About this Course

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Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Check
    Collect and Analyze SIGNALS OF CHANGE
  • Check
    Identify and Analyze GLOBAL DRIVERS OF CHANGE
  • Check
    Combine Signals and Drivers into FUTURE FORECASTS
  • Check
    Write SCENARIOS that tell a story about your FUTURE FORECAST

Skills you will gain

ForesightCreativityStrategic ThinkingScenario DevelopmentInnovation

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 14 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 hours/week...


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


Week 1

4 hours to complete

Introduction to Future Forecasting

4 hours to complete
8 videos (Total 60 min), 7 readings, 3 quizzes
8 videos
Strong Opinions, Lightly Held6m
What's a forecast?10m
Mini-Masterclass: Forecasting 10110m
Looking for Drivers12m
More Global Drivers4m
Driver Example: Blockchain!2m
How to Make a Quick Forecast on any Topic9m
7 readings
Take our two-minute survey about the future!2m
Forecasting Skills Brief: Your "Cheat Sheet" for this course15m
Excerpt: Get There Early15m
Skills Refresher: Signals of Change10m
Examples of Drivers: The World in 203015m
Blockchain Futures25m
The Coming Era of Autonomous Vehicles15m
2 practice exercises
Future Forecasting Essentials10m
Blockchain basics10m

Week 2

3 hours to complete

How to Create a Future Forecast

3 hours to complete
4 videos (Total 34 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
4 videos
Combining Signals and Drivers into a Forecast (Part 2)8m
How to Reveal Unexpected Possibilities (Part 1)3m
How to Reveal Unexpected Possibilities (Part 2)9m
2 readings
Wired World: Forecasts for 2020 and beyond1h
TOOL: Reveal Unexpected Possibilities10m
2 practice exercises
Which forecast would impact you the most?15m
How would the Wired World forecast would change YOUR life?

Week 3

5 hours to complete

How to Write a Future Scenario

5 hours to complete
5 videos (Total 29 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
DEMO: Building a Scenario From Scratch7m
SCENARIO: The Future of Learning and Earning7m
The importance of ridiculous ideas1m
A Few More Scenarios to Play With6m
4 readings
Signals of change behind the scenarios15m
Learning is Earning: Map of the Future25m
Scenarios from the Future of Technology (the Ethical Operating System)20m
The Future of Machines (3 Scenarios)25m
1 practice exercise
The Future of Machines10m

Week 4

2 hours to complete

How to Update Your Forecasts

2 hours to complete
3 videos (Total 14 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
3 videos
Updating a Forecast6m
Congratulations on finishing this course!1m
5 readings
Future of Money - A Forecast for 202110m
Future of the Internet: A Forecast for 202110m
Future of Households: A Forecast for 2020110m
Future of Social Media: A Forecast for 202110m
An invitation to join our free Alumni Network2m
16 ReviewsChevron Right

Top reviews from Forecasting Skills: See the Future Before it Happens

By DMNov 11th 2019

I'm really liking these classes. They are doing exactly what I wanted which is getting me to think about things in a bigger way.

By AANov 14th 2019

I liked the course a lot. Presented tools are quite useful for me and I can use them when trying to build the future scenarios.


Image of instructor, Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal 

Research Director
5,161 Learners
5 Courses

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Institute for the Future

About the Futures Thinking Specialization

Do you want to think about the future with more creativity and optimism? Do you want to see what’s coming faster, so you can be better prepared for disruptions and more in control of your future? Do you want to get better at changing what’s possible today – in your company, your industry, your community, and in your own life? This Specialization will introduce you to the practice of futures thinking, as developed and applied for the past 50 years by the Institute for the Future, a Silicon-Valley-based research and learning group founded in 1968. You’ll master essential foresight techniques. You’ll meet leading professional futurists. And you’ll choose one or more future topics you want to investigate with your new foresight skills. The Futures Thinking specialization is for anyone who wants to spot opportunities for innovation and invention faster. You can gain the skills and confidence to help YOU become someone who makes the future, instead of letting the future happen to you. You'll develop a more future-oriented mindset to make positive changes in your own life, as you start to see new possibilities more clearly and craft the personal future you want. This specialization is based on the “How to Think Like a Futurist” workshops taught by Jane McGonigal, PhD for Stanford University Continuing Studies. By taking this specialization, you'll have access to key lessons and tools from the Institute for the Future’s professional “Foresight Training” certification program....
Futures Thinking

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.