Everstate is an imaginary state in our contemporary world of the beginning of the 21st century created to identify and imagine various futures. It will be used to represent all states and each state. Everstate is thus an ideal-type state and a shorthand for the model that was constructed to represent the dynamics and processes underlying the evolution of a state, as political form, a dynamic map or network, as will be explained in detail this week in a second and third post.

However, even if we work with an ideal-type, events do not unfold in a vacuum but are dependent and constrained by a host of specific factors, most notably geography, the ecological milieu and history.

Thus to make our foresight at once realistic, replicable, as well as adaptable to specific, existing countries, some criteria need to be initially identified and then specified, i.e. we shall give them values for Everstate. For example, if geography is selected as a criteria, then you may give as value: land in the tropical belt in South Asia, or land in Northern America, then determine if your country is small or large, etc. Those initial characteristics will also influence what happens. To identify which criteria we need, we shall use a “revisited influence analysis” that will be posted on 4 December. Then, we shall explain how to attribute values for each criterion, in the specific case of dynamic networks, on 18 December, as well as post those selected criteria and their values.

We shall then explain how we shall proceed with the map to construct the narrative through use of ego networks, and apply it immediately to articulate how those values set the stage for Everstate.  For the New Year – posting on Monday 2 January as an exception, we shall thus start really telling the story of Everstate, while, in the meantime, showing how to do it.

You can imagine changing those criteria to see if the stories change, to get potential futures that are closer to those countries that interest you or apply real criteria to identify plausible futures for real countries.

About the author:

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the Director of The Red (Team) Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for national and international security issues. Her current focus is on Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Science, and Security. She teaches at Master level at SciencesPo-PSIA.

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