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July 2013

Reflecting on the future

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 20, 2013  ·  Reflections

Foresight week over and I am flying back to the UK today.  I will  then take a few days off to complete some more sections of the Wye Valley Walk and to return to my agricultural roots with the Welsh Agricultural Show; time for some reflection after a long week of sessions, meals and meetings.  The question of democracy and how we make it work in a world with increasing constraints on natural resources came up throughout the week.  Coincidentally I have been reading a few books & papers which purport to explain how complexity theory...

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The state of the Future

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 19, 2013  ·  Conference blogs

I took that picture last night from the bedroom in the Fairmont Hotel here in Singapore.  Part of the ever changing cityscape of Singapore.  Today was the last day of the Foresight week and I didn't keep detailed notes as I was in part preparing for the final session of the day when our conference and that on complexity come together.  During the day I argued for sidecasting again rather than forecasting or backcasting when the situation is highly uncertain.  

There was a lot more discussion today on technology and it's role.  We...

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The future State?

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 18, 2013  ·  Conference blogs

So foresight week continues in Singapore and we move on to parallel events.  One is on complexity and is in the main academic papers, the other is a Chatham House rules event (so what I can say is limited) on the future of governance.   There are a few of us with a complexity background in this and there are some common sessions although not as many as originally planned.  Tomorrow we have a panel review of both and I am on that, but for today I can just sit, listen and ask the odd question.

Peter Ho opens both events with a...

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Of knowing and the unknown

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 17, 2013  ·  Conference blogs

While yesterday's closing session at IRAHSS13 was creating on the move today's had more preparation.  On day two I have lived through day one and have a sense of the overall structure of what I want to say to bring the whole event to an end.  The overall theme was knowledge, what we know, what we can know and what we may not want to know (Slide 14 in the now combined slide set) with which I opened.  I was also reacting to some of the earlier speakers in particular one opposed to the use of unfamiliar language and the advocacy of the...

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Of tittering, twittering & twitterpating

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 16, 2013  ·  Conference blogs

The collective noun for magpies is a tittering which is slightly less scary than their close relatives a murder of magpies.  It was one of the comments I made in my closing session at IRHASS13.   Now I have been at all five IRHASS events and for the last three my role has been to provide an end point to each day.   It's not so much a summary, its more the role of being a constructive irritant, a curmudgeonly  but entertaining end to the day; a role that I enjoy.  You can find the slides for both days here.  I have developed a habit...

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