About this Specialization

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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.
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online courses
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule
Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level
Approx. 6 months to complete
Suggested 3 hours/week
English
Subtitles: English
Shareable Certificate
Earn a Certificate upon completion
100% online courses
Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible Schedule
Set and maintain flexible deadlines.
Beginner Level
Approx. 6 months to complete
Suggested 3 hours/week
English
Subtitles: English

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Course 1

Ready, Set, Future! Introduction to Futures Thinking

4.8
stars
316 ratings
116 reviews
Course2

Course 2

Forecasting Skills: See the Future Before it Happens

4.8
stars
151 ratings
42 reviews
Course3

Course 3

Simulation Skills: This is Your Brain on the Future

4.9
stars
108 ratings
24 reviews
Course4

Course 4

Collaborative Foresight: How to Game the Future

4.8
stars
59 ratings
10 reviews

Offered by

Institute for the Future logo

Institute for the Future

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.

  • 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.

  • 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. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free. If you cannot afford the fee, you can apply for financial aid.

  • This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.

  • You can work at your own pace and move through the five courses as quickly or slowly as you want. We estimate that if you have 2-3 hours a week to spend learning, you will complete the entire Specialization in 20 weeks.

  • No background knowledge is necessary. This specialization is for everyone!

  • Yes, we recommend you take the courses in order. Lessons will refer back to previously learned skills and content.

  • No.

  • You will be able to use the Foresight-Insight-Action cycle to anticipate what's coming, imagine new possibilities, and plan action to shape the future. You will have developed expertise in six different futures thinking tools, and practiced five different styles of futures thinking: forecasting, scenario design, artifact creation, collaborative gaming and simulation. You will also join our alumni community, and receive invitations to ongoing free webinars, be able to download our newest future forecasts, and participate in other learning opportunities!

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.