Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006

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Title: Second International Seville Seminar on Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA): Impacts on policy and decision making 28th- 29th September 2006


1
Second International Seville Seminar on
Future-Oriented Technology Analysis (FTA)
Impacts on policy and decision making28th- 29th
September 2006
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Ted Gordon Millennium Project American Council
for the United Nations University
2
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
FTA and Decisions
Premise Improving FTA will improve decisions
  • True for decisions based on logic
  • Discovering decisions that ought to be made
  • Identifying goals and choices
  • Reducing the chances for bad outcomes
  • But most decisions are not based purely on logic
  • The unknowable looms large
  • Intrinsic psychological distortions
  • The moral component
  • A new decision science is emerging

3
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Decisions Can be Good, Bad, or Both
Good Foresight, Good Decisions
  • The Montreal Protocol to limit ozone depleting
    gasses
  • Population forecasts of the 60s led to family
    planning
  • AIDS forecasts led to massive research and
    prevention programs
  • Silent Spring, Limits to Growth

4
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Bad Decisions
  • They Should Have Known Better
  • The British lost their US colonies by raising
    taxes
  • Chamberlain Peace in our time.
  • Unaccepted Challenges
  • Stem cell research in the US
  • International crime influences global politics
  • Unforeseen Consequences
  • Thalidomide caused birth defects
  • Nosocomial infections

5
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Why Do So Many Global Decisions Go Awry?
  • Governments sometimes lie
  • Uncertainty, risk aversion
  • Faith in low probability favorable outcomes
  • Failure to recognize the need for action
  • Xenophobia, geographic determinism
  • Lack of courage, bad luck, chance, avarice,
    selfish interests, amorality, corruption

6
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
What Goes Into a Decision?
  • Three questions
  • What is possible?
  • What is likely?
  • What is desirable?
  • Futures research helps with
  • Identifying goals
  • Assessing prospective policies
  • Quantifying risks
  • Futures research does not help much with
  • Reducing the unknowable
  • Psychological factors
  • Moral and ethical factors

7
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Uncertainty
Reducing the unknowable
  • SIMAD
  • Research and control of violent behavior
  • Human-computer symbiosis, brain boosters
  • Transhumanism
  • Monitoring everywhere
  • Challenging truth

8
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
The Illogical Mind
Psychological Factors
  • Odds are generally ignored
  • Any data is persuasive
  • Innate overconfidence
  • Great lengths to avoid loss
  • Risk aversion
  • Problem framing

Source Tversky and Kahneman, various
9
.
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
Moral Intelligence
Moral and Ethical Factors
  • Care for future generations
  • Treat others the way you would like to be treated
  • Serve as a standard
  • Do no harm
  • Be fair
  • Mitigate suffering
  • Enhance human survival (educate)

10
Making Better Decisions in an Uncertain World
A New Decision Science
  • A new curriculum
  • Futures research foresight FT
  • Intuition, imagination experience, subtle clues
  • Psychology personal utility functions
  • Balance of risks and rewards
  • Experiments and analogy
  • Understanding innate illogic of human thinking
  • Moral courage
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