Tuesday, January 24, 2006

NANOLOGUE update

NANOLOGUE is a small research program undertaken by a team from Forum for the Future (FFF) cooperating with three groups including Wuppertal, triple innova, and EMPA. The team met on January 20, 2006, at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London. I attended the meeting and participated in the scenario construction process.

It seems the process of selecting variables to be tested as scenarios came from research and interviews of selected experts. The methodology had a few problems including but not limited to: the absence of the media as an independent variable, variables that are multi-directional, variables that are obscure and under-defined, variables along the axis which while having both a positive or negative valence are categorized as one or the others, and the lack of a methodology that used numerical values. While FF made it clear this was a qualitative methodology and the media was folded into public perceptions, I found their justification lacking.

In addition, I was surprised to learn they had not researched the cross-impact matrix (CIM) modified Delphi methodology, a technique developed by the RAND CORP as a scenario optimization tool (see http://www.iit.edu/~it/cross.html). CIM allows the adjustment of variables along two axes to determine the optimal policy action.

See also http://www.futurovenezuela.org/_curso/10-cross.pdf.

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