Bootstrap Institute logo Doug Engelbart's
   Colloquium at Stanford
An In-Depth Look at "The Unfinished Revolution"
Session 1
State of the future
Jerome Glenn
video clip. 1.*

We all know that the world is getting much more complex. Systems to handle these complex situations are not all in place. We are finding new kinds of diseases, new kinds of terrorism, new kinds of governmnt┬'s problems with water and ethnic conflicts we haven┬'t seen before. We know the world is interdependent. We know that there┬'s decreasing lead-time to address the kinds of problems I just mentioned. So we really have to improve the way we think and anticipate about the future. 2

One of the ways we┬'re trying to improve thinking about the future is we created what is called The Millenium Project which has identified about 550 futurists and scholars around the world who work for governments and United Nations organizations and NGOs and universities. They come from all walks of life and different disciplines. And they┬'re trying to take a look at all this complexity. And, they┬'ve identified development that could make a change in the future; they┬'ve identified issues and opportunities. And these have  been merged into fifteen global challenges we face for the future. And, I┬'d like to very briefly read them to you. 3

01-EngSF.jpg They go into greater detail in this book called, "The State of the Future," but very briefly, the challenges we think have to be addressed, that we have to begin to address very seriously, seriously right now are: 4

How can sustainable development be achieved for all? 4A

How can we get good, clean, safe water for all people, without conflict? Many of the watersheds around the world go across borders, and there are tensions right now about that. 4B

How can population growth and resources be brought into balance? 4C

How can genuine democracy, not just makeshift votes, but genuine democracy, emerge from authoritarian regimes and dictatorships? 4D

How can global long-term perspectives be more frequently used in policy-making? We keep making decisions and getting short, quick solutions that aren┬'t really that. We know that we┬'ve got to take the long-range into account. How do we do that? 4E

How can globalization, the convergence of information and communications technologies be made to work for all people? 4F

How can ethical markets increase economic growth and reduce the development gap? 4G

What can be done to reduce the threat of new and re-emerging diseases and the increasing number of immune microorganisms? 4H

How can the capacity to make correct decisions be improved as institutions and the nature of work is changing all around the world? 4I

How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflict and new kinds of terrorism? 4J

How can the increasing changes in the status of women improve the human condition? 4K

How can organized crime be stopped from becoming more powerful, sophisticated, global enterprises? 4L

How can the growing energy demand be met, but safely met, for us all as we grow into a larger, more complex future with more people and increasing income? 4M

What are the most effective ways to accelerate scientific breakthroughs and technological applications to improve the human condition for all? 4N

How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions? 4O

All of these are complex issues. They require global systems that are not either in place or well understood. And, I look forward to your thoughts on how we can make this all more effective in the future. 5

[<] principal lecture]


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