Understanding Scotland

Understanding Scotland is a project of International Futures Forum inspired by the Glasgow Indicators Project ‘Understanding Glasgow’ with which we are also involved.


It takes as its basis the IFF World System Model – a framework of twelve nodes, each of which needs to be healthy to ensure the viability of the whole (see right). The framework operates at all levels of human community – the family, the village, the city, the nation, the world and so on.


The model can also act as a comprehensive scanning framework for the health of the system – in this case Scotland.


The database underpinning the site logs trends and possible discontinuities associated with each of the twelve nodes. A selection is now live: just click on a node to reveal a summary.


The database also records promising innovations in each domain that suggest a more viable and resilient future. The next phase of the project will make those visible too.


As the database builds over time it will also reveal information about the connections between nodes: most trends and innovative projects will have an impact on more than one node. As such it becomes both a diagnostic and a design tool for greater resilience.


The model is also the basis for the IFF World Game – in which a central issue is addressed in the context of the comprehensive framework provided by this kind of scanning. We have played a number of World Games about Scotland's future. We hope that the Understanding Scotland project will become an open resource for more such activity… and we will be posting the results on this site.




World System Model