Saturday Lunch Session 12:45—2 p.m.
When Reedies gather, it's difficult, if not impossible, to capture and capitalize on all of the ideas that manifest. The air around Working Weekend is charged with sparks, ideas abound. After the morning sessions, grab a bite and join one of the three lunch discussions.
Foresight Discussion, GCC-A (grab lunch then meet in conference room A) Jim Kahan, moderator
“Foresight” as a concept developed from a recognition that the future is uncertain when seen from the present. If we knew for certain how the future would unfold, it would be conceptually easy (although possibly difficult in practice) to plan for the future, to capitalise on the opportunities offered and to prevent or mitigate the threats. Absent an accurate picture of the future, planners choose to construct suggestive futures, and then to plan on the basis of them. Such futures may be termed “scenarios.” Scenarios may be used in a variety of ways, including seminar gaming. I present a use of seminar gaming as a tool for foresight exercises that takes advantage of recent advances in scenario and gaming design.
This approach abandons the notion of a trend—even the most likely future is very unlikely—and synthesizes the advantages of forecasting and backcasting analyses. The key insight is to attempt to use scenarios to disrupt the unidimensionality of time: in planning for the future, we need to look both forward from the present to possible futures, and backward from the possible futures to the present. The process can be iterated to shuttle repeatedly forwards and backwards in time; hence the term bouncecasting.
This presentation describes the bouncecasting process and illustrates it with two practical examples—cybertrust and crime prevention in the United Kingdom and health insurance reform in Germany.