ideal-type

Mapping risk and uncertainty is the second step of a proper process to correctly anticipate and manage risks and uncertainties. This stage starts with building a model, which, once completed, will describe and explain the issue or question at hand, while allowing for anticipation or foresight. In other words, with the end of the first step, you have selected a risk, an uncertainty, or a series of risks and uncertainties, or an issue of concern, with its proper time frame and scope, for example, what are the risks and uncertainties to my investment portfolio within the next 18 months to 3 years, or what will be the future of the emerging artificial intelligence world over the next twenty years, or what are the risks and uncertainties to my activity within the next fiver years as a result of China’s rise.

Once this initial question is defined, the second stage is about constructing our underlying model for understanding, i.e. mapping our risk or issue.

As Professor Joshua Epstein underlines, constructing a model – i.e. modeling – is nothing more, actually, than making explicit the hidden, implicit, model we, as human beings, are using when thinking. Epstein lists 16 advantages that result from this explicit modeling, to which we can add a couple more. Among these, we can notably highlight that, in terms of intelligence and anticipation analysis, making the model explicit will help identifying various cognitive, normative and emotional biases, thus allowing for their mitigation. Thanks to this modeling we can think out of the box and overcome silos. Then, the model and its construction will help defining areas of uncertain understanding, which can then be marked for further study, inquiry and research. Meanwhile, an explicit model will also help us working collaboratively, while communication will be greatly eased and enhanced, notably by using tools developed for big data analytics.

How are we thus to transform our inner implicit and imperfect model about the risk and uncertainty of concern into a proper and efficient explicit model to assess correctly risks and uncertainties, design critical responses and communicate about both risks and the decisions taken to manage them?

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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. Everstate is plagued by a deepening budget deficit and an increasing need for liquidity, with a related creeping appropriation of resources while the strength of central public power weakens to the profit of various elite groups. An outdated world-view that promotes misunderstanding, disconnect and thus inadequate actions presides to its destiny. Henceforth, the political authorities are increasingly unable to deliver the security citizens seek. Risks to the legitimacy of the whole system increases. Alarmed by the rising difficulties and widespread discontent, the governing authorities decide to do something. Of the three potential scenarios or stories that … Continue reading 2012 EVT – Scenario 2 – Panglossy: Same Old, Same Old

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Post updated 10 May 2012. 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. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies implement the Mamominarch programme of drastic reduction of state’s spending over five years through devolution, privatisation and outsourcing. By 2018 EVT, besides a generalised rising insecurity for most Everstatans, the now fragile state cannot efficiently manage the complex catastrophes that start hitting Everstate in May. Further pressures and perceptions of the way they are answered lead to radicalisation and polarisation along three lines: local independence with direct membership to the Regional Union – with now a battle over Trueland … Continue reading 2018 – 2023 EVT – A Polity in Shambles (Mamominarch)

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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. To face the various difficulties and widespread discontent, in a first scenario, Everstate’s governing bodies implement the Mamominarch programme of drastic reduction of state’s spending. By 2018 EVT, the result is involution, with a rising insecurity for most Everstatans. The now fragile state cannot efficiently manage the complex catastrophes that start hitting Everstate in May. As a result, tension rises relatively uniformly while grievances increase heterogeneously. Inability to answer this multiform situation leads to a new political mobilisation, besides the classical old parties, proponents of Mamominarch: movements for local independence and direct membership in the Regional Union, including a powerful Movement for … Continue reading 2018 – 2023 EVT – Escalation (Mamominarch)

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Creating Evertime

As underlined in Everstate’s characteristics, time in strategic foresight and warning is a crucial problem that still needs much effort and research before we obtain proper and actionable timelines – and this without even considering timeliness. For the Chronicles of Everstate, I have been struggling with the best way to present time in our very imperfect knowledge and understanding context. One of the solutions was to locate the Chronicles in a very distant time, which is what I suggested in Everstate’s characteristics. However, considering the unconscious or conscious mental associations that will be made by readers for years so far away as 5230, this was unsatisfactory. To use a less precise timeline such as the Near Future and the Far … Continue reading Creating Evertime

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Go back to Part 1

Actually, any SF&W model as it primarily deals with time should be a dynamic network. How can we expect obtaining any potential outline for the future if our model for understanding is static?

Our map thus aims at representing the potential dynamics of polities. We shall notably use Ertman’s work on past state-building, but making it adaptable to present and future conditions.

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Everstate is an imaginary state in our contemporary world of the beginning of the 21st century created to identify and imagine various futures. It will be used to represent all states and each state. Everstate is thus an ideal-type state and a shorthand for the model that was constructed to represent the dynamics and processes underlying the evolution of a state, as political form, a dynamic map or network, as will be explained in detail this week in a second and third post. However, even if we work with an ideal-type, events do not unfold in a vacuum but are dependent and constrained by a host of specific factors, most notably geography, the ecological milieu and history. Thus to make … Continue reading Creating Everstate

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