This is the 10 September 2020 issue of our weekly scan for political and geopolitical risks (open access).
In a nutshell, the potential fragility of the U.S. both in domestic and international terms looms high on the agenda. Meanwhile, the COVID19 pandemic continues to play havoc while avoidance and denial do not relent. As a result the dangerous impacts of the pandemic are – and will highly likely be – heightened. The Mediterranean Region, considering Turkish President Erdogan stance, must remain under watch. Read the full scan below for many more signals on world issues.
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.
Horizon scanning, weak signals and biases
- The Red Team Analysis Weekly – 22 July 2021
- From Seer to King – Success with Strategic Foresight and Warning
- Antarctic China (2) – China’s Planetary Game
- The Ultimate Key Technologies of the Future (3) – Extreme Environments
- The Key Technologies of the Future (2) – Evolution
We call signals weak, because it is still difficult to discern them among a vast array of events. However, our biases often alter our capacity to measure the strength of the signal. As a result, the perception of strength will vary according to the awareness of the actor. At worst, biases may be so strong that they completely block the very identification of the signal.
In the field of strategic foresight and warning, risk management and future studies, it is the job of good analysts to scan the horizon. As a result, they can perceive signals. Analysts then evaluate the strength of these signals according to specific risks and dynamics. Finally, they deliver their findings to users. These users can be other analysts, officers or decision-makers.
You can read a more detailed explanation in one of our cornerstone articles: Horizon Scanning and Monitoring for Warning: Definition and Practice.
The sections of the scan
Each section of the scan focuses on signals related to a specific theme:
- world (international politics and geopolitics);
- science including AI, QIS, technology and weapons, ;
- analysis, strategy and futures;
- the Covid-19 pandemic;
- energy and environment.
However, in a complex world, categories are merely a convenient way to present information, when facts and events interact across boundaries.
The information collected (crowdsourced) does not mean endorsement.
Featured image: Milky Way above SPECULOOS / The Search for habitable Planets – EClipsing ULtra-cOOl Stars (SPECULOOS) is searching for Earth-like planets around tiny, dim stars in front of a panorama of the Milky Way. Credit: ESO/P. Horálek.