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“The Worst-Case Scenario is the Least Probable” and Other Cognitive Biases: Global Drought, Catastrophic Monsoons and Floods and “Zombie Ice”

Our editorial approach here at OODA Loop is an optimistic approach, based on the influence of ‘solutions-based’ journalism and a belief in the American “mission” writ large, including years of experience with deeply humble, remarkably talented people that make up American agencies, departments, and institutions.  We try not to be blindly optimistic, however and steer away from the Silicon Valley-fueled “techno-utopianism” that has us in trouble with some of the unintended consequences of the internet, i.e. misinformation or bullying via social media platforms.

And because of the personal and professional histories of our founders, we are always looking for a fresh perspective in an open-source, flattened hierarchical fashion on the fringes of global hacker culture or through speculative and science fiction.  Or we have a conversation with that truly original iconoclast who tells it like it is  – a straight shooter who also happens to have a mindblowing history of service inside the USG, the global cybersecurity community, or the technology, business, and innovation investment communities.

It is this unique worldview and perspective you will experience firsthand at our upcoming OODA Community conference,  OODAcon 2022 – The Future of Exponential Innovation & Disruption, which includes a Keynote Conversation Vint Cerf (Google), a Fireside chat with Futurist and Author Karl Schroeder (on Disruptive Futures: Digital Self Sovereignty, Blockchain, and AI), a panel on Future Wars:  Beyond Cyberconflict – with OODA Network members John Robb, Global Guerrillas Report and Author of Brave New War), J.D. Work (cyber threat expert and professor at Columbia, NDU, and MCU) and guest panelist Yegor Dubynsky (invited), Ukraine Office of Digital Transformation) and Tomorrowland: A Global Threat Brief panel with Bob Gourley, (CTO of OODA LLC | Former CTO at Defense Intelligence Agency) and Johnny Sawyer, (Founder of the Sawyer Group | Former Chief of Staff at Defense Intelligence Agency).

It is also part of our job, however, to position some negative metrics and trends as part of our overall sensemaking on behalf of the membership.  And we consider even our own aversion to bad news part of our research discipline as well, and we have mechanisms to break through it and achieve something resembling a stoic, balanced stance on most information we are handling at any given time. OODA Network Member Dr. Lisa Porter describes” a risk-based approach that recognizes I am always making a tradeoff.  And to do it with my eyes open.”  We think that captures what we are trying to provide here on a daily basis.     We also use scenario planning to tell the story of the future as we are seeing it – to influence risk strategies and decision-making processes for our member organizations.

So, with that:  Are you sitting down? Because I have some bad news, along with a mental model through which to analyze its implications.

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.