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.
With the heightening of the tensions between the U.S. and China, what we now monitor is the escalation pattern. If we follow Nye, we are within “the Narrowing Funnel of Choices”, where a couple of opportunities for detente will materialise (Understanding International Conflicts, 1993: 68-69). Those may be few and far between, but they are likely to exist.
Should these opportunities be lost, then the outcome will likely be war. The type and form of war will then probably encapsulate many novelties, which will need to be envisioned.
- Arctic China: Towards New Oil Wars in a Warming Arctic?
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 10 September 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 3 September 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 27 August 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 20 August 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 13 August 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 6 August 2020
- The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 30 July 2020
- Scenarios to Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Possible Futures (1)
This week’s scan is ready, check it out below …
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.
Below the scan itself, we briefly explain what is horizon scanning and what are weak signals.
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.