• Financial risk: To build a persistent forecasting system, adequate and persistent funding is required. A diverse source of funding would reduce the risk of failure due to inadequate financial support.

  • Stakeholder risk: The final risk is that the forecasts produced by the system are not used or are rejected inappropriately by stakeholders and decision makers. There may be several factors that can cause this:

    • An unactionable forecast: A forecast that does not provide adequate insight into potential futures results in the inability to make decisions from it. A forecast that is overly general or fails to assess potential impact results in an unactionable forecast.

    • An unbelievable forecast: It is difficult for stakeholders to accept a forecast that might be considered unbelievable or improbable because it may challenge current beliefs. It is important that the greater the improbability, the greater the amount of effort given to explain how an alternative future can occur from a current point in time. Roadmapping and narratives are important tools that can be deployed to mitigate this risk.

    • Inappropriate use of a forecast: Forecasters need to guard against the use of selective portions of a forecast to support a conclusion different from what the forecast intended. The forecast team should, whenever possible, review how stakeholders and decision makers are using the forecast and its conclusions.

REFERENCES

Published

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NRC (National Research Council). 2005. Avoiding Surprise in an Era of Global Technology Advances. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

NRC. 2010. Persistent Forecasting of Disruptive Technologies. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Önkal, D., J.F. Yates, C. Simga-Mugan, and S. Öztin. 2003. Professional vs. amateur judgment accuracy: The case of foreign exchange rates. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 91: 169-185.

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Slaughter, Richard A. (ed.). 1996. The Knowledge Base of Futures Studies. Volume 1: Foundations. 3 vols. Hawthorn, Australia: DDM Media Group.

Whitford, David. 2008. Hired guns on the cheap: New online services can help you find freelancers for less. Fortune Small Business Magazine. Available at http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fsb/fsb_archive/2007/03/01/8402019/index.htm. Last accessed January 29, 2010.

Unpublished

Jonas, Jeff. 2008. Macro trends and their national security consequences. Presented to the Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies, May 29.

Shaffer, Allan. 2005. Disruptive Technology: An Uncertain Future. Available at http://www.docstoc.com/docs/889200/Disruptive-Technology-An-Uncertain-Future. Last accessed May 6, 2009.

Wladawsky-Berger, Irving. 2008. Complex digital systems in the knowledge economy: Some key grand challenges. Presented to the Committee on Forecasting Future Disruptive Technologies, May 28.



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