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Quick view of the model (open complete model with iMODELER):

present thumbnailKai Neumann (#1) has provided a description of the model with the iMODELER Presenter.


This model should help to collect news from all over the world and put them into cause and effect relation to each other, and to the factors that define the economy, the societies, the environment, and everyone. Those factors we call targets, colored yellow. Whenever some interesting news pops up we may add further target factors to connect them with the central target of our all well being. The model should remain as general as possible. A small manual is provided with the Menu ... Presenter.

News could come from different sources, yet there should be just one factor for any specific topic. We can add other sources to the description texts of the factors and connections and soon (with iM-Document Manager) even documents and discussions.

When you add news see whether with similar words they aren't already included and just need to reference another source via their description text, and whether they can be connected to

- the benefit for the people in the rich and the poorer countries
- as a potential for businesses in the rich and the poorer countries
- with an effect on the environment or the use of resources

What is not explicit, yet, is the effect on the spending power. So far it is just wealth and the increase of prices for food and energy.

If possible, reflect with the four KNOW-WHY Questions on what leads to more or less of you new factor, now or in the future. Some aspect might already be in the model.

There are already some predefined categories. We may add additional ones for different purposes, e.g. for possible arguments that are not categorized, yet. Also categories can help to make distinctions e.g. between social inventions, energy technologies, e-mobility, etc. just to make it easier to get a list of factors from one specific field.

Right now factors have a quantitative attribute that could be used to note an estimation on how many percentage of a population e.g. currently use it or are influenced by it.
The weighting of the connection arrows should be based on the effect that a very high percentage would have. In the Insight Matrix the position of a factor shows the potential influence on different areas of our life. The diameter of a factor based on its quantitative attribute shows the likelihood or the current state of a development.

The time horizon should be 

1 to 5 years short term, 
5 to 15 years medium term, and 
more than 15 years long term.

As the headline of this model is horizon scanning and megatrend forecast we can use categories to distinguish different factors as potentials, trends, megatrends, emerging trends, or similar.

Some trend's potentials are not just described by their direct connections to parts of the targets and their current dissemination. Rather their potential is revealed by the analysis of the interconnections, feedback loops and a critical thought on potential obstacles that add as factors to the mere collection of news. In other words: as already mentioned we should also ask the four KNOW-WHY-Questions for factors we find interesting. Don't be shy, give it a try ;-)

While the discussion tool coming with the iM-Document Manager is not ready, yet, we should directly communicate larger changes with the discussion on Smaller ones should simply be done as we expect this model to grow fairly large.

The model was started by Kai Neumann ( with the help from Ullrich Lorenz ( and inspired by the work of Martin Hirschnitz-Gabers and Susanne Langsdorf from ecologic. Ulli will probably provide more background information on horizon scanning and trend analysis)

The model will be of increased relevance. At the beginning it is just a collection of some news. After a while you may search for news. Later, hopefully a community will start to reflect on more aspects. Only then a weighting of the connections and an allocation of attributes should follow so it is not just a source for information but a tool to analyze trends.
As all Open Source projects it depends on our willingness to invest some time and share something in order to get something in return later. The changelog rewards you by naming you as a contributor and possibly as an expert. Consider to use a real profile on KNOW-WHY.NET to establish yourself as an expert.

Finally some remarks on the benefits of this approach: Most approaches offer a variety of sometimes very convenient ways to collect news, usually by tagging the information. But once the amount of sources for each tag or a combination of tags grows it becomes extremely arduous to grasp or to just read through them not alone keep them updated and get rid of redundant information. With a cause and effect model we put all information into the context of cause and effect relations, not just content correlation. This is a major difference. News are translated into narratives. New information alters existing narratives or add to them or are simply additional sources for an existing narrative (the iMODELER will provide better functionality for this).

Please do not hesitate to ask for additional information or place your remarks via comments.


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Comments (14)

Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann

Here's a link towards a study that emphasises the potential of a change of diet to significantly increase our life expectancy - not sure where to put it:
Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann

Here I cite:

„We have some potential candidates in my view:

1st => Use of Graphene in its various possible applications, such as its use as a filter to desalinate seawater or increase the resistance of a material, reducing the use of the original material.

2nd => Combination of technologies such as IoT, 5G, Satellites for worldwide broadband connection, Optical fibers, Edge Computing, Cloud Computing for pervasive connection, enabling the digital inclusion of remote areas worldwide.

3rd => Artificial Intelligence embedded in devices and applications of the most varied, cognizing inanimate objects.

4th => Blockchain for the purpose of removing the role of the intermediary in transactions will find many use-cases in the next years.

5th => Private space exploration in which mineral resources can be mined.

6th => Internet of the Senses with integration of augmented / virtual / mixed technologies to increase the user's perception capacity with applications in Industry, Education, Retail, Healthcare and Entertainment.

7th => Quantum and Neuromorphic Computing combined with AI can be used for example in the study of the shape of the molecules, and its geometrical parameters, for finding new materials and new medicines for emerging diseases.

8th => Technologies of the Industrial Revolution 4.0 such as 3D printing with its large-scale adoption will change the value chain across the world.

09th => New exotic materials can be used for the storage of huge volumes of data with greater density and less cost.

10th => Quantum Cloud Computing have the potential to revolutionize the market with new applications that can make good use of its power.

About the Author - Renato Azevedo Sant Anna

Digital Business & Insights Consultant, Thinker and Curator about the VUCA World, with a natural curiosity about the World and its complexity, multidisciplinary knowledge and the ability to produce actionable recommendations and insights about the competitive landscape.

Also a Mentor, Content producer (content writer), Instructor and Speaker on topics related to Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Technology, Future of Work, Artificial Intelligence Applications for Business and Consumer Behavior on digital channels.

Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann

we should integrate the global risk interconnections map 2016 from the world economic forum - maybe after we have modeled it separately:
Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann replies Kai Neumann

now there is the differentiation between the different kinds of 3D printing with some first details we have to be aware of
Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann

Hi Miroslav
Sounds good. Please enhance the model.
Kai replies Kai Neumann

In our HS we have 3D printing splitted to 4 groups as private, industrial, medicinal printing and foodprinting. And there are overlaps in all categories.


Tricky. For climate change there is the wonderful collaborative model here:
Big question now what level of detail we want to model in this horizon scanning model. Guess if we see a concrete business potential, a change of security, culture etc., we should add details from the climate change model. But we shouldn't insert all of it unless we look at concrete effects on the well being. Well, imho

MaggerTheGreat replies Emma

I wondered if I should add that people in Greenland can grow more food? But on the other hand in other regions there might be less food. Less arctic ice leads to melt of perma frost land. This causes other problems for example in transport and leads to additional methane gas emission.

Emma replies MaggerTheGreat

First I wondered what that might add other than what climate change already adds to the model but than I realized what you have started to derive from this as an effect on transportation and oil exploitation. Cool! Are there more business opportunities coming with that?

MaggerTheGreat replies Susanne

We added the arctic sea ice.
Kai Neumann

Kai Neumann replies Emma

Great, Emma. I have just added 3D printing of organs though I am not happy with the direct connection between 3D printed goods and 3D printed organs. Maybe we should separate those two areas of 3D printing?


I have added a couple of factors to 3D printing and introduced new categories e.g. for "engineering", "chemistry", "products", and "needed invention", to allow for better filtering for professionals from different fields. I hope that suits?


Hi Magnus
You have edited the climate change impact. I, too, have added a few mainly social consequences of climate change. I bet there are more and the resulting business potentials could be put more explicit.

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