After due consideration, I’ve settled on sidecasting over the alternatives. It has an edge to it and was the favourite of the commentator with the most experience of foresight work. In my last post, I promised to summarise the techniques I listed so that people had a reference and I plan that today. That will leave me with a final post on the overall flow of one variant of backcasting.
I should make it clear that this is an indicative list and a high-level summary of each method. This is very much an interim post by the way. It will build into a workflow tomorrow.
It was the confusion of this technique with backcasting that started me on this path. It’s one of the oldest and most popular techniques we created and has been used for everything from Battlefield lessons learned to strategic foresight. I’ll summarise the essence of the approach, but more detail on its use in my next post.
What we then do with those results I will explain in the next post. But the distinctions above make it clear that this is not a backcasting method. Although I can see how the confusion arises
SNS is a ubiquitous technique in Cognitive Edge. Its purpose is to build diverse networks quickly to solve intractable problems. By bringing together (while allowing self-selection within constraints) it is a way of challenging established thinking and generating diversity. In the context of foresight, its use is to generate scenarios or challenge them. It also creates a sensor network able to explore and research different possibilities.
I described their use in my last post. Aside from illustrating the dispositionality of a complex system and breaking the linear and causal models of forecasting and backcasting, it also allows us to map pathways to avoid and explore from the present. Expect a lot more on that from SenseMaker® later this year or earlier next.
Derived from the wisdom of crowds, but with some science added, this is one of the essential aspects of complexity. A large human sensor network, generating micro-scenarios and able to respond to emerging situations in real-time has a power to handle the uncertainty that is not possessed by scenario planning, foresight extrapolations of backcasting. It is one of the most exciting developments with SenseMaker® with the first major projects now starting. I will expand on this in a future post (or rather posts). Apologies for saying this again, but it’s a bigger topic and needs more material than is appropriate for a summary.
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