Hunt Lab Future Scenarios Linchpin Project
Congratulations, if you are viewing this page, it is because you have been invited to participate in the the Hunt Lab’s Future Scenarios Linchpins Project.
The Hunt Lab is conducting research into the way teams collaboratively reason about a wide range of problems broadly related to intelligence and/or national security. In this exercise, we are specifically interested in how teams reason about hypothetical future conflict scenarios.
In this exercise, teams will compete to produce well reasoned ‘backcasting‘ reports. Backcasting is a type of scenario method based on the work of John B. Robinson in his article Futures Under Glass (1990), for example. The teams will be presented with 4 future scenarios over 4 weeks. Each scenario will take place at least 10 years in the future and will involve some aspect with direct relevance to Australian national security. Teams will be presented with such scenarios, and will then reason ‘back’ from this scenario to establish a plausible pathway from the current situation to that future scenario. The reasoning includes identifying major “linchpin’ events that would need to take place between now and then for the scenario to occur. One of the main problems in thinking about the future is “incremental thinking” which tends to anchor too much on the current situation. By presenting end situations that are very different (even extreme) compared to the current situation and asking for plausible pathways to that future, backcasting helps to overcome this bias.