About this Course

24,718 recent views

Shareable Certificate

Earn a Certificate upon completion

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.

Approx. 10 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: English

What you will learn

  • Describe your preferred future

  • Create artifacts from the future

  • Build an action roadmap to change the future

  • Organize a community to change the future

Skills you will gain

ForesightCreativityStrategic PlanningInnovationLeadership

Shareable Certificate

Earn a Certificate upon completion

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.

Approx. 10 hours to complete

English

Subtitles: English

Offered by

Institute for the Future logo

Institute for the Future

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1

Week 1

2 hours to complete

Preferred Futures

2 hours to complete
5 videos (Total 28 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
5 videos
What's a preferred future?9m
Tips on Preferred Futures4m
Working Backwards from a Preferred Future6m
Good news from the future!4m
5 readings
Take a two-minute survey about the future!2m
Urgent Optimism Skills Brief (Your "cheat sheet" for the course)15m
Hello from the year 2050: An example of a preferred future15m
News of the Future15m
TOOL: Headline the Future15m
Week
2

Week 2

2 hours to complete

Images of the Future

2 hours to complete
4 videos (Total 27 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
4 videos
Today's Images of the Future6m
Measuring and Influencing Optimism About the Future5m
3 Images of the Future, Year 20274m
4 readings
Images of the Future (excerpt)10m
OPTIONAL: 7 Images of the Future from 194710m
A Golden Age for Dystopian Fiction20m
OPTIONAL: Six Short Stories From the Future30m
1 practice exercise
Images of the Future10m
Week
3

Week 3

2 hours to complete

Artifacts from the Future

2 hours to complete
4 videos (Total 26 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
4 videos
More Examples of Artifacts from the Future4m
Tips for Thinking of Artifacts5m
DEMO: How I Made These Artifacts!9m
1 reading
How to Make Artifacts from the Future20m
1 practice exercise
Artifacts from the Future5m
Week
4

Week 4

3 hours to complete

Action Roadmaps

3 hours to complete
6 videos (Total 35 min), 4 readings, 3 quizzes
6 videos
How to Build an Action Roadmap (Part 1)3m
How to Build an Action Roadmap (Part 2)8m
Mini-Masterclass: Group and Community Futures (Part 1)12m
Mini-Masterclass: Group and Community Futures (Part 2)4m
SCENARIO: Sudan 20304m
4 readings
TOOL: Build an Action Roadmap10m
Climate Action Map20m
OPTIONAL: Kenya Youth Scenarios in 203015m
OPTIONAL: UNDP Foresight Manual: Empowered Futures for the 2030 Agenda15m
2 practice exercises
Climate Action and YOU15m
What community would you bring together to future?10m

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.

  • If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy.

  • Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.