curated by Institute for the Future

October 27, 2022 — Issue #81
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The Future Is Wide Open

If recent times have taught us anything it’s that the story of the future can change in a single moment, and in ways no one expects. As our ED Marina Gorbis, says, “this has been a pivotal moment of our time, and the moment to start laying foundations for what comes next.” It is with this spirit, and with the recent interest in futures work overall, that we challenged ourselves to better understand our unique place in the futures field. We looked at our rich history as the world’s longest running futures group to reevaluate our mission and brand. We are excited to share what we have learned and the results of this work.

In 1968, IFTF was founded with a grant from the Ford Foundation with a singular mission—to develop systematic research approaches and tools that identify socio-economic issues before they become tomorrow’s critical problems. Now, more than five decades later, we continue not only to work with the same foundation, but to strive for this important legacy of creating visions of plausible, consistent views of future possibilities that inspire agency and—ultimately action.

We talked to you, our networks, and community of sponsors …and we asked ourselves, “What is IFTF when it is at its best?”  What we found was a renewed belief in the power of IF. For more than 50 years, we have been helping individuals and leaders harness the power of their own imagination to create the future. We know that it can awaken a sense of agency and drive change in people and in organizations. And we know that our tools and programs are designed specifically for this purpose.

We are proud to announce our new website at www.iftf.org and a new logo that stands out in the noise of today. IFTF remains a group of dedicated expert futurists and researchers with a legacy foundation in global forecasts, custom research, and foresight training to help organizations navigate complex change. We’re thrilled to move forward with fresh eyes and a fresh identity that’s aligned with our core values and supports services and forecasts for the sectors we serve.

Join us and stay connected as we collaborate to harness the power of IF for a more equitable and sustainable society.

Signals from the Future

🐝  Bee venom can suppress cancer cells

Honeybees have already been trained to detect diabetes. Now a group of Australian scientists have demonstrated that bee venom and its major component, melittin, can kill certain aggressive triple-negative and HER2-enriched breast cancer subtypes.

💨  Noiseless, bladeless wind turbines

Wind and solar are now competitive with fossil fuels. Stationary and silent, the motionless Aeromine turbine generates energy around the clock, in any weather, and requires only a fraction of space required by solar panels. And it doesn’t kill birds.

👨🏻‍🎓  MBA applicants on the wane in the U.S.

Harvard Business School and other top business programs are reporting steep drops in applications. What’s the cause? A hot labor market? The cost of the degree? Or has the traditional MBA grown unsustainable?

🥱  Sleep tourism growing in popularity

We’re not sleeping, and often we’re barely awake. Since the pandemic, interest in sleep-focused hotels and resorts has skyrocketed, with a number of high-profile establishments catering to slumber-deprivation sufferers.

 Find hundreds of categorized Signals from the Future at Future Factors, IFTF Vantage’s proprietary, easy-to-use platform for sharing and synthesizing signals from today that are likely to affect tomorrow’s transformations.


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