[Fully rewritten version v3] To exist, risk and foresight products as well as warnings must be delivered to those who must act upon them, the customers, clients or users. These anticipation analyses must also be actionable, which means that they need to include the right information necessary to see action taken. Yet, if you deliver […]
As Cynthia Grabo underlines, a warning does not exist if it is not delivered. Similarly, a foresight product – or risk assessment or horizon scan – has to be delivered. Furthermore, if foresight and warning are to be actionable, then clients or customers – those to whom the product has been delivered – must pay heed to the foresight, or warning. What they decide to do with those is another story. Yet, from the point of view of SF&W, they must receive them, know they have received them and, as much as possible, consider them.
Strategic foresight and futures’ efforts, as well as related literature, with a few exceptions, have rarely focused explicitly on this specific part of the overall process. Yet, it is crucial. As a first step, it has much to learn from the warning part of the activity. Then, both strategic foresight and warning may also have much to learn from the mobile and social networking approach, as it is being …
In the Kantian framework, different kinds of agents pursue democracy at three levels: the individuals within a nation, the states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens, and humankind. In this article, we shall look at how individuals within a nation should behave if they want to truly abide by democratic principles.
Should they rebel and when? Should they support war, and which type of war if any?
This article is the second part of a series reflecting upon Democracy, especially its link to war, in the framework of events, notably regarding Syria, Egypt and the “Arab Awakening” but also the 2010s European and American opposition movements. The first article can be read here, and the next and final one here.
The summer 2013 has been fertile in upheavals and violent events, surrounded by heated controversies and very often by an absence of neutrality in the media. The international community is divided. As a result, informed and balanced judgements are difficult to achieve. Taking political decisions is thus even harsher than usual, bringing to the fore […]
Assessing if we are about to see a paradigm shift is twice crucial. First, and foremost, as human beings living within societies, if such a change happens, then we need to be ready for the upheavals that precede and accompany such deep revolutions, as stakes, both ideological and material, are at work to try blocking […]
This post will outline the last but one scenario for Syria for the short to medium term, i.e. “a Secular Syria” resulting from a real victory by one of the warring groups. Considering the current state of play, this scenario is unlikely, even utopic. Yet, imagining it will also suggest possible policy and strategy that could change the odds.
The various scenarios constructed over the last weeks are summarized in a graph, which starts exploring ways to look at sets of scenarios as a systemic and dynamic whole.
Each week our scan collects weak – and less weak – signals… We present below some of the most interesting or relevant features for each section. World (all matters related to war, international and national security) – In the aftermath of the Jihadi attacks in Paris during the second week of 2015, a crucial debate surrounding freedom of speech is emerging. It is not only a philosophical and intellectual debate. It mobilizes populations across the world and can divide populations within countries, as show the exchanges on the social networks on the topic. It is translated in diplomatic terms, as show the decision of the Kingdom of Morocco not to participate to the march in Paris on 11 January, the 14 January reactions in the Middle East […]
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. Dependent upon programmes created to face efficiently past challenges, prisoners of entrenched political groupings, comforted in their vision by the BRICS’ success and renewed optimism, the major parties campaign to come back to the order ante. As a result, habits and the existing system, once the new national representatives are elected and the new government starts ruling, are even more entrenched, almost ossified. (The reader can click on each picture to see a larger […]
Horizon Scanning for National Security No83: Towards a multiplication of increasingly fragile states? This is what could mean the report on the state of infrastructures in the U.S. (and probably other so called rich countries?). It is a crucial weak signal that could trump all others: imagine weak, increasingly fragile “rich countries” on the backdrop of all the other tensions and threats…