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Keynote Lectures

Keynote Lecture
Nikolaos Matsatsinis, Technical University of Crete, Greece

Keynote Lecture
David Ríos Insúa, ICMAT, Spain

Keynote Lecture
Ivana Ljubic, ESSEC Business School of Paris, France

What Strategic Planners Need to Know in the Age of Uncertainty
Yakov Ben-Haim, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Israel

 

Keynote Lecture

Nikolaos Matsatsinis
Technical University of Crete
Greece
 

Brief Bio
Available soon.


Abstract
Available soon.



 

 

Keynote Lecture

David Ríos Insúa
ICMAT
Spain
 

Brief Bio
Available soon.


Abstract
Available soon.



 

 

Keynote Lecture

Ivana Ljubic
ESSEC Business School of Paris
France
 

Brief Bio
Available soon.


Abstract
Available soon.



 

 

What Strategic Planners Need to Know in the Age of Uncertainty

Yakov Ben-Haim
Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Israel
 

Brief Bio
Prof. Yakov Ben-Haim initiated and developed info-gap decision theory for modeling and managing deep uncertainty. Info-gap theory is a decision-support tool, providing a methodology for assisting in assessment and selection of policy, strategy, action, or decision in a wide range of disciplines. Info-gap theory has impacted the fundamental understanding of uncertainty in human affairs, and is applied in decision making by scholars and practitioners around the world in engineering, biological conservation, economics, project management, climate change, natural hazard response, national security, medicine, and other areas (see info-gap.com). He has been a visiting scholar in many countries and has lectured at universities, technological and medical research institutions, public utilities and central banks. He has published more than 100 articles and 6 books. He is a professor of mechanical engineering and holds the Yitzhak Moda'i Chair in Technology and Economics at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology.


Abstract
Strategic planners need two distinct intellectual capabilities. First, extensive topical or disciplinary expertise, supported by a broad understanding of the world, is needed for dealing with complex subtleties of human affairs. Second, methodological expertise in decisions under uncertainty is needed for dealing with unique situations involving innovation, discovery, and surprise by friend or foe.
We employ info-gap decision theory, and the concept of robust-satisficing, in support of strategic planning. Examples from national security, economic forecasting, and project management are presented.
Three arguments support our claim.
First, this dichotomy of intellectual capabilities is based on the uniqueness of historical circumstance, which often induces unprecedented behavior. Each strategic planning situation has many unique attributes of culture, geography, technology, ideology, etc. E.g. Britain’s counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy in Malaya was, in many respects, quite different from its COIN in Northern Ireland, and both were different from British COIN in Kenya, Brunei, Malaysia, Radfan (Yemen) and Dhofar (in Oman). While there are generic aspects of all conflicts, historical distinctiveness and innovation are also characteristic. This makes the identification of useful concrete rules of strategy difficult. Thus, strategists need both profound understanding of human affairs and societies, and expertise in managing surprise and uncertainty.
The second argument for expertise in managing uncertainty is based on Shackle-Popper indeterminism (SPI), which will be discussed. SPI provides a generic epistemic framework for understanding historical idiosyncracy and the prevalence of non-probabilistic Knightian uncertainty.
The third argument is that consensus of analysts' assessments is demanded by decision makers, but pluralism of understanding is prevalent in complex uncertain environments. We propose nurturing plurality of assessment, and embedding those assessments in the analysis of robustness to uncertainty. Specifically, for any proposed policy, the analyst evaluates the robustness (of that policy) to uncertainty (plurality) of assessment. A more robust policy is preferred over a less robust policy. In order to do this, the analyst must have both topical expertise in the relevant disciplines, as well as decision-theoretic expertise in managing uncertainty.



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