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Using horizon scanning, each week, we collect weak – and less weak – signals. These point to new, emerging, escalating or stabilising problems. As a result, they indicate how trends or dynamics evolve.
This week’s focus is heavily on Libya, as well as on Iran, the Brexit, and as usual China. A couple of very interesting articles too on the future of war and security, that must be read – and vice versa – notably in the light of “International Politics and China”.
Here, we focus on signals that could favourably or unfavourably impact private and public actors in international security. That field is broadly known under various names: e.g. global changes, national and international security, or political and geopolitical uncertainty. In terms of risk management, the label used is external risks.
Horizon scanning, weak signals and biases
We call signals weak, because it is still difficult to discern them among a vast array of events. However, our biases often alter our capacity to measure the strength of the signal. As a result, the perception of strength will vary according to the awareness of the actor. At worst, biases may be so strong that they completely block the very identification of the signal.
In the field of strategic foresight and warning, risk management and future studies, it is the job of good analysts to scan the horizon. As a result, they can perceive signals. Analysts then evaluate the strength of these signals according to specific risks and dynamics. Finally, they deliver their findings to users. These users can be other analysts, officers or decision-makers.
You can read a more detailed explanation in one of our cornerstone articles: Horizon Scanning and Monitoring for Warning: Definition and Practice.
The sections of the scan
Each section of the scan focuses on signals related to a specific theme:
- world (international politics and geopolitics);
- science including Quantum Information Science, ;
- analysis, strategy and futures;
- AI, technology and weapons;
- energy and environment.
However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events interact across boundaries.
The information collected (crowdsourced) does not mean endorsement.