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GEAB 140

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Dec 2019

Editorial: A special GEAB issue on evaluation as a special year of innovation approaches

The coming year is not just any year, but 2020!

LEAP is one of the offshoots of Franck Biancheri’s Reinventing Europe project inaugurated in Athens in 1998,[1] which gave birth shortly afterwards to the think-tank Europe2020, the immediate predecessor of the European Laboratory for Political Anticipation (LEAP).

For 21 years, 2020 has been the time horizon of the network and project which founded LEAP and the GEAB. Over these years, we have therefore advanced in a familiar universe, namely the ‘Europe in the world’ that we have helped to consolidate in order to leave our children a powerful tool for the next step: the participation of Europeans in the construction of the global edifice.

During this unprecedented civic and political exercise, we have developed unique skills, starting with a capacity for anticipation, intrinsically linked to our strong orientation towards the future and coupled with limited means (citizens with no funding): to have the slightest chance of influencing the future, we could not afford to make mistakes in understanding reality.

Biancheri’s big mistake was to disappear in 2012…. But the millimetre of shift that he and his networks succeeded in driving forward with so much spirit from 1985 to 2012 has been translated 35 years later[2] into a significant change in trajectory. And even if Franck is no longer here, the main characteristics of his project have been deployed: whether through the democratisation projects of the trans-European political parties or those of strategic independence of the continent led by the French government, Biancheri’s ‘2020 vision’ is finally coming to pass, despite all the detours and agonising delays made by the Europe ship over the past 35 years.

But the game isn’t over yet and we are approaching 2020 with caution. We will get to know a new Europe that will soon come to terms with the new realities of a world with new features still to reveal. For the past 10 years, Chinese, American, European and other architects have been erecting our next communal edifice by recovering the stones from the old buildings, renovating them and sealing them with brand new cement. In 2020, they will draw back the curtain on their achievement… and we will know if the multipolar construction will hold or if it will collapse in the first gale.

The year 2020 will therefore be a year when new models are being implemented (financial, monetary, political, strategic, diplomatic, commercial, technological… [3]) – a year of experiments, of learning and of breaking-in… with all the mishaps that this implies and that the GEAB will seek to anticipate.

The GEAB’s sharp eye has already identified many points of strength and weakness in what it has deduced about the construction under development. To be fully capable of anticipating the crucial year ahead, particular attention needs to be paid to evaluating the main lines of thinking that have fed into the GEAB’s work.

Every December for the past 14 years, the GEAB has shared an evaluation of the trends it identified eleven months before (the January’s up & down trends) that went on to guide its anticipations during the year. These trends form the GPS or anticipation map for the GEAB and its readers. The annual update of this map, made possible through this evaluation exercise, is essential to optimise the objectivity required to see clearly.

As this special year gets nearer, this December issue will be entirely dedicated to evaluation: not only of January’s trends, but of all the year’s analyses and forecasts, in a ‘special evaluation issue’.

Over the past ten years, more and more people have been producing anticipative analyses (newspapers are full of reports speculating on the future). But we can be sure not many of them analyse their own mistakes to improve acuity, identify cognitive biases, check their lines of interpretation and hence avoid falling into an ideological view. However, rational observation of the future requires the integration of two fundamental principles: the freedom to make mistakes and the duty to learn from them.

The role of the GEAB is not to explain the future out of some expertise that no one actually has in this field. It aims simply to enhance the clarity of each of its readers’ understanding of the future. It is therefore relevant to share with you the updating work to which this GEAB 140 is entirely devoted.

By reading it, like us, you will be invited to correct the false certainties that underlie your thinking. And through this joint ‘demisting’ exercise, in a month’s time, we will be able to take a clear look at the year ahead – a year that we will also have to place in the new temporal framework of the 2020-2040 double decade, which has the world as its focus.

In the meantime, we wish you a very happy holiday season and thank you once again for allowing us, through your contributions, to do this work independently.

________________________

[1]      Re-read Biancheri’s speech. Source: AAFB, 24/05/1998

[2]      The real beginning of Biancheri’s career was in 1985 when he founded the European students’ forum, AEGEE-Europe. Source: Association des Amis de Franck Biancheri

[3]      The convergence towards 2020 of so many innovations is impressive. It reveals the ‘global and systemic global’ nature of the reality in which we are living.

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In summary

This in-depth assessment of our anticipations for the year will be used to update our map of major global transformational trends. We present here a synthesis of a year of [...]

Corporate: Watch your back!  The world is realigning itself according to its major regions. This trend, identified a long time ago by the GEAB and repeatedly validated, obviously doesn’t only [...]

As we do every December, we have completed an evaluation of the trend anticipations we published last January. This time, we have ended up with a final score of 27.5 [...]

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