The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies was founded in 1969 by Professor Thorkil Kristensen, who had previously been a long-standing member of the Danish parliament, Finance Minister and later the OECD Secretary-General. The foundation was established in collaboration with visionary Danish companies and organisations who had a desire to qualify their decision-making basis through future studies.
Thorkil Kristensen was the CEO of the Institute from 1969 to 1988, after which Rolf Jensen took over until 2000. During this period, the Institute published the book The Dream Society, which became an international bestseller and was translated to several languages putting CIFS on the world map.
From 2000 to 2013, the international outlook was expanded under the leadership of first Johan Peter Paludan and later Axel Olesen, and an especially Nordic focus characterised the circle of members and projects. In 2004 CIFS published the follow-up to The Dream Society, the book Creative Man. In 2010 CIFS launched the print magazine SCENARIO, which has since been sold from newsstands around the world.
Since 2013 Claus Kjeldsen has been the CEO of CIFS. Today we have an increased global focus and we work with clients and member companies all over the world. We provide advice on a strategic level to public and private sector organisations.
Our business areas are talks, publishing, consulting services, and our membership. Our members benefit from the Institute's research in the form of our publications. The most recent organisational innovation is the Institute’s Global Scanning Network, which gathers highly educated informants from all over the world who report trends and observations to our database. The inauguration of CIFS Latam, which is mostly active in Brazil, is another recent milestone.
The future for the Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies points towards an increased global focus through a commitment to strategic project work, a scalable members’ offer, and media publishing with a global reach.