1Facing the Future: Scanning, Synthesizing and Sense-Making in Horizon Scanning Ahti Salo1, Totti Könnölä2, Cristiano Cagnin3,Vicente Carabias3, and Eeva Vilkkumaa11Aalto University School of Science, Espoo (Finland)2Impetu Solutions, Madrid (Spain)3JRC-IPTS, Seville (Spain)
3“By Portfolio Decision Analysis (PDA) we mean a body of theory, methods, and practice which seeks to help decision makers make informed multiple selections from a discrete set of alternatives through mathematical modeling that accounts for relevant constraints, preferences, and uncertainties.”
7What is Horizon Scanning? Facing the FutureWhat is Horizon Scanning?Horizon Scanning …… is regarded here as a creative process of collective sense-making by way of collecting and synthesizing observations that hold potential for the formulation of pertinent future developments and the derivation of actionable implications on decision-makingSense-making builds on the actor’s ability to perceive, interpret and construct meaning of the emerging landscapeKey Questions in Horizon Scanning ActivitiesHow to facilitate the recognition of signals?How to facilitate the elaboration of corresponding policy issues?How to synthesize such signals and issues into meaningful theme clusters?How to facilitate collective sense-making in the analysis of theme clusters?How to clarify the “big picture” of societal change?How to develop well-founded policy recommendations?
8Outline Sense-making in Horizon Scanning Case: Facing the Future Scoping the Scanning ExerciseSense-making: Inseparable from ScanningStakeholders: Crucial for Scanning and SynthesizingBuilding Ground for Cross-Cutting Policy CoordinationCase: Facing the FutureIdentification of IssuesAssessment of IssuesSynthesizing IssuesReflecions on the ExerciseDiscussionConclusions
10Sense-making in Horizon Scanning Facing the FutureSense-making in Horizon ScanningScoping the Scanning ExerciseInvolves decisions about what signals are worth scanning Across a comprehensive spectrum Focused on specific fields such as energy, health and cognitive enhancementSense-making: Inseparable from ScanningDrivers of change, emerging issues, trends, weak signals, wild cards/shocksPresence of scattered or no historical evidenceDefining units of analysis that facilitate the collection of individual observations and, moreover, the creative combination thereof to permit the creation of new entities and meaningsWhatever the methods, sense-making lies at the heart of well-founded support for policy making.
11Sense-making in Horizon Scanning Facing the FutureSense-making in Horizon ScanningStakeholders: Crucial for Scanning and SynthesizingHorizon scanning should engage diverse stakeholdersDiversity of coverage of different fields of expertise, types of affiliations, cultural backgrounds, organizational functions or personal valuesResulting in a richer set of interesting observations to be synthesized through shared development of cross-cutting challengesBuilding Ground for Cross-Cutting Policy CoordinationParticipatory workshop activities offer policy makers an inspiring environmentExposing them to concrete issues, synthesized into meaningful clusters that exhibit some logical structure and link to existing decision-making structuresCollaborative development of cross-cutting challenges may help reframe the Bigger Picture the exploration of which paves way for policy coordination and the attainment of systemic policy objectives
13Case: Facing the Future (Boden et al., 2010) Identification of 381 Issues in 6 areas(i) 73 demography, migration and health issues(ii) 44 economy, trade and financial flows issues(iii) 90 environment, energy, climate change and agriculture issues(iv) 80 research, innovation and (e)-education issues(v) 52 (e)-governance and (e)-social cohesion issues(vi) 42 defence and security issuesGenerated by analyzing in each area 25 recent forward-looking reports and policy documents, published by international organisations or the business sector, covered more than one of six areas being analysed, exhibited global scope, and had been developed using a participatory approachAssessment of 381 issues on a seven-point Likert-scaleRelevance to EU policy makingNovelty in comparison with earlier policy debatesProbability of occurrence by 2025
14Case: Facing the Future (Boden et al., 2010) Analysis of IssuesExpert assessments were synthesized with Robust Portfolio Modelling (RPM).Mean-oriented analysis helped identify issues that were considered relevant, novel and probable by the majority respondentsVariance-oriented analysis was conducted in order to recognize issues on which the respondents had different viewpointsRare event-oriented analysis was carried out to identify those issues that the respondents considered improbable but still novel and relevantThe three complementary RPM analyses helped highlight issues which were seen to merit attention from different perspectives and thus paved way for the formulation of cross-cutting challenges.
15Expert evaluations Evaluations for Issue 1 Expert Nov. Rel. 1 4 5 2 7 368Mean4.54.9Std dev2.31.2Expert opinions in tabular form and visualized with a scatter plot. The opinions differ more in novelty than relevance regarding this issue (can be seen in the higher standard deviation in the tabular and greater variation between points in the x- and y-directions in the graph). In other words, the expert agree more in one dimension and disagree in the other.
16Evaluations of multiple issues Typically there are multiple issues with different means and standard deviations. The decision problem is to select two of the best issues from this set of issues.
17Mean-oriented analysis Mean oriented analysis takes the average opinion as the performance measures for the issues. Every alternative can be described as a point in a two dimensional graph.Issues
18Combining issues into portfolios The measures of relevance and novelty of the combination of two issues are taken as the (vector) sum of the constituting issues. These combinations are called portfolios.Issues
19Portfolios of issues All portfolios of two issues Issues It is assumed that portfolio selection is restricted to only those portfolios that contain two issues.Issues
20Portfolio dominance Every portfolio in the shaded area yields more of bothrelevance and noveltySimilar analysis for allportfolios yields….Portfolios that are notdominatedNo –1 & 3 yields more ofboth relevance and noveltyIs 3&4 a good portfolio?The dominance relation can be used to discard portfolios that are inefficient in that there exist a portfolio that has as much in both relevance and novelty, and that has more in either/or relevance and novelty.Issues
21Non-dominated portfolios (ND portfolios) The selected portfolio should be non-dominatedNon-dominated porfoliosIssuesNon-dominated portfoliosThe selected portfolio should be non-dominated because for every dominated portfolio exist a non-dominated portfolio that yields more in at least one criterion without having to reduce the other criterionDominated portfolios (inferiorto some ND portfolios)
22Comparing issues If issue 4 is selected the resulting portfolio will be dominatedTherefore it is recommended that issue 1 should be selected intothe portfolioIf issue 1 is not selectedthe resulting portfoliois dominatedTherefore, no definitive recommendation can be given regarding issue 2Therefore it is recommended that issue 4 should not be selected tothe portfolioAll issues can be categorized with these three casesIf issue 2 is selected, there remain both dominated and non-dominated portfolios, depending on which otherissues are in the portfolioIssue 2 is in someND portfoliosIssue 4 is in noND portfolioWhich issues topursue further?Issue 1 is in allND portfoliosNon-dominated porfoliosIn all ND portfolios (Core)In some ND portfolios (Borderline)In no ND portfolios (Exterior)Decision recommendations:Core – a certain recommendations to select into the portfolioExterior – a certain recomendation to exclude from the portfolioBorderline – no recommendation of either excluding or including into the portfolioIssues
23Comparing issues with stated preference information Knowing that novelty is more important than relevance changes the dominance region…Dominated portfolios remain dominated but some ND portfolios become dominatedThe set of ND portfolios changes which also effects thedecision recommendations…from this……to this.Non-dominated porfolios45°In all ND portfolios (Core)In some ND portfolios (Borderline)In no ND portfolios (Exterior)Information regarding the criterion weights (may) reduce the set of non-dominated portfolios. This makes borderline issues to shift into Core and Exterior issues. The reverse cannot happen, that is Core and Exterior issues will remain Core and Exterior issues, respectively.Issues
24Case: Facing the Future Analysis of IssuesMean-oriented analysisRelevance > Novelty > Probability (means)Rare event oriented analysis Inverse probability > Novelty > Relevance (means)Variance-oriented analysisNovelty > Relevance > Probability (variance)100% issues score best independent of the used criteria preferences50% issues that score well, but are sensitive to criteria preferences
25Case: Facing the Future Synthesizing IssuesExperts and policy-makers grouped in a workshop the identified issues into cross-cutting challenges and examined their policy implications for the EU.Save natural resources (water, food) to prevent conflicts over their scarcity and other impacts such as migrationArea No.Issue codeKey words from the issue description (optional)1DI04Massive migration due to climate change3ENV03Global under-pricing and overconsumption of waterENV68Global decline of freshwater availability leading to an increase in water scarcityENV70Global decline in biodiversity and loss of ecosystems services6DS13Attacks on infrastructure facilitiesDS15A major war by 2020DS81Pervasive sensors for real-time surveillance widely diffusedTable 2 Example of a cross-cutting challenge consisting of issues from all three analyses and from different thematic areas (Demography, Environment, and Defence & Security); font styles of issue codes refer to the results obtained in the different RPM analyses (http://foresight.jrc.ec.europa.eu/survey_issues.pdf, visited 01/04/2011).
26Case: Facing the Future Synthesizing IssuesParticipants generated collectively 22 cross-cutting challenges, which were prioritized by discussing in the light of three solution-oriented criteria related to their importance at the EU level:- Urgency: Is the challenge likely to provoke impacts that require urgent actions at EU level?- Tractability: Can solutions to the challenge be identified and implemented? Does the EU have the institutional capacity to act upon this challenge?Impact: Are the actions to be taken by the EU expected to have a major global positive impact?By the end of the workshop, a workable agreement was reached on the definition of the following three overarching challenges:(i) The need to change ways in which essential natural resources are used.(ii) The need to anticipate and adapt to societal changes.(iii) The need for more effective and transparent governance for the EU and the world.
27Case: Facing the Future Synthesizing IssuesThese challenges were the basis for the three broad recommendations which, according to the workshop participants, had so far not received sufficient attention in policy and decision processes (Boden et al., 2010):(i) The need to change uses of essential natural resources by aligning all policy realms towards sustainability, extending from policy design through implementation to evaluation;(ii) The need to anticipate and adapt to societal challenges by building on social diversity and ICTs to enable citizens' empowerment;(iii) The need for more effective and transparent governance that allows institutions to anticipate future challenges and to turn these into opportunities by embedding FTA in their decision making processesReflections on the ExerciseCollective sense-making process where emerging issues were first identified and then synthesized into challenges to be dealt with at EU levelTraceability of cross-cutting challenges and recommendations was supported by the appropriate coding of issues and challenges
28Case: Facing the Future Policy recommendations(i) Policy alignment towards sustainability:Reform in the agri-systemReduction in the EU's dependency on resourcesIncrease in levels of education and social awarenessAppropriate and effective management of migration flows caused by from climate change, improving the quality of life, and recognition of labour market needs in ageing societiesChange in the policy paradigm based on GDP to an updated system which also considers ecological flows and stocksfs
29Case: Facing the Future Policy recommendations(ii) Social diversity and ICTs for citizen empowerment:Build new incentives to facilitate and strengthen relationships between different social systemsDevelop the necessary means to enhance education on the use of ICTs in conjunction with other technologiesImprove the quality of education by fostering, for example, competition within and between EU national education systemsRegulate the healthcare system, harnessing new technologies to provide equal access for allDevelop radically new and far more efficient forms of social protectionEnhance regional specialisation through the formation of regional RTDI clusters
30Case: Facing the Future Policy recommendations(iii) Anticipating future challenges and turning these into opportunities:Embed forward looking techniques in EU policy makingFoster mutual understanding through ongoing/inclusive dialogue both within the EU and worldwide to build shared values, common visions, actions, and smart regulationsEnable effective and adaptive international organisations to become a realityEstablish partnerships between industry-government-societyClarify the role and status of the EU in global fora and balance its representation in international organisationsFoster (e)participation and (e)democracy through the use of web 2.0 and advanced technologies
31Case: Facing the Future Reflections on the ExerciseRecommendations used in discussions within the European Commission, the report was referenced in the Communication on the Innovation Union…
32Discussion Horizon Scanning … Facing the FutureDiscussionA distinctive and defining feature of horizon scanning is that there are no strong a priori constraints on what signals could count as relevantHorizon Scanning …Is inherently a bottom-up process where results from individual sense-making activities are followed by collective processes where the scanners take stock of and learn from each others’ signalsActivities contribute to the design of systemic policies which – far from being monolithic and inflexible – contribute to the attainment of systemic policy objectives by supporting the timely recognition of the interconnectedness of actions
33Facing the FutureConclusionsHorizon scanning need not be limited to the collection of future-oriented observations; rather, the scope of these activities can be extended to include creative and collective sense-making processes for synthesizing observations into cross-cutting challenges and also for exploring the policy implications of these challenges in collaborative workshops.This methodological approach – which had well-defined phases for the systematic ‘bottom-up’ scanning of issues and for the prioritization and clustering thereof – is viable even in other contexts where there is a need to build shared understandings about the prospects of cross-cutting coordination in support of systemic policy objectives.
36ProcessDatesTaskResultJunSelecting the 7 most interesting shocks from 14 candidates7 shock environments (scenarios). For additional depth, 3 opposite environments were also described.EarlyOctWeb-questionnaire create ideas for actions that would help to build success in each environmentLateWeb-questionnaire to assess utility of the 25 actions in each of the 7 environmentsDecision & Action
377 Environments, 3 opposite environments Most interrestingInternet crashesEMU dissolves(Opposite environment: European federalism gains strength)Storms of the centuryNokia leaves FinlandChina is in troubleForest industry leaves Finland(Opposite environment:Booming modern biorefineries)Price of energy drops 90%(Opposite environment: Price of energy goes up 300%)Decision & Action
38ProcessDatesTaskResultJunSelecting the 7 most interesting shocks from 14 candidates7 shock environments (scenarios)EarlyOctWeb interview to create ideas for actions that would help to build success in each environmentVisited 128 times, median time spent on site 18 minutes245 ideas, from which the 25 final actions were chosenLateWeb-questionnaire to assess utility of the 25 actions in each of the 7 environmentsDecision & Action
4025 Actions 1. Invest in maintaining trust in the society 2. Security and resilience requirements for information networks3. Take care of small networked production4. Prepare to increase self-sufficiency in food production5. Increase respect for every type of work6. Promote innovation for a rainy-day7. Tax incentives for energy self-sufficient housing8. Tax incentives for urban local food9. Create an ICT-ecosystem10. Develop services that require little energy11. Invest in sustainable well-being know-how12. Finland a global IT-service center for public authorities13. Invest in new rapidly exploitable knowledge combinationsDecision & Action
4125 Actions 14. Let the forest industry disappear 15. Build more nuclear power to hedge against price shocks16. Commercialize forest into an investment product17. Manage a single global service18. Train workforce as the reserve for global companies19. Switch to exchange economy with no currency20. Establish a Nordic monetary union21. Make Finland the center for Asian and Russian connections22. Specialize in fast piloting23. Exploit Finland's neutral and apolitical reputation24. Create Finnish Mittelstand to replace Nokia25. Invest in trade outside the EUDecision & Action
4225 Actions1. Invest in maintaining trust in the society. Even internet failure does not cause as much problems in Finland as it does elsewhere. We can mutually agree that suppliers dispatch goods to stores, trusting that they will eventually be paid. Likewise, stores will advance store credit to consumers.2. Security and resilience requirements for information networks. Let's build systems that consist of several smaller systems - local networks and separated cloud services which are connected by an integrating layer in order to keep the whole system from crashing in case one part of it goes down. All routing is implemented in such a way that these networks can be connected to alternate cloud services if some part collapses,3. Take care of small networked production. The bigger the systems, the more far-reaching the consequences of failures. Cell-like production of goods and services is also dependent on global networks, but its resilience is better. The first player to restore services gets an advantage over slower competitors.4. Prepare to increase self-sufficiency in food production. As the crisis lengthens, local food production would become increasingly vital. Seasonal radio shows, that give tips for fishing and gathering berries and mushrooms. Small, currently worthless fish should be caught and turned into fish-fingers.5. Increase respect for every type of work. Start a major PR campaign to promote the idea that any form of self-employment is beneficial, and unemployment is damaging.Decision & Action
4325 Actions6. Promote innovation for a rainy days. National "Google time", in which every (employed) citizen can use maybe a fifth of their time to work on resilience-improving ideas for extreme environments.7. Tax incentives for energy self-sufficient housing. Direct support or tax deductions for micro production equipment. For example, miniature wind generators on all yards and balconies.8. Tax incentives for urban local food. Local food production should be encouraged with taxation. For example, using your balcony as a greenhouse should be tax deductible according to its production.9. Create an ICT-ecosystem. In an ecosystem individual knowledge workers can network globally and sell their expertise to anywhere in the world.10. Develop services that require little energy. Investment in companies offering expert services. These are not as dependent on energy prices, and are able to continue their business more or less as usual, even when faced with higher energy prices.Decision & Action
4425 Actions11. Invest in sustainable well-being know-how. The whole world badly needs a new vision and societal model based on sustainable well-being. Finland could be the forerunner of this trend, based on our strong social model.12. Finland a global IT-service center for public authorities. Finland has the world's most efficient tax collection system, medical administrative systems and other public sector IT systems. These could be sold as cloud services to the whole world, producing cashflow without having to shift large amounts of physical matter.13. Invest in new rapidly exploitable knowledge combinations. Let's combine old and new, but already existing, knowledge, and cut back on developing longer-term development with higher expertise requirements.14. Let the forest industry disappear. We should allow forest industry to wither away in Finland, and develop service-based and other timber-sector jobs. These are less cyclical.15. Build more nuclear power to hedge against price shocks. Building additional nuclear capacity offers protection from price shocks. Price of uranium fuel is a small fraction of the cost of electricity generation.Decision & Action
4525 Actions16. Commercialize forest into an investment product. Land area does not grow, forest area is declining, and forest are good carbon sinks. Based on this, Finnish forests are productized as an investment opportunity and sold by the hectare to international investors.17. Manage a single global service. Finland could control any market or a globally used service that is not currency-dependent, but in which other countries would be connected to our systems. For example tax collection.18. Train workforce as the reserve for global companies. We should make sure that our global companies have the necessary employee resources when market growth picks up. If they are the only operating companies, their demand goes up and they need more people. Let's train reserves in advance.19. Switch to exchange economy with no currency. Golden era for small producers. Back to barter economy.20. Establish a Nordic monetary union. Nordic countries start collaborating on the same export markets, in order to compete with other countries more effectively. The possibilities for a Nordic free trade area and currency union are investigated.Decision & Action
4625 Actions21. Make Finland the center for Asian and Russian connections. Creating a new kind of hotspot for growing start-ups together with Russian entrepreneurs could turn Finland into an European innovation hub.22. Specialize in fast piloting. We'll specialize in piloting. When market conditions change, new pilot projects take off. They are started with those companies and countries that are most advanced in their development work at that point.23. Exploit Finland's neutral and apolitical reputation. Finland's image as an apolitical and neutral country needs to be utilized. For Chinese (as well as others) it is safe to trade with Finns, to work for a Finnish company, or to buy Finnish products.24. Create Finnish Mittelstand to replace Nokia. Building a sufficient network of globally operating slightly smaller companies that get a boost to their activities if Nokia leaves Finland.25. Invest in trade outside the EU. Government encourages strongly companies to diversify their exports to countries outside the EU, such as Russia, Asia and Africa.Decision & Action
47ProcessDatesTaskResultJunSelecting the 7 most interesting shocks from 14 candidates7 shock environments (scenarios)EarlyOctWeb-questionnaire create ideas for actions that would help to build success in each environmentVisited 128 times, median time spent on site 19 minutes245 ideas, from which the 25 final actions were chosenLateWeb-questionnaire to assess utility of the 25 actions in each of the 7 environmentsVisited 59 times, median time 18 minutesIdentification of action combinations (=portfolios) that maximize utilityDecision & Action
49Forest industry leaves Finland Internet crashesForest industry leaves FinlandPrice of Energy drops 90%EMU collapseNokia leaves FinlandChina is in troubleStorms of the century1. Invest in maintaining trust in the society8763807167682. Security and resilience requirements for information networks86484656763. Take care of small networked production7249704. Prepare to increase self-sufficiency in food production65375732745. Increase respect for every type of work596258536. Promote innovation for a rainy-day64817784697. Tax incentives for energy self-sufficient housing55433550308. Tax incentives for urban local food38294721609. Create an ICT-ecosystem52794510. Develop services that require little energy614111. Invest in sustainable well-being know-how7375837812. Finland a global IT-service center for public authorities514213. Invest in new rapidly exploitable knowledge combinations548514. Let the forest industry disappear312515. Build more nuclear power to hedge against price shocks2834443916. Commercialize forest into an investment product336617. Manage a single global service18. Train workforce as the reserve for global companies19. Switch to exchange economy with no currency2036162220. Establish a Nordic monetary union232621. Make Finland the center for Asian and Russian connections22. Specialize in fast piloting8223. Exploit Finland's neutral and apolitical reputation24. Create Finnish Mittelstand to replace Nokia25. Invest in trade outside the EUUtilities
50ProcessDatesTaskResultJunSelecting the 7 most interesting shocks from 14 candidates7 shock environments (scenarios)EarlyOctWeb-questionnaire create ideas for actions that would help to build success in each environmentVisited 128 times, median time spent on site 19 minutes245 ideas, from which the 25 final actions were chosenLateWeb-questionnaire to assess utility of the 25 actions in each of the 7 environmentsVisited 59 times, median time 18 minutesIdentification of action combinations (=portfolios) that maximize utilityDecision & Action
52All efficient portfolios Action #11 is in all eff. portfolios that include more than 8 actionsAction #15 is not in anyefficient portfolio that includes less than 20 actionsDecision & Action
53ConclusionsThere are many ways to facilitate the shaping of policy agendasYet it is important to have a clear process structureNot all details can be modelled (time, effort, data, validity…) Informal discussions remain crucialIt is assumed that portfolio selection is restricted to only those portfolios that contain two issues.