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About Futures CoLab


Futures CoLab is network of diverse international experts, a platform for online collaboration, and a process for asynchronous and facilitated dialogue. The goal of Futures CoLab is to enable subject matter experts to collectively explore solutions to global systemic challenges.

Exploring solutions can take many forms. In the past we have conducted scenario development exercises, employing a structured process to draw out and integrate diverse knowledge to outline a range of plausible futures related to specific challenges. In our current exercise, we are taking a broader approach to identify possible systems disruptions, and their underlying technological and social innovations, that could pave the way to a more sustainable future in the digital age.


Why Futures CoLab?

Society is grappling with a rapidly changing and increasingly digitized world where pressing global threats continue to emerge. Futures CoLab provides a custom platform and process to enable decision-makers in government, business and civil society to rapidly connect with researchers and other subject matter experts around global systemic challenges.

Our goal is not to predict or explain these unfolding challenges. Rather, we help decision-makers and investors explore the implications of global changes and the possible responses.


Who's behind Futures CoLab?

Futures CoLab is a collaboration between Future Earth and the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence. Initial funding for the project was generously provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund. 

Future Earth works to understand complex systems and make progress towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Through its global network, Future Earth harnesses the expertise of thousands of scientists, and collaborate with policy-makers, business leaders, and civil society to build knowledge and tools to accelerate transformations to global sustainability.
The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how people and computers can work together more intelligently.

The mission of Skoll Global Threats Fund was incubate, create, and support breakthrough approaches for large scale impact across on a set of global challenges. The Fund wrapped up its operations at the end of 2017.


Community standards

The Futures CoLab adheres to the principles of the scientific method. We encourage contributions that marshal facts, evidence, and rational argument.

Participants are also expected to engage with one another respectfully and courteously.

To ensure that all participants feel able to contribute freely, Futures CoLab follows the Chatham House Rule.

Participants are free to use or communicate in other settings any of the ideas that were contributed by others on this platform.

We ask that participants not reveal the identity or affiliation of any specific contributor, or indeed, any participant, to others outside the Futures CoLab community.