Monday, 6 February 2012

Wikistrat and fracking

As the more eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed I have recently joined Wikistrat's community of analysts. Special thanks go to Mark Safranski of ZenPundit fame and Tom Barnett (who likely needs no introduction to regular readers) who were kind enough to raise this on their respective blogs and (amongst others) have made me very welcome within the community.

The emphasis of what I'll be talking about on there will be energy, technology along with Russia and Central Asia, although I'm thoroughly looking forward to getting involved in the broad ranging discussions which take place on the Wikistrat platform. Currently running is a simulation on the future of fracking, with an emphasis of its likely impact on North America. Described thusly by Dr Barnett:
For now, we tee up the first of about a half-dozen major sims that will explore the drivers of a particular future world order that I became intrigued with as a result of last summer's Wikistrat Grand Strategy Competition. To me, how the NorthAm energy boom (question mark suggests nothing in this world is a given) unfolds is one of the major global uncertainties. North America can get it right or wrong on a host of levels, and since we're the inventors of these fracking revolution, the QWERTY effect would be huge, triggering a host of possible future pathways from fabulous to self-desructively nasty in terms of the environment and/or whether or not this great gift becomes an excuse for bad geostrategic choices by the U.S., China, Europe, Brazil, India, Russia - the big six we're focusing on here. You can say, it's a simple projection: it works or it doesn't. But the secondary and tertiary pathways that are revealed in this two stage process (NorthAm leads, others follow or ignore) are varied and immense in their capacity to make global stability better or worse.
Crowd sourcing a discussion around such a complex and difficult set of issues is a thoroughly novel way to do it, with many opportunities to both develop your own thoughts, as well as help others find the strengths and weaknesses in their own work. For those interested in some of the top line findings the Wikistrat Twitter feed is posting at least a couple of thoughts a day.

I look forward to posting more about the community as public pieces of work become avaliable.
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