anticipation

As we enter the “fourth industrial revolution”, the age of the digital transformation, a new emerging “AI-world”, and the “second quantum revolution”, national and international security must adapt. It must do so by anticipating this future world, avoiding surprises related to new – but also old – threats and dangers, while seizing the immense opportunities offered by what is no less than a change of paradigm (For the labels, respectively, Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum, Helene Lavoix, The Future Artificial Intelligence – Powered World series, The Red (Team) Analysis Society, Jonathan P. Dowling, Gerard J. Milburn, “Quantum Technology: The Second Quantum Revolution”, 13 Jun 2002, arXiv:quant-ph/0206091v1).

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The strategy related to cyber space and cyber security varies according to countries – and actors. It is handled in various ways by different types of agencies. After having briefly presented the main French, British and American state actors for cyber security, we shall focus on the French outlook and present the ANSSI, its goals and finally new outreach initiative, Agora 41.

This article focuses on the evolution of the balance of forces on the battlefield, notably for the Kurds, mainly in Syria but also in Iraq, one of the multiple layers of interactions that must be considered around the battle of Raqqa against the Islamic State. It is part of a series aiming at deciphering the … Continue reading The Battle of Raqqa, the Kurds and Turkey

Having organized the scenarios and detailed the general methodology for Scenario 2 in the last article, we shall now discuss the indicators for intervention and determine the likelihood of intervention occurring for the General National Congress (GNC), Council of Representatives (COR), and Government of National Accord (GNA), as well as see how the general case envisioned previously needs to be amended to reflect the reality on the ground as interventions have started. The initial narratives for the intervention scenarios can be found here (scenarios 2(1) to 2(9)). Note: we shall use the acronym COR for the Council of Representatives (nationalists), GNC for the General National Congress (Islamists), and GNA for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (unity government). Scenarios trees for … Continue reading Evaluating Likelihoods for Libya – Scenario 2 Intervention

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This second article on The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb emphasises some of the author’s points that could be useful to foresight and warning and all work dealing with anticipation, from risk management to horizon scanning through early warning. Many of those themes are actually allowed by the SF&W methodology, and are crucial to obtain a good analysis. The first article on The Black Swan can be accessed here. Humility (Notably pp.190-200) Considering uncertainty, but also our imperfect condition of human beings, the complexity of the social world, feedbacks, our more than insufficient knowledge and understanding, we must be very humble, accept our partial ignorance, our imperfection and mistakes (and make sure those essentially … Continue reading Useful Rules for Foresight from Taleb’s The Black Swan

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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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If cognitive biases are the enemy of analysis, they can become the ally of the foresight practitioner delivering products to clients, with the use of fictionalized scenario narratives.

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Last weeks’ summary: In 2012 EVT, Everstate (the ideal-type corresponding to our very real countries created to foresee the future of governance and of the modern nation-state) knows a rising dissatisfaction of its population. Alarmed by the rising difficulties and widespread discontent, the governing authorities decide to do something when new elections start, which starts the second scenario, Panglossy. Dependent upon programmes created to face efficiently past challenges, prisoners of entrenched political groupings, the major parties campaign to come back to the order ante. Meanwhile, the polarisation and rise of a new opposition that took place during the election is temporarily frozen by the last hope thus created. The new Everstatan government decides that a return to economic efficiency through growth is the key to the crisis. … Continue reading 2013 – 2018 EVT – Increasing wages: not enough, too late? (Panglossy)

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