The Future of Iran was a Transitions Forum project that encouraged Iranians to begin thinking about the challenges they will face if, or when, they suddenly find themselves in a position to carry out major political, social and economic reforms.
The inspiration for the project came from 1980s Eastern Europe, a period when Polish and Hungarian economists began talking about how to privatise and de-centralise their countries’ planned economies. At the time, such reforms were not possible. But a decade later they did abruptly become possible. Thanks to those early discussions, some people, at least, had already begun to think about what had to be done.
The same may someday be true in Iran: changes that seem impossible now may unexpectedly become feasible at some point in the future. The Future of Iran project sought to identify the problems Iranian reformers will face in a time of transition, and to help scholars and experts think about solutions.
In this brief video, Anne Applebaum explains the original motivation behind the project: