Eight Ideas for 21st-Century Risk Managers

UPDATE (April, 2011): The full article (“Gifts of Sight“) is now online at Risk Professional magazine.  It is behind a pay wall, but email me and I’ll send you a personal copy. I was recently asked to explain some of the concepts I use in my research to a journalist interested in new developments in […]

An Interview with GBN

I recently did a Q & A for the Fall 2010 issue of the GBN Bulletin (pdf here). Here is an extract from the PDF, in which I talk about crowdsourced scenarios, urban change, design & strategy. I’ve added links and re-inserted a few of references and shout-outs that didn’t make it into the final edit, […]

Emergent Futures Mapping with Futurescaper

Futurescaper is an online tool for making sense of the drivers, trends and forces that will shape the future.  As a user interface system, it still needs development.  As a tool for analyzing and understanding complex systems, it works very well and does something I have yet to see anything else be able to do.  […]

Three Innovations in Crowd Sourced Scenario Planning, Part 1

I’ve spent the better part of the last four years working on approaches to online scenario planning as part of my PhD. During this time I have designed and implemented three systems – each of which explored a different approach to crowd sourcing, engagement and online participation in futures work. I call these experiments in “large-scale participatory futures systems”.

21st Century Causation

“There was no obvious connection, of course. There never was. Cause and consequence proliferated across the world like a network of fractal cracks, infinitely complex and almost impossible to predict. Explanations in hindsight were a different matter.”

How to Build a Collective Intelligence Platform to Crowdsource Almost Anything

The MIT Center for Collective Intelligence recently published an important overview of the theory and mechanisms behind successful crowdsourcing efforts. Their report, called “Harnessing Crowds: Mapping the Genome of Collective Intelligence“, can be found here.

Drawing a Better Panarchy Diagram

I am always on the lookout for good graphics and diagrams for my lectures on complexity and adaptive change. I often use the Panarchy cycle, which is a useful theoretical model for explaining how complex adaptive systems change over time.  The image above is from Garry Peterson‘s excellent page describing Panarchy and the Adaptive Cycle […]

Oxford Future of Cities Scenarios

Last year I participated in a large scenario planning effort as part of the University of Oxford’s “Future of Cities” programme. The project interviewed a range of business leaders, property developers, environmentalists, community activists, political scientists, engineers, architects and designers from around the world.  It then extracted a variety of themes and drivers in using a traditional […]

On learning, collapse and the reduction of complexity

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognize; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognize but impossible to cure.” – Niccolo Machievelli In response to a Twitter conversation with Dave Snowden and Andrew Curry, regarding the need / possibility of […]

Slides from my recent talk at MIT

I recently was back at MIT presenting some of my research on web-based techniques for collaborative foresight and online scenario planning.  Here are the slides from my presentation. The presentation starts with a general overview of scenario planning, then provides an example from some scenarios work I did with the Oxford Future of Cities Programme (in […]