What will the world look like in the future? What changes can we expect for the next coming decades? The world is seeing a series of unprecedented breakthroughs in science and technology —from the decoding of the human genome to advances in the 3D printing of human tissue— that are affecting all aspects of human life.

Futures studies aim to explore and examine potential strategic alternative futures –the possible, plausible, probable, and preferred futures.

Futures research aims to systematically analyse and describe possible and desirable visions of the future. As a result of these forward-looking insights, long and short-term strategies and policies can be produced to enable long-term decision-making.

Future of Dubai in 2050

A vision of Dubai in 2050. Courtesy of Andrée Wallin.

Futures studies do not pretend to predict «the future». Instead, they explore the multiple visions about the future in order to reduce uncertainties and prepare us for what might unfold. Futures research allows us to navigate the past, the present and the future and inform us about the options and choices we can make.