2008 State of the Future
The future continues to get better for most of the world, but a series of tipping points could drastically alter global prospects…
according to the 12th annual report card on the future.
ISBN: 978-0-9818941-0-2 Library of Congress Control Number: 98-646672
“…..Half the world is vulnerable to social instability and violence due to rising food and energy prices, failing states, falling water tables, climate change, decreasing water-food-energy supply per person, desertification, and increasing migrations due to political, environmental, and economic conditions, says this report published by the Millennium Project, a global participatory futures research think tank affiliated with the World Federation of UN Associations.
However, it notes that "Ours is the first generation with the means for many to know the world as a whole, identify global improvement systems, and seek to improve such systems. We are the first people to act via Internet with like-minded individuals around the world. We have the ability to connect the right ideas to resources and people to help address our global and local challenges."
The report is a "global overview of our technological, environmental, social, economic future prospects, strategies to address them -- what the educated person should know about the world and what to do to improve it," says co-author and Millennium Project Director Jerome C. Glenn.
The report identifies 15 global challenges, ranging from water and energy to organized crime and global ethics. Other chapters include a global collective intelligence for energy, State of the Future Index, global assessment techniques, government future strategy units around the world, and environmental security….”
Table of content
The 2008 State of the Future is composed of two parts: print and CD. The print book contains the executive summary of each of the studies conducted in 2007–08. The enclosed CD of about 6,300 pages contains the cumulative work of the Millennium Project since 1996 and details of the studies included in the print section.
Table of Contents – Print Section
Foreword – Acknowledgments
Executive Summary -
1. Global Challenges
2. State of the Future Index -
4. Government Future Strategy Units and Some Potentials for International Strategic Coordination
5. Global Energy Collective Intelligence
6. Emerging Environmental Security Issues -
Appendix Millennium Project Participants Demographics
Executive Summary (10 pages)
1. Global Challenges (1,100 pages)
2. State of the Future Index Section
2.1 Global SOFI (286 pages)
2.2 National SOFIs (89 pages)
2.3 Global Challenges Assessment (94 pages)
3. Global Scenarios
3.1 Normative Scenario to the Year 2050 (21 pages)
3.2 Exploratory Scenarios (41 pages)
3.3 Very Long-Range Scenarios-1,000 years (23 pages)
3.4 Counterterrorism-Scenarios, Actions, and Policies (40 pages)
3.5 Science and Technology 2025 Global Scenarios (21 pages)
3.6 Global Energy Scenarios 2020 (103 pages)
3.7 Middle East Peace Scenarios (91 pages)
4. Governance-related Studies
4.1 Government Future Strategy Units and Some Potentials for International Strategic Coordination
4.2 Global Goals for the Year 2050 (24 pages)
4.3 World Leaders on Global Challenges (42 pages)
5. Science and Technology
5.1 Future S&T Management and Policy Issues (400 pages)
5.2 Nanotechnology: Future Military Environmental Health Considerations (21 pages)
6. Global Energy Collective Intelligence
7. Education and Learning 2030 (59 pages)
8. Measuring and Promoting Sustainable Development
8.1 Measuring Sustainable Development (61 pages)
8.2 Quality and Sustainability of Life Indicators (9 pages)
8.3 Partnership for Sustainable Development (48 pages)
8.4 A Marshall Plan for
9. Environmental Security
9.1 Emerging Environmental Security Issues
9.2 Environmental Security: Emerging International Definitions, Perceptions, and Policy Considerations (42 pages)
9.3 Environmental Security: UN Doctrine for Managing Environmental Issues in Military Actions (113 pages)
9.4 Environmental Crimes in Military Actions and the International Criminal Court (ICC)—UN Perspectives (31 pages)
9.5 Environmental Security and Potential Military Requirements (44 pages)
10. Future Ethical Issues (69 pages)
11. Factors Required for Successful Implementation of Futures Research in Decisionmaking (55 pages)
Appendix A: Millennium Project Participants
Appendix B: State of the Future Index Section
Appendix C: Global Scenarios
Appendix D: Science and Technology
Appendix E: Global Energy Collective Intelligence
Appendix F: Government Future Strategy Units
Appendix G: Education and Learning 2030
Appendix H: Global Ethics
Appendix I: Global Goals for the Year 2050
Appendix J: World Leaders on Global Challenges
Appendix K: Environmental Security Studies
Appendix L: Measuring and Promoting Sustainable Development
Appendix M: Factors Required for Successful Implementation of Futures Research in Decisionmaking
Appendix N: Real Time
Appendix O: Annotated Bibliography of About 700 Scenario Sets
Appendix P: Other Annotated Bibliographies:
Ethics Related Organizations
Global Energy Scenarios and Related Research
Appendix R: Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of the State of the Future and the Millennium Project
Appendix S: Publications of the Millennium Project
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Figure 1. SOFI 2007 with alternative projections by trend impact analysis
Figure 2. Global surface temperature anomalies (0C)
Figure 3. Global trends of freedom
Figure 4. Regional internet population growth
Figure 5. Share of people living on less than $1 a day (%)
Figure 6. Physicians density (per 10 000 population)
Figure 7. Growth of international organizations (NGOs and IGOs)
Figure 8. Global trends in armed conflict, 1946-2007
Figure 9. Women in national parliaments (percentage)
Figure 10. Global challenges and SOFI process
Figure 11. SOFI 2007 with trend impact analysis
Figure 12. Unemployment with trend impact analysis
Figure 13. Correlation between poverty, unemployment, and population growth (income less than $1 per day) (low- and mid-income countries
Figure 14. SOFI using IFs data in the Millennium Project template
Figure 15. SOFI comparison with IFs data and Millennium Project data
Figure 16. South Korea SOFI using IFs data and Millennium Project data
Figure 17. SOFI of the
Figure 18. Screen-shots of the SOFI presentation
Figure 19. Screen-shot of a Real-Time Delphi questionnaire
Figure 20. Demographics of RTD participants since 2006
Figure 21. Possible representation of the global energy elements
Figure 22. Example of a unit of information, with column of choices about the information
Figure 23. Argument-structured information overview of an issue
Figure 24. Recursive linked interface
Figure 25. Politician and staff member, GENIS flow diagram
Figure 26. Energy dash board example for a question during a legislative hearing
Figure 27. Failed States Index 2008
Figure 28. Expenditures and estimated costs of various programs
Figure 29. Ratifications of 12 multilateral environmental agreements, by UNEP GEO regions
Figure 30. Number of parties to multilateral environmental agreements, 1975–2008
Figure 31. Participants in the 2007–08 program
Figure 32. Participants since 1996
· Both the short and long versions of the 15 Global Challenges were updated.
· Climate change has received increased emphasis in Challenge 1 on Sustainable Development.
· The State of the Future Index was improved for enhancing its capabilities to identify promising policies and actions, and it is being used to assess the use of the International Futures econometric model for automatically computing global and national SOFIs.
· SOFIs were computed for the
· The Real-Time Delphi technique was further developed for increasing its analytical capabilities, and a user-friendly interface was developed for the questionnaires' easy set-up. The new features were successfully tested in studies for assessing SOFI variables and for collecting expert views for studies conducted by other organizations (e.g., UNESCO, WFUNA, and the World Bank).
· The Government Future Strategies Units chapter presents brief overviews of 10 government units with suggestions for upgrading their capabilities and international coordination. Chapter 4 in the CD has the overviews of over 30 countries' future strategy systems.
· The Global Energy Collective Intelligence chapter provides basic concepts and software options for a collective intelligence system to support political decisionmaking, research, and public understanding. The concepts and software can be adapted for other areas such as climate change, water, and the other challenges described in Chapter 1.
· More than 200 items related to environmental security were identified, assessed, and organized over the past year. A distilled version is presented in Chapter 6 and the full text of over 1,100 items identified since 2002 is available in CD Chapter 9.1.
· The CD includes details and research that support the print version; it also includes the complete text of previous Millennium Project research:
• Global exploratory, normative, and very-long range scenarios, along with an introduction describing their development.
• Three Middle East Peace scenarios based on a three-round
• Science and Technology scenarios and the two-year supporting study.
• Four Global Energy Scenarios and supporting study.
• An analysis of the statements by world leaders delivered at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.
• Environmental security definitions, threats, related treaties; UN military doctrine on environmental issues; potential military environmental crimes and the International Criminal Court; changing environmental security military requirements in 2010–25.
• Two studies to create indexes and maps of the status of sustainable development, and an international review of the concept of creating a "Partnership for Sustainable Development."
• Study of factors required for successful implementation of futures research in decisionmaking.
• An Annotated Scenarios Bibliography of over 700 scenarios or scenario sets.
The Press Release is available in PDF at: http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/2008SOF%20Press%20Release.pdf
and plain text at: http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/press.html#sof2008
We've seen the future ... and we may not be doomed
UN report finds life is getting better for people worldwide – but that governments are failing to grasp the opportunities offered at 'a unique time'.
Geoffrey Lean and Jonathan Owen report, 13 July 2008
Humanity stands on the threshold of a peaceful and prosperous future, with an unprecedented ability to extend lifespans and increase the power of ordinary people – but is likely to blow it through inequality, violence and environmental degradation. And governments are not equipped to ensure that the opportunities are seized and disasters averted.
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