The Futures Polygon Development

  • Antonio Pacinelli


The idea of the Futures Polygon (FP) stemmed from reading about the Futures Wheel (FW) (Glenn, Futures Research Methodology. Washington, DC, 1994) and realizing that the FW lacked the concept of evaluating the likelihood of the forecasted impacts, indispensable in exploring the future. Two complementary problem areas emerge from the FW approach: the evaluation of the probability of an “impact scenario” generated by the FW; the determination of a “realistic temporal horizon” for the results of the FW. The FW stimulate more questions: What is the probability that the plausible events have to happen within a certain temporal horizon? How many years does the system require to register a first reaction to the impact? How many years does the impact intensity require to get to its maximum? How long does the impact last? What is the impact consolidation level? (as in Gordon’s Trend Impact Analysis, 1994). With the FP you try to answer the previous questions. The main issue of the method proposed in this chapter derives from the use of subjective probability and, in particular, of the conditional probability. The subjectivists believe that the probability is “the degree of confidence that a coherent individual attaches to the occurrence of an event” (De Finetti, Annales de l’Institut Henri Poincaré 7:1–68, 1937).


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Pacinelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Legal and Social Sciences“G. d’Annunzio University”Chieti-PescaraItaly

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