About CTSS

CTSS is a firm specializing in alternative futures. It offers clients both a set of prospects, and then provides strategies to reach these futures. The CTSS advantage rests on its principals’ generic (energy, security and strategy) and geographical strengths (i.e., specific country/regional experience with leadership networks cultivated over decades).

Small and select, CTSS stands apart from big, ‘public figure’ and ‘door-opening’ firms in Brussels, London or Washington. Nor is it a risk assessment firm. It avoids routine political, security, energy and other geo-political reporting, and doesn’t ‘do’ public relations, product/service promotion, or information aggregation.

CTSS instead offers alternative outcomes (aka: black-swan events) and alternative strategies advice, enabling clients to expect the unexpected. We undertake to define their problem in new contexts, design strategy to solve it, engage the right people, implement and coordinate the process, and then ensure quality control on all products going to the client.

Specifically, CTSS:

- Limits itself only to that which falls within its purview of networked competence, and track record of critical thinking;

- Specializes in alternative futures analysis, built up over decades by successive multi-client experience in thinking about the future, and in crafting hedging strategies to navigate it;

- Rests on strong area-knowledge backgrounds, meaning decades spent by each principal in knowing and cultivating country- and region-specific decision-makers;

- Understands that ‘security’ is an intelligence-driven endeavor, a mindset going well beyond the purely physical perspective;

- Focuses on solving specific as well as structural problems, always providing clients with a thought process inseparable from the analysis itself – that is, the client isn’t ‘talked at’ or ‘talked to’ but rather participates in reaching the conclusions 

 - Works proactively with clients, remaining a phone call away for big or little questions. CTSS does not recycle data or opinion, demystifying public domain reportage, debunking news-driven perceptions and un-packaging general or specialist media information bundles whether from mass media or high end information aggregators.

- Avoids facile PDF graphics but judiciously offers mapping and geographic portrayal software to augment clarity of analysis;

Working with Clients - Methodology:

CTSS starts with clients’ core thinking and operational needs. It gives proactive notice about any potential conflict of interest, and operates on a ‘go-to-source’ basis – i.e., delving deeply into issues via contacts developed over decades. When necessary, CTSS briefs bigger/associated trends, whether geographic (e.g., Russia/Central Asia/India/Western Pacific, etc.) or generic (food or energy prices, subsidies, etc.). CTSS offers intelligence about clan, familial, and ‘old-school’ linkages, rarely apparent in open source reportage.

CTSS relies on each principal’s specific ‘alternate future’ experience: Each CTSS principal has experience in counter-intuitive dissection of uncritically accepted business, political and social ‘facts’. Each career rests on revisiting or re-evaluating the labels ‘relevant’ and ‘irrelevant’; and on a ‘go-to-source’ reputation. which weeds out simplifications but simplifies abstractions. CTSS says we don’t know,” when we don’t.