Anticipating Disruptive Change

Workshops, Speeches and Publications

On July 24, 2010, I did a workshop presentation for the Annual Conference of the Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology and the Life Sciences.  Co-authored with Dr. Constance Porter, it was entitled: Anticipating Disruptive Change in Real World Complex Systems with Futures Research. To see it: Anticipating Disruptive Change Presentation Video.  Here are the visuals,  Anticipating Disruptive Change PowerPoint, and here are the References.

On October 3, 2010, I did a multi-media speech using this research described elsewhere in this website:

Published reports on this work include:

  • Staying Resilient in a Wild-Card World, is the lead article in Issue Six, January, 2011, of the online journal of the Institute of Noetic Sciences: Noetic Now.
  • Research and Action Toward the Upside of Down has a substantive orientation, focusing on evidence supporting credibility of a “tipping point toward systemic collapse” and on the importance of resilience for safely navigating the future. It appeared in a special issue of the Journal of Futures Studies focusing on the topic of sustainability (Vol. 15 No. 3, March 2011), and was winner of the inaugural Jan Lee Martin Foundation award for best futures studies essay of 2011.
  • “A New Methodology for Anticipating STEEP Surprises” has a methodological orientation, focusing on the discovery of Type II STEEP Surprises (aka wild cards), and their usefulness for proactive policy work. It appeared in the journal Technology Forecasting & Social Change [Vol. 78 (2011) 1079–97; DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2011.01.008].  The publisher’s abstract, outline and directions for ordering this article can be seen here. For a complimentary author’s copy of the article, click here.  +  A one page summary of this work, “A New Typology of WildCards” was carried in The Future of Futures (2012), an eBook edited by Andrew Curry for the Association of Professional Futurists. Manifesting Upside Recovery Instead of Downside Fear is my contribution to the debate on estimated probability and severity of a global MegaCrisis begun by futurists William Halal and Michael Marien and carried on by a special issue of the Journal of Futures Research on this topic.  Although quite short, it is heavy with implications for both citizen activists and professional futurists.
  • “Imaginal Visioning for Prophetic Foresight,”  the last journal article in this series, has just passed peer review and will soon be published in the Journal of Futures Studies. For more about this, please see the home page of this website.

Preceding all of the above is a technology assessment study done in 1976 at SRI International on what was then called “the C0effect” (now called Global Warming).   This study  used general systems principles to show why the global warming effects being forecast by the National Academy of Sciences were systemically too low, and why climate change and weather disruption would precede most global warming phenomena.  Baased on this experience, I began to speak of  “Type II Wild Cards” that have high, rather than low likelihood of coming to pass (as seen by an expert who can say why), but which have low credibility for most observers.  This story was published in “A Brief Technology Assessment of the Carbon Dioxide Effect,” by O. W. Markley and Thomas J. Hurley, III (1983), Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 23, 185-202.

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