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Topic: Small worlds as a foresight tool    

Topic: Small worlds as a foresight tool   
Report 1: Scenario based strategic planning   
Futur: German Futur security foresight   
Evaluation of FuturGermanForesightExercise   
Small Worlds special development site   
Small worlds: Business foresights   
FOCUS Checklist   

What is meant by showcase-based security research? This call for proposals issued by Frontex

Report 1: Scenario based strategic planning    

Futur: German Futur security foresight    

Concerning project profile Prof. Alexander Siedschlag: FUTUR.

Source: http://forlearn.jrc.ec.europa.eu/guide/6_examples/futur.htm#Reasons

Evaluation of FuturGermanForesightExercise    

(Separated document)

Small Worlds special development site    


Small worlds: Business foresights    
Source: http://www.scenariomanagement.de/fileadmin/user_upload/Scenario-based_strategic_planning_WP.pdf

FOCUS Checklist    

    • / Name: method name: Intergation of scenario planning and process persective of strategy
    • / Author: organization/department name:Center for scenario planning, Working Paper 1/2010, Leipzig March 25, 2010
    • /and/or complete name of the author.
Wulf, Th.; Meissner, Ph. Stubner St.

    • / Type of Result: indicate type of the final out-put.
    • / In-puts and out-puts: indicate the in-puts needed to carry out the method and the out-puts of the process.
      • / Inputs for scenario building: The insecurity profile of the current situation of the German Photovoltaic Industry (the End-User). Therefore an insecurity gradient is established by the Scenario Matrix. (To be worked out by the Isorisk gradient, which is work in progress based on the recent publication by Plachetka (2011)[1]
      • / Kind of meta-scenario planning. Input data: Current state for German photovoltaic industry. German EEG-laws considered as trends.
    • / Cost: indicate the average cost of implementation of the method (economic [€] and human resources [man-hour]). n/a due to a meta-scenario building procedure developed here.
    • / Time requirements: indicate the average time required to execute the method until the results are obtained. Specify preparation time, implementation time and recompilation/analysis time of the information gathered if suitable. n/a
    • / End-User involvement: indicate if user involved in the study, and in which phase (definition of the scenarios, analysis, etc.). The scenarios are addressed to a defined group of end-users (the photovoltaic industry)with 360° stakeholder feedback.
    • / How the end-user is involved: indicate how the end-user is involved in study (interviews, questionnaires, workshops, etc.).
      • / 360° stakeholder feedback that means; Internal stakeholders, external specialist and external stakeholders involved into the "foresight reactor". The result is a blind spot analysis (p.17).
Other requirements: indicate other specific requirements (if needed) that go beyond necessary economic or human resources, to carry out the method.


Best practices applicable to FOCUS: best practices that can be implemented and used within the FOCUS methodology:

''Traditonal approaches to scenario planning are often critizised because of their complexity and the resulting high requirements for time and other resources. This weakness mainly results form the lack of standardization of traditional approaches to scenario planning. Thus, we argue that a modified approach to scenario planning is more stzandardized and tool-based has the potential to significntly improve strategy creation in companies" (p.5).

If we consider the common denominator between companies and states,as does Paul Kennedy with his seminal work "The rise and fall of the Great Powers" (Kennedy 1989), it's the economic power that determines diplomatic and military strenghts, or - in general terms - the agency of an Empire (the EU is in the state of being due to the Lisbon treaty, no matter, if she likes or admit it or not).

Therefore such "small world foresights" can devise indicators of such unpleasant truisms in a nutshell

The uncertanity matrix to cope with a lot of data.

Inconveniences of its application to FOCUS: inconveniences that make the method not suitable to FOCUS.

Influence diagram.

  • / Implementation phase: indicate to what “possible phase” corresponding to the future FOCUS methodology could it be applied (definition, execution or analysis of scenarios, definition of EU roles, identification of technologies, definition of roadmaps, etc.)
According to my understanding the top objective of Focus is to make EU strategic planning towards the treats stemming from the EU's security environment consistent to identify research needs to rise the potential of developing and implementation of an imperial "grand strategy" instead of decentralized strategic bangling to allow only ad hoc alliances among member states. Therefore such small world showcases are making visible boundaries of agency and reduce politological parlance to the ground of hard facts.

Complexity: indicate the level of difficulty of use of the method and its implementation in relation with FOCUS work plan (there is a 4 month time frame for each thematic scenario development).

  1. War chest: How much funds can be invested into strategic actions into response to future challenges stemming from the security-environment.
  2. Economic efficiency: Which is the efficient tool of the imperial toolbox (strategy): Hard power, soft power.
  3. Cost / benefit analysis of cultural hegemony (corresponding to the marketing toolboxes of private companies) similar to the security environment management of the Spanish Empire when facing the assymetric war on the Santa-Crut de la Sierra frontier: A "sacred experiment" (the Jesuit state of Paraguay) i.e. mission as a soft power tool was more efficient than military action.
The corresponding historical show-cases are to be borne in mind when translating the patterns of small-world scenarios on the levels of empires, but Europeans are usually proud of their education in humanities ...

Required adaptations: indicate “possible” required adaptations of the methodology in order to be applied to FOCUS.

The answer to that questions needs some gift for abstract thought (company-based scenario).

  1. Fenix: World is dominated by German photovoltaic producers => The European security environment is dominated by EU's soft-power agency.
  2. Survival of the Fittest: highly competitive to Asian manufactors => highly competitive, the EU has to rival soft power challenges from the emerging markets (assumed that states are like companies)
  3. Icarus "Domestic clauses" that protects the internal markets of the BRIC-states from import to protect their providers of renewable energy. German photovoltaics disappeared because the EU doesn't follow the trends (compare to "fortress world" of the Global Scenario Group[2]. ==> The EU loses control over its security environment and is more or less a paper tiger.
  4. Go green: Europe cannot cope with the low construction costs of the BRICs and other competitors, so that a paradigm shift towards solar thermics is pefered. ==> The EU quits the power play.
IT support: indicate if the method is supported by any IT tool, or if it feasible to be supported or not by an IT implemented process.


  • Highlight the conflictz that exists between the planning and process schools of strategy and the requirement to overcome this conflict
  • Definition of scope, Perception analysis--> identify the mayor stakeholders, Trend and uncertainity analysis, Scenario building, strategy definition, monitoring'' (lead indicators).
(will be worked out with the isorisk approach).


[1] Plachetka, U. Chr. Die Inka - das Imperium, das aus der Kälte kam. Peter-Lang Verlag, Frankfurt et al 2011)

[2] http://www.gsg.org/gsgpub.html. The report has already been used for the EURATOM Foresight study, (Plachetka, Munoz 2009)