Limitations of surprise-free methodologies
Inadequacy of methodologies to deal with discontinuities and random events
During the present century, each year has given rise to profound surprises forcing revision of conventional policies based on the best of human thinking.
Surprise-free forecasts are necessary, but insufficient, tools for efforts to improve the management of long-term interactions between development and the environment. By leaving out external shocks, nonlinear responses, and discontinuous behaviour so typical of social and natural systems, surprise free-analysis hinders efforts to interpret a host of not improbable eventualities.
The probability of surprises does not preclude the possibility of reasoned policy and planning. Certain leaders have demonstrated the skill to see inevitable trends and to plan ahead. It is not possible to plan for specific surprises, but it is possible to prepare for the unexpected.