France and 3 Scenarios for the COVID-19 Second Wave

Design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli Eleven months into the COVID-19 pandemic the second wave spreads. More than 50 million people were contaminated globally by 9 November 2020 (COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University). More than 1.25 million people had died by then (ibid.). On 10 November, Europe crossed […]

The Red (Team) Analysis Weekly – 24 September 2020

This is the 24 September 2020 issue of our weekly scan for political and geopolitical risks (open access). Using horizon scanning, each week, we collect weak – and less weak – signals. These point to new, emerging, escalating or stabilising problems. As a result, they indicate how trends or dynamics evolve. The 24 September 2020 […]

Scenarios to Navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic and its Possible Futures (1)

This article presents nested scenarios to handle the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to provide an organised framework to foresee the future of our world as it lives through the pandemic, while easing understanding. Such a comprehension, which brings together the past, the present and possible futures is necessary to allow […]

How to Analyse Future Security Threats (4): Scenarios and War

This article focuses on scenarios for war. It explains first why scenarios need to be mutually exclusive. Then it provides logical templates for building scenarios dealing with war. Finally it offers an updated bibliography of scenarios for Syria over time. Towards an Operational Methodology to Analyse Future Security Threats and Political Risk (1) Methodology to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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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 […]

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 […]

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