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Lessons from the Conflict in Ukraine – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (4)

This article identifies lessons we can learn from the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on businesses, as presented in the first part, to continue enhancing our understanding of the way businesses and the corporate world could usefully anticipate or foresee geopolitical and political risks and uncertainties.

From the way to identify which crises and geopolitical uncertainties can be – sometimes unexpectedly – of concern to a company (Lesson 1) to the best timing for starting the anticipation  process (Lesson 2), the need to think outside the ideological box (Lesson 3) and multi-dimensionally (Lesson 4) and to understand “national interest” and its evolution (Lesson 5), the impacts of the war in Ukraine bring us a wealth of understanding and points out many necessary if not crucial improvements that may be endeavoured. These will thus be added to the points previously identified in “Lessons from and for the Brexit – Geopolitics, Uncertainties, and Business (2)”, after a general framework was defined in “Businesses and Geopolitics: Caught up in the Whirlwinds?” (1).

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Impacts of the Conflict in Ukraine – Geopolitics, Uncertainties and Business (3)

With this article and the next one, we use the instability and conflict in Ukraine and the related impacts on businesses to continue enhancing our understanding of the way businesses and the corporate world could usefully anticipate or foresee geopolitical and political risks and uncertainties. The Red Team Analysis Weekly – 1st December 2022 Can You Unbias Analysis? The Russian Nuclear Threat An Excluded Russia? Not for Asia – Anthropocene Wars (6) An Alternative Red Scenario for the war between Ukraine and Russia War in Ukraine in the Warming Arctic – Anthropocene Wars (5) The War between China and the U.S. – The Normative Dimension The American National Interest We review two major impacts of the war in Ukraine. First we look at the “surprising” …

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Lessons from and for the Brexit – Geopolitics, Uncertainties, and Business (2)

On 24 June 2016 morning, the U.K. announced the results of the referendum on the Brexit: 51.9% of the population voted to leave the EU against 48.1% wanting to remain, while the turnout reached 72,2% (BBC Referendum Results). This vote triggered among the media, financial and European political elite a “shock”, consternation, and a host of predictions of impending doom, while markets plunged worldwide (BBC News, “Brexit: What the world’s papers say“, 24 June 2016). It also set off a series of events and dynamics still unfolding nowadays with far-ranging consequences, globally, for the future. We shall use this real life case to further enhance our understanding of the way businesses and the corporate world relate to and especially anticipate or …

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Climate Change, a Pause or an Aposiopesis?

On 4 June 2015, Science magazine published “Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus,” which addressed what some see as an apparent pause in the upward trend of global surface temperatures since 1998. In the paper, Thomas R. Karl and others presented updated global surface temperature analysis, which they think reveals that global trends are higher than reported by the IPCC and does not support the notion of a “slowdown” or a pause in the increase of global surface temperature. For those who firmly believe there is a pause or even a downward trend, that paper released the Kraken. Whatts Up With That?, a website dedicated to climate change skepticism, called the new paper “laughable”.  Dr …

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Actors and Factors In Future Threats Analysis (3) – The Crisis in Ukraine

This article focuses on a third analytical challenge at the core of the foresight and warning process, the fact that actors and “factors”, or rather variables, are often mixed together. Using the example of the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, the first article of the series explained how to map a strategic foresight and warning question, notably how to move from factors to variables and the second underlined the importance to define and name the actors relevant to the question as objectively as possible and suggested ways to do it. The “black box” actor As we recall from the last post, during the first steps of a mapping for the future evolution of the crisis in Ukraine, both factors or rather variables and actors would have …

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Actors Labelling and Factors In Future Threats Analysis (2) – The Crisis in Ukraine

This article is the second of a series that deals with the core of the foresight and warning analytical process. The first text explained the mapping process and how to move from factors to variables. Here we focus on the second challenge analysts and participants to workshops face: how to include actors relevant to the question as objectively as possible. The process we use to map an issue or a foresight and warning question seems simple enough, especially once one understands what is a variable and how to specify it, as we saw and explained in detail previously. However, when done, notably within a workshop setting, when different participants brainstorm to map as well and as quickly as possible variables …

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Actors and Factors In Future Security Threats Analysis (1) – the Crisis in Ukraine

This series of articles deals with the core and basis of the foresight and warning analytical process, explaining it while stressing three most common challenges analysts and participants to workshops face: identifying factors correctly (this article); specifying actors objectively (2-); overcoming an inadequate mix of “actors and factors” (3-). Practical ways forward will be suggested. The example that will be used as case study throughout those three posts is the 2013-2014 crisis in Ukraine, with, as corresponding strategic foresight and warning (SF&W) question, “What are the possible futures for the Ukrainian crisis over the next two years?” Compared with our previous methodological series, these posts may seem to address more basic problems. However, as workshop after workshop, participants, be they …

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Methodology to Analyze Future Security Threats (2): a Game of Chess

This article is the second of a series looking for a methodology that would fulfill the challenging criteria demanded by our time. Previously, we saw that a single “story” initially told at a general level, the political dynamics that are at the core of a polity, could be used to build the very specific model needed to answer a strategic foresight and warning (national security) question or a political risk interrogation. Very practically, how shall we do that? How are generic dynamics going to help us with our task? How can we proceed? This is what we shall see now. Related Towards an Operational Methodology to Analyze Future Security Threats and Political Risk (1) Methodology to Analyze Future Security Threats (2): a …

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Towards an Operational Methodology to Analyze Future Security Threats and Political Risk (1)

In this day and age of speed, not to say haste, unequally shared resources and wish to relatively easily obtain answers to complex questions, we are faced in strategic foresight and warning analysis (or political risk analysis) with a very serious challenge. We must choose a methodology that: allows for a “good enough” analysis (Fein, 1994), …

Useful Rules for Strategic Foresight and Risk Management from Taleb’s The Black Swan

This second article on The Black Swan: the impact of the highly improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb emphasises some of the author’s points that are crucial for foresight and warning. Likewise, they are necessary for any work dealing with the future and its anticipation, from risk management to horizon scanning through early warning.

The methodology of SF&W and risk management allows addressing these points. They should become rules and principles all analysts follow. Indeed, without paying attention to them, good analysis is impossible. The first article on The Black Swan can be accessed here.

Humility

humility, doubt

(Notably pp.190-200) Considering uncertainty, but also our imperfect condition of human beings, the complexity of the social world, feedbacks, our more than insufficient knowledge and understanding, we must ….

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