International Futures (IFs) is a long-term integrated global forecasting system, designed to facilitate the exploration of global futures. The IFs system allows users to analyze trends and interactions within and across agricultural, demographic, economic, educational,energy, environmental, health, infrastructure, and socio-political subsystems, in 186 interacting countries. Users can simulate potential paths of human development by making interventions that will affect,and even potentially reshape,the entire dynamic system.
This training manual employs a problem-‐based pedagogical approach that emphasizes the functional utility of IFs for exploring and understanding human development challenges.Each section introduces IFs graphical user interface elements and then proceeds through demonstrations.In addition to examples that touch on a variety of themes,an investigation of poverty runs through the manual.Demonstrations address three related questions: what is the current extent of poverty around the world? How might poverty rates change in the future? And what interventions might we make to reduce those rates? In the following sections, we will use IFs to look at major historical trends and the Base Case forecasts of poverty. We will identify proximate, and deeper, causal factors. Then, we will explore alternative paths to poverty alleviation.