Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon & Elizabeth Florescu
“The good news is that the global financial crisis and climate change planning may be helping humanity to move from its often selfish, self-centred adolescence to a more globally responsible adulthood.”
We are living in a unique time in human history as technology, communication, and trade have combined to make humanity more interdependent than ever. The Millennium Project think tank sees this interdependence as an opportunity for us to create and implement global strategies which can improve prospects for humanity. But how will we do this? Who will do this, and can we all agree on what the future might or should be?
The aim of futures research is to systematically explore, create, and test both possible and desirable futures to improve decision-making. By presenting a comprehensive picture of the world today, the 2009 State of the Future report aims to provide improved understanding of global issues, opportunities, challenges and strategies, while engaging readers in thinking about and planning for the future.
While the format and the pressing issues remain largely the same as in previous issues, a notable addition to the 2009 report is the discussion of the global financial crisis and its effects on the present and future world. Another increasingly prominent issue is the place of ethics in the future world and in decision-making related to crises such as climate change and the recession.
A feature of interest is the State of the Future Index, reassessed each year. This is a ten year projection of conditions in the future which takes into account variables such as education, warfare, health, and human rights. This shows, in the 2009 report, a decrease in global living conditions between the present day and 2019, something that has not been seen in the index in recent years.
The global perspective of this report makes it incredibly valuable for us at Sustainable Future, but this is also an excellent resource for anybody interested in the state of both the present and the future worlds.
Wendy McGuinness, Chief Executive of Sustainable Future, represented Australasia in the Millennium Project’s annual meeting in July 2009.
Reviewed by Perrine Gilkison, August 2009