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European TRIZ Association TRIZ Futures 2007—Day 1 Morning

| On 06, Nov 2007

Ellen Domb

Today is the beginning of the European TRIZ Association TRIZ Futures 2007, in Frankfurt, Germany. Most sessions have either 2 or 3 simultaneous papers. See www.etria.net for the full program—I’ll only report on the papers and sessions that I participate in. I’m starting the morning with Dmitry Kucharavy’s tutorial session, “TRIZ Instruments for Forecasting: Past, Present, Future.”  Dmitry is a very experienced teacher, and it was a pleasure to see how he organizes the history and predicts the future of TRIZ, using the methods of TRIZ and his own experiences. He focused on the questions:



  1. Is TRIZ a method?
  2. What is the difference between a forecast and a prediction?

    1. Forecast- description of emergence, performance, features, and impacts of a technology in a particular point of time in the future, answering what, when, where and why questions.
    2. Prediction-statement made about the future, mostly qualitative, answering “what” and “why” questions. Dmitry used the very popular article by Gahide, TJ 2000 on yarn spinning as an example of prediction (what technology will happen) but not forecasting (no knowledge of when or where it will happen.)

  3. Why do we need predictions?

    1. To plan science and technology resources
    2. To plan R&D resources
    3. To plan production and distribution and maintenance and service
    4. (Emerging) to plan recycling and disposal

He then introduced a new question, “Why do we need to forecast?” which was much less about detailed planning, and more about creating the vision of the future in both practical detail (anticipating and removing barriers, understanding socio-technical environments,  recruiting participants) and in inspirational, aspirational modality.


The audience shared the tragedy/comedy of the discussion of classical management negligence of forecasting that leads to wasted efforts. 


In the second half of the morning, Dmitry took us through a detailed history of the development of the TRIZ forecasting methods, and the evolution of the laws, lines, and patterns of evolution, and some of the difficulties that Altshuller had in getting the concepts of forecasting accepted within and outside the TRIZ community. Jim Kowalick’s AFTER-96 method (one of the earliest TRIZ Journal publications) was used as an example of mid-stage development, along with Zlotin’s Directed Evolution, Fey and Rivin’s Guided Evolution, Shpaovsky’s Evolutionary Trees and Mann’s Evolutionary Potential Model (all familiar to regular TRIZ Journal readers) and other models such as WOIS and Moehrle’s model that combine TRIZ with other systems. Dmitry’s own work on making forecasting more quantitative was briefly demonstrated, and more research was promised. GREAT MORNING—Thanks, Dmitry!


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(l-r) Dmitri Kucharavy (tutorial lecturer), Carsten Gundlach (conference organizer) and Gaetano Cascini (ETRIA president)


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Part of the audience for the kick-off of the TRIZ Futures 2007 conference.  More than 120 people from 40 countries will participate in the 3 days.