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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: business » Do-It-Yourself (DIY) "wikiforesight" overtakes religion

version: 15 / updated: 2011-02-26
id: #1692 / version id: #1325
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Rafael Popper
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Last changed by: Rafael Popper
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Source of inspiration

Business groups/individuals (incl. reports, plans and statements)

The source of the Wild Card is

B&Q - http://www.diy.com


(max. 9 words)

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) "wikiforesight" overtakes religion


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
Personal futures planning toolkits with “success stories” (e.g. how-to guides and case studies from experts and celebrities) become widely available and used. Social movements emerge, with individuals and civil society groups making medium-to-long-term decisions aimed at shaping their future. Non-fatalistic and proactive attitudes towards change (also promoted in life-long learning programmes) lead to a global debate about the actual role and usefulness of traditional established religion and self-help groups. In effect, a new “do-it-yourself” (DIY) futures movement overtakes organised religious groups, though some are willing to adapt, assimilate, and offer new “brands” of such techniques themselves.


values, religion, attitude, foresight, society, planning, life-long-learning


(max. 250 characters)

Social technologies and “wikiforesight” enable people to discover and exploit future opportunities. Backed by leading celebrities and success stories, this spreads rapidly, powerfully challenging the role of religion in many people's lives.


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

Features of life if the wild card manifests

Feature 1: business models and industrial environment
Emergence of pay-as-you-go life-management systems.
Feature 2: education and research environment
More efforts to map and assess individuals' skills, competencies and potential.
Feature 3: consumers, markets and lifestyles
Global awareness of the power of futures planning increases people's role in shaping their lives through systematic formulation, implementation and evaluation of long-term visions. Society has less time for religion. Possible emergence of competing and conflicting lifestyles based on pursuit of goals of different sorts.
Feature 4: technology and infrastructure
Emergence of new software applications and devices (e.g. “FuturePads”) supporting professional and personal lives management.
Feature 5: politics and global affairs
Some countries might seek to prohibit or regulate use of such systems, or to shape them to conform to national objectives.
Feature 6: health and quality of life
Good health advice and awareness of long-term implications of current decisions might promote more healthy lifestyles. Huge implications for families, work, leisure and lifestyle, as well as the cultures which were held together with traditional faith-based religions.
Feature 7: security and defence
Scope to manipulate advice so as to influence politics and culture in other countries, which will not be overlooked by national security agencies.

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
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.
Post-religious society

Type of systems affected

Human-built Systems - E.g. organisations, processes, technologies, etc.




please specify:
please select
Level 3: important for the European Union
Level 4: important for the whole world

Early indicators

(including weak signals)

New ICT (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and television programmes (e.g. Britain's Got Talent, American Idol and the like) have made people "aware/believe" that, to be famous or become a celebrity, you only need a good marketing strategy/platform where you can openly show-off your most remarkable skill/competence. While the current "business model" has been designed to empower and encourage people to show their skills/talent to others, such an empowerment could also lead to a growing believe that people can really shape their future, thus leaving religious beliefs on the side.

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

cultural/religious filters (values, traditions, faith, spiritual beliefs)
political filters (party or ideological interests)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Collapse of a system
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)


The possible collapse of organised religion and the emergence of a post-religious society.

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
Social Growing individualism Growing self-promotion
Technological/Scientific Widespread use of Web 2.0 technologies
Economic Emergence of new business models promoting people's skills and competences
Values/Ethical/Cultural Growing celebrity culture

Potential impacts (risks & opportunities)

Timeframe options
Risks Opportunities
short term
(1 to 5 years after the Wild Card manifests)
More proactive and socially responsible citizens
long term
(more than 10 years after the Wild Card manifests)
End of organised religions as well as their social programmes (e.g. roman catholic schools)

Potential stakeholders' actions

it occurs
it occurs
Policy actors (at the international, European and national levels) Assessment on such a wild card's medium-to long-term implication in the education system
Business actors (incl. SMEs) Development of DIY futures products (manuals, software, etc) and services (pay-as-you-go future management services)

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Behavioural change
Coexistence and conflicts
Crime and terrorism
Ethics and abuse of S&T
Governance and trust in democracy
Social pathologies & ethics
Social exclusion & poverty
Social cohesion and diversity
Work-Life balance and mental health
Economic prosperity/dynamics
Innovation dynamics
Techno-security, hazard & risk

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities
Science in society

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

please justify:
particularly relevant
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
Strengthening the actors in the research-friendly ecology
(i.e. Research funding organisations, universities, businesses, Research and Technology Organisations, Researchers and Citizens)

Relevance for future R&D and STI policies

Note: RTD = research and technology development; STI = science, technology and innovation
Need for research on individual and family foresight. Scope for new portable personal advice systems (e.g. toys or jewellery that warn about consequences of specific choices) – requires more sophisticated tools for analysis of contexts and behaviours.