The Millennium Project Releases the 2011 State of the Future Report

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Worldwide assessment of the future - 15th Annual Edition

State of the Future

Futurists, strategic planners, and scholars around the world assess the global situation and prospects for the future

The 2011 State of the Future Report finds the world is getting richer, healthier, better educated, living longer, and is more peaceful and better connected; yet half the world is potentially unstable. Food prices are rising, water tables are falling, corruption and organized crime is increasing, environmental viability for life support is diminishing, debt and economic insecurity are increasing, climate change continues, and the gap between the rich and poor is widening dangerously.

The world is in a race between implementing ever-increasing ways to improve the human condition and the seemingly ever-increasing complexity and scale of global problems. So, how are we doing in this race? What’s the score so far?

The World’s Report Card

Where we are winning:

  •     Improved water access
  •     Adult literacy
  •     Secondary school enrollment
  •     Poverty at $1.25 a day
  •     Population growth
  •     GDP per capita
  •     Physicians per population
  •     Internet users
  •     Infant mortality
  •     Life expectancy at birth
  •     Women in parliaments
  •     GDP per unit of energy
  •     Number of major armed conflicts

Where we are losing:

  •     CO2 emissions
  •     Global surface temperature anomalies
  •     People voting in elections
  •     Corruption
  •     People killed or injured in terrorist attacks
  •     Refugees and displaced persons

Where there is uncertainty:

  •     Unemployment
  •     Non-Fossil fuel consumption
  •     Population in countries that are free
  •     Forest area
  •     Countries having or thought to have plans for nuclear weapons
  •     Food availability-undernourishment
  •     Prevalence of HIV
  •     Low and middle income country debt
  •     R&D budgets

There is no question that the world can be far better than it is, IF we make the right decisions.

When you consider the many wrong decisions and good decisions not taken—day after day and year after year around the world—it is amazing that we are still making as much progress as we are; hence, if we can improve our decision-making, as individuals, groups, nations, and institutions, then the world could be surprisingly better than it is today. The State of the Future sets a context and framework for better decisions.

Invaluable insights
     Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, UN

Fascinating read
     Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald

A must read for any decisionmaker
     Enrique Peña Nieto, Governor, State of Mexico

The best introduction to the major global issues and long-term remedies
     Michael Marien, Global Foresight Books

The 2011 State of the Future is an overview of our global situation, problems, solutions, and prospects for the future. “15 Global Challenges” including energy, food, science and technology, ethics, development, water, organized crime, health, decisionmaking, gender relations, demographics, war and peace, and others are analyzed, studied, and recommendations are made. The briefing is especially critical for senior executives, thought leaders, strategic planners, public policy experts, policy advisors, non-profit organizations, teachers/professors of world issues, and anyone interested in a global overview of our prospects for the future.

This report discusses a broad range of future-oriented policy initiatives such as: shifting from fresh water-based agriculture to saltwater-based agriculture; making environmental security the focus of US-China strategic trust; a global strategy to counter organized crime; and collective intelligence as one of the next big topics of interest.

It also alerts readers to major changes that seem inevitable. For example, the coming biological revolution may change civilization more profoundly than did the industrial or information revolutions. The world has not come to grips with the implications of writing genetic code to create new lifeforms. Thirteen years ago, the concept of being dependent on Google searches was unknown to the world; today we consider it quite normal. Thirteen years from today, the concept of being dependent on synthetic life forms for medicine, food, water, and energy could also be quite normal.

This year’s State of the Future also has special chapters on an Egyptian assessment of its post-revolution priorities; 32 elements shaping the future of the arts, media, and entertainment industries by 2020; four scenarios for the future of Latin America by 2030; the State of the Future Index; and environmental security.

The 2011 State of the Future comes in two parts: a print 106-page distillation of research with tables, graphs, and charts, and an 8,500-page CD. The CD includes detailed coverage of the global situation with a range of strategies, analysis, and regional considerations for 15 Global Challenges facing humanity; ten years of research and analysis for developing a State of the Future Index; several global and regional scenarios; governance-related studies; concepts for building collective intelligence systems; environmental security studies; over 850 annotated scenarios; and various aspects for improving futures research, making it an extraordinary resource and data base for exploring the prospects for humanity.

Previous State of the Future reports have been used by:

  •     The Sherpa for the President of France in preparation for the G-8
  •     The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School MBA course on Globalization
  •     Deloitte & Touche LLP as input for their global strategic planning processes
  •     The Government of Denmark to change their science and technology priorities
  •     Futurists and thought leaders for speech materials and guidance for their consultancies
  •     China, Kuwait, South Korea to create their State of the Future Indexes

“Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should read this incredible document, period!”
---Technological Forecasting & Social Change

The Millennium Project was established in 1996 as the first globalized think tank. It conducts independent futures research via its 40 Nodes around the world that connect global and local perspectives. Nodes are groups of individuals and institutions that pick the brains of their region and feedback the global results. It is supported by UN organizations, multinational corporations, universities, foundations and the governments of Azerbaijan, Kuwait, South Korea, and the United States.

This is not the “UN Millennium Project” headed by Prof. Sachs that produced scholarly papers to address the 8 Millennium Development Goals several years ago.

Press Contact:
Jerome Glenn or Kawthar Nakayima
1-202-686-5179 (office)
1-202-669-4410 (mobile)

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Jerome Glenn
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