In a world of "Fake News" even "known knowns" become contestable, let alone "unknown knowns", "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns" - all key elements to be considered in effective risk management and strategic planning.
2020 promises to be a most difficult and unpredictable year, as an unusually complex mix of economic and geo-political factors and events will unfold, as we find some "knowns" we had taken for granted are challenged, and the unknowns become better known or recognized.
Donald Trump, and his efforts to win a second term as President, and Boris Johnson's attempt to "Get Brexit Done", will undoubtedly dominate global politics and the path of the global economy.
Trump has been the most disruptive and divisive President. While his electoral base has largely remained in tact, despite his obvious failures - the Mexicans are not paying for his partial wall; the rust-belt States have not been restored to their former glory; he has been out-played by the likes of XI and Kim, and so on - his overall popularity is low. He has certainly been disruptive, but hardly "Made America Great Again".
We have a prime minister, and a government, that seems incapable of understanding the requirements and responsibilities of leadership.
Expect even more Trump extremes - the obsessive Tweeting, the "doubling down" when under pressure, the generation of global distractions from his domestic pressures and failures.
Much will depend on whether the Democrats can get organized around a credible candidate and then turn out en mass, with the strong support of Obama's independents and minorities.
While the US economy has been basically performing OK, the risks are all on the downside - growth could slow significantly, even drifting towards recession, perhaps also driven by significant financial market corrections, but expect Trump to bully on to minimize this risk.
While the UK will now finally exit Europe, expect a very volatile and painful transition process through this year, risking very significant economic and social consequences, and even a "disunited" UK.
The European economy has remained disturbingly weak; Merkel is going, and Macron's gloss has faded significantly; the UK has been their major trading partner; and there is a risk of further fragmentation of the EU following Brexit.
Both Taiwan and Hong Kong have significant elections this year, suggesting that China will be somewhat preoccupied domestically enforcing its "One China" policy, against the background of a slowing Chinese economy.
China is also facing increasing resistance in Asia and the Pacific to its creeping economic and military influence.
Beyond this, tensions are significant in Middle East (especially Iran, Iraq, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and Saudi), the Ukraine, North Korea, with many hot spots in Latin America and Africa - it is difficult to be definitive about how events and pressures may unfold, and how widespread may be their influence.
Against all this, it would seem that we are blessed to be in Australia, but still concerned about how this global uncertainty may impact on us.
However, we have a prime minister, and a government, that seems incapable of understanding the requirements and responsibilities of leadership, let alone delivering. I fear we are drifting badly. If the government reacts at all, as with the bush fires, the drought, and our economy, it is late, and inadequate.
Morrison has been unable to think or move beyond his marketing slogan of our "Strong Economy", and his obsession to "achieve a budget surplus" even though it is contractionary, and resisting calls for additional stimulus, further compounding the weakness of our economy.
Similarly, on the bigger, structural issues such as climate, Morrison has gone to ridiculous lengths to deny reality and responsibility - he has bullied, misrepresented/falsified, and obfuscated the magnitude of the challenge and the substance of his inadequate response.
In what will be the most challenging year in decades, it will not be enough to react to circumstances as they break. Morrison's challenge in 2020 is to begin to govern, in the context of a well-developed strategic plan in our national interest.
John Hewson is a professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, and a former Liberal opposition leader.