An experiment in crowd-sourcing for horizon scanning

The Weekly will be published on Thursdays (see comments on settings in last section below). This is an experiment (more below) with as a way to collect ideas, notably through Twitter but also Facebook mainly for horizon scanning.

Past editions

( only stores the first page of past editions).

29 September 2011 - No15
22 September 2011 - No14
15 September 2011 - No13
8 September 2011 - No12
1 September 2011 - No11
25 August 2011 - No10
17 August 2011 - No9
14 August 2011 - No8
7 August 2011 - No7
31 July 2011 - No6
24 July 2011 - No5
17 July 2011 - No4
10 July 2011 - No3
3 July 2011 - No2
26 June 2011 - No1

Why a weekly edition?

As I am only too aware of information overload, the choice of a weekly rather than daily paper made sense.


With each edition, I have attempted to improve results by changing various settings. The Op-ed part of each edition includes brief comments on the results, the problems met, the changes endeavored and the ideas ahead.

Adding gaming to horizon scanning (Sept 15, 2011)?

Right now, no one tried the gaming experiment, but we shall give it more time. Each article of the weekly (below) should be a weak signal for something: future potential event, emerging issue, new stage of an unfolding dynamics, evolving beliefs, changing worldview, trends, improving methodology and tool, etc.

While the experiment progresses, it also appears that it is not so much or not always one single article that is a signal but also some of the articles taken together. Adding this to the growing interest in “gamification,” it could be interesting to add a game dimension to the experiment: Can YOU guess why a specific article was kept while editing, or which signals are emerging out of some articles read together and seen as a system?

This type of reverse horizon scanning, if we can call it this way, should also be an excellent exercise to become aware of biases, and thus help mitigating them. As does not offer space for comments, the reverse guessing will need to take place here, on this page of the blog. Please use the comment space at the bottom of the post announcing a new edition for this novel experiment.

#SFaW Section (starting August 7th, 2011)

Participate in the Weekly by adding #SFaW (Twitter #hashtag for Strategic Foresight and Warning) to your tweets – thanks to @thufirtan for the idea – when you spot a weak signal related to the future of conventional or unconventional – national, regional, global – security. They should appear, hopefully, as one of the last two categories, instead of #debt.

We’ll see what happens, considering that it might take time to cumulate enough tweets to be selected by the algorithm. It took approximately 4 numbers before really succeeding in getting the section. The word is slowly (very slowly) spreading to use #SFaW, but we nevertheless manage to obtain something interesting.

Identified desirable improvements (Paper.Li system)

For optimal use for horizon scanning, the types of categories preset in Paper.Li (headlines, politics, business, art etc.) would need to be customizable to truly fit our needs.

It is impossible (August 25th 2011) to choose a specific day for publication… It would seem that decides, on its own, to either publish a section with the # entered in the key search section or to promote another daily…

It is impossible to choose an order for the articles within each section.

Published by Dr Helene Lavoix (MSc PhD Lond)

Dr Helene Lavoix, PhD Lond (International Relations), is the President/CEO of The Red Team Analysis Society. She is specialised in strategic foresight and warning for international relations, national and international security issues. Her current focus is on the war in Ukraine, international order and the rise of China, the overstepping of planetary boundaries and international relations, the methodology of SF&W, radicalisation as well as new tech and security.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.