Imagine that you could take an archaeologist’s expedition to the future to collect objects and fragments of text or photos to understand what daily life will be like in 10, 20, or 50 years. What might you find?

One effective technique we use at Institute for the Future is Artifacts from the Future. An Artifact from the Future is a creative representation of how everyday life might be different in the future. It is a real-world object that brings the everyday details of a possible future to life.

Artifacts give us this tangible experience of the future. They make the details of a scenario concrete, helping us to understand, almost first-hand, what it will be like to live in a particular future.


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Artifacts from the Future provide a rich starting point for strategic discussions, whether for a new products team in a technical organization or a community group looking for ways to engage young people in building a stake in their own neighborhood. Creating Artifacts from the Future is also a great way to get people thinking about the future—their assumptions, their goals, and the path from here to there.

Learn how to create an Artifact from the Future — to help spark "aha" moments and conversations that lead to action today.


Course: IFTF Fast Futures: How to Create Artifacts from the Future in 90 Minutes

Date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 18:00 CEST

Location: Online / Live / Zoom

Registration: $99

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Learn live from our award-winning faculty and design futurists alongside an intimate cohort of learners.


  • You want to express ideas about the future in a creative way.
  • Learn a systematic process for stretching your imagination.
  • You want to take away practical skills you can share with others, to help them think about the future more creatively and usefully.


  • Learn how to move from abstract visions of the future to tangible artifacts from the future.
  • Understand how future artifacts and experiences are nested in grounded research about the future.
  • Be able to use the feelings and reactions about your artifact to spark productive conversations.
  • Be invited to join IFTF’s global community of foresight practitioners, which includes offerings such as free IFTF Foresight Talks monthly webinars and the IFTF Foresight Essentials newsletter


After the course, you'll receive these downloadable PDFs so that you can keep practicing your new skills:

  • Worksheet: How to Create an Artifact from the Future (PDF)
  • Artifacts created by you and other participants (PDF)


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Example: Churchill's Creamery. In 2018, IFTF's Food Futures Lab created this possible future of what animal domestication might look like in the next decade—moving away from slaughterhouses and towards petri dishes to cultivate animal-based protein. To help us imagine living in this future world, the "Churchill's Creamery" artifact makes this feel like a real possibility through its vivid and tangible details. We're able to immerse ourselves in this future world of more humane, environmentally-friendly meat. Did you know—this artifact served as the inspiration for a real-life lab-grown food company today?

Enroll today!


For information about the IFTF Foresight Essentials training program, visit or email [email protected].