Getting Started

International Futures (IFs) is a free and open-source quantitative tool for thinking about long-term futures. The platform helps users to understand dynamics within and across global systems and to think systematically about potential trends, development goals, and targets. The model is used by policymakers, researchers, students, and others interested in exploring global futures. Our Pardee Wiki page is a helpful tool for learning more.

IFs Overview

Understand the Interconnected World

IFs integrates forecasts across 12 dynamically connected submodules, including agriculture, demographics, economics, education, energy, environment, government finance, governance, health, infrastructure, international politics, and technology. By integrating these systems, IFs can simulate how changes in one module may lead to changes across all modules.

IFs includes more variables and connections from a wider range of key development systems than any other forecasting model available today (and it does so for 186 countries). At the Pardee Institute, we try to reduce some of the uncertainty inherent in long-term planning and policy formation. With IFs, we hope to strengthen the mental models that underlie pivotal decisions affecting sustainable human and social development around the world.


How to Get Started

Whether you are a researcher, a policy maker, or a student interested in forecasting to understand human development futures, learn how IFs can support your research.

    • Person with Light Bulb by Head

      Can IFs answer my research question?

      A good research question in IFs often starts with a macro geographic focus and explores several dimensions of uncertainty.

      Learn more about research questions in IFs

    • Hand with Finger on Book Page Scanning Text

      What are the modules in IFs and how do they work?

      The modules are interdependent subsystems that capture different dimensions of human development and international politics. Each module is built with a set of assumptions that make modeling possible.

      Learn how the modules are structured

    • Globe Showing African Continent on Stand

      How do I start doing scenario analysis?

      With scenario analysis, IFs users are able to build "what if" scenarios based on different policy interventions that could pave the way for different possible futures.

      Learn how to build effective scenarios

    Barry Hughes with IFs

    Schedule an IFs Training Workshop for Your Team

    The Pardee Institute provides specialized training workshops on request and in conjunction with ongoing partnerships and projects. The standard IFs training consists of an intensive workshop and covers the use and structure of the IFs model and how to best use IFs to support projects of particular interest to participants.

    Workshop participants learn:
    1) How to explore the IFs historical database and Base Case forecasts
    2) The structure and linkages of the IFs system and its various modules
    3) How IFs forecasts are made
    4) How to construct alternative future scenarios
    5) How to examine the implications of alternative scenarios
    6) How IFs can best support an organization’s efforts


    Contact the Pardee Institute team for pricing

    "Through leveraging data from several focus areas such as demography, the economy, development, and governance, the Pardee Center provides a unique window into the interconnectedness of world systems to provide analysts and policymakers with the tools to make informed decisions."

    Mark Meziere, Student, MA International Development - Josef Korbel School of International Studies


    IFs Network Diagram


    Interacting with IFs

    The network diagram begins by displaying all variables and parameters (collectively referred to as nodes here) contained within IFs. The default click behavior is to show the nearest neighbors of the selected node out to one degree (direct connections). 

    • Click this link to proceed into the interactive version of the diagram. 

    • To expand or collapse a node level, click the ‘Nearest Neighbors’ option to deactivate it (on by default) then double click the node of interest. 

    • To change the number of links used by ‘Nearest Neighbors’, select the dropdown box located near the feature buttons and choose the desired link degrees shown (1-to-3). 

    • To share or save your current view (expanded/collapsed nodes), copy the URL and use it to re-access the view by pasting it into any modern browser. 

    • Please report any issues or bugs to Caleb Petry (