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About the Symposium

International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium 2008

As part of our larger efforts to raise awareness of the importance of RAHS, we hosted an International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium on 19 and 20 March 2007 in Singapore. There was an impressive line-up of speakers and various concepts, technologies and practices (in government, in the private sector and across different domains) related to RAHS were discussed. For example, the delegates at the symposium exchanged views on the "wisdom of crowds" and the practical applications and usefulness of predictive markets. We also demonstrated Singapore's approach to RAHS as one useful way of thinking about the future, and as a whole of government model or paradigm to strategic planning.

A conference report, which includes the ideas and perspectives of key note speakers James Surowiecki (author of "The Wisdom of Crowds") and Jaron Lanier (known for his pioneering work on Virtual Reality), and the other 19 international speakers at the symposium, is available. Other highlights included a technology showcase that featured 12 local and international companies including IBM, HP and Microsoft. Much interest has been generated in future collaboration with Singapore's RAHS Experimentation Centre, which will be operational in August 2007. For a start, experiments will focus on the application of RAHS in maritime security. As well as its social and economic applications in Operations Other Than War.

We need to maintain momentum after the international symposium and, to achieve this, we have planned a series of workshops that will expand on / address specific issues connected to RAHS (for example, networked government, resilience, pandemic surveillance and futures studies). We hope for concrete programmes to emerge from these workshops, and for these workshops to help us define the areas of coverage for the future development of RAHS in Singapore.

Planning has already begun for the next symposium in October 2008. Look out for details at IRAHSS 08.

Panel 1: Singapore, RAHS and the Civil Service Initiative

Panel 1 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
Introduction of Panel 1

Defence Science & Technology Agency.

Richard is the Chief Executive of DSTA and a former Deputy Secretary of Technology at the Ministry of Defence, Singapore. From 1996 to 1999, he held the position of Chief of Navy, Republic of Singapore Navy.

The Progress to Date on the RAHS Project

Defence Science and Technology Agency.

Khee Yin is a deputy director of DSTA and a winner of Singapore's Defence Technology Prize in 2003.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

RAHS - An Important Idea Whose Time Has Come

Arlington Institute.

John is best known for his work in the area of high impact surprises —"wild cards"— as well as the area of surprise anticipation. He is one of two principle consultants to the RAHS project.
Biography | Abstract

How RAHS Can Make Networked Government a Reality

Cognitive Edge.

Dave is known for his Cynefin framework, one of the first practical applications of complexity theory to management science. He is the other principle consultant to the RAHS project.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

The Philosophy behind RAHS

Prince George's Community College.

Alicia is a professor of philosophy, and her areas of research include work with "attractors" in complex adaptive systems.
Biography | Abstract

Day 1: Keynote Speaker Lunch Address

Keynote Speakers' Biography & Presentation
How the Design of Digital Systems Influences Human Behavior In Order to Increase or Decrease Security Threats

VPL Research.

Jaron is famed for his work on Virtual Reality (VR) - a term that he coined in the 1980s—and is the founder of VPL Research, the first enterprise to sell VR products. He is known as the "prodigy" amongst the American cyber elite (also called the "digerati") and is a winner of various computing awards.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Panel 2: RAHS Concepts and Methods

Panel 2 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
The Importance of Diversity in Horizon Scanning

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.

Chuan Leong is an Ambassador-at-Large for Singapore. He is also the Chairman of the Infocomm Development Authority as well as Chairman of the Competition Commission.

Cognitive Mapping

Volterra Consulting Inc.

Paul is a theoretical economist as well as a founding director of Volterra Consulting. He is the author of the well-known book, "Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction& Economics".
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Studying the Future Systematically

Institute for the Future.

Paul is the Roy Amara Fellow at the Institute for the Future, a research firm which focuses on emerging trends and discontinuities that transform the global marketplace.
Biography | Abstract

Mapping the Threatscape

Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies.

Gary is Director of the U.S. Center for Terrorism and Intelligence Studies as well as the Director of the WMD Terrorism Research Programme at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. His work focuses on the various aspects of terrorism, including modeling and simulation of terrorist behavior as well as threat assessment.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

The Information-Space

ESADE, Spain.

Max is best known for his work on the conceptualization of the “Information Space”, which examines the nature of information and the dynamics of information sharing.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Naturalistic Decision-making

Klein Associates.

Gary is noted for his work in the field of naturalistic decision making, particularly in demanding situations that are marked by time pressure and organizational constraints.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Panel 3: Technology and RAHS

Panel 3 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
Technology Panel Introduction

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

John was Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s Information Awareness Office which had been tasked to develop the Total (Terrorism) Information Awareness Programme.

Predicting the Future


Bernardo is a Senior HP Fellow and the Director of the Information Dynamics Lab at HP. He is currently working on the design of novel mechanisms for discovering and aggregating information in distributed systems as well as understanding the dynamics of information in large networks.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Structured Argumentation and Brainstorming by Analyst Teams

Stanford Research Institute.

John is Director of the Representation and Reasoning Programme at the Artificial Intelligence Center, a unit of the Stanford Research Institute. His recent work centers on making evidential reasoning accessible to real world analysts and decision makers.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Coherence Discovery in Text and Relational Data

British Aerospace.

Michael is a mathematician and an internet strategist currently with British Aerospace. He is developing algorithms to detect pre-patterns or associations across disparate pieces of information.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

The Role of Persistent Context Towards Mitigating False Positives and the Detection of Weak Signals


Jeff is the Chief Scientist of IBM’s Entity Analytics Solutions Group and is in charge of shaping the overall technical strategy of next generation identity analytics and its application for IBM. He is also a member of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Day 2: Keynote Speaker Lunch Address

Keynote Speakers' Biography & Presentation
"The Wisdom of Crowds": Using Collective Intelligence in Forecasting and Assessment

Author of The Wisdom of Crowds.

James is an acclaimed American journalist at The New Yorker, where he writes a column on business and finance. He is famed for the international bestseller, "The Wisdom of Crowds".
Biography | Abstract


Panel 4 Speakers' Biography & Presentation
Introduction of Domain and Country Panel

Civil Service College, Singapore.

Heng Kee is the Dean and Chief Executive Officer of Singapore’s Civil Service College. He is also the Deputy Secretary of Development at the Prime Minister’s Office in Singapore.

Horizon Scanning and the United Kingdom

National Horizon Scanning Centre, UK.

Rupert is Head of UK’s National Horizon Scanning Center, an organization which promotes governmental horizon scanning activities and inter-agency decision making. The Center also spots emerging trends relating to science and technology.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

The Nokia WorldMap


Alex is a senior manager in Nokia’s Corporate Strategy and Foresight department. His department identifies emerging disruptive technologies, analyzes their consequences and pinpoints business opportunities for the company
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

The GPHIN Experience and Public Health Horizon Scanning

Office of Public Health Practice, Public Health Agency of Canada.

Gregory was one of the two persons who conceived the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN) based in Canada. GPHIN searches the internet and other databases for informal sources of information on disease outbreaks, and contributes to global intelligence on communicable diseases.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning in the World of Finance

M.CAM Inc.

David is the founding CEO of M.CAM Inc, the international leader in intellectual property based financial risk management. He is known for his expertise in intangible asset risk management and accounting standards.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Pictures of the Future

Siemens Corporate Technology Group.

Heinrich is Head of Strategic Marketing at Siemens. Using Siemens’ “pictures of the future” methodology, he oversees research into future markets and provides strategic recommendations for the organization’s direction.
Biography | Abstract | Presentation

Other Events

Other Events Speakers' Biography & Presentation

Jerry will be the "dot-connector" for the symposium as well as the moderator for the open - space forum - a free-following discussion platform during the first day of the Symposium. Jerry is a "pattern finder" and conducts research into technology-human interfaces. He is also the founder and president of Sociate, a technology consulting firm.

Conceptual Introduction to IRAHSS 07

Kao & Company.

John is Chairman of Kao & Company as well as the founder of the Idea Factory. A well known speaker on corporate innovation and transformation, John will be providing a conceptual introduction to the Symposium at the pre-event cocktail reception. [Note: reception is for selected guests only]
Symposium Report
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