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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: FP7 » Collapse of European Transport System

version: 4 / updated: 2011-01-27
id: #1525 / version id: #572
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Cornelia Daheim
List of all contributors by versions (mouse over)
Last changed by: Sivert von Saldern
WI-WE status:

Source of inspiration

European Commission Framework Programme for RTD (FP7)

Theme/activity of inspiration

Theme 7 - Transport (including aeronautics)

Sub-theme/area of inspiration

AAT: Increasing time efficiency

Uploaded reports, images or pictures related to the Wild Card

File name File type File size
Collapse_Transport.jpg image 135838 open


(max. 9 words)

Collapse of European Transport System


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
The increasing dependence of travelers and logistics - particularly freight traffic by road - on electronic route optimisation creates an overload in the system. A breakdown of the European transportation network ensues and impairs supply chains for industrial and commercial goods.


Collapse, Logistics, Transportation System, Electronic Route Optimisation, Travelers


(max. 250 characters)

The increasing dependence of travelers and logistics - particularly freight traffic by road - on electronic route optimisation creates an overload in the system. A breakdown of the European transportation network ensues and impairs supply chains.


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 3: consumers, markets and lifestyles
Due the collapse of supply chains, the timely distribution of essential goods and services might no longer be guaranteed.
Feature 6: health and quality of life
The collapse of the European transport system might have disastrous impacts on health care, particularly on the punctuality of urgent transportations of organs and ambulance services.

Type of event

Unplanned consequence of events/trends/situations (e.g. financial crisis, accidental breakthrough)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
An extreme extension of a trend/development/situation
(e.g. Increased global warming leads to a total ban on fossil fuels)

Type of systems affected





please specify:
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

One weak signal might be the increase of interferences in telecommunication networks.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
economic filters (business/market interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably enclosed way (e.g. geographically, sectorally)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Transformation of a system (e.g. new applications, change in stakeholders relations/influence)

Key drivers or triggers

Provide up to 2 possible drivers or triggers of HIGH importance. Click on HELP to see examples:
please describe
Driver / Trigger 1
please describe
Driver / Trigger 2
Technological/Scientific An ever increasing number of technical devices and car electronics such as GPS systems and driver assistance systems are used in all sorts of vehicles.
Economic The economy actually makes assiduous efforts to increase time efficiency by the application of electronic devices and IT.

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
(within 1 year after the Wild Card manifests)
Supply chains might be impaired and basic provision of food and medicals might be disabled.
medium term
(5 to 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
New and more reliable technologies might be developed.

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Business actors (incl. SMEs) Business actors such as telecommunication companies might invest more money in reliable networks and devices.

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change
Crime and terrorism
Food security and diet
Economic prosperity/dynamics

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
ICT - Information & communication technologies
Transport (including aeronautics)

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Developing and funding world-class research infrastructures
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Overcoming sub-criticality and systemic failures
To be subcritical means that the effort in a particular field or subfield lacks resources, equipment or a sufficient number of researchers to achieve a desired goal
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Data Backup systems, which allow full and rapid data recovery in case the wild card emerged, are needed. Additionally, resilient electronic networks and data processing technologies have to be developed.