Monthly Archives: March 2020

Corona is not a Black Swan Event

There is a narrative slowly emerging that Corona (Covid-19) is a true Black swan event. For example, according to Fred Cleary, a portfolio manager at Pegasus Capital, quoted in the FT’s excellent Long View Column, “Covid-19 is a black swan”. … Continue reading

Posted in Pandemic risks, Predictions, Risks, Scenario Planning, Scenarios, X-Risks | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Quote of the week

“No plan of operations reaches with any certainty beyond the first encounter with the enemy’s main force” (Helmuth von Moltke, Prussina military commander, 1880). Or another version…. “Everyone has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth” (Mike Tyson, … Continue reading

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The scream (redux)

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No touching

OK, two scenarios in light of Coronavirus and the current outbreak of anxiety. Scenario one: Social distancing becomes the norm. People avoid people.People don’t trust people. People trust machines and prefer their company. Asociety-wide deletion of the human interface (currently … Continue reading

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Some things you can see coming…

i just remembere that i wrote this back in 2012 for a book called The Future: 50 Ideas you really need to know. Of course, if you write enough, and then wait long enough, almost anything can come true. The … Continue reading

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How to do nothing

I’ve got sod all on at the moment (thanks Coronavirus!) so I’ve started to read How to do nothing in the greenhouse by Jenny Odell. No…the book is called How to do Nothing… I’m reading it in the greenhouse…got it? … Continue reading

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Stop spreading the news

Given my ongoing experiments with what I call retrospective reading (i.e. reading ‘news’ when it’s several weeks, if not months, old) I thought this was interesting. I haven’t stopped reading newspapers altogether, but I have certainly cut down very significantly … Continue reading

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Scenarios for the impact of pandemics

A scenario matrix from my friend Nick Turner at Stratforma. His explanation below. The framework is built on the axes of two critical uncertainties: The nature of global coordination; “slow and inadequate” vs. “fast and efficient” The nature of public response; “panicked” vs. “disciplined” When … Continue reading

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I’m supposed to be flying to Sydney, but…

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Something from the archive

From issue 22 of What’s Next (June/July 2009). We’ve had Spanish flu (1918-19), Asian flu (1957) and Hong Kong flu (1968-69). Then we had SARS, bird flu and recently, swine flu. There is also seasonal flu, which appears every winter … Continue reading

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