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Tags: foresight

What Next? An 'Office of Strategic Foresight' Could Help

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By Thursday, 25 June 2020 11:42 AM Current | Bio | Archive

What if this time last year groups of 10 or a dozen of us had been sitting around some conference room speculating about what was coming down the pike in the next while for ourselves and our fellow citizens? The groups, perhaps five of them for a total of about 50 or so people, would be specialized in various disciplines such as Energy, Creative, Engineering, Analysis, Defense, Technology and, of course, Health.

The only rules for the meetings would be that nothing, no thought or suggestion, could be deemed too outlandish. Nothing could be censored. No one could say to another, or even whisper under their breath, that so-and-so's idea, conjecture, projection was too far-fetched, too 'Bizarro World', to ever even be considered to be within the bounds of possible reality.

In other words, if this time last year we had had an Office of Strategic Foresight working in support of our nation, would we ever have found ourselves in the situation we have been in this past winter and spring?

Possibly not.

Imagine if an equally weighted group of conservatives and liberals and independents and centrists had been hanging out with each other last year at about this time discussing the then wildly popular (among Millennials) gaming app called Pandemic? And if, adhering to the rules of the group, they took that scenario and actually accepted it as plausible and then followed that thread to the end of its line, as you would, say, when writing a screenplay. Would we have had a national lockdown, a health crisis and an economic emergency?

Would we have had so many deaths?

With all the group-think and thought censorship going on these days in our society, creating a forum in which top minds in their fields are not just encouraged, but required, to think through their wildest imaginings and then communicate those with the rest of us, could be a saving grace.

Because if, say 10-plus years ago, someone would have gone on air, for example during the Walter Cronkite era, and told us that one day in America people would be praised for toppling statues of Christopher Columbus, that national ball players paid millions of dollars thanks to the local fans of national sports leagues would be hailed as demigods for spurning the American flag, that major capital cities in America would be under threat of occupation by lawless anarchists, surely that person would have been labeled nuts. And yet, here we are, aren't we?

So, please, consider this a call for the implementation of a national brain trust under the heading "Office of Strategic Foresight." Because I don't believe that our nation, nor our current or future generations, can afford not to.

What could be our first task at this Office of Strategic Foresight? What about taking a closer look at the fact that the Chinese Government is the first to roll out an official digital currency called the e-RMB. What does this mean for everyone else still operating and doing business with the not-so-Almighty Dollar? This quote could give us a starting point in developing possible scenarios: "A sovereign digital currency provides a functional alternative to the dollar settlement system and blunts the impact of any sanctions or threats of exclusion both at a country and company level," a China Daily report said.

What next?

How about prompting the Big Pharma companies, ones like Johnson & Johnson, Gilead and Sanofi who are putting all their muscle behind developing a COVID-19 vaccine, to start thinking about vaccines for the virus' mutations, which surely will follow? We could at least ask them, couldn't we? For example, such as what Inovio Pharmaceuticals has done in its adaptation of vaccines for MERS (Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome). From Scientific American, "Several years ago it (Inovio Pharmaceuticals) launched clinical trials targeting spike proteins of a different coronavirus disease called Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). According to chief executive officer Joseph Kim, the antibody levels in vaccinated people "are as good or better than those we see in blood samples from people who [naturally] recovered from MERS." The company adapted its platform — the plasmid and means for testing it —to make a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2."

Wouldn't it be nice to think that once all the ice caps had melted we would at least have a vaccine for the next coronavirus mutation stockpiled and ready for mass distribution? You know, just in case.

Paige Donner has contributed to Newsmax since 2018. She's a media expert, commentator, novelist, and serial entrepreneur. She founded the company, Paris Food And Wine in 2013. In 2018, she founded IoTShipping, a supply chain logistics startup that uses the Internet of Things (IoT) for precision traceability of shipped goods. Paige began her journalism career in Paris, France in 1990. Her first job out of university was with Time-Life's rue Fbg. St. Honore offices. Within the next two years, she took freelancing work as a copy editor for the International Herald Tribune, now re-branded the International New York Times, as well as writing assignments for Variety — the film and television trade magazine. Paige has also clerked for the Senate President of the Hawaii State Legislature. A filmmaker, she has written several television pilots as well as directed television commercials and film shorts. She also contributed to American Cinematographer, the Los Angeles Times, Daily Variety, Huffpost, and a film production trade magazine, Below The Line. As of 2010, Paige has again made Paris, France her home. She has also written for the International New York Times. Since 2013, she has been the sole regular local editor/photographer contributor based in Paris, France for USA Today. Read Paige Donner's Reports — More Here.

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What if this time last year groups of 10 or a dozen of us had been sitting around some conference room speculating about what was coming down the pike?
Thursday, 25 June 2020 11:42 AM
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