The Power of Maps

Maps are both necessary tools for analysis and crucial delivery visuals for foresight and warning products. They constitute a very powerful type of delivery form, as they change both the world and the mind. The pivotal importance of maps and of the process of mapping has notably been shown, in the case of the birth of nations and of nationalism, by two remarkable books: Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson and Siam Mapped: A History of the Geo-Body of a Nation by Winichakul Thongchai. Building upon the findings of those master-works, as well as on my own (PhD) research, this post explains the power of maps and then outlines contemporary evolutions, examples and possibilities. Why are maps special instruments of power?… Read More

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Water Security Maps

You will find below a selection of maps related to global water security, which are useful for both analysis and delivery of products. Maps are both necessary tools for analysis and crucial delivery visuals for our foresight and warning products. They constitute a category of delivery form, which can, furthermore, be combined with other categories to suit at best our needs. The maps under copyrights that do not allow fair free use (C.C.) are filed at the bottom of the post. National Intelligence Council (US), ODNI – 2012: Global Water Security Map Map attached to the 2012 Global Water Security, an Intelligence Community Assessment Aquastat (FAO) maps AQUASTAT is FAO’s global information system on water and agriculture, developed by the Land… Read More

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Occupy, Los Indignados: towards radicalization?

The polarisation that can be observed in recent elections in 2012, notably in Greece and in France for the first round of the Presidential elections, appears to also take place within some of the current Opposition Movements existing outside the classical party system. Those movements, Occupy and Democracia Real Ya! – also known as Los… Read More

Pearltrees: a multifunction visual bibliographic tool

While preparing the bibliography on energy security foresight, I was wondering if it would be useful to also apply a visually appealing approach to bibliographies, which would then be conceptualized as a product. As usual, there is no simple answer to this question, and if the classical bibliography will most probably have to be kept for a while, Pearltrees also appears as a perfect bibliographic tool. Inevitable classical bibliography Because delivery of product must consider both the product’s material support and the recipient or customer, then the traditional way to write a bibliography will probably have to be kept for some time. Indeed, for anything that uses paper and print as support, the usual, alphabetical bibliography is best. It is… Read More

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Images to illustrate Complexity Science & Strategic Foresight and Warning

Images related to complexity science I found useful in putting together a presentation dealing with Strategic Foresight and Warning and Complexity

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Featured Images, Symbols & Foresight Product: the Example of The Chronicles of Everstate

(updated 17 April 2012) When an image is featured and is meant to represent the totality of a foresight or anticipatory product, or a large section of it, it must capture the gist of the product. Symbols and symbolism are then crucial to transmit messages. This importance of symbols should anyway be considered for any use of image (as well as when developing a scenario narrative, for example when choosing names). This will be exemplified here with the Chronicles of Everstate. The image aims at capturing symbolically the features of the contemporary (early 21st century) modern nation-state: It, of course, is an heir to Hobbes Leviathan. However, compared with the original image, the head of the sovereign is not displayed… Read More

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Visual Tools and Design for Foresight Products

Delivery to clients of strategic foresight and warning (SF&W) or futures related products is, as we saw, a crucial part of the overall SF&W process. Without delivery, there is neither warning nor foresight, however accurate and brilliant the underlying analyses. As crucial, although very difficult to achieve, is the fact that clients or customers must pay heed to the foresight product or to the warning. Initially, according to the intelligence literature, notably on surprise, or to exchanges with practitioners, this part of the process is seen as so difficult indeed that it is not considered as being the responsibility of the foresight and warning – or risk – analyst, officer or of the scientist if we include science in SF&W, given the predictive… Read More

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