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.

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 Center, 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 Center 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 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

    IFs network diagram

    Interacting with IFs

    The network diagram begins with a bird’s-eye-view of the main submodules within IFs: agriculture, economy, education, energy, environment, socio-political, health, infrastructure, international politics, population, and human development, and the basic connections between each.

    • Click the link in the IFs Network Diagram caption for an interactive version of the image. The interactive version will allow you to either double click the nodes or use the tree on the right side of the screen to explore each module in IFs. 
    • Collapse the nodes by either right-clicking the node or by using the tree. A single click on any node will display information about the module, segment, or variable/parameter in the information tab at the bottom of the screen.
    • Links to the help system of IFs will also appear in the information tab.
    • We encourage you to load saved states using the "action" option in the top left corner of the screen or make your own diagrams using the "save" option.