AGEING : OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS

The world’s population is ageing and Europe’s population will be the world’s oldest. By 2030, a quarter of the continent’s population will be older than 65, a doubling compared to today. The population of working age will thus decrease. There are several possible...

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ATTENTION AND PERCEPTION

Attention is our ability to focus on stimuli, and in the case of scenario planning and foresight, on our stimuli from our external environment. Perception is our ability to make sense of the stimuli. There is an obvious connection as we select what events and facts we...

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BLACK SWAN

Black Swans is the name given by Nicholas Taleb to events that are unexpected, very difficult, if not impossible, to predict, and leading to major changes which can be catastrophic. The fall of Communism and the dissolution of the Soviet Union are said to be black...

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CAUSAL LAYERED ANALYSIS

This method is used to deconstruct conventional thinking by abandoning existing paradigms. The techniques used are discussions that challenge accepted thinking and generally accepted myths. The first step is to identifying critical issues, and particularly critical...

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CHARTER CITIES

Charter Cities is a concept put forward by World Bank Economist Paul Romer who defends the point of view that it is neither technologies nor the inavailability of resources that will limit the growth of living standards, but the limited capacity to discover and...

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COGNITIVE BIASES

Cognitive biases are set or preconceived ideas about people or institutions. Cognitive biases may be irrational but control our rational thought processes without our realizing it. Cognitive biases can be overruled by understanding their presence and refusing to allow...

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COMPETITIVE INTELLIGENCE

Competitive intelligence is the process by which data is developed on competition and, more generally, on the market environment in which a company operates. It is assumed that the information is collected ethically and legally. This process is usually subdivided into...

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COMPLEX SYSTEMS

Complex systems cannot be sufficiently described, predicted or managed. The components of the system are interrelated and a small change in one of the components of the system leads to a major change in the system.

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COUNTERFACTUAL HISTORY

Counterfactual history is the game of attempting to imagine what would have resulted had different decisions been taken by the historical actors and to understand how history, personal, corporate or history with a capital H, would have turned out if certain decisions...

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DEBIASING

Debiasing techniques, of which there are a large variety, are used to improve decision making by limiting the impact of biases on the part of the decision-maker. It only limits the introduction of biases but can never totally eliminate them. For managers to introduce...

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DEMOGRAPHIC DIVIDEND

When child and infant mortality rates decrease, fertility rates also fall. This drop in fertility is achieved through government policies essentially on family planning and health care for mothers, newly born and infants. For a period of 20 to 30 years, economic...

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DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION

A disruptive innovation creates a new value network and therefore a new market. By doing so, it disrupts an existing market. Usually the market is taken by surprise. The usual reaction from the leaders of the markets as they were structured before is for them to...

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DRIVERS

Drivers are the primary forces leading to change. Some drivers, called predetermined, are predictable, while others are unpredictable and are called critical uncertainties.

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DRIVERS OF MORTALITY

The theory of epidemiologic transition states that there is a change in the distribution of deaths by cause away from communicable diseases towards non-communicable diseases. There are large differences between countries and these differences are increasing. However,...

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ENVIRONMENTAL SCANNING

Environmental scanning is the study of the environment of the corporation to extract information that could be relevant to determine trends. The information can include events, ideas, comments, and any type of information that could be felt to be relevant.

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ENVIRONMENTAL UNCERTAINTY

Environmental uncertainty is a situation in which either there is a situation of major flux in the environment or in which an entity lacks information on its environment. Therefore the best defense is accessing relevant information and analyzing it.

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F E R T I L I T Y D R I V E R S

The Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in the world has dropped by nearly 50% since 1955, from 5 to 2.5 children per woman, and is forecast to be between 1.8 and 2.2 by 2050. A UN report states that perhaps for the first time in human history, couples can have a long term...

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GEOPOLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS

In our analyses and recommendations we take the following geopolitical consideraations into account:   Local, regional and national political instability The impact of great power rivalry Perceptions of possible reactions of...

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INFORMATION

As the world is becoming more complex, the need for corporations to stay current with information increases. Igor Ansoff suggested the following approach to understanding the monitoring of information during a search for the purpose of identifying (essentially weak)...

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MALTHUSIAN THEORY OF POPULATION

Malthus’ theory is based on three postulates or assumptions : 1 – Food is a vital necessity 2 – People will continue to reproduce and population will grow geometrically and double every 25 years. 3 – The law of diminishing returns applies to agriculture and grows...

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MEGATRENDS

Megatrends are slow-forming major changes that can be economic, environmental, political, social or technological. They influence a large number of activities, perceptions and processes and may last over large periods.

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OPACITY

While in our global age there is a near total connectedness, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to trace the relationship between the various steps of a chain of connected events. It is then said that the causal relationships are opaque. The world and the...

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RISK PERCEPTION

Life is a collection of risks. While their analysis carries a major importance, it remains, to a large extent, a subjective exercise, one in which perception plays a key role. Risk is the child of uncertainty, as all future is. Common errors in perceiving the extent...

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SYSTEM MAPPING

System mapping is a tool that was originally used in systems thinking to map complexity by seeing and understanding how the various parts of a system are connected to make up a system. The parts are linked by information, people and resources. Every system is part of...

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THE ANTHROPOCENE

The Anthropocene describes our present time, starting with the Industrial Revolution, when human action has altered a large number of natural processes through agriculture, global warming, urbanization, etc. These changes in the biosphere have led to habitat loss,...

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THE COLOMBIAN EXCHANGE

Evolution of species, whether bacterial, plant or animal, diverged from the American and the Eurasian continent. Thus, the New Continent did not have the germs responsible for a large number of infectious diseases such as chickenpox, influenza and malaria among...

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THE EPIDEMIOLOGIC TRANSITION THEORY

Epidemiologic transition is when causes of death change from infectious diseases to chronic degenerative diseases. This change means that people die at an older age. The theory was formulated by Abdel Omran in 1971. The theory states there are three stages: The age of...

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THE GREAT DIVERGENCE

The Great Divergence is the divergence in living standards and economic power between Europe and Asia. The date at which it started is also open to interpretation, with authors situating it anywhere from the 16th to the 19th century. Prior to these dates, regions of...

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The Singularity

Published on Monday, August 16, 01999  •  18 years, 2 months ago Written by Stewart Brand for The Long Now Foundation The metaphor of the Singularity comes from astrophysics. What makes it so compelling to futurists and trend-watchers? Like any effective metaphor, it...

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THEORY OF GENDER EQUITY

Gender equity theory postulates that in every society there is an acceptable type of relationship between husband and wife. In other words, there is a set division of labor and responsibilities. A high level of gender equity means that labor and responsibilities are...

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THEORY OF PLANNED BEHAVIOR (TPB)

The theory, due to Icek Ajen, explains the deliberate behavior of people and the ability to change that behavior. It stipulates that human behavior is guided by three types of considerations: Behavioral beliefs about the likely consequences of the behavior Normative...

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UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS

Unknown unknowns are unidentified risks which therefore are not taken into account in strategic planning. Good scenario planning should assist in trying to identify them and convert them into known unknowns.

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URBANIZATION

Uranization is the movement of population from rural to urban areas. The two drivers are the possibility of producing more food with a smaller amount of manpower and the fact that urban centers offer a larger number of employment possibilities as well as a...

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VISIONING

Visioning entails getting a group to project themselves mentally into the future. This exercise can be done with the use of keywords, drawings, pictures or with the assistance of a guide. It is mostly carried out at the beginning of a planning process.

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WEAK SIGNALS

There are many definitions of what are weak signals. Perhaps the best is that they are trends just starting to emerge. Weak signals are detected through the analysis of information. It thus requires a high level of alertness. However, personal biases may lead us to...

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VIEWING

Viewing can be divided into two sections: Undirected viewing which takes place when large amounts of indiscriminate information is scanned in the hope of finding some useful information such as detecting an early signal. Conditioned viewing takes place when specific...

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