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.

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

Approx. 3 months to complete

Suggested 7 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible Schedule

Set and maintain flexible deadlines.

Beginner Level

Approx. 3 months to complete

Suggested 7 hours/week

English

Subtitles: English

How the Specialization Works

Take Courses

A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.

Hands-on Project

Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.

Earn a Certificate

When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.

how it works

There are 5 Courses in this Specialization

Course1

Course 1

Ready, Set, Future! Introduction to Futures Thinking

4.8
stars
162 ratings
50 reviews
Course2

Course 2

Forecasting Skills: See the Future Before it Happens

4.8
stars
70 ratings
18 reviews
Course3

Course 3

Simulation Skills: This is Your Brain on the Future

4.8
stars
46 ratings
9 reviews
Course4

Course 4

Collaborative Foresight: How to Game the Future

4.8
stars
30 ratings
4 reviews

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....

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.