Presentation on theme: "Anticipating Disruptive Change in Real World Complex Systems With Futures Research Annual meeting of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life."— Presentation transcript:
1 Anticipating Disruptive Change in Real World Complex Systems With Futures Research Annual meeting of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences (SCTPLS) San Marcos, TX July 24, 2010Oliver W. Markley, PhDUniversity of Houston-Clear LakeInwardBoundVisioning.comConstance D. Porter, PhDSt. Edward’s UniversityVer. 2.0
2 Workshop Overview Introduction Historical background & references Methodological underpinnings & relevant concepts of “futures research”Anticipation of disruptive surprises in real world, complex systemsIllustrative exercise and/or participative discussionConclusion and full references
3 Who are you? Why are you here? Theoreticians – wanting to know enough methodological details about futures research to envision how to use it in your workPractitioners – more interested in what the future looks like to futurists, and how this may impact your workJust have a good time exploring some new ideas without getting too technical
4 Relevant Concepts Plausible & Probable vs. Preferable Futures Predictive vs. Alternative Futures Forecasting & ScenariosDirectional vs. Strategic PlanningEmerging “STEEP” Trends, Issue Identification and Impact AssessmentAnticipation of Disruptive Surprises (“Wild Cards”)Rational Analysis ~ Intuitive VisioningThings to come: Have this sheet as a handout so that all can refer to it during the presentation
6 Source: Harman, Markley & Rhyne, SRI (1973) Here I would talk about the beginnings of the modern day futures field, and the pioneering work in alternative future histories we did at SRI in 1967 onwards, to look forward 33 years to the yr 2000; and how we got it right, but were a bit premature in our timing. grinSource: Harman, Markley & Rhyne, SRI (1973)
8 Disruptive Overshooting of Carrying Capacity? Source: Oliver Markley, “The Future of SpaceShip Earth” (1995)
9 Anticipating Disruptive Surprises (a.k.a. “Wild Cards”) Type I : Low Probability, High CredibilityType II: High Probability, Low CredibilityType III: High Probability, Disputed CredibilityType IV: High Probability, High CredibilitySource: Oliver Markley, “A New Methodology for Anticipating Disruptive Surprises.”Submitted to the Journal of Technology Forecasting & Social Change, July, 2010
10 Two Type II “Tipping Points” Toward Disruptive Social Systems Change
11 Financial “Bubbles” Currently Threatening Global Financial Meltdown ~ 1-3 Years Virtuous upward cycle of past few decades replaced by vicious downward spiral resulting from co-lined bubbles:Real estate bubbleStock market bubbleDiscretionary spending bubbleDollar bubbleGovernment debt bubbleWhy would there be a dollar bubble before a gov’t debt bubble? Multi-bubble economy cannot be easily reflated.SOURCE: Aftershock (2010), Wiedemer, et al,
12 Key Sources: Anticipating Near Term, Large Scale, Social System Disruption Tipping point toward Civilizational Collapse, from Plan B 3.0 & 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester BrownWhy the trigger may be financial: Aftershock, by David Wiedemer, et al, who predicted the first financial meltdown. (*)Tipping point toward Civilizational Reformation: Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming, by Paul HawkenComplexity and Collapse: Empires on the Edge of Chaos, Foreign Affairs, by Neill FergusonComplexity Science: Implications for Forecasting, Technology Forecasting & Social Change, by Harold LinstoneA New Intelligence Methodology for Anticipating Disruptive Surprises, (unpub), by Oliver Markley
13 Complex Adaptive Systems & Complexity Science ~ Forecasting And up jumped the devil, showing the virtual impossibility of rational predictive forecasting of complex adaptive systems (CAS).Source: Science Factory:
14 Methodological Underpinnings of General Futures Research
15 3 Ways to Influence Source Source: Lloyd Walker, Precurve LLP And the next several slides for a simple minded way to envision what forecasting, real world long range planning and futures research is all about.SourceSource: Lloyd Walker, Precurve LLP
19 Three Modes of “Strategic Methods” (Quadrant IV) Mode I – Alternative Futures ResearchAlternative forecasts, scenarios, contingency plans, “normative” (preferred future) forecastingMode II – Strategic ForesightAdd strategic planning, environmental scanning, “issues management”Mode III – “Disruptor” AnticipationAdd systems modeling and stability assessment, scanning for and credibiliity assessment of fringe viewpointsNext? – Anticipation of Instability in Complex Adaptive Social Systems (CASS) as a recognized futures research methodology?
20 Essential Futures Methodologies & Skill Sets SPECIFICMETHODOLOGYWHICHINVOLVESANDLEADS TOISSUES MANAGEMENTScanning for STEEP developments (i.e.,Social/Demographic, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Political trends, issues, threats, and opportunities)Identification of “Critical Success Factors” having make or break significance for mission accomplishment“Positioning,” lobbying, internal and external media communicationsScenario writing, monitoring and/or use of other methods on this pageMODELING,FORECASTINGand ASSESSMENTTrend extrapolation, modeling of dynamic systems, and technology/policy impact forecasting and assessmentForesight about trends and impacts of key “Change Drivers”Visualization of preferred paths and targets for R&D, marketing, etc.STRATEGICPLANNINGStrategic visioning, competitive assessment of strengths and weaknesses, visioning of alternative futures scenarios and contingent agendaLong-range corporate or departmental vision, mission, strategies, programsORGANIZATIONALCHANGEFACILITATIONProject visioning, planning and coordination, competency and team building, organization transformationThe capacity to successfully implement the above
22 Review of Relevant Concepts (as time permits) Plausible & Probable vs. Preferable FuturesPredictive vs. Alternative Futures Forecasting & ScenariosDirectional vs. Strategic PlanningEmerging “STEEP” Trends, Issue Identification and Impact AssessmentAnticipation of Disruptive Surprises (“Wild Cards”)Rational Analysis ~ Intuitive VisioningHave this sheet as a handout so that all can refer to it during the presentation
23 A Synthesis Methodology for Anticipating Disruptive Surprises in Complex Adaptive Social Systems (CASS)Rational analysis: “Snowball” SurveyIntuitive visioning: “Imaginal Time Travel”(Remote Viewing)
24 Snowball SurveyStart with a coherent question [about “X”], and a reason for wanting to know that is sufficiently credible that it will motivate potential respondents to share unpublished, and often sensitive informationIdentify a small sample of particularly knowledgeable peopleAsk of each:What do you know about “X”?Who else should I ask about “X”— in particular, really bright people at the fringes of or beyond the currently dominant paradigm?Reiterate, refocusing inquiry as needed, based on what is learned.
25 Imaginal Time TravelChoose focus of exploration (“X”), together with relevant contexts(e.g., potential CASS disruptors; or strategic decisions to assess) to frame the explorationRelax and Center entire being into a “non-local” level of consciousnessAssume (“take on”) specific context (e.g., a given strategy or decision) re: “X” to be exploredUsing external guidance for navigation, imaginally explore the future of “X” assuming that specific contextRedo Steps 4 and 5 with each context of interestReview all that was experienced, and draw conclusions for decision and/or action.Source: Oliver Markley, Mental Time Travel: A practicalbusiness and personal research tool for looking aheadThis is a first option re: “Experiential Exercise” that was promised in the blurb. I have in mind to have people envision a totally safe place where they can relax and go inward to tap their intuition. Then envision the first time they really became aware of their interest in what they are now doing, and how it relates to chaos and complexity. Then move forward in time to envision plausible future that would bring fruition to their deepest professional motivations. (plus a “wild card” right angle turn in mid-future to something totally surprising)
26 Imaginal Visioning Source: Oliver Markley, Imaginal Process Guidebook Source: Oliver Markley, Guidebook for theImaginal Manifestation (IM) Process
27 Billiard Ball ~ Cornucopia Causality This and the next slide are the epistemological basis for being able to do “remote viewing” of future disruptions. Or so I say.Source: Oliver Markley, Guidebook for theImaginal Manifestation (IM) Process
28 The “Akashic Field” as source gateway for “Cornucopia Causality” Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, by Ervin Laszlo (2004)The Akashic Experience: Science and the Cosmic Memory Field, by Ervin Laszlo, Ed, (2009)
29 An Illustrative Disruptive Surprise for SCTPLS “Hallucinations in HospitalPose Risk to Elderly”(New York Times, June 20, 2010,by Pam Belluck)A largely unreported pandemic of delusional breakdowns among elderly is occurring in hospital situations involving conditions suggestive of non-linear complex adaptive system (CAS) collapse, aggravated by severe loss of personal control and understanding.
31 Options for an Experiential Exercise Explore implications for SCTPLS of a disruptive surprise such as the “delusion pandemic” among elderly in hospitalsExplore Imaginal Time Travel for visioning of possible disruptions complex, adaptive social systems (CASS)Just talk…
32 ConclusionsFutures Research as a general discipline may be of interest to scholars and practitioners of chaos and complexity theory in psychology and the life sciences.But it may have exceptional promise as a way to identify potential disruptive changes in complex, adaptive social systems—personal to global.What do you think?