If the COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s that the story of the future can change in a single breath. And it can change in ways no one expects. Foresight in this moment is not about finding the one path forward. It’s about nourishing our many human visions of what’s possible now, next year, and over the decades to come. It’s about the diversity of our hopes and dreams in the wake of a world-changing pandemic. With this project, “After the Pandemic: What Happens Next?”, IFTF is thinking about the post-pandemic world. IFTF has been asking questions about what we can learn from the pandemic and what kind of world we can build after the pandemic.
The project has multiple components. It sets out four different versions of the world of 2030, after the pandemic has been… conquered? contained? magnified? used to create something new? The four scenarios are Growth (“Saving Capitalists”), Constraint (“Germ Pods”), Collapse (“Ungoverning”), and Transformation (“Social Solidarity”), which are structured around four values: economics, politics, health, and social well-being. IFTF has also created a report that dives deeply into the historical data that shaped our pandemic response and revealed how vulnerable we were to the deleterious effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. This historical data also laid a foundation for imagining the four future scenarios. Finally, IFTF created a “toolkit for transformation” that helps you imagine and build your own scenarios, particularly transformation scenarios and the actions needed to achieve them.