The 2013-14 State of the Future is the most compelling overview of humanity’s situation, potentials for the future, and what we should do today – in clear, precise, and readable text with unparalleled breadth and depth. It is the 17th annual report card on the future of the world produced by The Millennium Project, an accumulated intelligence from over 4,500 thought leaders selected by its 50 Nodes around the world.
The report includes a Foreword; an Executive Summary (15 pages); Present and future perspectives on 15 Global Challenges (165 pages); and some special studies: Hidden Hunger: Unhealthy Food Markets in the Developing World (11 pages); Vulnerable Natural Infrastructure in Urban Coastal Zones (10 pages); SIMAD and Lone Wolf Terrorism Prospects and Potential Strategies to Address the Threat (9 pages); Global Futures Intelligence System and Some Conclusions (8 pages); and an Appendix with some 30 Graphs on Trends of the 15 Global Challenges.
The first chapter presents short descriptions of 15 Global Challenges that have been tracked and updated by The Millennium Project since 1996. For each Challenge, there is a description of the present situation and perspectives, as well as regional considerations. The 15 Global Challenges addressed and annually updated in the State of the Future reports are:
1. How can sustainable development be achieved for all while addressing global climate change?
2. How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict?
3. How can population growth and resources be brought into balance?
4. How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes?
5. How can decisionmaking be enhanced by integrating improved global foresight during unprecedented accelerating change?
6. How can the global convergence of information and communications technologies work for everyone?
7. How can ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between rich and poor?
8. How can the threat of new and reemerging diseases and immune microorganisms be reduced?
9. How can education make humanity more intelligent, knowledgeable, and wise enough to address its global challenges?
10. How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and the use of weapons of mass destruction?
11. How can the changing status of women help improve the human condition?
12. How can transnational organized crime networks be stopped from becoming more powerful and sophisticated global enterprises?
13. How can growing energy demands be met safely and efficiently?
14. How can scientific and technological breakthroughs be accelerated to improve the human condition?
15. How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions?
The challenges of our time are increasingly transnational in nature, requiring transdisciplinary approaches to be understood and transinstitutional implementation strategies to be dealt with. The Millennium Project responds to these new conditions as a global participatory think tank of futurists, scholars, scientists, business planners, and policymakers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. Its purposes are to assist in organizing futures research, improve thinking about the future, and make that thinking available through a variety of media for consideration in policymaking, advanced training, public education, and feedback, ideally in order to accumulate wisdom about potential futures. It was selected among the top 10 think tanks in the world for new ideas and paradigms by the 2013 University of Pennsylvania GoTo Think Tank Index and a 2012 Computerworld Honors Laureate for its innovations to collective intelligence systems.
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