Wenn das Unwahrscheinliche eintritt (Wild Cards - If the Unpredictable Happens)

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By Angela and Karlheinz SteinmüllerMurmann Publishers Hamburg 2004
Updated and extended edition of "Ungezähmte Zukunft" ("Untamed Future"), München 2003

Sudden and surprizing events - like the terror attacks of September 11 - can have tremendous impacts. They are a kind of "future quakes", changing the (real and mental) landscape of the future. Wheras trends "close" the future, wild cards open up new futures.

The book gives an outline a theory of wild cards, including the "life cycle" of wild cards, principles of wild card management and relations to risk assessement. The book contains also a catalogue of 55 wild cards from the realms of innovation, politics, values, environment, and demographics. An overview of the wild cards is given here.
A short introduction to the wild card concept is given in the paper The Future as Wild Card (downloadable pdf file, 38 KB)

The first edition of the wild card book was chosen as one of the twenty best business books 2003 by the Swiss information broker getAbstracts. The Austrian Robert-Jungk-Library for Questions of the Future at Salzburg put it on place two of the "Top Ten Future Books 2003".

More wild cards had been presented within the framework of the exhibition "science + fiction. Between Nano-World and Global Culture" first displayed at the Sprengel-Museum at Hannover and recently shown at Tokyo. Two artists, Christiane Dellbrügge and Ralf de Moll, created a pack of wild cards - as large as a man. The Steinmuellers contributed a wild card named "War Games". Here is the German counterfeit of this card: Wild Card War Games (pdf - 39 kByte)