Time for Humanity to ‘Grow Up’ If Global Problems Are to Be Overcome

August 6, 2009

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ — Times improved for most of the global community during the past 20 years, but the worldwide recession and climate change, among other issues, have cast a grim cloud over prospects for the coming decades, according to the 2009 State of the Future – the 13th annual Millennium Project report card on the future.

“Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should read this incredible document,” recommends the international journal, Technological Forecasting and Social Change. The internationally renowned 2009 State of the Future distills the collective intelligence of more than 2,500 leading scientists, scholars, futurists, among other experts, and offers a framework for understanding global change and identifying strategies to improve decision-making for a better future.

“Much of humanity is in an adolescent stage, characterized by a self-centered, short term focus. To solve the enormous issues on economy, climate change and more, humanity needs to mature and address global scale decisions,” comments Jerome C. Glenn, lead author.

The annual report, cited by leaders in the field, is used around the world as in introduction to major global issues and long-term remedies. This year the report will be exceptionally useful as half the world appears vulnerable to social instability and violence due to increasing and potentially prolonged unemployment, as well as several longer-term issues such as decreasing water, food, and energy supplies.

“In these uncertain times, we need an intellectually solid set of ideas,” says Glenn. “The global economy needs a serious upgrade. Future prospects for climate change are more serious than most recognize. It is imperative we act responsibly – now.” And this report shows us how.

As in previous editions, the 2009 State of the Future report is structured around 15 global challenges. Among them: Sustainable Development; Water, Population and Resources; Rich-Poor Gap; Woman’s Status; Transnational Crime, and Energy Demands. This year’s report is an extraordinarily rich distillation of information that includes 35 elements for the next economy, emerging environmental security issues, and many surprising facts such as: China has more Internet users than the entire population of the USA; in March 2009 an asteroid missed the Earth by 48,000 miles, 80 percent closer to the earth than the moon. No one knew it was coming; an estimated $1 trillion is paid in bribes each year.

Also included in the report:

  • There are answers to our global challenges, but decisions are not being made on the scale necessary to address them.
  • How will the world recession change the future over the next ten years? Two State of the Future Indexes show how.
  • The global financial crisis and climate change are significantly advancing humanity to transform our basic assumptions about our economic systems, lifestyle choices, as well as energy and food resources.
  • Economic Stimulus packages should be used to help shifts from 1) freshwater agriculture to saltwater agriculture, 2) producing meat in laboratories without animals, 3) gasoline to electric cars

The 2009 State of the Future comes in two parts: a print distillation of research and an expanded CD version with over 6,700 pages of research and analysis. The print version has a comprehensive overview with detailed regional views, suggested indicators to assess progress or lack thereof on addressing each of the 15 challenges, and a set of actions recommended by Global Lookout Panels. You can find the report, both print version and CD, at http://www.millennium-project.org.

The Millennium Project is a global, independent futures research think tank that provides early alert and analysis of long-range issues, opportunities, challenges and strategies for policy making, advanced training and public education. Consisting of top futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities, The Millennium Project manages a coherent and cumulative process that collects and assesses analysis from its participants selected by the Project’s 32 Nodes around the world to produce highly respected futures publications. Among these are the annual “State of the Future Report”,Futures Research Methodology” series, and various special studies, such as the State of the Future Index. Established 13 years ago under the auspices of the UN University and later the World Federation of United Nations Associations, the Millennium Project has since then built an independent, credible and respected reputation around the world for continuously updating and advancing humanity’s thinking about the future.

About the Authors: All with Millennium Project

-Jerome Glenn, Executive Director, Elizabeth Florescu, Director of Research

-Theodore J. Gordon, Senior Fellow, and Founder, Institute for the Future

SOURCE Millennium Project

Source: newswire

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