4 Human Sources Stream: Starting Interview Round 36
5 Recorded Sources Stream: Identifying Emerging and Fading Terms 48 6 Conclusions 78
7 Appendix A – Raw Report - “Naive Method” Conference Abstracts 82
8 References 117
When talking about forecasting and about future studies the term “weak signals” (with its implication of being able to identify the very first signs that something will becomes significant, like a change of paradigm or technology in TEL) is recurrently mentioned but although there is already a history of weak signal collection the definition as well as the methodology to be used is somewhat unclear.
“Weak Signals” is a rather fashionable term used in parts of the future-watching community, although it is an ill-defined term as evidenced by the lack of a specific entry in Wikipedia. There is an air of mystique and magic about Weak Signals Analysis.
On the one hand, the importance of collecting weak signals seems very convincing as it allows businesses or fields of research for detecting opportunities that are not mainstream yet and thus give the organisation the chance to be ahead of others. On the other hand, scepticism arises from the difficulties to define the term besides other challenges weak signal research has to face.
The aim of this document is to clarify our understanding of Weak signals in the context of TEL and to define a methodology and a plan how to capture these signals from variety of sources. The approach undertaken as well as the results will support the roadmapping of TEL stakeholders in the TEL-Map roadmapping activities. In the context of TEL-Map, weak signals are being identified through three approaches (described in chapter 3). The approaches include:
Analysis of influence networks
First results are included for the first two approaches in this deliverable. The third approach of influence networks analysis will be studied further in WP4 while this deliverable demonstrates how this approach has been applied in a different domain.
The structure of the document is the following. Chapter 2 describes our understanding of Weak signals. Chapter 3 describes the methodology (the three approaches mentioned previously) for capturing weak signals. Chapters 4 and 5 introduce the main approaches for capturing these signals. Finally chapter 6 summarizes and compares the initial results of the weak signals collection process.