Earlier this month in Boston, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Millennium Project and the Sustainable Future Institute which establishes the Institute as the New Zealand Node of the Millennium Project. The Millennium Project is an independent, not-for-profit futures think tank, contributed to by futurists, scholars, business planners and policymakers. It is known internationally for publishing the State of the Future report – the 2010 edition was launched in Boston earlier this month.

Chief executive and founder of the Sustainable Future Institute, Wendy McGuinness, stated that ‘by establishing a Node for the Millennium Project in New Zealand, we will be able to contribute ideas and information to advance global foresight. We will also be able to use the global think tank’s findings to explore and reflect on New Zealand’s long-term future.’

McGuinness has been in Boston attending the World Future Society (WFS) conference, World Future 2010: Sustainable Futures, Strategies, and Technologies, where she presented a paper entitled Moving from Strategy to Foresight: Developing a National Strategy for New Zealand. At this time, the Sustainable Future Institute also became the New Zealand chapter for the World Future Society. The creation of a New Zealand chapter will enable local futurists to meet, share ideas and work together to build community awareness about future possibilities.

McGuinness will return to New Zealand after attending a course at Harvard Business School on driving corporate performance. She hopes to use this experience to help map a national sustainable development strategy for New Zealand. ‘Although a country is not a company,’ she says, ‘there are benefits in learning how to map a strategy so that it can be easily understood, discussed, reflected upon and improved by a wide range of interested individuals and groups.’

In March 2011 the Sustainable Future Institute will hold a one-day forum, ‘Re:think New Zealand’s Future’ at Te Papa in Wellington. McGuinness hopes this event will provide an opportunity to develop a strategy map to present to government. ‘The forum will offer insights from local and international experts, outside of the boundaries and limitations of the three-year election cycle,’ she says. McGuinness believes ‘it is timely to reflect on the past, explore the future and look for the big ideas that will propel New Zealand towards a robust, sustainable and exciting future’.

Anyone considering attending this forum is invited to register their interest at register@sustainablefuture.info