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Every organization faces the problem of an uncertain future, perhaps an extremely uncertain future. Extreme events (“X-events”) dramatically impact a business, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. X-Event Dynamics aims to help the managers of such organizations more deeply understand the X-events that threaten them. Moreover, X-Event Dynamics provides tools for anticipating when these X-events are likely to occur, and most importantly, to offer methodology for managing their organization today in order to not only survive, but possibly even benefit, from X-Events.

Do you wonder what is an X-event?
Do you want to know how to anticipate and manage such game-changing unexpected events?
If so, have a look at this short video.

By extreme events (“X-events”), we mean those events that are rare, surprising and have high impact (usually negative). These include global financial panics, major disruption to existing business ecosystems, a worldwide pandemic, a nuclear exchange, cost of money in Europe or the collapse of the European Union. The mission of XED is to help our clients understand, anticipate and manage the set of extreme events they are currently grappling with. As an example, if you are a re-insurer concerned with earthquakes in California, XED can offer a simulation of your industry helping you manage your firm today so as to not only survive such an X-event, but actually benefit from it.

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Who Can We Assist?

The target clientele of XED is any corporate, governmental or even individual entity concerned with the issue of how to not only survive an X-event, but also what actions they should be taking today to be not only a survivor of such an extreme event but a potential beneficiary of an extreme change in their operating environment. XED is addressing the following types of Customer Concerns.

TOOLS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND, ANTICIPATE  AND MANAGE  X-EVENTS

The X-World Simulator addresses the question of understanding how a given X-event will impact the activities of an organization, such as a company within an industry or a government organization within a state structure. The Simulator does this  by in effect creating the world of the organization inside the computer. So, in effect, that “would-be world” becomes a laboratory for doing controlled, repeatable experiments that cannot be performed in the real world.

The management decisions interact in the virtual world with their competitor’s actions and the actions of the environment. At a particular point in time, an X-Event under consideration is then dropped into the virtual world and the simulator works out how that event impacts all the players. So, in effect, the simulator is essentially a computer game, with the players being the target organization and those other organizations in its operating environment.

So we see that the X-World Simulator allows the players to experiment with different operating strategies, in order to determine those actions that can be taken today to ensure the target firm not only survives the X-event, but conceivably even benefits from it.

This tool regards a given organization (company, agency, state, or otherwise) as a node connected to other such nodes in a network. Information, products, money and/or other goods flow through the nodes of the network. The tool allows expert-driven scenarios as well as machine-generated X-events to reveal potential risks and benefits for each node and the network overall.  The decisions of the management of each node impact what flows in and out from that node and how successful the node becomes as a member of the network. In addition, the environment outside the network also dynamically impacts the flow of goods through the network. X-events can hit nodes and/or links of the network at some random or predetermined point, and the effect percolating through the network over the course of time is simulated.

As with the X-World Simulator, this network view of the overall system offers valuable information to the participants managing each node as to how that X-event can affect their node and for how long.

Every event, X- or otherwise, is a combination of two factors: a context that sets the economic, political, social and other aspects of the environment within which the event occurs, and a random trigger that picks the event that actually occurs from the set of all possible events consistent with the context. Here we assume that the random trigger is, in fact, totally random in the sense that we have no ability to identify it prior to its occurrence. As a result, it is simply not possible to “predict” the specifics of an X-event in the sense that we can predict planetary positions or other such phenomena in nature. So The X-events Index focuses on forecasting the change of context, thus allowing us to at least anticipate an X-event, if not actually predict it.

XED has identified the two main drivers of a change of context are the social mood of the populace in the domain (geographic, cyberspace or otherwise) of the event, and the complexity levels of the systems in interaction giving rise to the X-event in question. Each of these drivers is dynamically changing, which in turn creates a continually shifting context. Without going into details here, suffice it to say that XED has developed tools for measuring both of these drivers. When the drivers reach critical levels determined by historical analyses, we can anticipate that an X-event is becoming ever more likely. This identification of when the context reaches critical levels is the basis of the X-Event Index.

The X-Event Bulletin: A monthly publication focusing on half a dozen global X-Events. Each month the Bulletin will review the status of these particular X-events, determining any new early-warning signals that would suggest the event is increasingly or decreasingly likely from the level of the previous month. These determinations will be generated by perceived changes in the social mood and complexity gaps relevant for each X-event. Also, the account of each X-event will contain editorial discussion of why the likelihood of that X-event has changed, along with any new implications that have arisen for the impact of the X-event should it occur.

X-Erius Gaming: X-Events Dynamics has a line of serious games for professionals. These games are simplified versions of the X-World Simulator designed to provide a serious introduction to management of X-Events. X-Erius Games are affordable and available to a wide audience.

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PUBLICATIONS

X-Events The Collapse of Everything

John Casti, X-Events: The Collapse of Everything, (HarperCollins, New York, 2012)

This is a book about outlier events, those surprises that are complementary to everything that takes place in what we will call the “normal” region.

Confronting Complexity

John Casti, Roger Jones, and Michael Pennock, Confronting Complexity: X-Events, Resilience, and Human Progress, (TheX-Press, Vienna, 2016)

We imagine the reader to be a person who wants to intelligently manage his or her actions and behaviors in the midst of an X-event—in short, to manage an organization in chaos.

Mood Matters

John Casti, Mood Matters: From Rising Skirt Lengths to the Collapse of World Powers, (Copernicus, New York, 2010)

In short, events don’t matter, at least insofar as what causes a group to feel one way and not another about its prospects for the future.

“I am an assiduous reader of John Casti’s books. He is a real scientific intellectual.” —Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, New York Times

“Casti provides thought-provoking speculation on the future of civilization.” —Kirkus Reviews

Book:X-Events, Kirkus Reviews

“One of America’s greatest pioneers of simulation, Casti has spent his career trying to simulate the real world in the virtual one – from games theory to traffic simulation and even insect infestations.” —London Times

Book:X-Events, London Times

“Casti is at his best in presenting difficult philosophical ideas enthusiastically and lucidly, and in presenting everyday examples to illustrate them… Entertaining and absorbing.” —New York Times Book Review

Book:X-Events, New York Times Book Review