Global Challenges of the Future Featured by the Special Issue of the 'Foresight' Journal “The Millennium Project and Beyond”

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A Special Issue of the 'Foresight' journal, dedicated to “The Millennium Project and Beyond”, reflects on some of the pressing issues facing the future of humanity according to the views of the international “Nodes” of The Millennium Project.

Foresight

"Foresight" journal

this Special Issue shows some of the enormous geographic, thematic, and disciplinary breath of the research done by The Millennium Project around the world.

This special edition of Foresight is an undertaking that shows some of the newest and most relevant work done by futurists from around the world. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, has said that the work of The Millennium Project offers “invaluable insights about the future.” The papers included in this issue cover critical subjects for improving our world, such as: “Water: how collective intelligence initiatives can address this global challenge”, “Thinking oriented towards the future: key to prosperity and sustainable development”, “Scenario planning with integrated quantification – managing uncertainty in corporate strategy building”, “Foresight of evolving security threats posed by emerging technologies”, “Through the megacrisis: making the passage to global maturity”, and “The future role of logistics for global wealth: Scenarios and discontinuities until 2025”.

According to Jose Cordeiro, Director of the Venezuela Node of The Millennium Project and editor of “The Millennium Project and Beyond”, this special issue shows some of the enormous geographic, thematic, and disciplinary breath of the research done by the participants of The Millennium Project around the world. Such visionary work has helped position The Millennium Project as one of the foremost institutions dealing with futures studies worldwide, at both national and international levels, trying to address the global challenges faced by humanity.

Jerome Glenn, Executive Director of The Millennium Project says that “futurists often explain that the purpose of thinking about the future is not to predict what will happen, but rather to visualize possibilities and consider plausible alternatives”. The papers featured in this special issue are an important starting point to consider some of those possibilities and alternatives. Although we cannot know or determine the future, we can promote dialogue, facilitate creative thinking, and provide an additional platform for voices from around the world. “The Millennium Project and Beyond” issue contributes to foster this dialogue for building the best possible futures for humanity as a whole.

The Millennium Project was founded in 1996 after a three-year feasibility study with the United Nations University, Smithsonian Institution, Futures Group International, and the American Council for the United Nations University (UNU). It is now an independent non-profit global participatory futures research think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, and universities. It is a global participatory think tank connecting about 50 Nodes around the world--including both, physical Nodes in every continent and also virtual Nodes like a Cyber Node and a Global Arts/Media Node, which identify important challenges in their regions, and conduct and initiate futures-related special research, workshops, symposiums, and advanced training. Over 4,000 experts from close to 100 countries have contributed their views since the Project’s inception. The Millennium Project’s mission is to improve thinking about the future and make it available through a variety of media for feedback to accumulate wisdom about the future for better decisions today. It produces the annual "State of the Future" reports, the "Futures Research Methodology" series, the online Global Futures Intelligence System (GFIS), and special studies.

Foresight is an international bi-monthly journal featuring peer-reviewed articles related to futures studies. It provides a forum for sound thinking about the future, focusing on themes and issues that demand a strategic and long-term view, and drawing upon established tools, techniques and methodologies of futures studies (e.g. scenario planning, Delphi, environmental scanning, etc.) as well as those of other social science disciplines, informed by systems thinking and theories of post-modernism and complexity. Foresight is the only futures studies journal which seeks to cater for the needs of academics, practitioners and policy makers alike by striking a balance between peer-reviewed articles and topical commentaries. As a result, the journal has a modern, contemporary feel and is an essential reading for those who need to keep abreast of research and current thinking about the future and for those making the future.

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Jerome Glenn

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