An independent non-profit “global participatory think tank” of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers” that collects and assesses judgments on 15 Global Challenges, presented in its bi-annual State of the Future Report (annual until 2012). The purpose of the project is “to assist in organizing futures research, improve thinking about the future, and make that thinking available through a variety of media”. This unique organization is energized with 60 global “Nodes” contributing to its bi-annual “State of the Future” report integrating information on 15 Global Challenges.
The 15 Global Challenges:
- Sustainable development while addressing global climate change;
- Sufficient clean water for all without conflict;
- Balancing population growth and resource use;
- Enabling genuine democracy to emerge from authoritarian regimes;
- Enhancing decision-making with more collaborative global foresight in a period of accelerating change;
- Global convergence of information and communications technologies to work for all;
- Reducing the gap between rich and poor in ethical market economies;
- Reducing the threat of new and reemerging diseases and immune micro-organisms;
- Education that better equips humanity to address its global challenges;
- Ways for shared values and new security strategies to reduce ethnic conflicts, terrorism, and use of weapons of mass destruction;
- Improving the human condition through progress on the status of women;
- Stopping transnational organized crime and its networks;
- Meeting growing energy demands safely and efficiently;
- Accelerating scientific and technological breakthroughs to improve the human condition;
- Routine incorporation of ethical considerations into global decisions.
- Special library on Global Scenarios, Lone Wolf Terrorism, Elements of the Next Global Economic System, Possibilities for Education and Learning in 2030, Future Global Ethical Issues, and Environmental Security.
- State of the Future Index – An indication of the 10-year outlook for the future, based on historical data of selected variables for the previous 20 or more years and on judgments about the best and worst plausible 10-year outcomes for each variable.
- Global Futures Intelligence System – Continuous updates and more archival detail are provided through the ten sections for each Global Challenge (Current Situation, Overview, Update, Digest, Resources, etc.). GFIS is free to the 60 Nodes and available by subscription at five different rates, starting at $100/year for individuals.
- State of the Future series (2017, v.19.1, 140p., ~30$) – Gives an overview of humanity’s present situation, challenges and opportunities, potentials for the future, and actions and policies that could improve humanity’s outlook – in clear, precise, and readable text with unparalleled breadth and depth. Includes a 50-page report on “Future Work/Technology 2050”. Co-authored by Jerome C. Glenn and Elizabeth Florescu.
- Futures Research Methodology 3.0 (~1300p, $49.50), a comprehensive collection of internationally peer-reviewed methods and tools to explore future possibilities.
Note: The MP is distinctive for its “Node” structure, its breadth (arguably at the expense of depth), and attention to several topics that are widely neglected, e.g. (transnational organized crime, ethical decisions, various technologies, collaborative foresight). Although touted as futures research, it is more accurately seen as an ambitious integration of many current trends. SSG Principal David Harries formerly served as head of the Canadian Node. (MM)