Two hundred years of economic and complexity growth have added immensely to human welfare and security. It has shaped our world-views and expectations of the future. Yet there is widening concern that the conditions that have underpinned this growth and the socio-economic stability that we have habituated to, and are dependent upon, is being increasingly undermined. Societies are likely to experience mounting socio-economic stresses from which there is no recovery, declining resilience, and rising risks of rapid large-scale breakdowns in global integration. The envisioned consequences are very challenging and quite possibly catastrophic.
There is no single factor to explain our vulnerability. At issue is not just climate change or soil loss, water supplies, the depletion of fisheries or the acidification of oceans, oil production constraints, biodiversity loss, toxification, credit hyper-expansion, fraying socio-political trust and legitimacy, or the vulnerability of complex interdependent global infrastructures. It is all of this and more – with convergence, acceleration and interactions.
It is within this context that the Foresight Analysis Nexus [FAN] was created with the primary aim of generating informed, wise, and action-oriented responses as we enter the beginning of a long winter for our species. The FAN’s concern is not with how do we change course/ become sustainable/ convince everybody/ transform established systems – these are all unrealistic goals given the complexity, momentum and interlocked nature of today’s socio-economic systems. Rather, the goal is to catalyze comprehension in order to ameliorate, or avoid the worst consequences of a sweeping humanitarian crisis.
The FAN brings a systems analysis, coupled with advanced communications to drive adequate responses within governments, critical private and non-profit institutions, and ultimately the public. This is done through engagement with institutions, and the provision of expertise drawing upon our networks, on-site courses, scenario planning, and war-gaming. In addition, the FAN builds a platform support for partnering institutions to sustain engagement and to share experiences / best practices.
The FAN is driven by the resolve that utmost importance is given to social cohesion.
It is the only way to counter the blind and destructive human forces that can emerge in such times. We believe it is a prerequisite for protecting populations, securing basic infrastructural services and resilience, and avoiding extreme damage to the essential services provided by the natural world.
From this perspective, the FAN is an instigator of astute integrated systemic risk management, and is thus an insurance policy for an era of growing socio-political-economic-ecological stress, shocks, and volatility. It offers a navigation nexus for times when out-dated expectations, narratives and policy inadvertently exacerbate growing stress, rising uncertainties and fundamental threats to the foundations of our welfare. As the clock is ticking, opportunity favours the prepared.