IFTF + You
The Ten-Year Forecast Program provides a distinctive outlook on the changing global environment for a vanguard of players in business, government, and nonprofit organizations. Focusing on the next three to ten years, the program anticipates discontinuities and emerging dilemmas—discontinuities because they challenge business as usual and dilemmas because they demand new ways of thinking about complex problems. Together, discontinuities and dilemmas provide a vista of new practices and points of view that will shape tomorrow's organizations and today's choices.
2013 Research Agenda
In the midst of global transformation, many paths open to the future. On a planet of more than 7 billion people, the choices we make about those paths will be diverse, often incompatible, and sometimes irreconcilable. They will scribe new patterns of flows around the globe and ignite new social structures to manage those flows. They may literally turn the world upside down, as the global south rises to the top in many of our guiding metrics. The metrics themselves may convulse, mirroring social, economic, and environmental upheaval. The way we sense the future will literally be transformed.
In this decade of disorientation, the 2013 Ten-Year Forecast will be a template for reorienting our visions and our actions.
For nearly four decades, the Ten-Year Forecast has been a leading source of foresight for a vanguard of business, government, and nonprofit organizations. It is a platform for sensing today’s latent signals, tracking their intersections to understand the ecosystem of choices, and then designing platforms for future resilience.
The Ten-Year Forecast is about rewiring your mind, your organization, and your world for the long term, giving you the tools you need to make the future you want, starting today.
The 2012 Ten-Year Forecast was a map of two curves: a first incumbent curve of practices that will slowly decline over the coming century and a second curve that will give shape to our new human enterprises. The 2013 Ten-Year Forecast will anticipate the interplay between these two curves, as second-curve innovations provoke first curve reactions, which in turn initiate further adjustments on the second curve.
We can think of this decade-building process as a series of choices and consequences—first-, second-, and third-order consequences as the world responds to forces already in play today. Along this path, inflection points will signal rapid changes in both curves. New design principles for everything from money and manufacturing to persuasion and revolution will rewrite the rules of innovation. Emerging socialstructs will alter our most intimate relationships and our most public identities.
The 2013 Ten-Year forecast will invite us onto the second curve with a toolkit of new methodologies for reorienting ourselves. It will offer up forecasts for new forms of familiar forces in our world, including a deep dive into communities that are hacking the very foundations of production around the globe. Finally, it will undertake an experiment in engineering social topologies on the internet—in this case, to enhance our understanding of the second curve. The annual Map of the Decade will give us a birds-eye view of this world turned upside down.
A [re]Orientation Kit
The future looks different on the second curve. To make the transition from the first to the second curve, we need a kit of tools that can help us orient ourselves to the interplay of the curves and to the new rules for innovation and society-making. This year’s Ten-Year Forecast will have at its core a [re]Orientation Kit of templates that will help us see what’s coming and set a course for this second-curve future. Specifically, this makers’ kit for the future will include tools for:
- Waymarking third-order consequences of emerging second-curve phenomena and responses to those phenomena—the use of “if, then…then…then” forecasts
- Discerning early inflection points on both the incumbent and emergent curves that will signal rapid shifts to new behaviors of individuals, communities, and markets
- Applying design principles for innovations that will leverage “weak resources” outside mainstream institutions and markets
- Building socialstructs for mobilizing new behaviors across actors and sectors
Perspectives on the Second Curve
As the second curve flips the world upside down, familiar zones of choice and consequence may well appear strange and alien. The 2013 Ten-Year Forecast will provide re-orienting perspectives help us understand five zones of innovation:
- New Wealth: Transformative platforms for the exchange of value
- New Work: New ways of organizing production
- New Bodies: Transfigurations of the human form
- New Power: Reinvention of the arts of war, peace, and persuasion
- New Planet: Remapping of energy, resources, climates, and people
These zones will be mapped geographically and conceptually to create five forecast maps, supported by five video stories of the choices and consequences they will present over the next decade.
2013 Map of the Decade
The 2013 Map of the Decade will present an at-a-glance view of the second-curve innovations of the coming decade and the interplay between the first and second curves as those innovations take root. The map will include explicitly local signals from around the world. This combination of out-of-the box futures and signals from the present should provide a powerful platform for strategy and policy, both globally and locally.
TYF Annual Retreat
The Annual Retreat will be held April 11-12, 2013, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It will bring together program members, experts in the five zones of innovation, and methodological facilitators to immerse us in an improvisatory landscape of change.
The Ten-Year Forecast program is an ongoing research effort. Membership for 2013 includes attendance at the 2013 TYF Annual Retreat and three print copies of the 2013 Ten-Year Forecast and 2013 Map of the Decade, as well as electronic access to the Ten-Year Forecast member-only website.