Foreseeing the Future of the Modern Nation-State: the Chronicles of Everstate

Riots and protests have been progressively, and in an accelerating way, occurring in many countries, starting with France in 2005, spreading throughout most of the world, from the Arab Spring to Thailand through Hong Kong, the U.S. or, more recently Venezuela, Algeria and France with the Yellow Vest movement at the end of 2018 and… Read More

Everstate: Setting the stage (I)

Everstate is an ideal-type for our very real countries created to foresee the future of the modern nation-state. In the case of this specific scenario-building, we are setting the stage for Everstate, by attributing values to key influencing variable to be able to develop the scenarios. The explanations regarding the methodology used to develop the narrative is explained in… Read More

Scenarios: Improving the Impact of Foresight thanks to Biases

Foreseeing the future, whatever the name given to the endeavour, includes two major tasks.

The first one is, of course, the analysis, the process according to which the foresight, forecast, warning, or, more broadly, anticipation is obtained.

The second one is less obvious, or rather so evident that it may be overlooked. It is, however, no less vital than analysis. We need to deliver the output of the analytical process to those who need the foresight, the decision-makers or policy-makers. Ideally, the recipients must understand that output, because they will act on it. They need to integrate the new knowledge received in the decisions they will take.*

A huge challenge runs across these tasks: biases.

We must overcome the various natural and constructed biases – systematic mental errors – that limit human understanding. This article will present first the classical way we deal with biases: we consider them – quite rightly – as “enemies” and we devote much effort to mitigate them. Then, considering the specificity of the delivery stage, this article suggests that another strategy is necessary. We need to turn our usual strategy on its head and befriend biases. In that case, scenarios become a tool of choice for an enhanced delivery of our foresight to decision-makers […]

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The Chronicles of Everstate: the Actors

The Everstatans: the citizens (including companies), the people, the Nation Everstate’s central governing bodies or political authorities: the government, Parliament, the national representatives, the civil servants constituting the formal and rational modern bureaucracy. Everstate’s regional and local governing bodies: elected representatives at town, department (or county) and region level. Everstate’s political parties: Two major parties (loosely associated with social democrats on the one hand and conservative on the other). Other parties are insignificant in terms of national representation. International Special fund for Sustainable Innovation and Green Energy (ISSIGE) [Scenario 2 – Panglossy]: A special fund into which the new Everstatan government decides that Everstate must participate. This fund will help polities harnessing the ecological evolution and the increasing complexity of resources,… Read More

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Strategic Foresight & Warning Analysis

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… Read More

Visualising the Steps to Foresee the Future and Get Ready for It

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… Read More

Modeling for Dynamic Risks and Uncertainties (1) : Mapping Risk and Uncertainty

(This article is a fully updated version of the original article published in November 2011 under the title “Creating a Foresight and Warning Model: Mapping a Dynamic Network (I)”). 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… Read More

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High Performance Computing Race and Power – Artificial Intelligence, Computing Power and Geopolitics (3)

This article explores three major challenges actors face when defining and carrying out their policies and answers in terms of high performance computing power (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI), considering the political and geopolitical consequences of the feedback relationship linking AI in its Deep Learning component and computing power – hardware – or rather HPC…. Read More

Artificial Intelligence, Computing Power and Geopolitics (2)

This article focuses on the political and geopolitical consequences of the feedback relationship linking Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its Deep Learning component and computing power – hardware – or rather high performance computing power (HPC). It builds on a first part where we explained and detailed this connection. Related Artificial Intelligence, Computing Power and Geopolitics… Read More

The Future of Iran’s Regional Role – The Islamic Revolution and Iran’s Political System

Trump’s decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, better known as the Iran Nuclear Deal) is a highly destabilizing element in an already unstable regional scenario characterized by wars in Syria and Yemen, the never-ending Israeli-Palestinian question, the rift between Qatar and the other Gulf countries (chiefly Saudi Arabia and… Read More