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NDC - News-What if…? 12 Dragon King scenarios for 2028

What if…? 12 Dragon King scenarios for 2028

  • 22 Mar. 2024
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  • Last updated: 22 Mar. 2024 13:48

Insight 1-2024

Introduction to The Dragon’s King’s edition

Whenever something surprising happens, we have the urge to head to the foresight zoo. On the right we have the Black Swans1 – big events we couldn’t even imagine to happen – and on the left are the Grey Rhinos2 – big events we saw coming, but decided to ignore anyway. But one animal has gotten little attention: the Dragon King.3

This is not some side character in Game of Thrones, but an event that is very unique (“a dragon”) and large in size or effect (a “king”). In contrast to the Black Swan, a Dragon King is imaginable and therefore to some, even if minor, extent, predictable. This makes the Dragon King a more operational, and therefore useful, concept than the Black Swan because a Dragon King surmises that surprise can be reduced if we use imagination, careful causal thinking, and of course, we monitor the area where we think it could materialize.

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* (back) Director of the Research Division at the NATO Defense College

1 (back)  Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Random House Publishing Group: 2010).

2 (back)  Michele Wucker, The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore (New York, St. Martin’s Press: 2016).

3 (back)  Didier Sornette & Guy Ouillon, “Dragon-Kings: Mechanisms, Statistical Methods and Empirical Evidence,” The European Physical Journal, Special Topics, 205.1 (2012): 1–26.

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