 5-9pm PST | 8pm-12am EST
Session 3: Wed, Feb 15 | 5-9pm PST | 8pm-12am EST
Session 4: Wed, Feb 22 | 5-9pm PST | 8pm-12am EST
Session 5: Wed, Mar 1 | 5-9pm PST | 8pm-12am EST
Office Hours: Thu, Mar 2 and Mon, Mar 6 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Wed, Mar 8 | 5-9pm PST | 8pm-12am EST
Asia Pacific Time Zones:
Session 1: Thu, Feb 2 | 9-10:45am CST/SGT/HKT | 12-1:45pm AEDT | 2-3:45pm NZDT
Session 2: Thu, Feb 9 | 9am-1pm CST/SGT/HKT | 12-4pm AEDT | 2-6pm NZDT
Session 3: Thu, Feb 16 | 9am-1pm CST/SGT/HKT | 12-4pm AEDT | 2-6pm NZDT
Session 4: Thu, Feb 23 | 9am-1pm CST/SGT/HKT | 12-4pm AEDT | 2-6pm NZDT
Session 5: Thu, Mar 2 | 9am-1pm CST/SGT/HKT | 12-4pm AEDT | 2-6pm NZDT
Office Hours: Fri, Mar 3 and Tue, Mar 7 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Thu, Mar 9 | 9am-1pm CST/SGT/HKT | 12-4pm AEDT | 2-6pm NZDT

Optimized for U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Session 1: Tue, Feb 28 | 9-10:45am PST | 12-1:45pm EST | 6-7:45pm CET
Session 2: Tue, Mar 7 | 9am-1pm PST | 12-4pm EST | 6-10pm CET
Session 3: Tue, Mar 14 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 5-9pm CET
Session 4: Tue, Mar 21 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 5-9pm CET
Session 5: Tue, Mar 28 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST
Office Hours: Thu, Mar 30 and Mon, Apr 3 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Tue, Apr 4 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST

Location
Institute for the Future

201 Hamilton Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301

Day 1: Tue, Apr 18 | 9am-5:30pm PDT
Day 2: Wed, Apr 19 | 9am-5:30pm PDT
Day 3: Thu, Apr 20 | 9am-5:30pm PDT

Please note Covid-19 visitor policies »

Optimized for U.S. East, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Session 1: Wed, May 3 | 9-10:45am EDT | 2-3:45pm BST | 3-4:45pm CEST
Session 2: Wed, May 10 | 9am-1pm EDT | 2-6pm BST | 3-7pm CEST
Session 3: Wed, May 17 | 9am-1pm EDT | 2-6pm BST | 3-7pm CEST
Session 4: Wed, May 24| 9am-1pm EDT | 2-6pm BST | 3-7pm CEST
Session 5: Wed, May 31 | 9am-1pm EDT | 2-6pm BST | 3-7pm CEST
Office Hours: Thu, Jun 1 and Mon, Jun 5 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Wed, Jun 7 | 9am-1pm EDT | 2-6pm BST | 3-7pm CEST

Location
Fuenfwerken Design AG

Paul-Lincke-Ufer 42, 10999 Berlin, Germany

Day 1: Tue, Jul 11 | 9am-5:30pm
Day 2: Wed, Jul 12 | 9am-5:30pm
Day 3: Thu, Jul 13 | 9am-5:30pm

Attendees will be required to submit proof of a Covid-19 vaccination with the recommended doses by their home country.

Optimized for U.S., Canada, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Session 1: Wed, Sept 6 | 9-10:45am PDT | 12-1:45pm EDT | 6-7:45pm CEST
Session 2: Wed, Sept 13 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST
Session 3: Wed, Sept 20 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST
Session 4: Wed, Sept 27 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST
Session 5: Wed, Oct 4 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST
Office Hours: Thu, Oct 5 and Mon, Oct 9 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Wed, Oct 11 | 9am-1pm PDT | 12-4pm EDT | 6-10pm CEST

Optimized for U.S. East, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America
Session 1: Mon, Nov 20 | 9-10:45am EST | 2-3:45pm GMT | 3-4:45pm CET
Session 2: Mon, Nov 27 | 9am-1pm EST | 2-6pm GMT | 3-7pm CET
Session 3: Thu, Nov 30 | 9am-1pm EST | 2-6pm GMT | 3-7pm CET
Session 4: Mon, Dec 4 | 9am-1pm EST | 2-6pm GMT | 3-7pm CET
Session 5: Thu, Dec 7 | 9am-1pm EST | 2-6pm GMT | 3-7pm CET
Office Hours: Fri, Dec 8 | Varying time slots
Session 6: Mon, Dec 11 | 9am-1pm EST | 2-6pm GMT | 3-7pm CET

Costs

$6,500 Standard
$6,000 Standard early-bird
$5,500 Vantage partners
$4,500 Nonprofit/education/government
$4,000 Nonprofit/education/government early-bird

Nonprofit/education/government
Email [email protected] to verify your organization’s eligibility to save $2,000.

Early-bird
Register at least 45 days in advance 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.

FAQs

Read our training registration policies here.

Institute for the Future is conveniently located in downtown Palo Alto, California (SFO or SJC). We are in the heart of Silicon Valley, close to attractions such as Stanford University, medical and research centers, cultural institutions, and leading-edge tech startups. Visit us.

IFTF Foresight Essentials is for people and teams ready to build their foresight capacity. Attendees come from the public and private sector and often work in innovation, strategy, community services and organizing, design, research, education, engineering, technology, planning, operations, consulting, management, HR, learning, and organizational change.

In-Person Trainings
Participants can expect to participate in three full days (9am-5:30pm each day) of learning. There will be additional optional evening networking opportunities. Before the training begins, there will be 2-3 hours of preparation work.

Live-Online Trainings
Participants can expect to spend 22 hours of live instruction over six structured sessions (including breaks). You should plan to spend 1-2 hours completing independent assignments between each session, which includes videos, exercises, and buddy work. There will be an optional 1-on-1 coaching session with a faculty member and two optional “Sip & Chat” networking opportunities.

Zoom
This video conferencing platform will be our primary virtual tool to hold all our live-online training sessions and optional social gatherings. Please ensure you have a stable internet connection to join us by video.

Miro
This online workspace is where we'll capture the entire visual narrative of our learning and where you'll collaborate with colleagues and work independently on futures exercises. We strongly recommend you prepare access to a laptop or desktop computer and familiarize yourself with Miro before the training begins.

IFTF Foresight Essentials home base
An easy-to-use online learning platform designed specifically for IFTF Foresight Essentials. Here you'll find your agenda, training materials, prework instructions, instructional videos, session recordings, presentation slides, and more.

Google Drive
For in-person trainings, digital course files (PDFs, videos) will be shared with you through Google Drive.

The easiest and fastest way to register for a training is to click here and pay by credit card. Space is limited. Early registration is recommended.

We also accept checks, wire transfers, and purchase orders. Please email [email protected] for more information.

Please email [email protected] for questions about a training.