About this Course
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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

This course is for everyone! No previous experience required.

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 11 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

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    Define futures thinking and give examples of futures projects

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    Collect and analyze signals of change

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    Identify historical change in the past to predict new changes in the future

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    Learn how to avoid future shock - and help others avoid it, too!

Skills you will gain

ForesightCreativityStrategic ThinkingInnovationLeadership

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

This course is for everyone! No previous experience required.

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 11 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
3 hours to complete

Welcome to the Future

9 videos (Total 42 min), 7 readings, 4 quizzes
9 videos
Welcome to the course! Meet your professor Jane McGonigal3m
Give me some examples of futures thinking!3m
Meet some professional futurists1m
What is futures thinking?4m
Mini-Masterclass: The Future Belongs to Everyone8m
When does the future start?6m
What are the benefits of futures thinking?7m
Choose your own future!2m
7 readings
Take our 2-minute survey about the future2m
What is Futures Thinking?10m
Who Hires Futurists?5m
How to think like a futurist: The 5 key principles15m
Why Companies Work With Futurists15m
Who Owns Your Future?15m
Six Possible Futures of Food20m
3 practice exercises
What is futures thinking?10m
When does the future start?5m
What are the seven benefits of futures thinking?10m
Week
2
3 hours to complete

Signals of Change

7 videos (Total 43 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
7 videos
Examples of Signals10m
Five Minutes in the Future of Food4m
Five Minutes in the Future of Economic Justice5m
How to Interpret Signals6m
Your Turn! Analyze a Signal2m
Where do you look for signals? And other FAQ6m
2 readings
Future of Work in 2030 - Signals Report30m
More Examples of Signals of Change10m
2 practice exercises
What's a signal of change?5m
Future of Work - Signals of Change10m
Week
3
2 hours to complete

Look Back to Look Forward

3 videos (Total 17 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
3 videos
How to Look Back to Look Forward (Part I)3m
How to Look Back to Look Forward (Part II)9m
4 readings
Excerpt: Hope in the Dark10m
TOOL: Look Back to Look Forward15m
The Future of Work is Task-Based, not Time-Based10m
Who Invented Futures Thinking and Why?15m
1 practice exercise
Who invented futures thinking, and why?5m
Week
4
3 hours to complete

Four Types of Futures Thinking

7 videos (Total 29 min), 4 readings, 3 quizzes
7 videos
The Four Types of Futures Thinking9m
Why I Future with Youth3m
Why I Future with Musicians2m
Why I Future with Incarcerated People2m
Why I Future with My City3m
Congratulations! You've finished this course49s
4 readings
The Future as a Way of Life10m
A Guide to The Four Types of Futures Thinking10m
How Professional Futurists Imagine the Future30m
An invitation to join our free Alumni Network2m
2 practice exercises
Can you identify the four types of futures thinking?10m
Why do people use futures thinking in their work?10m
4.8
6 ReviewsChevron Right

Top reviews from Ready, Set, Future! Introduction to Futures Thinking

By RSOct 20th 2019

Very good course. Concrete, practical and well thought out. Fascinating subject matter. Amazing to have virtual access through this platform to Silicon Valley's cutting edge thinking!

By NPOct 29th 2019

Very interested course. Learned more about Futures thinking than I expected.

Instructor

Avatar

Jane McGonigal

Research Director

About Institute for the Future

The Institute for the Future is the world's leading futures thinking organization. For over 50 years, businesses, governments and social impact organizations have depended upon IFTF global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to navigate complex change and develop world-ready strategies 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.