Horizon scanning could promote innovative practices and innovation uptake, through the adoption of new ideas, equipment, and methods, with benefits that could positively affect the UK economy as a whole. But a wider mechanism for processing and assessing the selected developments would be needed.
Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty
It is difficult to determine what actions balance society's goals where there is deep uncertainty about the consequences. The decisionmaking under uncertainty methodology provides tools to acknowledge uncertainty, avoid overconfidence, promote deliberation, and help craft consensus on sensible approaches to climate change.
Data and computer models are becoming more and more important for making policy decisions on everything from prison sentences to tax bills. But citizens should be able to “check the math” on decisions that affect them.
The Chicago Police Department's predictive policing program didn't work. To achieve even a 5 percent drop in the city's homicide rate, enormous leaps in both prediction and intervention effectiveness are necessary.
Predictive policing — the use of computer models to identify areas or people at greater risk of being involved in a serious crime — is yielding results for police. How authorities plan to respond to the data is key.
Until recently, infrastructure engineers could use data on past weather to predict future climate. But this is no longer an option. More and more, engineers must consider the effects of climate change. Failure to do so would threaten public safety.
Policymakers know that the risks associated with climate change mean they need to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. But uncertainty surrounding the likelihood of different scenarios makes choosing specific policies difficult.
When police take action on the basis of race, creed, or ethnicity it is corrosive, unfair, ineffective, and can stoke the flames of police-community tension. But as we have found from a variety of assessments, law enforcement is best served when it bases its activities on risk, not on personal characteristics.
Future “societal” trends, ranging from the future of the labor market to the evolving relationship between citizens and the state, are shrouded in uncertainty, which makes it difficult to develop robust, sensible predictions. A RAND Europe report analyzes global societal trends to 2030 and their impact on the EU.
The Russian military intervention caught many foreign policy analysts by surprise. Articles explaining why Russia wouldn't intervene ran in Foreign Affairs, Time, and the New York Times; and even the intelligence community was caught off guard. Events have proven them wrong.
Changing how we make development decisions requires a cultural shift as much as it requires an analytical shift. Methodological innovations like Robust Decision Making can help. By motivating and equipping analysts to manage uncertainty, they can shape how we think about, discuss, and make decisions.
Predictive policing is not an end-all solution, but rather a tool that must be used in concert with other policing resources as part of a broader anti-crime effort. Used properly, predictive policing can predict the risk of future events, but not the events themselves.
Bureau of European Policy Advisors Monthly Bulletin
When planning for the future, we should understand that the capacity to predict the future is rather limited and poor. Rather, an ability to anticipate plausible trends and their potential consequences is more realistic, writes Stijn Hoorens.