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Blowing the Cobwebs off your Mind

November 9, 2012

Four short items as we all get back from a summer that here in London has been amazing – marked by crowds of people who got caught up in the atmosphere – all enjoying themselves – and spectacular sporting triumphs throughout. After all the very British doubts beforehand – a success all round.
Meanwhile, on more serious matters, Richard Walsh has written an article for Cover magazine, called “Keep It Simple Stupid”, commenting on the review of simple Financial Products as a significant strategic development in the protection sector. He highlights some key issues and a
few problems in the making, such as the proposed approach of not allowing add-ons, and the lack of consumer perspective in the report. He concludes that “it is essential that a medium to long term strategic exercise is undertaken to look at the —- potential impacts on the scheme of external drivers and uncertainties. Whatever we come up with should be fit for the future”. The article can be found on the SAMI web site.
The effect of external drivers and uncertainties on industries was also the theme of our second “Blowing the Cobwebs of your Mind” event, held at Cass Business School. What are the forces that will change industries over the next 40 years? What are our assumptions and mental models now? How have they changed over the last 80 years and how might they change over the next 40 years? We focused on the ICT and entertainment industries, and have captured some of the ideas in a short paper which can be found on the SAMI web site.
The drought in the farmlands of the US has heightened interest in food supplies – and I was talking to Roumiana Gotseva of the Foresight Alliance about the recent report Food2040 on the food supply issues in East Asia. The report suggests that ,driven by rising demand and resource constraints, East Asia is likely to emerge a as a bioscience leader. The emerging Asian diet is also likely to be healthier, as traditional Asian perspectives on nutrition converge with 21st century science and technology to address problems of aging and diseases of affluence. The report can be found on
SAMI was involved at several stages in a major foresight project on Higher Education in 2025 for the Rumanian Government. The project has been written up in a chapter in a book published by Springer on European Higher Education at the Crossroads, and the pdf with more details can be found on the SAMI web site . The project web site is though the Romanian version has more information than English version. SAMI also contributed through Wendy Schultz to the wiki design, which is at and worked in parallel with the foresight exercise. A short video of Martin Duckworth and John Reynolds at a series of workshops during the project can be found on

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