We want to teach the whole human story – past, present and future.

Peter C. Bishop, former professor of strategic foresight at the University of Houston, founder and executive director of Teach the Future.

 

How we anticipate matters, for it changes the present.

Riel Miller, Foresight – UNESCO

 

The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.

John Schaar (1928-2011), scientific adviser to President Nixon, professor at Berkeley

 

Let us have several futures in mind if our aim is to be resilient.

Anthony (Tony) Hodgson, International Futures Forum and founder of Decision Integrity Limited

Interview of Hodgson by –skopìa

 

Anticipation is an innovative version of strategic thinking.

Roberto Poli, UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems, president of –skopìa

 

All models are wrong, but some are useful.

George Box (1919 –2013), statistician and pioneer of quality control

 

Human beings do not behave like all other animals. One single man or woman can change the history of a whole species, starting with a vision, an aspiration, the power of an unrealised idea.

Garry Jacobs, World Academy of Art and Science

The limits of forecasting are well known: data are unreliable, and forecasts are poor at dealing with novelties and surprises.

Andrew Curry, director at The Futures Company, London

 

We must learn to think from things yet to happen.

Liisa Välikangas, Institute for the Future

 

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About Skopìa

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-skopìa is a start-up company with the University of Trento. A multi-service, for-profit corporation, -Skopìa provides strategic intelligence, based on the analysis of changes, risks and opportunities, and consulting services for the development of anticipatory-based skills.
-skopìa offers counselling to communities, government and businesses through research based on the theory of anticipation. Anticipation includes both forecasts (e.g. extrapolations from time series) and the exploration of possible futures (e.g. scenarios), but its scope is broader than either of them.

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Our Markets

THE FUTURE IN SCHOOLS

THE FUTURE IN SCHOOLS

Teaching in schools at all levels is the exclusive remit of an orientation to the past. Knowledge of the past is undoubtedly an important aspect of social identity, but why should this approach be so programmatically "exclusive"?

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A CULTURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL RISK

Developing an environmental risk culture involves integrating the knowledge of professionals, decision makers and the public in order to learn to live with the prospects of potential threats without fear and alarmism.

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A CULTURE OF ENVIRONMENTAL RISK

LAW AND INSURANCE

LAW AND INSURANCE

The insurance sector finds it exceedingly difficult to predict the evolution of legislation and the attendant impact on business. The legislative process is more often than not unnervingly slow and fragmented, permanently lagging behind societal and market changes.

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ANTICIPATORY RISK MANAGEMENT

The Anticipatory Risk Management (ARM) of -skopìa is meant to anticipate possible risks, instead of reacting to events. ARM starts from the premise that it is impossible to build a complete list of risks. Some changes are so significant and happen so quickly that one can either anticipate them or relinquish the idea of having a substantial say in the outcome.

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Anticipatory Risk Mangement

Osservatori e Trend

HORIZON SCANNERS AND TREND

When quantitative analyses of past data become "short-sighted", sector projections and forecasts neglect the context, and one loses sight of variables and margins of error, in short, when things do not add up and the unexpected catches us off guard or even overwhelms us, it's time to expand our horizons and deepen the qualitative side of the red threads connecting past, present, and future.

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HEALTH, WELLNESS, AGEING

The right to live a peaceful, active and happy life appears to be endangered, even though statistics show that the world population has never been so large, long-lived and healthy. -skopìa is developing new strategies, such as urging people to take control of their own future, instead of letting themselves be overwhelmed by it.

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Salute, Benessere, Invecchiamento

Services

  • Communication strategies of expected transformations for a more resilient future
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  • Applied research in all fields of interest and concern to the science of anticipation
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  • Description of possible changes and transformations in complex organizations
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  • Systems resilience evaluation and measures to improve overall resilience
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  • Preventative and cost containment strategies for critical events or trends
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  • Risk appraisal and management
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  • Analysis of high-profile rare events
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  • Trend impact analysis, horizon scanning, scenario-based planning
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These are very turbulent and, in so many ways, unprecedented, pivotal times, when old paradigms sink and new paradigms emerge, when new pathways become available, new horizons open up and we are faced with strategic choices. Some paths will bear fruits and others will be dead-ends; others may be disastrous.

Where do we go from here? To which paradigm do we hitch our wagon? How do we decide amidst all the spin, clichés and uncertainties? Or rather, how do we switch from a reactive mode to a reflective mode? And, finally, the most crucial question of all, which he has added to his LinkedIn profile: where is humanity at on a pathway of conscious evolution?

With decades of experience in strategy development and scenario planning for private businesses and public administrations under his belt, Anthony Hodgson, Director of Research and World Modelling Coordinator for the International Futures Forum, a think tank based in Scotland’s Fife, holds that we must have several futures in mind and cultivate future consciousness in people if our aim to be resilient.
This is because tomorrow won’t be like today and those who think otherwise produce foresight with little action and even less insight.

During his talk at the First International Conference on Anticipation, held in Trento in November 2015, Hodgson quoted a piece of advice from none other than David Bohm: “you must think faster than the horse or else you will go where the horse wants to go”.
The key is mindful anticipation: a system is resilient when it is capable of being ahead of itself.

While in Trento, he has been so kind as to share with us some of his insights and views.

Mr. Hodgson, would you like to explain to us what you mean by “anticipation”?
Authentic anticipation is something more intelligent than what we are doing right now. There is no established anticipatory governance whatsoever, and some traces of anticipation can only be found in commercial trading and the military which also raises the issue of the ethicality of its use

What is the systemic nature of anticipation?

In my model it is the capacity to discriminate information coming from the past from the information coming from the future and to act upon it in a way that privileges the move towards a desired future.

What do you mean by “information coming from the future”? Are you implying time travelling?

What I have in mind is illustrated by what was occurring at the time that Mendeleev was assembling his periodic table of the elements. He shut himself in a room for three days during which he reshuffled the elements with their symbols until the chart took a coherent shape. He was then able to predict that the missing pieces would be discovered in the following years. Those gaps were signals from the future of chemistry and atomic physics.
In point of fact, anticipation applied to scientific research would be a promising field of research. It could include more fringe investigations like Dean Radin’s “Entangled minds”.

He is definitely onto something.

Indeed, he is, and we should also mention physicist Richard Feynman’s concept of waves coming from the future, as well as anticipatory phenomena being revealed by quantum biology. For example, consider the recently identified protein in the cells of migratory birds (as for instance the European robin) which enables them to sense the inclinations of Earth’s magnetic field, guiding them like a compass needle on their lengthy migrations. Perhaps mindfulness, in human beings, serves to discriminate a kind of signal from the future and to translate it into action.

Aren’t you afraid that they will label you “new-agey”?

My research relies on the solid work of Robert Rosen. That is a stepping-stone, but I’ve been connecting the dots from other people’s work. The scientific literature on which I base my research is impressive. For example, it is not widely known that there is valid research on remote viewing of the future.

Are we on a mission to save the future?
If anything, we are on a mission to save a future and, as far as I am concerned, my aim is to create something in this field that it is useful and intelligible, especially for the younger generations, who are unavoidably bound to live through the turbulences of inevitable change us aging people are leaving them with.
I wish to be of assistance to their creating a future that I tend to summarize as “one planet living with social justice”.

Would that be the most desirable future?
There are many futures, but I want this, instead of the one in which we are plundering the planet of its resources.
It’s about values.
There are values and, consequently, such a thing as an underlying ethical motivation in my being interested in this perspective. We need to realise that ethics is not abstract. There are consequences.
It is a vital necessity.

Established institutions and vested interests are struggling to preserve the status quo: are anticipators inherently subversive?
They are subversive because systemically intelligent. It’s important not to be constrained by established orthodoxies imposed by people who simply don’t get it.
Our approach would appear to be unorthodox and iconoclastic, but only from the point of view of the establishment.

In the movie Tomorrowland, a projector of “gloom and doom” visions entrenched humanity into a suicidal state of fatalism, nihilism and cynicism, acting as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is this what is going on today?
To some extent.

What is resilience?
Plasticity equals resilience

Is there a direct link between resilience and anticipation?
I distinguish between adaptive resilience – e.g. the recovery from a disaster, such as a flooding – and resilience 2.0, or transformative resilience.
So if you ask me about resilience, I will first need to ask you what kind of resilience you are referring to.

What sort of resilience do we need the most?
In the Anthropocene adaptive resilience is not enough.
It is no longer a question of getting back to normal. Transformative resilience is the means by which we can ‘wormhole’ our way through a pocket of the future in the present and emerge at a higher stage of human civilization, after a positive shock and the reframing of our mindset.
What we need to learn is to help the old civilization to die and midwife the birth of the new one.

How do we do that?
Technological innovation alone won’t be enough to achieve that harmlessly, without a shock.
If you go with resilience 2.0 then you also need the more “spooky” kind of anticipation, that is, the one centred on retrocausality (unconventional assumptions about time), future consciousness (undivided universe or field of consciousness; internal visualisation), and future making, which assumes that the future can arise from authentic origination.

That is subversive on so many levels!
Sure. At that point you will be thought of as a subversive or a saviour depending on who is affected by your actions. After all, for those managing the current power structure, even anticipation 1.0 is too subversive!.

Why do experts fail in their predictions? What distinguishes an impressive prognosticator/anticipator?
We need the sort of moral courage mentioned by Ruth Levitas in her talk at Anticipation 2015. Impressive prognosticators are courageous and are also good at applying their skills to themselves in the first place.

Is a stoic predisposition – beyond fear and desire – the key to reliable anticipations?
It’s the gentle art of reperception: you can’t teach it through confrontation.
For in that way you would compress someone else’s consciousness instead of assisting in its expansion, which is really what the capacity of anticipation is all about.
At the end of the day, if you are not curious and demonstrate no yearning for knowledge, you will never become an impressive anticipator.

So why not call it wisdom and urge the establishment of a institution of councils of wise anticipators?
Wisdom is indeed ethical anticipation.

In order to deepen your understanding of this perspective you can contact Anthony (Tony) Hodgson by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Roberto Poli (who has been his external examiner for his Ph.D. viva at Hull University) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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+39 0461 283703

+39 0461 283703

info@skopia.it

dal Lunedì al Venerdì: 10.00 - 18.00

About -skopìa

-skopìa is a start-up company with the University of Trento. A multi-service, for-profit corporation, -skopìa provides strategic intelligence, based on the analysis of changes, risks and opportunities, and consulting services for the development of anticipatory-based skills.