Journal of Futures Studies

Was It a Wild Card or Just Our Blindness to Gradual Change?

by Elina Hiltunen

ABSTRACT

This paper examines the different definitions of the term wild card. Most often the wild card is defined as a surprising event that has significant consequences. In the literature the examples labelled as wild cards do not always meet this definition. I have divided changes into two categories according to the rapidity of the change taking place: wild cards and gradual changes. By looking at the examples of wild cards in the literature, I found that a large number of them are actually gradual changes. This paper also clarifies the difference between wild cards and weak signals, which are sometimes considered synonymous. Weak signals are a means of avoiding blindness to gradual changes and wild cards in advance.(continue…)

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Journal of Futures Studies

Tamkang University, Tamsui Campus
Taipei, Taiwan 251
Tel: 886 2-2621-5656 ext. 3001
Fax: 886 2-2629-6440

ISSN 1027-6084