Well it’s the last day, and I am sorry to see it come to the close. Today is what is called the Professional Members Forum, titled: Global Futures Projects: Innovations and Outcomes. Thankfully there were no more hard choices to make as the programme was set. Particpants had dropped down to about 50 and we started the day with a light breakfast and coffee at 8.30 am. The day was much quieter and more relaxing; it was time to sit back and enjoy the presentations of the last six speakers. Whoever did the work programme did a great job as there was a good flow.

The day started with a talk by Jerome C Glenn, director of the Millenium Project, explaining how the project operates. Currently there are over 32 nodes. New Zealand does not have a node and I would be keen to progress this (if anyone is interested in working with me on this – please let me know).

We then had Stephen Aguilar-Millan (Director of the European Futures Observatory ) who discussed the ‘Tale of Four Time Horizons’. These two talks provided an interesting discussion, and a good basis for the afternoon sessions – which were more specific in nature.

Peter Klerks (criminologist, Holland) discussed ‘Forecasting Crime Methods’, Terry Grim (Social Technologies) spoke on ‘Organisational Foresight Metrics’ and Irving Mintzer spoke on ‘Seeing the Hidden Conections: Energy, Environment and National Security’. All were very good, but I particularly found Irving’s presentation to be a great summary for the conference. I also liked how he had a slide featuring New Zealand (see above) -its always good to know one exists. Kenneth Hunter then closed the Forum.

The next steps…

Well I want to do a lot more work writing up, reading, reflecting and then reporting upon what I found. I plan to do this a number of ways – including speaking at the final 7×7, speaking at the New Zealand Risk Management Society Conference, preparing an article on the future of accounting for the NZICA Accountants Journal (the NZICA celebrates its centenary this year), and completing a Sustainable Future ‘Think Piece’. I would also like to work with the New Zealand Futures Trust to have a conference in New Zealand, mid next year – about New Zealand’s long-term future. If you are keen to help, please let me know).

To this end, I hope to put on our site interviews of presenters that I believe would be of value for New Zealanders to hear. In the very first session I remember Dr Peter Bishop’s slide on two ways to the top (see right)- his point being that exploring the future allows people to be prepared, which in turn leads to better outcomes. I would like New Zealand to be better prepared, which means information – and there are a number of the speakers that could help us develop the knowledge necessary to make New Zealand ‘Great’.

Over the next few weeks I will add to the blog, and at the end of the month I hope to have the videos of speakers up and running.

The presenters and participants were excellent. I really appreciated their honesty and kindness. My final thanks goes to Berhane Testamicael (Wonder Cab216) who helped me get this photo of the white house – ‘the only house in town’ – from the window of the taxi after leaving the conference. Many thanks again.

Text and photos by Wendy McGuinness