Effect seeks to anticipate the future by counting observed scan hits over time to produce a Sigmoid curve that shows the rate of adoption of an Issue.

Uses of the method

  • Horizon scanning


  • Early anticipation of growing signals of emerging change
  • Early anticipation of falling signal of declining change
  • Quick notation for categorizing change and its rate of change


  • Issues are not static
  • Overly simplistic
  • Over reliance on analyst judgment

Steps to complete

  • Set up Indicators for the years you wish to study
  • Ask participants to rate each Indicator for the current year. Previous years can also be rated if required.
  • Repeat this as each year rolls by
  • Save your ratings after completing each year and switch to the next year if required
  • Then click Average or Show results to see your aggregated analysis
  • Discuss the findings with participants and capture thoughts in the Forum
  • Determine the fixed elements (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture critical variables i.e. uncertainties, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.

'History' can be shared with others or kept private using the 'Visible to' fields and through the 'tag', 'report', 'share'', 'link and 'comment' functionality. Use 'tag' and/or 'report' to aggregate your analyzes, 'share' with others via email, Facebook and Twitter etc. or add a 'comment' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Further reference

The S curve was first studied by Gabriel Tarde, a French sociologist in 1890 as an innovation model. Its representation here as a foresight tool was first proposed by Graham T.T Molitor.

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

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