Stanford EE Computer Systems Colloquium

4:15PM, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Skilling Auditorium, Stanford Campus

Exploring Alternative Global Futures with the International Futures (IFs) Forecasting System

Barry B. Hughes
Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
University of Denver
About the talk:

International Futures (IFs) is a large-scale, long-term, integrated global modeling system. It represents demographic, economic, energy, agricultural, socio-political, and environmental subsystems for 183 countries interacting in the global system. The central purpose of IFs is to facilitate exploration of global futures through alternative scenarios. The model is integrated with a large database containing values for its many foundational data series since 1960. IFs is freely available to users both on-line and in downloadable form.

IFs was a core component of a project exploring the New Economy sponsored by the European Commission. Forecasts from IFs supported Project 2020 of the National Intelligence Council for the Bush administration, as well as the NIC's Global Trends 2025 and Global Trends 2030, delivered to President Obama at the beginning of his two terms. IFs was used to provide driver forecasts for the fourth Global Environment Outlook of the United Nations Environment Program. IFs was also a key piece of a research project supported by DG INFSO of the European Commission to forecast ICT trends. And IFs supported long-term global forecasts for the United Nations Development Programme's Human Development Reports 2011 and 2013.

The model was developed over several generations, principally by Dr. Barry B. Hughes of the University of Denver and the Josef Korbel School of International Studies. IFs is continually being revised and updated.


There is no downloadable version of the slides for this talk available at this time.

About the speaker:

[speaker photo] Dr. Barry B. Hughes is John Evans Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver, and Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures. He served the university as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies during the 1990s. Dr. Hughes earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Stanford in 1967 (distinction) and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota in 1970.

His principal interests are in (1) global change, (2) computer simulation models for economic, energy, food, population, environmental, and socio-political forecasting, and (3) policy analysis. The fundamental concerns that synthesize these interests are (1) developing effective response to long-term global change and (2) improving the long-term human condition. He has developed International Futures (IFs), the widely-used computer simulation for study of long-term national, regional, and global issues (see He has supported the U.S. National Intelligence Council's reports to the President on Mapping the Global Futures 2020 and Global Trends 2025, and he is now supporting the forthcoming (2012) Global Trends 2030. He provided long-term global forecasting for the United Nations Environment Programme's Global Environment Outlook 4. He was a principal researcher in European Commission projects on the the New Economy and on Information and Communications Technology. He has contributed research to projects of RAND, the Central Intelligence Agency, the United Nations Human Development Report, United States Institute of Peace, and many other organizations.

Dr. Hughes has taught in Costa Rica and China. He has written or co-authored The Domestic Context of American Foreign Policy (Freeman 1978), World Modeling (Lexington 1980), World Futures (Johns Hopkins 1985), Disarmament and Development (Prentice-Hall 1990), Continuity and Change in World Politics (Prentice-Hall 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000), International Futures (Westview 1993, 1996, 1999), Exploring and Shaping International Futures (Paradigm 2006), Reducing Global Poverty (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2009), Advancing Global Education (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2010), Improving Global Health (Paradigm and Oxford University Press, 2011), as well as articles in publications including World Politics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, Futures, L'Express, Energy Policy, Policy Studies Review, International Political Science Review, Simulation and Gaming, Economic Development and Cultural Change, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change. His manuscript Strengthening Governance Globally will be published in 2013.

Contact information:

University of Denver
Denver, Colorado 80208