Workshops and Seminars


Strategic Intelligence Analysis in a Complex World

                 a workshop for intelligence analysts


Format is customized to meet client needs .


Workshop Description 

The national security challenges we face today and those we’ll confront in the future require new ways of thinking about and understanding the complex, interconnected and rapidly changing world in which we live and work. Complexity science provides a new theory-driven framework for thinking about, understanding and influencing the dynamics of complex systems, issues and emerging situations.

This course will provide participants with a practical introduction to the essential concepts and insights arising from complex systems research. Special emphasis will be placed on the concepts, principles and tools most immediately relevant to analytic methodology and the challenges of developing insight and foresight in dynamic situations where information is incomplete or just emerging. One of the unique aspects of this course is that it will use complexity to examine and enhance the tools and techniques used by four different but related areas to develop foresight about the future: futures research, intelligence analysis, strategic thinking and planning, and policy development.

Concepts to be discussed include: chaos, complexity, nonlinearity, sensitive dependence on initial conditions, interdependence, emergence, self-organization, pattern-formation, adaptation, attractors, evolution, cooperation and competition, landscapes, networks, bifurcations and phase transitions, scaling, visual thinking and sense-making. Skills to be developed include big picture and visual thinking, pattern-recognition and synthetic abilities. Tools to be explored include: agent-based modeling, landscape visualization and FutureScape®. Depending on the format, a combination of these methods will be used: concept presentations, discussions, exercises in visual thinking and visual communications, small group exercises, expert panels, field visits, case examinations, readings and web explorations, integration and experimentation exercises, and the development of evaluation criteria.

The overarching goal or desired outcome for this course is to produce tangible improvements in the analytic process and its products. This course has been used successfully by key agencies in the intelligence community. Additional information upon request. Contact T. Irene Sanders, 202.429.3733.



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