Thanks, SkillsUSA!

That’s a wrap, folks!

After 30 incredible hours, Learning is Earning 2026 at SkillsUSA has come to a close. Over that time we had 263 new players and 1,187 new ideas added to the conversation, the vast majority coming from high schoolers and community college students from across the United States.

Three young men and one woman leaning over tablets at TECHSPO booth and playing the game

The theme this year at SkillsUSA is Champions at Work: Connecting you to Career Success and we’re so glad we had the chance to work together to push that thinking into the future. Facing a of a world of constant change, we were blown away by the excitement and enthusiasm you brought to thinking about how to navigate that uncertain terrain.

Booth at the TECHSPO

SkillsUSA is filled with the best and the brightest in career and technical education, and we’ve been thrilled to get a chance to learn from you and how you think about the future. We can’t wait to see how you forge new paths and make the future that you want to see!

Next stop for Learning is Earning 2026 is the Aspen Ideas Festival on July 2nd. See you then!

What if every business had a Chief Empathy Officer?

Guest blog post by Anne Burt, Chief Communications Officer at Facing History and Ourselves.

There’s a small but significant groundswell happening during game play around the idea of empathy as a subject – or even a major – in a Learning is Earning 2026 future.

Positive imagination card from Jane McGonigal that reads: "If you had 1 hour to teach anyone 1 skill, what would you teach them? #LearnPositive (please use the hashtag in your reply!)"

Positive imagination card from player brenmcelf that reads: " One hour, one thing: empathy #IWouldTeach #SXSWedu @nasthe3rd"Without question, empathy is a key life skill in a shrinking world where, every day, we interact with those whose points of view and experiences are so different from our own. Research is growing that demonstrates empathy might even be the quality that could save us from the potential breakdown of public civil discourse. In my organization, Facing History and Ourselves, we ask: If you can see the world through someone else’s eyes, would you make decisions differently?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) must be taught, but can it be measured? Right now, a controversy is playing itself out in schools that have developed standardized tests to try to measure whether students are learning empathy and other social skills. How can we open our minds about 2026 and reimagine the teaching and the assessment of empathy outside traditional testing methods? The world is overflowing with real-life opportunities to try out empathic skills. What are some truly innovative ideas that would bring empathy to life and give life to empathy? What if every business had a Chief Empathy Officer, and bonuses were based on employees’ empathic course completion rate? Let’s build a positive future by learning to listen to each other.

Unlock an Achievement!

Earn a special honor during the game by inspiring or surprising other players! Here are the achievements you can unlock. If you receive one, you’ll see it pop up on your profile page… and in the activity feed so everyone can celebrate your awesome contributions.

Here are the achievements up for grabs.

The "Well I Never" achievement icon. Icon is of a glowing magic wand.

Well, I Never!!!

We are pretty sure that today you imagined something that no one has ever imagined before. Thank you for taking the future in such a surprising, intriguing, unexpected direction.

The "Comedy" achievement icon. Icon is of a two googly eyes.

Comedy Award

You remind us that the future can sometimes be silly, ridiculous, or absurd. It’s important to not always take the future so seriously!

The "Eyes Wide Open" achievement icon. Icon is of two eyes...wide open

Eyes Wide Open

Your shadow imagination has helped the entire community see more clearly the biggest problems and challenges we might face in the future. Thank you for making sure our eyes are wide open!

The "Leaders Make the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of a crown

Leaders Make the Future

You led an important team effort on the Foresight Engine today. You rallied a team to imagine one future from every angle possible. You brought attention to an important topic. Well played!

The "Innovation Award" achievement icon. Icon is of a glowing lightbulb

Innovation Award

You did something amazing with the Foresight Engine that we’ve never seen before. You came up with a new way to play with the future! Well done. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

The "Sherlock Holmes" achievement icon. Icon is of a magnifying glass.

Sherlock Holmes

You are an extraordinary investigator. You ask questions about other people’s futures and help us all understand them better!

The "Action all-star" achievement icon. Icon is of 3 stars.

Action All-Star

You have a plan for the future. You come up with practical, inspiring steps anyone could take to make their best-case scenario futures more likely – and their worst-case scenarios less likely.

The "Storyteller" achievement icon. Icon is of an open book.

Master Storyteller

You don’t just think about the future. You imagine it in vivid detail, tell a great story, and take us all on an epic journey.

The "Friend of the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of a heart.

Friend of the Future

You are one of the most powerful voices of support in this community. You shine a light on the futures that other players create and help everyone’s future be seen. Thank you!

The "Hope for the Future" achievement icon. Icon is of the sun.

Hope for the Future

Your positive imagination has inspired the entire community today. Your ideas give us hope for the future!

Join us now at to add your future.

Awesome Games Sometimes Break the Internet

IFTF updated the Foresight Engine (TM) platform with brand new technology for the futures games of 2016. We have added features such as mobile card play and big build card data visualization and many other features!

  • This included recent focused improvements for speed and performance upgrades from February’s massive Envision UCDavis game (with over 24k futures played).
  • Just like the speed of innovation and the evolution of most new social technologies—much like life and the future—unforeseen things can always happen.
  • While we have the utmost confidence in our platform certain dynamics come with the success of lots of engagement and we could still break our games in new ways because of things we don’t yet understand.

Image of a dictionary excerpt that reads: In·ter·web ˈin(t)ərweb/ ; noun: humorous ; plural noun: interwebs; the Internet."


Again—it is new technology AND it is a game and a social experiment. We encourage all players to approach our games with a relaxed, playful, and patient mindset.


When thinking about the future we always encourage those who co-think with us to be comfortable with some risk, disruption and uncertainty. (Our colleague, world-famous Game Designer Jane McGonigal, reminded us that all of her biggest successful public games have broken at some point).

We encourage the player whole community to embrace the fragility that comes with gaming and total unexpected success and most of all BE PLAYFUL!

A Few Tips:

  • PLAY EARLY. Game starts at 9 am (CST) on March 8 and runs for 36 hours only. For best results we recommend playing early.
  • PLAY FROM TWITTER. If you find that there are breaks, time outs or application errors, people can always play cards via Twitter with the game #LearnPositive and #LearnShadow hashtags.
  • REMEMBER, Be patient, gameful and playful.