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. As every week, below […]

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 […]

Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (6) : The Psychological Impact of the Islamic State Terrorist Attacks

This article is the second of a two-parts of a series seeking to identify the impacts of the current and most probably forthcoming terrorist attacks by the Islamic State and other jihadist groups, and focuses on major socio-psychological consequences. It follows a first article, which started outlining a framework for impact assessment out of our current understanding of the economic consequences of terrorism, which notably pointed out the need to use mapping as methodology if the complex and cascading characters of these impacts are to be properly assessed. The larger aim of the series is notably to understand if businesses should or not neglect these aggressions and related geopolitical uncertainties, while finding out ways to foresee these risks so as to best design answers (see Helene Lavoix, “Businesses and Geopolitics: Caught up in the Whirlwinds? (1)”, The Red (Team) Analysis Society, 17 Oct 2016)

To find out which could be the psychological impacts of the ongoing string of terrorist attacks, we

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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 […]

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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How to Analyze Future Security Threats (3): Scenarios as an Organic Living System

This article is the third of a series looking for a methodology that would fulfill the challenging criteria demanded by our time. We shall now focus on scenarios, which are a way to simulate how the actors we defined and described during the previous step interact, not only among themselves but also with their environment, up until the end of the chosen timeframe. Using the precedent post’s game of chess analogy, with scenarios we imagine the various ways the game may “end”. Towards an Operational Methodology to Analyse Future Security Threats and Political Risk (1)Methodology to Analyse Future Security Threats (2): a Game of ChessHow to Analyse Future Security Threats (3): Scenarios as an Organic Living SystemHow to Analyse Future Security Threats (4): Scenarios […]

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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 […]

2013 – 2018 EVT – Tragic events

Tragic events strike Everstate. We witness tornadoes and drought, war in the Middle East and even a major industrial accident, while a new episode of financial crisis starts. These are instances of the various conditions presiding to Everstate’s destiny, considering what has been done, or not, globally, regionally and within Everstate.

The same set of events should be used to stress test each scenario. The logic of the scenario will however comes first, assuming it impacts the plausibility of the event. In that case, ….

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Everstate: Setting the stage (2)

Summary of our scenario so far: 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.

As previously set, Everstate is thus a middle-range power located on the Eurasian land mass and part of the international liberal order. It is ruled under a democratic… Read More