“[…] Because they are open to a movement carrying continual transformations and uncertainties, the societies of modernity have only constantly changing maps, they engage in the immediate history by moving forward by dead reckoning” [BAL 88].

We find ourselves experiencing a “great transformation” in capitalism. The recent unprecedented crisis, as well as continual technological transformation, climate and environment changes, and growing populations have all had significant effects on recent breakthroughs. Companies, states and organizations try to move forward, to find useful ways of “avoiding hazards, the unexpected, and the uncertain”, as well as changing the ways they develop. It is a priority for them to get to know and understand the world around them. Since ancient times, people have been constantly striving to study and understand the world they were living in, even with the most limited means; to build an accurate picture of it by asking intelligent questions [BOT 96].

I.1. An unstable world in search of intelligence

The state of the contemporary world makes the need for an insightful grasp of situations, or of the situation, all the more important. Globalization means that major actors as new powers in terms of industry and services (Brazil, China, India, Russia, Indonesia) with their businesses, their influence networks, and their expertise are quickly beginning to emerge. But beyond these industrial or economic concerns, we also find new threats ...

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