Posted tagged ‘forecasting’


March 21, 2010

Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza

[08 January 2010]

The social forecaster J. Naisbitt, among the sharpest observers of cultural innovations worldwide, declared in his book Megatrends Asia that the ‘Asian dream’ is the global dream of the moment.
Realizing this gigantic power shift, Naisbitt challenged the youth of the West to “go East!”

If we were to localize the global trend of ‘Asian Dream’, we can find this in the capsule term ‘Philippine Dream’. This is the dream of any struggling child to live a future of abundance, a dream that was once championed in America (‘American dream’) but which has been lost along the way, a dream that has found root finally in our own motherland.

My contention is that, if the Philippine state would refurbish its nauseating image as a ‘weak state’, it would find a fresh start in electing a president who is an embodiment of the ‘Philippine dream’. Luck of all luck, the Nacionalista Party’s own top leader, Manny Villar, fits squarely into this ‘Philippine Dream’ mold.

The Manny Villar narrative is practically saying to our compatriots that nobody has to leave the country for overseas job in order to live abundance in everyday life. Stake it out in the country, live to learn well, be daring to be innovative and pioneering, and one will rise like a phoenix from the ashes of poverty.

Do not wait for opportunities to drop from the sky like ripe guavas descending on the mouth of a proverbial Juan Tamad. Build the opportunities, and be daring to re-engineer yourself in the process to keep on bringing you up to the next level of success.

Such is the sterling truth exemplified by the Villar narrative, which is indeed splendidly impressive and worth a plethora of accolades. Only Villar fits this mold among the couples of presidential candidates, most of whom are the typical coño kids who treat the poor folks as utilitarian objects for vote-gathering purposes. Not only did Villar soil his hands in creating opportunities for housing and urban development, he was also among those noblesse legislators who built enabling measures to widen the latitudes of social equity and economic prosperity. And yet no coño kid is he amid his abundant life!

I remember the coño kids on campus as highly scorned spoiled brats who are in the university largely to display wealth and who condescendingly regard their schoolmates as lizards and rats. A few of them did I make friends with, those who can be remolded to a life of social relevance, even as I was among those self-supporting students (I was a full scholar) and grew as a militant activist. Well immersed among fellow intellectuals, I only had but expletives reserved for the coños.

Today I am among those who ask: what right has a coño to be president of the republic? A person who grew up in a mansion and couldn’t soil his hands in work deserves to be a leader of colonial era government, and such an era is long gone!

I would ask the same for a vice-president: what right has a coño to be vice-president of the country? Isn’t Loren Legarda, who now teams up with Manny Villar, the most fit for the job since she embodies the ‘Philippine dream’ and all the sterling qualities of a talented and competent Pinoy who has risen from the hovels and lead a prosperous life?

An emerging market such as the Philippines has most to gain from electing highly competent top officials who embody the ‘Philippine dream’ and/or ‘Asian dream’. Conversely, it would be disastrous to elect Inquisitionist coño kids who in fact are mere smokescreens for crocodiles.

I am a firm believer in the ‘Philippine dream’ or ‘Asian dream’, and I go for a Villar-Legarda team for 2010.


March 21, 2010


By: Prof. Erle Frayne D. Argonza
Development Center for Asia Africa Pacific
[11 December 2009]


This political economist and social forecaster foresees an eventual presidential victory for Manny Villar in the 2010 national polls. The forecast is based on the observations concerning the weaknesses of the other candidates. Most observable weaknesses of the Noynoy Team, as per information from within, buttress this forecast most of all. The popularity of Noynoy Aquino is merely transitory, even as voters will eventually choose Villar whose strengths are his very cutting edge for victory.


Prior to the filing of COCs by the presidential candidates, the four (4) strongest contenders to the presidency were (in alphabetical order): Aquino, Escudero, Estrada, and Villar. To be considered a strong contender, a candidate must first exceed the minimum statistic of 8.5% (level of significance). A double-digit means the candidate’s public standing is very significant (notably 20% and above).

Public perceptions do change, and change so rapidly depending on prevailing circumstances. Before the filing of COCs yet, Sen. Escudero already pronounced his retreat from the presidential contest, thus rendering his supporters at a lost as to whom they should cast their lot on. Meanwhile, one can also see the decline of Aquino’s rating from a top of 60% to a recent 47%, evidence of short-term perceptual change.

The current situation points to the high level of indecision on the part of voters. Based on impressionistic information from the ground, voters who previously went for Aquino have already shifted to Villar. It is most likely that those who chose Escudero will go for Villar, assuming that the proper social marketing strategies and public projection are in place and operational on sustained basis.

It will take till the end of April yet for 90% of voters to firm up their choices, and another month later for the rest of the 10% of undecided to firm up theirs. By projecting the weaknesses of the Noynoy Team onwards throughout the campaign, it is possible that the tide will turn back for Villar even before the end of April, thus ensuring Villar’s victory.


A fractious team comprising of fragments of hardly unconsolidated factions is what characterizes the 1st layer of persons and groups surrounding Noynoy. Practically caught flat-footed by the upsurge of popular clamor for his presidency, Noynoy was so unprepared for the challenge, and ditto was his party. As of late November, Noynoy’s platform couldn’t be ironed out yet, precisely because the factions of experts and partisans who were tasked to produce each aspect of the agenda couldn’t see each other eye to eye.

Fractious and fragmentary indeed are these groups, that Noynoy is hardly in a position to get them to act together. A man unprepared for the presidential mission is likewise bereft of that credibility to call the shots within his backyard during a presidential derby. Unable to call the shots well, Noynoy is likened to Erap Estrada who was also regarded as a mere pawn by entrenched interest groups.

Finally, Noynoy’s platform was released in early December. But so glaring is the hodge-podge nature of the platform. The statements are mere motherhood statements comprising of lines that were already said time and again, providing no innovative thought about the huge challenges of solving poverty, attaining full employment, achieving fiscal balance, and getting the country closer to a 1st world economy by mid-2016 (or attain ‘development maturity’).

Till these days, volunteers are having a tough time getting through the Noynoy campaign lines. To be able to get inside, a volunteer has to study first the diverse groups comprising the pro-Noynoy forces, identify which group could be most friendly to the volunteer, and then finally decide to join. This tedious and circuitous process will drag down the Noynoy campaign altogether, and will prove disastrous during the middle of the campaign period. Lacking a solid machinery, the campaign will flounder, causing much chagrin on insiders. A chaotic campaign it will be, which will prove catastrophic in terms of securing voters’ fidelity and finality of choice.

Furthermore, the platform of Noynoy is so focused on domestic policy, with nary a statement about foreign policy. This expert is of the opinion that the ASEAN integration, which will happen during the next presidency’s incumbency, is a gigantic event for the nation and its neighbors, so that we can ill afford to be lackadaisical about it as a central feature of our foreign policy. The ASEAN integration is one that should be led by the Philippines no less, being the most credible country member due to its esteem as the 1st independent nation-state in Asia, and should, to repeat, be the central feature of the next presidency’s foreign policy agenda.

Aside from the above, there is the lack of experience of Noynoy in diverse facets of governance and relatively weak leadership in the public policy field. His charisma is largely an attribution of transference of his deceased parents’ charisma, which could hardly suffice to rally constituencies and his own supporters to support radical measures in the future.


Noticing such weaknesses quickly, and projecting them in the sharpest possible manner, will enable the Villar Team to recoup the temporarily lost grounds in public perception. Villar is clearly on top of his machinery, is most prepared in terms of a coherent platform, is most experienced both governance and policy-wise, possesses a charisma that flows from within rather than ‘inherited’ from departed parents, is the greater visionary and patriot than any of the other candidates. These strengths of Villar should be projected in crescendo fashion across the campaign period, thus ensuring victory at the end.

The mix of tactics and methods must be configured soon enough, with Villar himself at the helm of all the planning, generation of cognitive maps, and determination of the compass of the campaigns. It should be stressed that the campaign lines and substance must be high-level at all times, and only minimally ‘below the belt’. Villar, Legarda and the senatorial candidates should focus on high-level, principled campaign, leaving the ‘below-the-belt punches’ to other supporting personalities and groups within the Villar machinery.

Across the campaign period, diligence must be done in sustaining the building of the machinery (both the party and the multisectoral coalition) and the propaganda efforts. The Team should veer away from the clash between the Erap Team and the Gilberto/Lakas Team, which should go ahead and be allowed to devastate each other till they self-destruct. Along the way, the endorsement by cultural-political blocs with large command votes should be sought, notably the mainstream Left and INK. The endorsement by Sen. Escudero will count a lot for sure, which will provide light to his supporters about whom they should vote for.

Lastly, it should also be noted that the old conflicts among the Cojuancos are re-surfacing, the new morph being the Noynoy-Gibo divide. Noynoy will most likely be slam-banged by the Teodoro camp relentless, even as it has to parry the hard blows from the Erap camp. The Villar Team should maneuver to stay clear of these hardball confrontations, and focus on projecting positive, principled campaign lines and substantive debate lines along the way.

To conclude, realistically the contenders for the presidency will tail behind in the exit polls as their machineries and campaigns efforts puff up, flounder and lose steam. This will pave the way for heightened trust and confidence of voters on the Villar leadership whose presidency they will galvanize in the poll precints later.


August 2, 2008



Erle Frayne Argonza


Good afternoon from Manila!


The social sciences are surely gearing up for more ambitious engagements in producing and disseminating social technologies. Below is a news about a forthcoming future society conference, with social technologies stakeholders participating.


[28 July 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila. Thanks to the Social Technologies database news.]


Social ) Technologies For Immediate Release

1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 815

Washington, DC 20036 CONTACT: Hope Katz Gibbs

Main office: +1 202 223-2801 Leader, Corporate Communications

Website: Direct: +1 703 502-3405

Blog: Cell: +1 703 346-6975



Social Technologies Participating in 2008 World Future Society Conference

Several senior futurists will be presenting at the WFS annual conference

Washington DC, July 26–28


Washington, DC, July 23, 2008—Several senior futurists from the Washington, DC-based research and

consulting firm Social Technologies will be speaking at the World Future Society annual conference,

July 26–28, being held this year at the Hilton Washington in Washington, DC.


The topic of this year’s conference is WorldFuture 2008: Seeing the Future through New Eyes.

“I always look forward to attending the World Future Society conferences because hundreds of

interesting futurists, academics, and business leaders gather to talk about fascinating topics—and

this year looks like it will be especially interesting,” says Tom Conger, founder of Social Technologies,

pointing to session topics including Business Futures, The Influence of Mega-Energy Markets, and


Future Hotspot: East Asia.

Conger says he’s especially looking forward to attending the two sessions being led by his


Leader of Social Technologies’ London office Roumiana Gotseva will be part of a panel about

State-of-the-Art Monitoring Systems on Sunday, July 27, from 2–3:30 a.m.

“Forewarned is forearmed,” she explains, “and in today’s quickly changing environments,

nimble organizations are closely scanning and monitoring the forces that create new

gamechanging opportunities and warn about possible threats or discontinuities.”

Later that day, futurists Terry Grim and Scott Reif will be presenting a forum on Assessing

Foresight Capabilities: An Organizational Scorecard on Sunday, July 27, from 4–5:30 p.m.

“Social Technologies has developed the first-of-its-kind Foresight Maturity Model, based on

Carnegie Mellon’s successful software-engineering model, which presents a clear and

disciplined approach for assessing where you are in the many different practices of

foresight,” Grim explains.

“It can help practitioners to answer the question: How are we doing? This continuous process

improvement approach moves each practice through the five different levels of maturity or

development: ad hoc, aware, capable, mature, and world-class. Using this framework,

attendees will learn how to assess or baseline their current level of foresight practice and

then develop an informed plan for moving forward.”

Also on Sunday, July 27 from 4-5:30 p.m., Social Technologies’ Thought Leader Josh Calder

will be participating on the panel Demographics Is Destiny, which will examine the values

and experiences of generations around the world. Josh will discuss India and China. John

Milewski, Senior Manager for Special Programs at the Newseum, will act as moderator.

The panelists will examine the contrasting demographics, how these different generations

and populations are relating to one another, potential dangers, and the reasons for hope.

Learn more


For additional information about the conference, visit: To learn more about Social

Technologies, send an email to Hope Gibbs (

About ) Social Technologies

Social Technologies is a global research and consulting firm specializing in the integration of

foresight, strategy, and innovation. With offices in Washington DC, London, and Shanghai, Social

Technologies serves the world’s leading companies, government agencies, and nonprofits. For more

information visit, the blog:, and our newsletter:

Josh Calder ) Futurist / Leader, Global Lifestyles

Josh Calder, a professional futurist since 1995, is Social Technologies’ Thought Leader. Josh tracks

social, economic, and consumer change for corporate and government clients. Areas of special

interest include emerging markets, cultural change, and international relations. Josh has an MA in

foreign and defense policy from American University and a BA in government from Wesleyan


Rouminana Gotseva ) Leader, Futures Observatory

Roumiana Gotseva is an accomplished futurist and strategy consultant who leads the Futures

Observatory program and manages Social Technologies’ London office. Since joining S)T in 2005 she

has managed consulting projects for major European firms such as BP and Cadbury Schweppes. Her

skills include strategic planning, scenario development, systems thinking, trend interpretation, and

environmental scanning. An accredited expert with the European Commission, Roumiana evaluates

proposals and projects under the Information Society Technologies and e-Content programs. She is

also a founding fellow of the European Academy for Digital Media and has sat on juries for the

EuroPrix digital content award and the Bulgarian Web Awards. Roumiana holds an MBA from the

University of Minnesota and is working toward an MS in studies of the future at the University of


Terry Grim ) Futurist

After working at IBM for 30 years on leading-edge technology and strategic projects, Terry Grim joined

Social Technologies in 2007 as a futurist and consultant for strategic practices. She brings an

extensive background in strategy development, customer engagements, and large-scale and missioncritical

development management for top IBM clients including NASA, British Telecom, and the State

of Washington. Terry received a BS with high honors (Phi Beta Kappa) in computer science from the

University of Florida in 1975. She has an MS in studies of the future from the University of Houston

and now teaches in that program.

Scott Reif ) Futurist

Scott Reif is a futurist and contributing writer to Social Technologies’ Technology Foresight and Global

Lifestyles multiclient projects. He also serves as a project manager, administering and writing for

custom client projects. Scott’s domains of expertise include social foresight and epistemological

futures, with a special focus on the emerging fields of complexity studies and integral theory.

Currently a graduate student in the MS program for studies of the future at the University of Houston,

he is in the process of completing his thesis work on the study of behavior under conditions of

uncertainty. Scott has a BA in philosophy from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.

About ) The World Future Society

The World Future Society is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, scientific and educational association of people

interested in how social and technological developments are shaping the future. The Society was

founded in 1966 and is chartered as a nonprofit educational and scientific organization in

Washington, DC. For more, visit