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Map of levels of complexity and indetermination for foresight studies

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Presentación del tema: "Map of levels of complexity and indetermination for foresight studies"— Transcripción de la presentación:

1 Map of levels of complexity and indetermination for foresight studies
Javier Medina Vásquez Full Professor, Universidad del Valle Head of the National Program on Technological and Industrial Foresight Colciencias – Colombia “Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impact on Policy and Decision-Making”. IPTS, Seville (Spain) , September, 2006

2 Analytical Perspectives Technology Futures Analysis
Agenda: Learning and Analytical Perspectives Technology Futures Analysis Epistemological Onthological Praxilogical Axiological Cfr. Bedard, 1998

3 Cognitive preparation to conti- nually plan a changing society
Figure 1 Relationship Between Change and Learning Source: Boisot, 1996.

4 Cognitition and Learning
The cognitive processes involved in the strategic decision are similar to those involved in chess. According to famous world champion Gary Kasparov (2005), after only three openning moves, there are more than nine-million possible positions. With this information, it is necessary to imagine all the possibilities or possible futures faced by an organization in real life, which respond to hundreds of variables, dozens of social players and multiple tendency combinations, change factors, events, and players. Life like chess is an open ended game, where the dinamicity of the environment forces the rethinking of strategy move after move. Embarking upon this constant feedback demands tools and attitudes, methodologies and manners of work to manage this double quality of facing a game of multiple options and continuous transformations. Learning to create sense implies the capacity to think in terms of alternative futures through the method of scenarios, but also the capacity of conducting a constant follow up of the environment through technological watch and competitive intelligence A turbulent environment demands greater capacity for dynamic analysis of social change and to modify, in real time, underlying suppositions that guide the institutional direction. This exercise represents an important collective effort to practice planning as a permanent learning process.

5 2. Epistemological: Map of Relationships between complexity and indetermination
Source: Author´s elaboration

6 Fundamental Principles
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Basic concept Certainty Risk Uncertainty Ambiguity Orientation toward the future Prediction Forecast Foresight Complex Thought Type of social change Short Medium Long Crisis, chaos, ruptures abrupt, explosive situations Type of behavior Routine Adaptation & Incremental change Transition & long term change Exploration Methods Monitoring and scanning of the environment Analysis of tendencies and quantitative scenarios Expert consultation, qualitative scenarios Simulation & non-linear modeling, Creativity Source: Medina and Ortegón (2006).

7 3. Praxilogical: On the TFA tool box
The construction of an integral tool box based on the concept of levels of complexity and indetermination introduces the following advantages: It facilitates understanding the technical dimension of problems and the construction of more adequate methodological solutions. It offers a common structure of concepts and theoretical frameworks on the validity of the predictions, forecasts, and diffuse wagers made on the future, from which multiple methodological design strategies can be elaborated. It facilitates the explanation of the ways in which current tools of foresight and systematic analysis should be used and combined. It discusses some voids in which new tools should be developed to solve problems in the greater levels of uncertainty. It offers a conceptual structure that facilitates gathering and systemizing cases in the formulation of strategies by level of complexity and indetermination. It stimulates the development of new skills to face growing levels of indetermination and ambiguity.

8 4. The axiological dimension : Management of foresight knowledge
Source: Medina and Ortegón (2006)

9 Organizational Culture
Planning as a learning process Co- Evolution Planning Tools Organizational Culture Strategy Scenarios Technological Watch Monitoring of the Environment Disposition to Change Source: Medina and Ortegón (2006).

10 5. The ontological dimension Continuous cycle of foresight aimed at social construction
Source: Medina, 2000.

11 Complementation between anticipation and construction of futures
Focal point Exploration of alternatives of possible, probable, and desirable futures Development of collective intelligence and social, technical, and political capacities Purpose Observe and understand change occurring and structural evolution Development of permanent response and collective action capacities in foresight and technological watch Focus Clarify current decisions and actions Improve social dialogue and collective learning Mechanisms Development of Methods and Processes Development of Methods, Processes, Living Systems Source: Medina and Ortegón (2006).

12 Conclusions On the limits of prediction Work criteria
Abandoning the illusion of neo-classic foresight on the prediction of future events with total certainty is important to make better decisions in ever-changing environments. Work criteria Choosing the tools and the way of combining them varies depending on at least four fundamental elements: The level of complexity and indetermination. The scientific paradigm that validates the statements made about the future. Characteristics of the structure of the problem under study; and The cultural context where the exercise is conducted.

13 Conclusions Foresight as construction of futures
In this manner, foresight, understood as the construction of futures, broadens its functions and utility with relation to foresight understood merely as anticipation. Basically, the the educational and organizational function is added, stemming from the sociocultural dimension. TFAs are not a mere tool box! They are an instrument for the social construction of futures, under the ethical principles of responsibility, agreement, and caution (Porter, 2005). They are the tip of the iceberg of a way of thinking and living oriented toward the construction of a better future.

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