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FSN round table discussion – Dec. 13

Update: Please note the location and time change to DMS 4165 starting at 1 pm.

Friendly reminder about the FSN round table discussion taking place tomorrow [Dec. 13, 12 1 to 3 pm, DMS 4165 7170] on the NEXT economy and the future of work. This session will be facilitated by Guy Stanley and Steffen Christensen.

Please note this will be the last FSN session for the calander year.

At 3 pm, we plan to adjourn to the Royal Oak pub nearby on Laurier Ave. for general discussion of FSN prospective themes, projects and speakers in 2020, everyone is invited.

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FSN Seminar – Nov. 29

Update: here is the Presentation Rebuilding Liberalism and Transcript [FSN RB back story GS].

Rebuilding Liberalism: Social Justice with Individual Freedom

Presentation to the Foresight Group, 29 November 2019 [1:30 to 4:00 in DMS 7170]

Guy Stanley

Abstract: Here are the slides for this Friday – FSN Nov 29 Rebuilding Liberalism. As they show,  Guy will be using the material in his book to focus on the more general problem of the Western adaptation to industrialization mainly from 1815-1950 although obviously a lot happened before and after – which will inevitably touch upon. The main point of the presentation is to underline the enormous scale of the transformation involved – a complete civilizational makover – and the quality of the IQ (high) and leadership (varying from inspiring to horrifyingly destructive) the North Atlantic region including Germany brought to different aspects of the problem. He will go beyond the book to introduce some theories of technology and in particular the McLuhan et al on media and culture. This will hopefully set up a discussion about our current readiness for the completion of the digital revolution – or at least the next stages of it. In the process, Guy will also discuss the book’s solution to the general problem of liberalism’s incompleteness – namely a focus on the quality of civil society. Following the presentation, we will spend an hour or so to address the problematique of framing scenarios for the digital impact  we are currently experiencing and for its impending acceleration over the next 10 years.

The book is available on Amazon and Google – and  in a bookstores, quite possibly including the UofO bookstore.

Here is a image of the front cover: 9781459745117.jpg

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FSN Seminar – Nov. 15

The future of risk in large-scale complex systems

Presentation to the Foresight Group, 15 November 2019 [1:30 to 4:30 in DMS 7170]

Graham D. Creedy, P.Eng., FCIC, FEIC

Abstract: This presentation examines the difference between formal risk assessment and the challenges faced by those actually making the decisions on managing risk. Many of the insights discussed come from the fields of major accident prevention, safety culture and responsible corporate behaviour. They reveal some of the organizational challenges of managing technological risk in complex environments, drawing on lessons mainly from engineering but also from fields as diverse as finance, health care, aerospace and international affairs. The topic is considered from different perspectives to give participants a sense of why those making decisions on risk control act as they do, and how this understanding can be used to develop more effective strategies for managing risk.

The presentation will briefly discuss:

  • the nature of risk and societal control;
  • how the philosophy of risk management has developed (and continues to evolve);
  • some of the common technical approaches to managing risk.
  • The main presentation will then feature an examination of why systems so often fail in actual practice due to sociological aspects of how individuals and organizations make decisions, to show how vulnerabilities arise and also comment on defences that can reduce (though not necessarily eliminate) the likelihood of failure.
  • The discussion will then move to implications for risk management in a global society which is rapidly becoming technically more integrated and complex, while it searches for a consistent moral philosophy amid the undercurrents of tribalism, class, etc. which ebb and flow as history evolves.

Bio: Graham Creedy is a chemical engineer and chemist who spent the first half of his career in the chemical industry, operating plants for some of the world’s leading multinational companies. He then provided consulting guidance to a variety of organizations in the private and public sectors, most notably through his role as Senior Manager, Responsible Care for the Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association (now the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada), a position from which he retired in 2009. He is a registered professional engineer in Ontario and a Fellow of both the Chemical and Engineering Institutes of Canada, and teaches risk management at the University of Ottawa, to pass on some of his knowledge to the younger generation of engineers.

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FSN Seminar – Oct. 18

Date, Time and Location: Friday October 18, 2019 [1300-1600] DMS [link to map] 4165

Slides: DJI FSN Wicked Problems Revisited Oct 18 2019

Foresight, Behavioral Economics and Wicked Problems Revisited – Nepal as a Wicked Foresight Problem

Abstract: On April 4 2017, Derek Ireland made a presentation to FSN on Foresight, Behavioral Economics, Disruptive Technologies, and Other Wicked Problems.  For those who could not attend the earlier presentation, this one on Wicked Problems Revisited will begin with an updated and hopefully improved version of the initial 20 or so slides on definition, the wicked problems from the literature, and the differences between wicked and tame problems and their implications for foresight and policy formulation.  The presentation will provide a case study of Nepal development as a wicked foresight problem.  The presentation will close with some summary comments on power, the powerful, and the wicked problem of the crisis of democratic capitalism – which will be linked with earlier FSN presentations advanced information technologies and governance of the state.

Over the past two years, Derek Ireland has completed two major consulting assignments in Nepal on economic development, policy, legal, and regulatory reform, and urban corridor development.  At the outset, it became very clear that Nepal has many complex and inter-related “wicked” characteristics that can greatly complicate foresight and related analysis and the preparation and comparison of development scenarios.  At a time of dramatic growth and change in the Asian economy and quality of life, the growth of the Nepal economy has been sub-standard for over five decades.  The political economy of Nepal is now going through a dramatic constitutional transformation from a unitary state dominated by its capital Kathmandu and the Kathmandu Valley to a federal system of seven provinces that in many ways is quite similar to Canada, Australia and India.  For these and many other “wicked” reasons, the past in Nepal provides very little guidance to the future.  This case study will address how the consultants addressed this and many other foresight, scenario, and development planning challenges, and how transformative change, wicked development challenges, and national economies with wicked characteristics can be addressed by foresight analysts in the future.

Brief Bio: Dr. Derek Ireland has been a senior economist and manager in the Canadian public and private sectors for over five decades.  He has a BA in Economics and Asian Studies from the University of British Columbia in 1968, and an MA in Economics from Carleton University, which he received in the mid-1970s.  He returned to university in the Fall of 2003 as a student in the PhD program in Public Policy at Carleton University in Ottawa Canada, and received his PhD in February 2009.  His area of specialization over the last two and a half decades has been the interactions between law and economics with emphasis on competition policy and law; regulatory reform and impact analysis; consumer policy and consumer protection law; trade policy; intellectual property and innovation policy; urban, regional, rural and infrastructure development; and public administration.

His international experience includes more than 30 major consulting assignments in China, as well as research and policy development work in several other developing countries such as Nepal, Malaysia, Yemen, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, the Mongolia Republic, and in Botswana working with the Secretariat of the Southern Africa Development Community on competition and consumer protection policies and laws in the SADC Member States.  He has been a member of FSN for over a decade and has made previous presentations on: marketing foresight to the boundedly rational; uncertainty, novelty, innovation, Canada’s innovation challenge, and the consumer; and, foresight, behavioral economics, disruptive technologies, and other wicked problems.

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FSN Seminar – October 4

FSN Seminar – OCT 4 2019 [1330-1600] – DMS [link to map] Room 7170

Foresight Methods: Probing Policy Uncertainties Through Scenarios

ABSTRACT: Drawing on his extensive experience with scenarios,  Mr. Smith will present a brief overview of 12+ foresight methods and then examine several ways of constructing scenarios  –  e. g.

  1. double axial, (also known as archetypal or classic)
  2. triple axial or pyramidal:,
  3. cube design or quartro axial;
  4. Modified cube or multimodal (> 4 axes ) or Protean multi-factor analytical
  5. Thematic generic; timeless or urgent; with or without add-on factors
  6. Normative or ranked by participants for preference, expectation; probability; practicality or plausibility;.
  7. Three Horizons; #1 the present; #3 the prospective future and #2 the diverse ways going forward in time ( e.g. actions, investments, inventions, innovations, events etc.) that  can help realize the vision described by the 3rd
  8. Wildcards e. g. How many to include; what guidance is required; and what about black swans, elephants and cobras?

Finally, the discussion should pursue the question of how should uncertainty in policy outcomes be elicited, structured; evaluated and captured, by foresight facilitators, practitioners and sponsors.

BIO: JS Bio Oct 2019

Slides: JS Oct 4-2019 Focus on Scenarios Introduction to Foresight

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FSN Seminar – July 5

Update – Presentation slides are here:FSN Ottawa July 5 2019

Fri July 5th @1430-1630, DMS 7170

Please note: This event is receiving lots of interest in various groups, please RSVP so we are able to gauge room size.

Dr. Miller is UNESCO’s head of foreign literacy and one of the world’s leading strategic foresight designers and practitioners . Mr. Miller will be talking to us about key insights in foresight literacy from his latest book “Transforming the future: Anticipation in the 21st century,” which is available for free download.

Bio: For over thirty years Riel Miller has been pioneering advances in the theory & practice of using the future as a means to improve management & public policy, with a focus on transformational leadership. He has designed & implemented hundreds of projects worldwide, using the future in order to change what people see and do. He is an experienced & innovative educator, a pioneer of Futures Literacy & the Discipline of Anticipation. He is widely published in academic journals & other media on a range of topics, from the future of education & the Internet to the transformation of leadership & productivity. He is an accomplished keynote speaker & facilitator. His unflagging ambition is to find ways to put the richness of complex emergence at the service of humanity’s capacity to be free. He has given his foresight literacy program to Presidents and Prime Ministers, CEO’s, senior executives in industry and government, practitioners, teachers.

Source –

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FSN Seminar – June 27 – RESCHEDULED!

Please note: This event is cancelled till august or in the fall, we will use this space for FSN Fall general planning meeting.

Thur June 27th at 1300-1600  room DMS 7170

Dr. Christopher Cooper; CEO of Tech Forward; an innovative nanotechnology research and eco-products company; currently based in Phoenix * will describe his 20 year journey in developing superior water treatment systems using carbon  nanotubes ;  Chris also plans to demonstrate a scaled-down version of the technology using a variety of local tap and waste water sources 

*Dr. Cooper is in Ottawa as part of a strategic assessment tour of 10 Canadian cities located in 4 Provinces;  This tour is being organized by TFCI Canada in order to explore the diverse situations  and appreciate the nano-infrastructural assets and the industrial development potentials of the10 9 cities;    and also to support TECH FORWARD in its strategic objective to select one or more of the 10  cities as a base for developing Canadian operations.

Reception & Networking Event:

Also note that   from 1630-1930;  on June 27th; the FSN ;  TFCI Canada and  Dr Cooper’s company Tech Forward will host a by invitation Reception & Networking Event for government and university research and innovation leaders in room DMS  4101.

The Reception will feature a selection of regional craft beers and Niagara wines available for comparative tasting and sale; Admission is free; but pre-registration by June 26th is required using  thte ticket system. FSN members and participants are encouraged and welcome to attend. To receive an invitation please send your request to smithjack57@GMAIL.C0M;  by June 26th.


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FSN Seminar – June 14

Update – here are the slides – Ottawa 14 June 2019

Dr. David Harries:  Much Ado, About Nothing that is not Relevant for the Future

Time & Location: June 14, 1 pm at DMS 4165.


At two recent , by-invitation, international events, whether or not ‘the world is going to hell in a handbasket’ was of less concern than that no one is in charge and, worse, that appropriate ‘leading’ is unlikely to appear soon enough because the reasons for its absence are too little seen, too little heard and too little spoken of.

David Harries will share what he saw, heard and spoke of at and since the EuroPugwash meeting in Bristol (28 Feb-1 Mar) and the Seventh Baku Global Forum (13-17 Mar) that seem to most need acknowledgement to enable progress in arresting threats to and identifying opportunities for human and planetary well-being.


A Canadian citizen since birth, he has lived in 20 countries and paid between 1 and 20 working visits to another 93. After education as a nuclear engineer, he has worked in the public and private sectors as a senior military officer, as a consultant on personal and corporate security, and as a senior advisor and professor in heavy engineering, national development, humanitarian aid, post-conflict and post-disaster response and recovery, executive development in strategic foresight, and post-graduate university education.

Based in Kingston Ontario, he does research, facilitation and application of strategic foresight focusing on the five security domains and their connections, and on comparative civil military relations, indigenous women entrepreneurship, leadership, and on human security engineering in support of societal resilience.

Current major associations

–        Member: Canadian Pugwash

–        Associate Executive Director of Foresight Canada

–        Fellow: World Academy of Art and Science

–        President: Proteus Canada

–        Director: Foresight operations at

–        Assistant Coach of the RMC Men’s Varsity Rugby Team.

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FSN Seminar – May 24

Blockchain (DLTs) and the Golden Ratio of Sustainable Development
by Gregory Sandstorm
Time and Location: May 24, DMS 7170 1- 4 pm 
While the number of blockchains (distributed ledgers) continues to grow, general and specific social applications of this new technology are still in their infancy. This presentation will briefly consider the background growth of ICTs in society. It introduces blockchain technology through an overview of current definitions and timelines already created by multiple authors. It then turns to the theoretical and practical applications of blockchain as an example of ‘digital extension services,’ drawing on the historical agricultural and educational extension movement from the 1860s at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The aim is to elaborate and in some ways anticipate the forms, functions & prospective impacts of blockchain as it starts to transform infrastructures. The talk will also introduce Arena Blockchain, a local Ottawa company building an educational trust blockchain network. The overarching theme will explore the possibility of a seeking to build ‘golden ratio’ of sustainable development using decentralized systems for this purpose.
Co-Founder & CEO of Arena Blockchain, an event engagement, consensus-building and problem-solving platform. Co-Host of Hyperledger Ottawa. Former Director of Blockchain Innovation at 360ed in Yangon, Myanmar. Author of more than 50 publications translated into 4 languages and speaker at more than 70 international conferences in 14 countries. Former associate professor of mass media and communications, social and political sciences at the (Belarus) exiled European Humanities University in Vilnius, Lithuania and affiliated associated professor at the Social Innovations Laboratory at Mykolas Romeris University. PhD (Candidate of Science) from St. Petersburg State University, dissertation defended at the Sociological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg. Former postdoctoral research fellow at the Lithuanian Science Council and Autonomous National University of Mexico’s Institute for Applied Mathematics and Systems. Guest scholar at University of Cambridge, University of Edinburgh, Virginia Tech University and the Copernicus Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Promoter and builder of blockchain distributed ledger technology as digital extension services.