We believe that the future belongs to no-one, yet to everyone. The Institute is by its charter here to actively contribute to the betterment of our society, which implies betterment for the largest possible number of people.
The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies was founded in 1969 on initiative by former Finance Minister and OECD Secretary-General, Professor Thorkil Kristensen. The Institute was established in collaboration with visionary Danish public and private organisations to better qualify decision-making through futures studies and to benefit the betterment of our society.
The Institute was founded as a self-owned independent, non-profit think tank. The Institute is registered as a community making it possible for organisations and individuals to become members of the Institute, gaining full access to our offerings and insights.
Professor Kristensen was the CEO of the Institute from its inauguration until 1988, after which Rolf Jensen took over until 2000. In 1999 the Institute published the book The Dream Society written by Jensen, which became an international bestseller putting the Institute on the world map. From thereon the international outlook was expanded and an especially Nordic focus characterised the circle of members and projects.
Today the Institute is a truly global entity, working for and with public, private, and academic organisations around the world. This includes advising governments and Fortune 500 companies, to startups and NGOs, on a strategic level.
The Institute is a global leader in applying futures studies methods to solve strategic challenges within organisations. Our core advisory offerings include megatrend analysis, scenario planning, risk assessment, innovation processes, and strategic foresight.
Besides our advisory services, we publish reports and magazines, host various events, organise talks, classes, and courses, and create and launch various joint-venture initiatives.
All of the Institute’s profits are allocated to further futures studies and to realising our purpose.
Since 2018, Daria “Dasha” Krivonos has been our CEO.
There are many different tools and capabilities to use when studying the future. Some, like scenario planning, have a long history that goes back to the foundation of futures studies as a discipline in the 1960's. Others, like futures literacy, are emergent capabilities that are continously studied, developed and taught.
Through a systematic but open-minded exploration of how trends impact and intersect, new avenues of change will appear that might otherwise have been hidden from our view. Our research is based on the assumption that the future, to a degree, can be explained by a range of relatively certain societal driving forces (megatrends) that take us from the past over the present, and into the future. Other aspects of the future are out of our control, which means that the future can never be singular or predetermined, and that a range of uncertainties give shape to different possible trajectories.
Our fixed assumptions about the future determine our field of view and thus our range of actions, so continuously challenging these assumptions is central to achieving a more unhindered approach to futures thinking. How we talk, write, and think about the future also actively shapes its outcome, further highlighting how we need more, not less, awareness of the future in today's world.
We all contribute to making the future happen, and our actions today have consequences down the line. Therefore our work and research is founded in the principle that the future can and must be influenced on an informed and transparent basis, which is why the Institute has remained a self-governed, non-profit think tank independent of outside commercial and political interests since its foundation in 1969.
Our work covers a broad range of focus areas. Find the focus area relevant to you and reach out to our chief researchers if you are interested in collaborating with us.
The Institute consists of a group of people from various professional, personal, and national backgrounds. We are all driven by our shared passion and curiosity about how future societies will evolve and unfold.