Why the Messenger Got Shot and how to Avoid this Fate

“Shooting the messenger” is a popular metaphor to highlight that those who deliver warnings most often are blamed. Meanwhile and as a result, warnings are also not considered. This saying underlines that the norm is the exact opposite of the objectives of early warning and strategic foresight. Moreover, it shows that we, practitioners of early …

The Red Team Analysis Weekly – 8 April 2021

This is the 8 April 2021 issue of our weekly scan for political and geopolitical risks or, more largely, conventional and unconventional national and international security (open access). This week’s signals lead us to wonder: Could the U.S. be trying to go back to the Obama years? Yet, the world has changed. Alternatively, the similarity …

Early Warning Systems & Indicators – Training for the ESFSI in Tunisia

We just finished providing one week intensive training on early warning systems & indicators, part of this year programme on “management of social conflict” of the Ecole Supérieure des Forces de Sécurité Intérieure (ESFSI) of the Home Ministry of Tunisia. This programme is supported by the European project “Counter-terrorism in Tunisia” via CIVIPOL. This is the …

Losing Texas to Climate Change and the COVID-19?

(Art design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli) From Texas with Cold In February 2021, a “polar vortex ” swept through the U.S. and triggered a “perfect (winter) storm” that ravaged Texas (Johny Diaz, Guilia Mc Donnell, Nieto del Rio, Richar Faussett, “ Texas extreme cold snap has killed residents in their homes, cars and backyards”, SBS News, 20 …

Communication of Strategic Foresight and Early Warning

A warning does not exist if it is not delivered. This is a key lesson highlighted by the famous expert in warning Cynthia Grabo, who worked as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. government from 1942 to 1980 (Anticipating Surprise: Analysis for Strategic Warning, Editor’s Preface). Similarly, a foresight product such as scenarios, for example, …

Are your Strategic Foresight Scenarios Valid?

Scenario building, also known as scenario analysis, is a crucial methodology to anticipate and prepare for the future. This is a method used from risk management to strategic foresight through early warning systems. More broadly, it is a key tool for all anticipation that needs to be actionable. The higher the uncertainty, the more important …

Is the West Losing the Warming Arctic?

Art design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli The militarization of the Arctic – So what? Over the last few years, NATO, the U.S. and Scandinavian militaries have been multiplying national and regional manoeuvres in the Arctic. This is especially true in Norway and the Barents Sea, very close to the Norwegian and Russian land, air and sea frontiers. …

Adapting to the Burning World?

Design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli A Bright and Burning Future Over the last years, each summer, tsunamis of fire surge in North America, Russia, Africa, South Asia, and Europe. Each year, they break former records and spread wider, while becoming much more intense. These fires define the parts of the world that are going to become a …

What is an Issue in terms of Strategic Foresight & Warning and Horizon Scanning?

An issue, in terms of warning and by extension SF&W, is “a situation, an objective, an opportunity, a danger, a threat or a risk, which is specific and defined.” (Grabo, 2004) For example, SF&W issues can be interstate and civil wars, fragile states, instability, energy security, oil, economic crisis, global water security, epidemics and pandemics such …

Global Apocalypse Now, the California Way

Design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli Facing Apocalypse The Apocalypse literally means “the Book of Revelation”. From a theological as well as heuristic point of view, it means that the Apocalypse is the moment in history when entire societies are forced to lift the veils of illusions. Doing so, the revelation of the real state of things emerges, …

EN