2. Anticipation (Convergent thinking)
Key Practice Specialties and Communities for Adaptive Foresight
- Data Science & Machine Learning – Open Data Science Community (OSDC). 140K members. One of the largest conferences in data science, Open Data Science (Asia, Europe, and NA). Data science includes predictive analytics (PA), and the rapidly-improving field of machine learning (ML, aka “AI”). OSDC runs an Accelerate AI Summit, for business professionals, and an AI Learning Accelerator community, focused on predictive analytics and machine learning; Digital Analytics Association (DAA). 20K members. Produce the eMetrics, Text Analytics, and Digital Analytics Summits. Predictive Analytics World (another group) is the leading cross-industry event for predictive analytics professionals.
- Forecasting & Prediction – International Institute of Forecasters (IIF). Since 1981. Advancing forecasting, short and long-term, quantitative and judgmental, as a multidisciplinary field of research and practice. Annual Internat’l Symposium on Forecasting, training Workshops. Publishes Foresight: The Journal of Applied Forecasting and Internat’l Journal of Forecasting; Prediction Markets do not yet have a dedicated association. Data Science/PA is the closest practitioner community at present. The Journal of Prediction Markets is an open access journal covering this emerging field since 2007. Also see Tetlock and Gardner’s Superforecasting (2015) for best practices with this powerful new form of collective foresight.
- Investing & Finance – CFA Institute (CFAI). Since 1946. Global association of 110K investment professionals. Offers Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and other certifications. Conferences, webinars, and events. Financial Analysts Journal, CFA Institute Magazine. Alternative: American Association of Individual Investors (AAII). 150K members. AAII Journal, Conference; There are many specialty finance practitioner communities. One for entrepreneurs is the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Global events and platforms for entrepreneurs, angel investors, and venture capitalists.
- Law & Security – American Bar Association (ABA). Since 1878. For lawyers & non-lawyers. Improving legal profession, advancing the rule of law. 400K members. Advocacy groups. ABA Journal, >100 specialty periodicals, many specialty law conferences; Security Industry Association (SIA). Since 1969. Covers both physical and info security (InfoSec, Cybersecurity). DEF CON is the best known “hacker” convention. There are a plethora of others. Find a security association focused on your industry and clients, covering both physical and information security, and learn best practices.
- Risk Management & Insurance – Risk Management Society (RIMS). Since 2000. Global leader in risk mgmt. practices (insurance, finance, accounting, legal, IT, HR, etc). Annual RIMS Conference and Enterprise Risk Mgmt. Conf. Global Chapters. Risk Management. There are many specialty insurance practitioner communities. American Insurance Association (AIA) is the leading trade association for big insurance providers. Since 1866. NAIFA represents insurance and financial advisors.
Key Anticipation-Associated Practitioner Methods
Risk data collection, reference class formation, and other methods of quantitative risk assessment.
Classic method to seek convergence from groups via successive opinion and feedback cycles.
Anticipating optimal, convergent, irreversible trends and emergences, at multiple systems levels.
Discontinuity and Wildcard Anticipation
Finding key trend reversals/discontinuities and low probability, high impact (positive or negative) events.
Identifying processes of creative, divergent, unpredictable change, at multiple systems levels.
Forecast Value Added (FVA) Analysis
Predictive evaluation relative to the null hypothesis, to see if team’s forecast truly beats a naive model.
Facilitative and normative methods used in groups to generate desirable future states for the firm.
Genius Forecasting (Genius Visioning)
Gifted and respected experts are asked for predictions or aspirational visions, often outside their fields.
Intellectual Property Strategy
Defensive or offensive techniques to create or protect a firm’s intellectual property.
Examining past predictions and assessing their methods, bias, accuracy, and utility (benefit to cost).
Prediction Markets and Prediction Platforms
Markets and platforms for making predictions and finding the best predictors by subject area.
Predicting a past event with your forecasting model, then seeking evidence for it. Good validation tool.
Qualitative risk assessment regarding potential accidents, crime, lawsuits, other adverse events.
Strategy games that deal with threat and security operations of various types, real or fictional.