Grounded in nearly 50 years of forecasting methodologies and experience, Institute for the Future shares our original research exploring the intersection of work and technology. Highlighted here are select reports intended to prepare you for the changes on the horizon.

Work, Interrupted: The New Labor Economics of Platforms


If deployed wisely, online platforms not only have the ability to benefit both clients and providers, they also show immense potential to better address issues like underemployment and skill development. However, in order for online platforms to begin to reach their potential, the challenges of the platforms need to be recognized and rectified as well. (2016)

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Voices of Workable Futures: People Transforming Work in the Platform Economy


Tens of millions of people are already making their living “on platforms,” and in the process, are reinventing the rules of work for all of us. Through 30+ in-depth ethnographic interviews, we uncover seven archetypes of on-demand economy workers and explore their motivations as a way of giving policymakers, platform designers, and workers the information they need to ensure a workable future for all. (2016)

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10 Strategies for a Workable Future

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An urgent public dialogue is unfolding about the state of the U.S. workforce, resulting changing labor dynamics, growth of on-demand workers, and erosion of middle class wages and access to benefits. This report outlines ten strategies for immediate action for policymakers, platform developers, and labor and educational organizations. (2015)

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Future of the Workforce Development Ecosystem

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Cities make the future. This intersection of diverse people, ideas, and ways of living creates and remakes culture with astounding speed. This map, created in partnership with the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development, is your guide to anticipating and shaping the workforce development ecosystem of the next decade. (2015)

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The Future of Youth Employment

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Whether caused by a sluggish economy, technological drivers, or lack of preparation, unemployment creates lasting difficulties for youth and for the country’s economy as a whole. Through four alternative scenarios, this report explores the challenges and opportunities these changes present for poor and vulnerable youth, and suggests policies and actions corporations, governments, and nonprofits can take to help them attain positive outcomes. (2014-15)

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Future of Coordination


What if you could coordinate everything more efficiently? What could you accomplish if you had an army of collaborators online or in the real world—when and where you needed them? We created a four-step toolkit to help you start using these emerging technologies of coordination today, with 18 profiles of leading-edge early signals and usable tools. (2012-2013)

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The Future of California’s Workforce


Demographic shifts, a deluge of data, smart machines, and new forms and tools of production are just some of the factors that are not only changing work itself, but also creating many new occupations that do not even exist today. This report analyzes key drivers that will reshape the STEM disciplines and landscape of work in California through 2032. (2011-2012)

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Future Work Skills 2020


This report analyzes key drivers that will reshape the landscape of work and identifies key work skills needed in the future. Rather than focusing on future jobs, this report looks at future work skills—proficiencies and abilities required across different jobs and work settings. (2011)

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Future Forces Shaping the Healthcare Workforce


The health and health care ecosystem is experiencing profound change all over the United States, but specific regions are at the vanguard of transformation. This map of trends shaping the healthcare workforce in Silicon Valley 2010–2020 highlights key disruptive shifts in the technological and socio-demographic landscape, new ways that people will conceive of and manage health and caregiving, and new intersections between health, the environment, and food. (2010) 

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The Future of Work

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As a society, we face compelling forces at the intersection of work and technology—forces that are changing the very essence of measuring and valuing work. Our investigations of these forces, including what we see as a new world of visual literacy, led us to map the complex interrelated themes shaping work, workers, organizations, and leadership. (2007)

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