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Map of levels of complexity and indetermination for foresight studies Javier Medina Vásquez Full Professor, Universidad del Valle Head of the National.

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Presentación del tema: "Map of levels of complexity and indetermination for foresight studies Javier Medina Vásquez Full Professor, Universidad del Valle Head of the National."— 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 Epistemological Onthological Axiological Praxilogical Agenda: Learning and Analytical Perspectives Technology Futures Analysis Cfr. Bedard, 1998

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

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 1Level 2Level 3Level 4 Basic concept CertaintyRiskUncertaintyAmbiguity Orientation toward the future PredictionForecastForesightComplex Thought Type of social change ShortMediumLongCrisis, chaos, ruptures abrupt, explosive situations Type of behavior RoutineAdaptation & 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 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 T AnticipationConstruction of Futures Focal point Exploration of alternatives of possible, probable, and desirable futures Development of collective intelligence and social, technical, and political capacities PurposeObserve and understand change occurring and structural evolution Development of permanent response and collective action capacities in foresight and technological watch FocusClarify current decisions and actions Improve social dialogue and collective learning Mechanis ms Development of Methods and Processes Development of Methods, Processes, Living Systems Source: Medina and Ortegón (2006).

12 Conclusions On the limits of prediction 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.

14 References Afuah, Allan (1999) La dinámica de la innovación organizacional, Oxford University Press, México. Almquist, Eric & Hoban,Charles (2000) Señales de alerta, Gestión, Vol 5. No. 4, jul–ago. Amara, Roy (1981a) The futures field: searching for definitions and boundaries, The Futurist, February. Bedard, Rénee (1998) En: Competitividad y desarrollo social: retos perspectivas, Universidad del Valle, Cali. Boisot, Max (1996) Aprender de la destrucción creativa: el desafío de la Europa Oriental, en: Manejo de lo desconocido. Creando nuevos futuros, Richard Boot; Jean Lawrance, John Morris, Mc Graw Hill, Bogotá. Bunge, Mario (2004) La investigación científica, Siglo XXI Editores, Barcelona. Bruner, Jerome (1988) Realidad mental y mundos posibles, Gedisa Editorial, Barcelona. Cole, Sam (1998) I modelli globali oltre leredità de I limiti, En: Futuribili, 3, settembre, pág. 41–74. Costa Filho, Alfredo (1997) Inflexiones recientes en el análisis prospectivo. En: Prospectiva: construcción social de futuro. Medina Vásquez, Javier & Ortegón, Edgar –Editores, Instituto Latinoamericano de Planificación Económica y Social (ILPES) - Universidad del Valle, Cali. ______ (1988) Planificación y construcción de futuro, Instituto Latinoamericano y del Caribe de Planificación Económica y Social (ILPES), Santiago de Chile. Courtney, Hugh. Kirkland, Jane y Vigüerie, Patrick (2000) Estrategia en tiempos de incertidumbre. En: Harvard Buisinness Review, Deusto, Bilbao. Courtney, Hugh (2002) Pre-Visión 20/20: Estrategias para el manejo de la incertidumbre en la administración de negocios, Editorial Norma, Bogotá. De Geus, Arie (1988) Planning as learning, Harvard Business Review, march-april. De Geus, Arie (1997) The living company, traducción italiana Lazienda del futuro, Franco Angeli, Milano.

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