Visual Tools and Design for Foresight Products

Delivery of foresight products - visual, images
Private First Class Edeleanu prints news bulletin on bulletin board outside Intelligence tent of Kyaukpyu Camp the day before Office of Strategic Services (OSS), AFU, departure via convoy for Rangoon. Detachment 101, Ramree Island, Burma, May 6, 1945 - holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration - Wikimedia Commons

Delivery to clients of strategic foresight and warning (SF&W) or futures related products is, as we saw, a crucial part of the overall SF&W process. Without delivery, there is neither warning nor foresight, however accurate and brilliant the underlying analyses.

As crucial, although very difficult to achieve, is the fact that clients or customers must pay heed to the foresight product or to the warning. Initially, according to the intelligence literature, notably on surprise, or to exchanges with practitioners, this part of the process is seen as so difficult indeed that it is not considered as being the responsibility of the foresight and warning – or risk – analyst, officer or of the scientist if we include science in SF&W, given the predictive quality science must have to qualify as science.

However, lately, we are moving towards a new emphasis on the importance to do everything possible to obtain the right attention from the customers or clients.

U.S. National Intelligence Estimate on Iran – 2007

The cover of the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. By National Intelligence Council (Global Security), via Wikimedia Commons

This demands identifying one’s customers, knowing them as best as possible, from their biases to the network of decision-making within which they are embedded, and then incorporating this understanding in a real strategy to deliver foresight and warning products.

A small part of this great scheme implies using visual tools, design, and images, which will be formally part of the final product. As previously argued, some of those tools are as well instruments of analysis.

This section of the website will be dedicated to images, design and visual tools that could be useful to deliver predictive or anticipatory products to clients and to illustrate posts and documents on strategic foresight and warning and related predictive activities, starting immediately with images related to the delivery of foresight products.

A first cursory look at the images below let us identify a first possibility of categorisation of classical types of delivery’s forms, with possible mix between categories: boards, briefings, memos and reports, maps, charts.