The Institute

Our purpose is to help people and organisations imagine, work with, and shape their future. 

The Institute

About Us

The Copenhagen Institute for Futures Studies is an independent, non-profit think tank established in 1969 on the initiative by former Danish Minister and OECD Secretary-General Professor Thorkil Kristensen.

Our purpose is to help people and organisations imagine, work with, and shape their future. 

Never in recent history has it been more important for people and organisations to better navigate uncertainty, build futures optimism and create meaningful change. By building the capabilities necessary to address potential futures we help create a society fit to meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities we face. Essentially, we empower you with the skills to act on the future. 

We do this by applying our unique approach to futures studies and foresight, combined with more than 50 years of global experience and contributions to the field, working with organisations across the public, private, academic, and civic sectors, as well as with the general public. Being independent of commercial and political interests enables an objective approach and allows for all profits to go exclusively to fund further research and non-profit initiatives.  

The future belongs to no one, yet to everyone. Our vision is a futures literate world where everyone has the right and mandate to engage with the future, participate, and visualise change, so they can create the best possible future for themselves, society, and the planet. We firmly believe this will help build a more prosperous, equal, and safe future. 

We support the United Nations’ Common Agenda, which identifies foresight (a futures capability) as part of their Quintet of Change, and we are committed to the Common Principles for Future Generations. 

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.

Our Research

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.

Focus Areas

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.

Our People

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.