How To Play

We imagine the future to find out what’s possible.

This is an experiment in imagining the future, together. It will help you get ready to create, invent, innovate, make a difference.

Why think about the future? To create something new, you have to be able to imagine how things can be different. And the future is a place where everything can be different.

Playing is simple. First, watch the scenario video to fire up your imagination. Then, play cards to tell us what you think could happen next in this one possible future.

The best way to learn how to play is just to jump in and play a card, and start clicking around. You’ll pick up everything you need to know quickly. But if you’d like to know a little bit more first, here you go!


Watch the video

We’ve created a future scenario to inspire you to think differently about how the world might work in the future. To play this game, imagine that the scenario you discover in the video is really happening, right now. You’re living in that future world. Look around, and tell us what you see. Tell us what you might do.


Play cards

Tell us what you think might happen in this future. Each card lets you express an idea in 140 characters or less.

Play as many cards as you have ideas! Be sure to use both your positive and your dark imagination.

POSITIVE IMAGINATION: What would you be excited to do in this future? What great things could happen?

SHADOW IMAGINATION: What are you worried about in this future? What could go wrong?


Favorite cards

Check out the cards that that other players have created. Favorite the cards you like by clicking on the star. Every time you favorite a card, you give that player +10 points!


Play follow-up cards

When you find a card that inspires or intrigues you, play a follow-up card. A follow-up card helps everyone imagine that future in more detail.

There are four ways to follow-up, or “build”, on someone else’s future:

Predict: Keep the story going. If this happens, what might happen NEXT?

Act: What action could someone take TODAY to help make this future MORE (or LESS) likely?

Cheer or Rally: If you feel the same way, say so here! And WHY!

Investigate: Curious? Ask or answer a FOLLOW-UP QUESTION.

If a card gets follow-ups from five different players, everyone earns a Big Build bonus worth +1000 points. If a card gets follow-ups from twenty different players, everyone earns a Mega Build bonus worth +5000 points!


Earn points

This is a collaborative game. You don’t earn any foresight points (FP) for playing cards. Instead, you earn points when someone else is inspired to favorite your card, or to build on your card! The more inspiring, creative, intriguing or provocative your ideas, the more likely you are to earn points. So don’t be afraid to speak your mind and let your imagination run wild.

Here are all the ways you can earn foresight points (FP):

  • Another player favorites your card + 10 FP
  • Another player builds (plays a follow-up card) on your card + 100 FP
  • You’re a part of a “big build” with 5+ different players + 1000 FP
  • You’re a part of a “mega build” with 20+ players + 5000 FP
  • A guide marks your card Super Interesting + 2,500 FP
  • SUPER BONUS! Earn 10 favorites on a single card + 1000 FP
  • MEGA BONUS! Earn 50 favorites on a single card + 7,500 FP
  • ULTIMATE BONUS! Earn 100 favorites on a single card + 10,000 FP

Watch the news feed for special missions from our game guides that will help you earn even more FP!


Develop your foresight strengths

As you earn points, you’ll also increase your foresight strengths. Your personal profile page reveals which strengths you’ve developed most in this game. There are five different foresight strengths:

Positive imagination I vividly imagine positive change, new opportunities and best-case scenario futures.
Shadow imagination I envision potential problems and complications of the future, including worst-case scenarios and urgent new challenges.
Collaborative foresight I build on others’ ideas for the future, and take them in new directions.
Action foresight! I identify the steps it might take to get from today to any given future.
Social imagination I hear the hopes and fears of others, and incorporate them into my own vision for the future.
Investigation I’m curious and dig deeper, looking for evidence that a future is more or less likely.


Level up

Advance levels to show off your experience and unlock new powers! As you level up, you’ll also earn access to special Foresight Engine events and bonus content from the Institute for the Future.


0 New You can play and favorite cards!

100 Keen Congratulations! You’re leveling up.

You’ll start earning new powers with your very next level.

1000 Bright Earn 1 “Super favorite” star – worth 10 favorites to any one card 5000 Sharp Earn 3 “Super favorite” star – worth 10 favorites to any one card 10,000Clever Earn 1 “Mega favorite” stars – worth 50 favorites to any one card 20,000 Vivid Earn 3 “Mega favorites” stars to give away – worth 50 favorites to any one card

50,000 Inventive Earn 1 “Ultimate favorite” star to give away – worth 100 favorites to any one card

75,000 Distinguished VIP status at public Institute for the Future events

100,000 Brilliant ??? Mystery power! ???

250,000 Expert Unlimited Super Favorite stars!

500,000 Genius Invitation to participate in future games as an expert futurist

750,000 Luminous ??? Mystery power! ???

1,000,000 Legendary Ask the Foresight Engine! We’ll include a future scenario of your choosing in our next public Foresight Engine game.*

*Subject to IFTF community standards.

** Powers at the Brilliant level and above (100,000 points +) are subject to verification. (They may be revoked if we determine that you have used spamming, exploits, hacks, cheats or any other activity that is considered not in the spirit of the Foresight Engine to earn your levels.)

… and keep your eye out for surprises!

There are a few other fun things that happen here on the Foresight Engine. From time to time, we’ll give you special missions, achievements, and collaborative challenges. They’ll pop up in the news feed. So stick around, keep an eye out, and play awhile!