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Future Science


Title: Future Science & Technology Issues Study - Year 1 of 3 Author: Jerome C. Glenn Last modified by. Created Date: 7/17/2000 5:02:27 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Future Science

Planning Committee Meeting      July 22-23, 2000
Westin Galleria, Houston, Texas
The occasion of the third millennium presents a
timely opportunity for the only global
organization, in terms of its membership as much
as of its areas of work, to identify the
challenges that it will face in the future and to
engage in an imaginative exercise to enhance and
strengthen a unique institution
  • --- United Nations Secretary-General
  • Kofi Annan, Millennium Report

Current Sponsors
  • Deloitte Touche
  • Foundation For the Future
  • General Motors
  • Hughes Space and Communications
  • United Nations University
  • U.S. Army Environmental Policy Institute
  • U.S. Department of Energy

Recent accomplishments
  • Partnership for Sustainable Development
  • State of the Future at the Millennium
  • State of the Future The Video
  • UN and Environmental Security
  • 26 Ways to increase futures in decisionmaking
  • Very Long-Range Factors and Scenarios
  • UNU Technology Paper for UN SGs Millen. Report
  • Translations - Chinese, Spanish, Farsi, Japanese
  • Articles TFSC, Futures, Foresight, FRQ, AEPI
  • UN Habitat continued listing in Best Practices

Whats New in this Years Report
1. Combination of a short version in print and
more detailed 1000-page version on CD-ROM. 2.
Regional perspectives on the global challenges -
distilled views from the regional perspectives
are in the print version, while more detailed
regional perspectives are on the CD-ROM. 3.
Indicators to measure progress on the challenges
which were rated the most useful are in this
book, while all the indicators and discussions
are on the CD-ROM. 4. "Meta Strategies"
abstracted from the hundreds of actions suggested
to address the challenges. 5. Factors that might
affect the next thousand years a range of views
about the possible trajectories of these factors
are detailed on the CD-ROM, along with a
discussion of the value of such an exercise.
Whats New in this Years Report (cont.)
6. Six very long-range scenarios based on the
factors and trajectories are in this print
edition, and an additional five scenarios and
comments are on the CD-ROM. 7. A distilled
version of the Millennium Project's study on
environmental security and the United Nations
appears in Chapter 5, with more detailed analysis
plus environmental security threats with related
international agreements and organizations on the
CD-ROM. 8. The book details 26 ways to make early
warnings more effective in decisionmaking, with a
detailed discussions and case studies on the
CD-ROM. 9. The CD-ROM adds 54 annotated
scenarios and/or scenario sets to the 350 in
last year's book.
Evolving new idea A Strategy to Counter
Transnational Crime
  • intergovernmental body - with a situation room
  • Set up information traps at money laundering
  • Identify a top criminal and prepare the legal
  • Identify assets that can be frozen, and readiness
    of banks, etc. to freeze them
  • Identify where the criminal is now and get
    readiness of local authorities make the arrest
  • Identify best location to prosecute and get
    readiness of local courts to move immediately
  • When every thing is ready, all the orders would
    be executed at the same time to apprehend the
    criminal, freeze the assets and access, and open
    the court case.

State of the Future The Video
  • About 2 minutes per challenge (2920)
  • Node translations for showing in their region
  • WFS added to catalog
  • Fund raising video copy to WETV and Hazel
  • Show at SOWFs Forum 2000 in parallel with UN
    Millennium Summit
  • Hughes asked that we improve the English audio

Translations/Special editions
  • Chinese edition of the 1999 SOF
  • Farsi edition of the 1998 SOF
  • Spanish edition of Futures Research Methodology
  • AEPI editions (a) futures and
    decisionmaking (b) UN and Environmental Security
  • Technological Forecasting Social Change (99SOF)
  • Other MP articles in
  • Futures (very long-range scenarios)
  • Futures Research Quarterly (Futures Research and
  • Futurist (Futures Research and Decisionmaking -
  • Foresight (Normative Scenario)

Principal Findings
1. The most important challenges are
transnational in nature and trans-institutional
in solution. They require collaborative action
among governments, international organizations,
corporations, universities, and NGOs. 2. Hundreds
of futurists, scholars, business planners,
scientists, and decisionmakers were asked what
could significantly affect the future. Their
responses have been rated in questionnaires and
discussed in interviews over the past four years.
The results can be organized into 15 global
challenges. 3. Global challenges had regional
and local counterparts (sustainable development
could be discussed as a global or neighborhood
objective). 4. Some of the challenges are
exploding or have the potential to explode into
crises and require immediate, thoughtful, and
inspired action.
Principal Findings (cont.)
  • 5. There is greater consensus about the scope of
    global issues and opportunities than is evident
    in the media. There is good agreement about many
    promising actions, although diverse views exist
    about other constructive actions.
  • 6. Suggested actions could be organized into 12
    meta strategies
  • establishing new alliances, agreements, and
  • engaging in social marketing
  • creating standards and permits
  • enforcing or modifying laws and regulations
  • performing scientific research and development
  • engaging in meetings, dialogs, or workshops
  • creating and amending economic systems,
    sanctions, and incentives
  • improving planning, accounting, and forecasting
  • creating and improving new educational programs
  • developing and sharing information
  • modifying institutions, infrastructure, and
  • initiating new institutions, projects, and

Principal Findings (cont.)
  • 7. Issues and opportunities are interdependent.
    Study of interactions should be part of future
    policy analyses. From the standpoint of
    interdependence, the interactions of greatest
    potential were
  • widespread adoption of a long-term perspective -
    e.g. taking the needs of future generations into
  • the movement toward sustainable development
  • the reduction of population growth rates in most
    countries of the world.

Principal Findings (cont.)
  • 8. Factors that impede action and decisionmaking
    are similar everywhere and largely independent of
    nationality and culture. The most important of
    these factors could be grouped as follows
  • Institutional no one has responsibility lack
    of adequate coordination institutional inertia
  • Financial lack of funding, or the fact that the
    people who ought to pay are unwilling to do so
  • Disinterest in the future near-term issues gain
    more attention than those that have more distant
  • Planning inadequacy lack of a long term view
  • Personnel lack of decision skills
    decisionmakers who do not understand the issues
    they must decide
  • Strategic lack of clear-cut strategy and goals,
    lack of coordinated actions among actors
  • Complexity lack of understanding of the
    magnitude of problems and consequences of actions
  • Political the action interferes with national
    interests or it has been proposed by an opponent
  • Information lack of accurate, reliable, and
    sufficient data and information, or the
    uncertainty of the risk
  • Lack of consensus differing interests and
    ideology among key actors, politicians, the
    public, and lobbying groups

Principal Findings (cont.)
  • Barriers to the use of futures research in timely
    decisionmaking can also include moral factors.
    Those identified and rated as the greatest moral
    impediments were
  • Insufficient attention to the needs of future
  • Caring about the well-being of only own group or
  • Corruption of political leaders, policymakers,
    corporate leaders
  • Waste
  • Greed and self-centeredness
  • 9. Technological futures are easier to forecast
    than cultural or political futures.
  • 10. Corruption and transnational crime preventing
    the solution to many of our problems could be
    turned around by targeting money laundering
    through sophisticated information technology and
    intergovernmental coordination on the location
    for prosecutions. The lack of ethical behavior
    and moral underpinnings has given rise to a new
    hunger for global ethics and the need to identify
    common ethical norms.

Principal Findings (cont.)
11. Decisionmakers are generally not trained to
make good decisions in the future, formalized
training for decisionmakers could result in an
improvement in the quality of global
decisions. 12. Information to reduce the time
from early warning to timely action should
unequivocally demonstrate that a crisis is
pending and that details are available about what
is possible and how action might alter the
outcome of the situation. 13. Science and
technology promise to give new capabilities that
will change lives, values, social structure, and
politics. New science and technology is essential
to the solution of many world problems. 14.
Sustainability is a concept that has spread
globally and provides useful guidance to
policymaking. Many global policies are now based
on perceptions about their impacts on
sustainability. 15. Economic growth is essential
it provides the means to increase employment,
help solve environmental problems, improve the
general welfare, and promote political stability.
Principal Findings (cont.)
16. Many desirable policies, especially those
addressing environmental and economic
relationships, depend on scientific, technical,
and economic standards that do not yet exist. 17.
Since education is one of the fundamental
strategies to address most of the global issues,
it is important to identify the most effective
educational materials, curricula, and
distribution media for global education as well
as institutional arrangements to accelerate
learning. 18. In decisionmaking, the short term
almost always wins over the longer-term when
there is a conflict between the two perspectives
this is true even when the costs of doing so are
clear. 19. The status and progress made on all
the challenges can be assessed in large measure
through the tracking of indicators, most of which
already exist. 20. Environmental security is of
increasing concern in world affairs and moving up
the policy agenda in some countries.
Principal Findings (cont.)
  • 21. The Project assessed the factors that might
    affect humanity over the next thousand years.
    While there was some disagreement about whether
    such an effort was worthwhile, the exercise
    proved intellectually challenging. The most
    significant factors affecting the long-range
    future were judged as
  • evolving human-environment dynamics, including
    the complex interactions among population and
  • the use of human genetic engineering to control
    disease, aging, and human characteristics
  • the availability of safe energy
  • 22. As evidenced by the use of previous State of
    the Future reports by international
    organizations, governments, NGOs, corporations,
    and universities, it is possible to perform
    global futures research in a coherent fashion on
    a global basis that is international,
    interinstitutional, interdisciplinary, and

Principal Findings (cont.)
  • 23. While quantitative methods have been devised
    to assess the relative costs and benefits of
    alternative policies, these methods depend on
    assumptions about the future, which will always
    be imperfectly and incompletely known. The
    methods researched in the Millennium Project
    contribute to reducing uncertainty. Among the
    methods incorporated by the project are
  • global panels with feedback, augmented by
    in-depth interviews that built on the results
    of the panels
  • exploratory and normative scenarios constructed
    from panel suggestions
  • modeling to provide a quantitative backbone to
  • cross-impact methods for modifying scenarios
  • drawing lessons from history for forecasting
  • trend impact analysis for extending historical
    indicators in view of perceived future

Current work (to be discussed in more detail
  • Future Issues of Science Technology
  • Environmental Security Scanning
  • Environmental Crimes
  • Futures Research Methods - V 2.0
  • Indicators with historic and projected data for
    possible "State of the Future Index"
  • Node Millennium Symposiums (South America, Italy,
    and China)
  • Forum 2000 in conjunction with UN Millennium
    Summit in September

Future Science Technology Issues
  • Trial list to Science Attaches, ICSU, and MP
  • What are the key emerging international issues in
    ST? How can the ST gap between developed and
    developing countries be bridged? How is the
    global environment changing for science? What
    are the trends in counter-science? What are
    some of the significant emerging characteristics
    of the international scientific complex?
  • Steering committee
  • Suggests panel members, critiques questionnaire
    drafts, discusses results of rounds 1 and 2, and
    review all drafts of this research.
  • Composed of several Science Attachés and MP
  • Each Node selects 10 participants in their region
  • Round 1 - Rate list as to importance, and
    potential consequences on both the ST enterprise
    and the broader community.
  • Round 2 explore reasons for differences and
    potential actions to address key issues.

Environmental Security Scanning 70 items
identified from August 1999 to June 2000
  • Two Examples
  • The Prime Minister of France wants a UN World
    Environment Organization. He proposes this UN
    organization to be a mechanism for rules and
    enforcement for environmental agreements in the
    same way that the World Trade Organization is for
    trade agreements. This will raise environmental
    matters higher on the policy agenda. It is an
    additional indicator that political pressure is
    mounting to complete the global architecture of
    rules for global behavior and enforcement in
    general, and environmental policy change in
    particular. This could reduce environmental
    threats, which might have lead to conflict.
  • If present funding trends continue, destruction
    of chemical weapons in Russia will not be
    completed in our lifetime. With potential for
    smuggling and leakage, this issue deserves
    greater attention from the international

Environmental Security Scanning Some patterns and
  • Sovereignty - UN early warning response teams,
    ICC and war crimes, genetically modified foods
    and organisms, environmental conditions that
    affect public health, Bioagent Chips deployed
    to detect biological warfare attacks. Where
    should the nation-state end and the UN begin,
    when transborder action is necessary?
  • Worsening environment - forests, fish, wet lands
    , water, greenhouse gases, and the interactions
    of these and other factorsg. With water tables
    falling in all continents, and ethnic tensions on
    the rise, water pollution caused by one group
    affecting another could escalate more seriously
    than in the past. Putin abolishes Russias
    environmental protection agency
  • Environmental Accounting - value of
    environmental conditions
  • Environmental Ministers ... we can ensure
    environmental security through early warning...
    raising environmental security on global agenda.

Futures Research Methodology - V 2.0
  • Existing CD-ROM

1. Introduction Overview 10. Cross-Impact
Analysis 2. Environmental Scanning 11. Tech
Sequence Analysis 3. Participatory Methods 12.
Relevance Trees and Morphological Analysis 4.
Structural Analysis 13. Statistical Modeling 5.
Delphi 14. Simulation-Gaming 6. Systems and
Modeling 15. Futures Wheel 7. Decision
Modeling 16. Normative Forecasting 8. Scenario
Construction 17. Genius, Vision, Intuition 9.
Trend Impact Analysis 18. Method Frontiers and
  • On line methods (e.g. i-Delphi and Group
  • TRIZ
  • Science Road Maps
  • Multiple perspectives for forecasting and impact
  • Agent Models
  • Self Modifying Scenarios
  • Decision Sciences
  • AI and Pattern Recognition
  • Mic Mac

The current processes to improve the Millennium
Project are
Nodes - individuals and institutions who connect
global, regional, and local perspectives in
eleven cities around the world via questionnaires
and interviews
Planning Committee Meetings of 20 people to
review and set agenda
Planning Committee and Node email lists
Questions to the Global Lookout Panel and
Decisionmaker Interviews
Annual State of the Future report - forces
accumulative analysis, focuses feedback, and gets
others up to speed
Integrate research by writing scenarios
Two Listservs 1) Professional Participants 2)
self-section from the Public
Web Site - initial dynamic knowledge repository
Additional Millennium Project ideas and issues
  • Node coordination and InfoSystem
  • Methodological Issues (batching vs short
    questions, on-line questionnaires, translation)
  • Use and promotion of State of the Future
  • Dissemination, promotion, book reviews, etc.
  • State of the Future translations
  • Report on Project finances and outlook
  • Node fund raising
  • Public Relations

Objectives for 2000-2001
  • Science Technology Issues
  • Environmental Crime
  • Futures Methods - V 2.0
  • Indicators/data for possible "State of the Future
  • Global Lookout panels per Challenge to peer
    review text, data, concepts, actions
  • Supplemental Research for Challenge Up-dates
  • Nodes plans for next year
  • Additions to annotated scenario bibliography
  • Produce V.20 SOF_at_M
  • Projects Information System and Web site as
    collective intelligence
  • Public Relations (Forum 2000, Node Symposiums,
    talks, articles, Op Eds)

Pending additional funding
  • UN Millennium Summit Special Edition
  • Scenarios exploratory and normative
  • Lessons of History
  • Video series (for seminars/conferences, training,
    education materials)
  • Individuals Institutions to Futures Matrix
  • MP trainings in methods and challenges
  • Articles (Op Ed) and talks
  • Hire an additional staff member

State of the Future Version 2.0 with chapters -
possibly - on
  • Updates on challenges
  • Indicators - history and forecasts
  • Feasibility of a State of the Future Index
  • Future Science and Technology Issues
  • Environmental Security scanning results
  • Exploratory Normative Scenarios
  • Environmental Crime
  • UN Summit, Forum 2000, Node seminars
  • Futures Matrix
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