An issue, in terms of warning and by extension SF&W, is “a situation, an objective, an opportunity, a danger, a threat or a risk, which is specific and defined.” (Grabo, 2004) For example, SF&W issues can be interstate and civil wars, fragile states, instability, energy security, oil, economic crisis, global water security, epidemics and pandemics such […]
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 […]
Quantum computing and more generally Quantum Information Science (QIS) are more than ever on the global agenda. We focus here on the UK National Quantum Technologies Programme and policy, and how the UK fares in the race to quantum technologies. This article is part of our ongoing research on the issue. With the first item […]
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. It is also a shorthand for the model that was constructed to represent the dynamics […]
Time in strategic foresight and warning is a crucial problem, as underlined in “Time in Strategic Foresight and Risk Management” and pointed out in “Everstate’s characteristics“. We shall still need much effort and research before to obtain detailed, proper and actionable timelines – and this without even considering timeliness. For the Chronicles of Everstate, we […]
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 […]
(Rewritten and revised edition) Horizon scanning and monitoring for warning are part of the family of activities used to foresee the future, anticipate uncertainty and manage risks. Their practice is crucial for successful strategic foresight and warning, risk management, futurism or any anticipatory activity. While monitoring is a generic and common term used for many […]
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 […]
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 […]
(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 […]