Basics

Our Foresights and Insights

This article defines and briefly explains the various names and labels given to activities and practices anticipating or foreseeing the future. Indeed, from risk management to Strategic Foresight and Warning (SF&W) the field of anticipation includes many perspectives and practices centred on different themes. Meanwhile, various actors use different names for SF&W, or very similar approaches. It is thus important to clarify what various labels and names mean, even if borders between categories are often fuzzy.

Risk management, codified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), allows since 2009 for an almost perfect correspondence with the ideal-type process of strategic foresight and warning (SF&W), as we use here, even though SF&W was developed mainly out of public service – notably intelligence and defense – practice and experience, and with international and national security issues in mind. The new risk management process thus lays the foundation for easily incorporating geopolitical and other national and international security issues within risks usually managed by businesses, and should facilitate discussions and exchanges between the corporate world and the public sector, including in terms of data, information, and analysis, according to the specificities and strength of each. We shall here detail the risk management process, underlines its similarities with SF&W … Continue reading When Risk Management Meets Strategic Foresight and Warning

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As the label “black swans” is increasingly used but with different interpretations, this post reviews Taleb’s bestseller, the meaning of black swans events and evaluates if the author truly points to the absurdity of foresight.

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Strategic foresight and warning or more broadly anticipation is a step by step process to anticipate the future in an actionable way. The graphic ideal type process displayed below is the result of more than a decade of work with and about systems of anticipation, from early warning systems to prevent conflicts for aid agencies to strategic warning and strategic foresight with security and intelligence agencies and practitioners. It considers too research through commissioned reports and teaching on the topic. It is more particularly adapted to political and geopolitical risks and uncertainties. Indeed the process recommended here considers as more than twenty years experience in central administration and in research in the areas of war, international relations, political science, analysis and … Continue reading Visualising the Steps to Foresee the Future and Get Ready for It

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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,Continue reading What is an Issue in terms of Strategic Foresight & Warning or Horizon Scanning?

Strategic Foresight and Warning (SF&W) is at once process and analysis. By SF&W analysis we mean all methodologies and related issues allowing for the development of an understanding grounded in reality that will generate best anticipatory products, useful to decision-makers and policy-makers for carrying out their mission (to find your way within the myriad of labels given to anticipatory activities, see Intelligence, strategic foresight and warning, risk management, forecasting or futurism? (Open Access/Free) and When risk management meets SF&W). The larger SF&W analytical method can be seen as following the following steps, with use of various methodologies and related challenges for each step: An example of what is involved in step 1 is given here with the bibliography and links or with the bibliography on … Continue reading Strategic Foresight & Warning Analysis

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