From Seer to King – Success with Strategic Foresight and Warning

(Art design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli) Have you ever heard about Cassandra’s brother, who shared his sister’s gift of prophecy but not her curse? Could this legend, as other ancient myths, facts and histories, give us some clues to make our delivery and communication of strategic foresight and early warning products more efficient? Could it tell us …

From Cassandra’s Curse to the Pythia’s Success

(Art design: Jean-Dominique Lavoix-Carli) When delivering warnings, are we doomed to never be believed, sharing the same fate as Cassandra, the tragic character of Greek mythology? Or, on the contrary, can we hope to become as successful as the Pythia, the oracle priestess of Apollo at Delphi? Her gift of prophecy becoming a curse, Cassandra …

Why the Messenger Got Shot and how to Avoid this Fate

“Shooting the messenger” is a popular metaphor to highlight that those who deliver warnings most often are blamed, as if they were responsible for the reason for the warning. Meanwhile and as a result, warnings are also not considered. This saying underlines that the norm is the exact opposite of the objectives of early warning …

Expressing and Understanding Estimative Language

When dealing with the future, we use a language that includes specific notions such as the expression of probability and of impacts. In terms of probability, for example, we use words such as “likely” and for impacts terms such as “severe”. Furthermore, to be truly complete, we should add a confidence judgement. As explained by …

The Future of Iran’s Regional Role – A Historical Backgrounder

For this strategic foresight and warning series focused on the future of Iran notably as a regional player, within the next three to five years, we shall start analysing Iran’s history and political institutions and then we shall investigate Iran’s relations with leading regional and global powers.

Final Scenario for the Future of Libya and their Likelihoods

Having evaluated the likelihood for each scenario for the future of Libya (see detail here), we shall now present updated likelihoods that account for changes that have taken place since we began the evaluations. Because both intervention and spillover are already undoubtedly occurring in Libya, our scenarios are now considered sub-scenarios of Scenario 2: Intervention …

Evaluating Likelihoods for Libya – Scenario 2 Methodology

In this article and the next, we shall evaluate the likelihood of the primary scenarios for foreign military intervention, which we started to detail in “Scenarios for the Future of Libya – Scenario 2: The Joint Arab Force Takes a Side (1).” We shall focus on preliminary methodological work allowing for better describing the intervention cases for likelihood estimates. In the last article we discussed the likelihood of Scenario 1, where the Libyan actors negotiate a peace settlement—a scenario for which the probability we assessed was less than 20%, or highly unlikely. As detailed previously, we shall use the methodology developed by The Red (Team) Analysis Society, building upon Heuer (“Assessing Probability of a Scenario”, in Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, …

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Beyond the End of Globalisation – From the Brexit to U.S. President Trump

The world has entered a period where uncertainty rules and where surprises abound.

Focusing on 2016, the two major surprises usually singled out are the Brexit or the vote leading to the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, then the election of U.S. President Trump against favourite Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. Even though a short-term focus could let us believe that the turmoil only or mainly hits “the West”, political and geopolitical surprises and uncertainties have multiplied worldwide, starting at least with the shock of the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008 and responses to it (see end note for some major instances*).

What is thus happening? How are we to tackle the uncertainty? Are these surprises related or discrete independent events that it would be wrong to link or try to understand together?

We shall start here with the 2016 surprises and related ongoing uncertainty, i.e. the Brexit and the U.S. Trump Presidency, and focus more particularly on the contradictions and questions that arise when we compare the two phenomena. We shall seek a framework for and elements of understanding, which can then be used in the development of scenarios for the future.

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Evaluating Likelihoods for Libya’s Future – Scenario 1

Having detailed the various potential scenarios for Libya’s future over the next three to five years, we shall now evaluate the likelihood of the scenarios thanks notably to their indicators. We shall use the methodology developed by The Red (Team) Analysis Society, building upon Heuer (“Assessing Probability of a Scenario”, in Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, …

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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