The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is a consulting and research organization founded by former Rand Corporation researchers using military research methods to support both the public and business sectors.
It works on behalf of its dues paying partners as well as for businesses and organizations that pay for once-off projects.
Among its prominent consulting efforts is “Climate Action In 2030,” a program which supports environmentalist efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
The Institute for the Future (IFTF) was founded in 1968 with a grant from the left-wing Ford Foundation by several Rand Corporation researchers with the intent of extending the military research methods used by Rand into public and business sectors. 1
Originally located in Connecticut, the organization moved to Palo Alto, California in 1971. A small group of cross-disciplinary researchers was assembled to leverage evolving technologies and hybrid research methods to define and extend its purpose of addressing global climate change and the perceived crisis in health care. 2
Founded as a non-profit with the intent of doing work for government agencies, Institute for the Future began to take a more corporate approach in the 1970s. Income is derived from over 50 IFTF Vantage “partners” and non-partner organizations in the business, education, government, and philanthropy sectors who then access services. The organization plots a ten-year future window for its “partners,” defines the insights gleaned, then builds a plan of short-term actions that build toward the long-term future. 3
Further, IFTF’s Foresight initiative provides training to organizations and individuals on shaping a vision of the future, building consensus around it, and defining planned actions intended to build to the agreed future. 4
One example of IFTF’s projects is “Climate Action In 2030” produced for Climate Investment Funds. Climate Investment funds is in the business of providing long-term financing to accelerate climate change initiatives. IFTF published the results of their work in a paper titled “A New Story to Spark the Future of Climate Action.” The work starts from the premise that man is the primary cause of global warming and builds a roadmap of how to hold the rise of temperature below 2 degrees by 2030. It provides specific direction how to leverage the media and activate global youth and women while proposing abundant financial returns that will result from climate change remediation. 5
Marina Gorbis has served as executive director since 2006. Futurist, social scientist and author of The Nature of the Future: Dispatches From the Socialstructured World, she has worked with hundreds of organizations in business, education, philanthropy and government to improve innovation, design new products and services and develop long-term strategies. 6 7
Total Income for 2017 totaled $11,243,385 of which $11,184,349 was generated via service revenue while $43,049 was provided via contributions and grants. 8 The partnership program generated $3,759,139 of income with the rest coming from projects generated by non-partners. 9 Expenses totaled $11,183,741 consisting of salaries and employee benefits of $6,397,539, consulting fees of $1,343,644, travel expense of $975,631 and rent of $858,458. 10 11 12
At the end of 2017 total assets were $2,114,169. 13
The Institute for the Future has provided services for the following organizations:
- Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Business Finland
- Mitsubishi Corporation
- RTI International
- Sanitarium Health & Well Being
- Cox Enterprises
- Dubai Electricity & Utility Authority
- “Institute For The Future.” IFTF. Accessed March 23, 2020. http://www.iftf.org/en/what-we-do/history-of-the-future/.
- “Institute For The Future.” IFTF. Accessed March 23, 2020. http://www.iftf.org/what-we-do/history-of-the-future/.
- “Institute For The Future.” IFTF. Accessed March 23, 2020. http://www.iftf.org/vantage/.
- “Institute For The Future.” IFTF. Accessed March 23, 2020. http://www.iftf.org/foresightessentials/.
- “Institute For The Future.” IFTF. Accessed March 23, 2020. http://www.iftf.org/climateaction2030/.
- “Five Principles for Thinking Like a Futurist.” EDUCAUSE Review. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2019/3/five-principles-for-thinking-like-a-futurist.
- Executive Director, Institute for the Future. “Marina Gorbis.” Marina Gorbis | Bio | Premiere Speakers Bureau. Accessed March 23, 2020. https://premierespeakers.com/marina-gorbis/bio.
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I Lines 12,9,8.
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part VIII, line 2b.
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I, Lines 18,15
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part IX Line 11G Schedule O.
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part IX, Lines 17, 16.
- Institute For The Future. Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (Form 990). 2017. Part I, Line 22.