FORESIGHT IN BUSINESS & SOCIETY
HOMEWORK: SCANNING POSTS
Scanning is a necessary discipline for foresight, and the Foresight in Business and Society course will
challenge you to develop and apply this discipline during the semester. You will be asked to scan for and
analyze signals of change that are relevant to your team project topic and assess the implications for the
future of your topic domain. Furthermore, you will be asked to comment on the scanning hits of others in
class, expanding on the critical assessment of the hit and offering implications relevant to your project
topic. Electronic postings are to be made on ________________________________.
This assignment is worth a total of 60 homework points, allocated across three rounds of entries worth 20
points each. Deadlines for the three rounds of postings are as follows:
Round 1 – Original Scanning Hit
_______________ @ Noon
Round 2 – Response to Posted Hit
_______________ @ 11:59 PM
Round 3 – Original Scanning Hit
_______________ @ Noon
A scanning core competency relies on a discipline of seeking and capturing weak signals as they are
occurring, so scan continuously to capture signals early. Scanning posts will be discussed occasionally in
class, so be prepared to discuss your scanning hits.
Each original Scanning Hit post (Round 1 and Round 3) should follow this format:
 Subject = “Title of article” (author & source)
 Message should include
o URL - link to on-line version of article or a complete citation;
o Summary of the signal (Scanning Hit)
o Categorize the type of Scanning Hit
 Evidence of Linear/Continuous Change
 An Event that may cause a Temporary (~ 1 yr) Disruption
 An Event that may cause a Permanent/Structural Disruption
 Leading Indicator (weak signal) of a disruptive innovation (new S-Curve)
 Example of an Unexpected Consequence of Change
 Example of an Initiative to SHAPE change
 Example of an initiative to ADAPT to change
o Assessment of the source and evidence offered;
 Discuss (critique) the expertise and objectivity of the source. Use foresight
techniques to validate and/or strengthen as appropriate.
 Critique the evidence provided, including relevant consideration of contrary
evidence (perhaps from other sources), assumptions and contrary assumptions.
o Discuss the IMPLICATIONS for business as they relate to your project topic – what
opportunities might emerge (or fade) as a result of this news?
© 2013 University of Notre Dame. All rights reserved. This document may not be duplicated, distributed
or excerpted without the University’s advance written consent.
FORESIGHT IN BUSINESS & SOCIETY
Round 2 calls for a Response to a Posted Scanning Hit. For this round, you should:
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Select a scanning post from your section but not from a class member on your team and create a
reply.
Identify your topic and question domain by providing a few words to categorize and describe
your research question.
Discuss how this post poses implications for your project topic.
Provide additional scanned content and/or evidence. Document with author name, article title,
periodical name, and date. Also include the URL.
Briefly describe the new scanning hit. Discuss how it relates to the post you are replying to, for
example offering confirming or contrary evidence, or further informing uncertainty and debate, or
providing a new but related perspective or framework.
Finally, offer alternative or additional implications on the new scanning hit, especially in regard
to implications for the topic domain of your foresight project.
How to access the discussion thread, create new posts, comment on posts:
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Discussion threads are accessed via ___________________________________.
Choose the discussion thread for your class section.
To create an ORIGINAL posting, click “Create Message” and follow the guidelines shown above
to add all relevant information on the Scanning Hit.
o Subject: “Title of article” (author and source)
o Message content:
 Link and/or citation
 Summary of scanning hit
 Categorization of type of scanning hit
 Assessment of source and evidence
 Implications for business
o Message content should be ~250-350 words
To create a new RESPONSE:
o Review the list of existing messages and click on your selection
o Click “Reply” and add your comments as outlined above
 Critique of scanning hit, source, or evidence
 Additional evidence and/or scanned content
 Discussion of relevance and implications for your project topic
 Additional sources, links, citations
o Response content should be ~250-350 words
© 2013 University of Notre Dame. All rights reserved. This document may not be duplicated, distributed
or excerpted without the University’s advance written consent.
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Scanning Posts-Assignment - University of Notre Dame