WHAT IT IS
Are you ready to face the future with more creativity and optimism? Urgent Optimists is the Institute for the Future's first individual membership program. We’re bringing together people who want to feel authentically hopeful about the future, and who are working to create positive transformation in society and in their own lives. You're invited to join us to:
+ Tap into the power of collective imagination
+ Participate in mind-expanding thought experiments
+ Discover new future scenarios
+ Go on exclusive learning journeys with IFTF researchers
+ Play future forecasting games with people from around the world
+ See the future from many different perspectives
+ Learn how to measure and increase urgent optimism in yourself and others.
+ Earn a certificate in Imagination Leadership
WHAT YOU GET
As a member, you’ll have full access to:
SCENARIO CLUB. Think of it like an online book club, but for future scenarios! Discover a new scenario the first Friday of every month. Each scenario includes a short narrative, followed by supporting research, discussion questions and creative prompts. Join our monthly Zoom club meeting to go deeper into the scenarios together.
IMAGINATION TRAINING. Dive into the psychology and neuroscience of futures thinking, with 24/7 online courses led by Jane McGonigal, an IFTF Research Director and New York Times bestselling author of the new book Imaginable: How to See the Future Coming and Feel Ready for Anything, Even Things that Seem Impossible Today.
TOOLS TO MEASURE AND INCREASE URGENT OPTIMISM IN YOURSELF, YOUR TEAM, OR YOUR COMMUNITY. It's a highly motivating and resilient mindset that helps us stay engaged with the hard work of making a better world.
“SIGNALS OF CHANGE” SCAVENGER HUNTS. Find and share examples of change already happening today that make you feel hopeful for the future. (Because we all could use a little more hope these days!)
10 DAYS IN THE FUTURE. It’s an immersive, 10-day online learning journey that IFTF organizes for our Urgent Optimists once a year. The entire community comes together to simulate an urgent future, from climate migration to geoengineering. We tell stories about how we might personally react, adapt and help others. Each journey is designed to help you feel ready for what’s next and find your own unique role to play in making a better future.
PLUS all the social networking features you need to make deep, lasting connections with urgent optimists from around the world -- including group chat study groups to support your imagination training, a forum to share and get feedback on your own future scenarios, direct messaging, and customizable profiles to tell the world what futures you want to help make.
WHY IT MATTERS
What the world needs now are more urgent optimists.
Urgent optimism is a powerful mindset made up three key psychological strengths, which we can measure and improve together.
1. Psychological flexibility. It's the opposite of being “stuck” mentally. It’s the ability to recognize that anything can become different in the future, even things that seem impossible to change today.
2. Realistic hope. It's a balance of positive and shadow imagination. It’s knowing which risks and threats it makes sense to worry about – and which new solutions, technologies, ideas, and positive actions it makes sense to be excited and optimistic about.
3. Future power. It's a feeling of control and genuine agency to directly impact how the future turns out, by taking intentional action today.
Building these strengths is what this community is all about. We're practicing the proven skills, habits and games that can measurably increase our urgent optimism, even in the face of significant future challenges and uncertainty.
At Institute for the Future (IFTF), we embrace the limitless, catalytic power of imagination to unleash potential. Learn more at IFTF.org