Alternative Futures Associates (AFA)

The Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) is a nonprofit research and educational organization founded in 1977 by Clement Bezold, James Dator and Alvin Toffler. IAF specializes in aiding organizations and individuals to more wisely choose and create their preferred futures.
In its many projects and programs, IAF has developed unique forms of facilitation that encourage openness to exploring the future and assist rapid learning. Operating from a thoughtful base of futures research, IAF meetings have stimulated policy discussions and facilitated strategic planning efforts for many organizations. The dialogue produced in these meetings and the associated written materials have created both greater insight into current practices and foresight about the impact that trends and emerging issues might have. Click to view a showcase of our past projects or click here to view our new brochure (PDF).

Alternative Futures Associates (AFA), IAF’s for-profit subsidiary consulting firm, guides corporations in thinking strategically about the future and making informed decisions and investments that will create the future they prefer.

IAF adds value to futures intelligence through its skills in organizational learning, collaborative decision-making, and vision and strategy development. IAF and AFA works with clients to create forecasts, scenarios, goals and strategies that are the essential tools for transforming organizations to succeed in times of rapid change. Click to view a list of selected publications by our futurists.

AFA and IAF have a 29-year proven track record with global 100 companies; local, state/regional, national and international governments; trade and professional associations; and community and philanthropic organizations. AFA and IAF are leaders in futures research for healthcare, pharmaceuticals, sustainability, built environment, education, associations, science and technology. See a list of selected clients.

IAF is a creation of the relationships we have enjoyed with our clients and colleagues and the learning they have made possible. We invite you to read our current vision and mission as an invitation to join us in accepting the next great challenge: Using foresight and futures methodologies to gain the wisdom to create a preferred future that works for all. See our Board of Directors.

The MISSION of IAF is to help communities and organizations more wisely choose and create the futures they prefer by:

• providing techniques for organizational and social transformation that will instill vision and integrity;
• sharing insights gained from leading-edge futures research and a constantly expanding body of integrated knowledge;
• creating networks of relationships among leaders for more strategic, systemic, global and humane decision-making;
• developing practices that sustain organizational success in the present while consciously investing in endeavors that expand opportunities for futures generations.

The Institute for Alternative Futures leads in the discovery and creation of preferred futures. People in organizations, communities and governments benefit from our drive to constantly think beyond the edge. We develop and teach our methods and processes. We plant the seeds for endeavors which will be sustained beyond our lifetimes.
Our staff, individually and collectively, are recognized and respected as catalysts for transformation. Our staff and clients are partners in a journey. We are guides and advocates, not for the destination, but for the search. Evidence of our work is abundant and clear. Leaders inspired by our work are more inclined and more capable of thinking in a futures context. Their decision-making is recognizably more strategic, systemic, global, and humane. The organizations they serve reflect the health instilled by vision and integrity.

We are idealistic and enterprising. Our creative adventures at the margins are anchored and supported by financial and systemic strength at the core. We are driven by compassion, fulfillment and service. We are constantly and wisely investing in our people, our infrastructure and our alliances. Quality of life matters. We live and perform in the moment while consciously creating alternative futures and expanding opportunities for future generations.

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