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Mapping Wild Cards

Inspired by: interviews » The animal disease

version: 4 / updated: 2011-11-18
id: #1915 / version id: #1915
mode: VIEW

Originally submitted by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Last changed by: Ivan Montenegro Perini
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Source of inspiration


The source of the Wild Card is

Paul CUNNINGHAM, The University of Manchester, interviewed by MIoIR


(max. 9 words)

The animal disease


(approx. 150 words)
Please describe the Wild Card (approx. 150 words)
As an extreme, imagine if domestic dogs suddenly became a carrier for some flea-borne disease which affected humans in the UK. It would be a major issue. It is the equivalent of the Black Death, but instead of rats coming into the country you already have a huge dog population here. They are in very close human contact all the time and as a vector of disease, dogs would be quite dangerous. Is there something causing a change in fox behaviour? Because that it is so unlike a fox. Normally they don’t go into domestic dwellings, they are quite timid. They do feed off the contents of bins now and there is an upsurge in urban foxes, but there has been a change there. If foxes became a vector of disease or changed their behaviour to come into greater contact with humans, or if they cross-infected the dog population, then… imagine if people could not have dogs or cats in houses with them. If it was decided it was no longer safe for people to keep dogs as pets, then that would be a major wild card.


health, pandemia, infections, pets, disease


Closest timeframe for at least 50% likelihood
Please use one of the following options:

Type of event

Natural event (e.g. earthquake, tsunami, asteroid)

Type of emergence

please select (if any) describe related trend or situation
A new development/situation
(e.g. a Romani state is established in central Europe; A message from an alien civilisation existing on a distant planet is received and understood, etc.
An extreme extension of a trend/development/situation
(e.g. Increased global warming leads to a total ban on fossil fuels)

Type of systems affected





please specify:
please select
Level 4: important for the whole world

Latent phase

Obstacles for early indentification

information/communicational filters (media/editorial interests, language, reasoning)
cultural/religious filters (values, traditions, faith, spiritual beliefs)
institutional filters (rules, laws, regulations)
economic filters (business/market interests)
political filters (party or ideological interests)
social filters (class, status, education level)

Manifestation phase

Type of manifestation

In a probably pervasive way (contagious or transmittable)

Aftermath phase

Important implications
Emergence of a new system (e.g. new technologies, new paradigms)

Relevance for Grand Challenges

where? please justify:
particularly relevant Europe world
Ageing and other demographic tensions
Diseases, health and well-being
Innovation dynamics

Relevance for thematic research areas

please justify:
particularly relevant
Social Sciences and Humanities

Pan-European strategies potentially helping to deal with the wild card

please justify:
particularly relevant
Strengthening research institutions and universities
Facilitating and promoting knowledge sharing and transfer
Fostering and facilitating coherent international cooperation in science and technology

 Features of a research-friendly ecology contributing to deal with the wild card

For further information about 'research-friendly strategies' click here

please justify:
particularly relevant
Addressing cohesion through a localised articulation between supply and demand
(e.g. making research institutions more engaged with their own context and local users; reinforcing knowledge flows into and out of regions; etc.
Creating a closer link between researchers & policy-makers
(e.g. supporting both thematic and cross-cutting policies, highlighting the strategic purpose of the European Research Area, etc.