Category Reviews

Threat Assessments and Framing Emerging Issues

The US Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, presented a statement on the US Intelligence Community’s worldwide threat assessment to the Senate two days ago, and the paper itself has been making the rounds on the Web.  In the statement the DNI references broad topical issues like the IoT and AI, as well as regional […]

Solid Podcast on Superforecasting

EconTalk is one of my favorite podcasts, in no small part because of the authors and scholars that Russ Roberts interviews and the intellectual discussions they will have about topics of natural interest to a trained futurist. With the recent release of Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction, futurists and foresight professionals of all […]

4 Political Futures for China

The recent Foreign Affairs edition (May/June 2015) features a set of articles on China.  One, entitled, “The End of Reform in China,” and authored by China-based scholar under the pseudonym Youwei, features a set of four possible political futures for China.  I’ve included them below, adding titles derived from the author’s descriptions (they didn’t give […]

Quick Review of An Empire on the Edge

Doing good futures work requires some incorporation of historical information and perspective, which can be as straight forward as trend data (no surprise there) or as elaborate as modelling or formal theories of change.  Thus, for anyone wanting to be a professional futurist, it helps to have a healthy interest in history, and many of […]

Quick Review of National Insecurity

David Rothkopf’s latest book, National Insecurity, is a look at how the US National Security Council (NSC) system has functioned across the two most recent presidential administrations, that of George W. Bush and Barrack Obama.  Rothkopf’s intent is to review when and how the NSC system performed well and when it didn’t, and to offer […]

Smart People and Strategy

A short post on the HBR blog from last June came across my desk this morning and of course caught my eye with the title, “Why Smart People Struggle with Strategy.”  It’s an easy read in which the author makes the argument that the qualities of a good strategist are not necessarily coincident with high […]

Video: Future of Unknown Conflict

Following up on my recent post On Games, Presentism, and Good Futures Work, below is a video from the Atlantic Council’s recent seminar on The Future of Unknown Conflict, which features Dave Anthony who is the new AC fellow and whom Adam Elkus references in his piece. Note: there seems to be a problem with […]

On Games, Presentism, and Good Futures Work

Adam Elkus recently had an excellent analysis of the self-reinforcing aspect of the current Hollywood-Defense sector visions of the future over on War on the Rocks blog. In his article Elkus takes issue with the expectation that there is some obviously useful insight about the future of conflict to be derived from modern video games.  […]

A Response to “Contexts of Future Conflict and War.”

Note: this post was originally published on 7/22/2014. In “Contexts for Future Conflict and War” Jeffrey Becker has clearly and accurately identified one of the central and persistent intellectual challenges to be found within current foresight work regarding the futures of conflict and security.  The tendency on the part of many analysts (and very many […]