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Weak signal detection: A discrete window of opportunity for achieving ‘Vision 90:90:90’?

Publication year: 
Publication details:,2016

UNAIDS’ Vision 90:90:90 is a call to ‘end AIDS’. Developing predictive foresight of the unpredictable changes that this journey will entail could contribute to the
ambition of ‘ending AIDS’. There are few opportunities for managing unpredictable changes. We introduce ‘weak signal detection’ as a potential opportunity to fill this void.Method: Combining futures and complexity theory, we reflect on two pilot case studies that involved the Archetype Extraction technique and the Sense Maker Collector TM tool. Results: Both the piloted techniques have the potentials to surface weak signals – but there is room for improvement. Discussion: A management response to a complex weak signal requires pattern management, rather than an exclusive focus on behaviour management. Conclusion: Weak signal detection is a window of opportunity to improve resilience to unpredictable changes in the HIV/AIDS landscape that can both reduce the risk that emerges from the changes and increase the visibility of opportunities to exploit the unpredictable changes that could contribute to ‘ending AIDS