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Downloads

I've made my first novel, Ventus, available as a free download, as well as excerpts from two of the Virga books.  I am looking forward to putting up a number of short stories in the near future.

Complete novel:  Ventus

 

To celebrate the August, 2007 publication of Queen of Candesce, I decided to re-release my first novel as an eBook. You can download it from this page. Ventus was first published by Tor Books in 2000, and and you can still buy it; to everyone who would just like to sample my work, I hope you enjoy this version.

I've released this book under a Creative Commons license, which means you can read it and distribute it freely, but not make derivative works or sell it.

Book Excerpts:  Sun of Suns and Pirate Sun

I've made large tracts of these two Virga books available.  If you want to find out what the Virga universe is all about, you can check it out here:

Major Foresight Project:  Crisis in Zefra

In spring 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a dramatized future military scenario.  The book-length work, Crisis in Zefra, was set in a mythical African city-state, about 20 years in the future, and concerned a group of Canadian peacekeepers who are trying to ready the city for its first democratic vote while fighting an insurgency.  The project ran to 27,000 words and was published by the army as a bound paperback book.

If you'd like to read Crisis in Zefra, you can download it in PDF form.

Personal tools

Strategic Planning and Scenario-Based Forescasting

Strategic foresight is not about predicting the future, it's about resilience in the face of major surprises

A 1997 study by Royal Dutch Shell found that the average lifespan of a large company is about 50 years. Companies often fail at the height of their success because of a failure to anticipate or adapt to change. (How big was Kodak just 15 years ago?)

What is Foresight?

If you want to develop better strategic policies--ones that are more resilient in the face of unpredictable market or social changes--then I can help. The strategic planning methods I use can assist companies, governments and other organizations in building the kind of resilience that will allow them to weather unexpected shocks. This kind of foresight should be a component of all long-term corporate and governmental planning.

My Role

For ten years now I've been periodically engaged in doing foresight consulting, with clients such as the Canadian government and army; in Canada, some of our conference findings went straight to the Prime Minister's office, and in October 2014 I was invited to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to discuss future possibilities.  I can bring extensive experience in the following to your projects:

  • Scenario-based forecasting I have extensive experience with scenario-based strategic planning, going back ten years in my own private practice. This includes: 
    • Horizon scanning
    • Drivers analysis
    • Scenario development and writing
    • Back-casting
    • Wind-tunneling
    • Follow-through
  • Session facilitation, results capture and public presentation
  • I'm a good facilitator and speaker and have worked with diverse teams from government, industry and the military.  As part of this activity, I've become experienced with many aspects of scenario-based foresight, including:
    • Conference planning
    • Break-out session lead, results capture and summary
    • Public speaking, including giving keynote addresses
  • Writing, including preliminary scenarios and summary reports  My unique contribution is the ability to craft fictionalized dramatizations of foresight findings.  Examples of this include the 27,000 word Crisis in Zefra, as well as shorter pieces such as the story "Community".
  • Design of "serious games"  I've designed and overseen "red versus blue" scenarios involving future conflicts and future technologies, for instance wargaming potential threats for the Vancouver Olympics.  In 2014 I contributed to the latest World Bank Evoke online game design.

Master's Degree in Strategic Foresight

In October 2011 I was awarded the degree of Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University (our building was recently hailed as one of the 13 "strangest buildings in the world" by TravelandLeisure.com).  This formalized my skills and experience in an area where I already did a good deal of work. My Major Project was the design of a technique within the general methodology of scenario development. The project is entitled Fiction as Foresight: Presenting Foresight Findings as Fiction, and is about the use of storytelling to highlight, synthesize or present the findings of some given foresight activity. (This makes it an activity distinct, for instance, from Brian David Johnson's notion of science fiction prototyping.) Copies of my formal report are available upon request.

OCAD

Features of this site

I've designed this part of the website to feature this aspect of my work.  I've also chosen Plone as my website technology because it allows me to create secure sub-sites that clients can use to set up their workspaces.  I've done this in the past--in 2006 with the Prospective Protective Futures workshops, for instance, where we used a subsite of mine to develop the conference material and agenda.  This time around, I can provide many more features and services for such activities.

 

 

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