Future Studies

The expertise of the Amplios Consultants team in the Future Studies topic dates from the early 2000s when 'Scenario Planning' became important at both the government and private levels globally.

This topic had its foundations in ISO31000 Management of Risk together with its Risk Management methodology, Failure Mode Effects & Analysis.

Since those early days, futurists have been searching for a practical method for placing a single value on the "Risk Score" of a particular business investment opportunity, taking into account its industry category and its geographic location. For example, an investment in the Mining industry in Africa is expected to have very different risks to an investment in the Retail industry in London.

The hope has been to arrive at a value between 1 and 9. A positive arithmetic sign encourages the investor to go to the next stage, which is the investment of time and money in the development of a strategy achieve success. A negative arithmetic sign discourages this.

In this website, the Amplios team sets out the argument for and benefits of this approach.

Background

To begin, we start with the publicly available definition of 'Future Studies' from Wikipedia:

Futures studies, futures research, futurism or futurology is the systematic, interdisciplinary and holistic study of social and technological advancement, and other environmental trends, often for the purpose of exploring how people will live and work in the future. Predictive techniques, such as forecasting, can be applied, but contemporary futures studies scholars emphasize the importance of systematically exploring alternatives. In general, it can be considered as a branch of the social sciences and an extension to the field of history. Futures studies (colloquially called "futures" by many of the field's practitioners) seeks to understand what is likely to continue and what could plausibly change. Part of the discipline thus seeks a systematic and pattern-based understanding of past and present, and to explore the possibility of future events and trends.

Procedure

The recommended procedure follows steps such as these:

1.    Registration of Business Investment Opportunities as they arise in the company’s radar.

2.    Discovery of Business Investment Risk Events by Horizon Scanning
2.    Registration of Business Investment Risk Events as they arise in the company’s radar.
3.    Arrangement of those Business Investment Risk Events which have impact on a particular Business

       Investment Opportunity in a matrix of 20 rows and columns showing:
      a.    The source of the event documentation
      b.    The degree of impact of the event on the Business Investment Opportunity
      c.    The trend of the event (rising or falling)
      d.    The arithmetic sign of the event (is it good news or bad news)
4.    Generation of a Business Investment Opportunity Scenario Score (being the simple average of the 20 rows),

        in order to give a “Go/No-go” recommendation to management    
5.    Frequent updating of the data in the matrix to keep its results current

Benefits

The main benefits of following this approach are improved effectiveness of business investment programs and readiness for audit, both internal and external.