The 1997 Annual Meeting of the Millennium Project's Planning Committee was held at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. February 12-13, 1997 and was followed by a public briefing at the National Press Club on 14 February.
The principle conclusions and decisions for the 1997 program were:
1. The Project has met it's first year's objectives and has established new objectives for the project’s 1997 program.
2. Greater attention will be given to the development of the project's nodes, including promoting interaction among the nodes. Seed funds will be provided (to the extent possible) to existing nodes by the project’s coordinating office at . The principles of self-selection and self-organization will continue to be used to guide the growth and number of nodes.
3. A revised generic memorandum, based on the existing agreement between the project and the South Pacific node, will be circulated to the nodes for comments, revision if necessary, and signature.
4. Nodes will explore how best to use the 1997 State of the Future report to assist decision making in their regions and may wish to publish a regional version of the 1997 report.
5. In the future, all nodes will be asked to send a brief report summarizing their activities to Planning Committee meetings; these reports will be entered into the minutes even if a node chair cannot attend.
6. The 1997 Global Look-Out Panel will build on the 1996 work, seeking new developments of global importance and focusing particularly on positive developments. In the analysis of this work, relationships between the output of both 1996 and 1997 panels will be examined for policy implications.
7 The scanning activity to be performed in 1997 will extend the current work and focus on measurement of progress in the 15 issue areas.
8. The project's scenario work will center on two activities. First, the use of global models will be studied as a means of strengthening exploratory scenarios of the sort constructed in 1996. Second, criteria for and construction of normative scenarios will also be studied.
9. Initial applications of the project's work to education and training will be explored.
10. A second panel of macro historians will be implemented in 1997. This panel will focus on lessons from history that might be applied to futures research - especially to form questions that could serve as a check list for scenario construction.
11. Pending funding, other research panels and studies may be initiated, including: environmental security; complexity applied to socio-political stability in Russia; and identification of rules of economic development for a rules based model.
1. Derry Allen, US EPA
2. Don Barns, US EPA
3. Anne Barton,US EPA
4. Henry Cole, The Futures Group International
5. Francisco Dallmeier, The Smithsonian Institution
6. Sidney Draggan, Office of the Administrator, US EPA
7. Nadezhda Gaponenko, Chair, MP Moscow Node, and Center for Science and Industrial Policy
8. Yves Gisse, Centre d’Etudes de Relations Internatioinales, d’Economie et d’Affaires
9. Jerome Glenn, Co-Director, The Millennium Project
10. Horacio Godoy, Chair, MP South American Node, and President of INFODEC
11. Cecile Goli, Washington Office,UNESCO
12. Ted Gordon, Co-Director, The Millennium Project
13. Susan Jette, Admin/Research Assistant, The Millennium Project
14. Michael Kaericher, Ford Motor Company
15. Neil Kotler, The Smithsonian Institution
16. Hal Linstone, Editor, Technological Forecasting & Social Change
17. Jill Montgomery, Monsanto Company
18. Karen Oerter, Pioneer Hi-Bred International
19. Charles Perrottet, V.P.,The Futures Group
20. Roger Rainbow, V.P. Global Business Environment, Shell International
21. David Rejeski, OSTP, the White House, Washington, D.C.
22. Stan Rosen, Hughes Electronics Corporation
23. Peter Rzeszotarski, AEPI
24. Joe Sasso, Futurist, Motorola Corporation
25. Khaled Sellami, MP Tunis Node, Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies
26. Ru Song Wang, Chair, MP Beijing Node and Dir.Urban Ecology, Chinese Acad. of Sciences
During the first day, the Planning Committee reviewed the results of the project. The discussions of the second day focused on plans for the next year. On the third day, the project conducted its first public briefing at the National Press Club for 50 members of the international policy community.
DAY 1: FEBRUARY 12, 1997
Jerry Glenn opened the meeting by welcoming all attendees, outlining the agenda, and asking for self introductions. The complete draft of the 1997 State of the Future Report: Implications for Actions Today was distributed to the attendees for comments and corrections. This report summarizes the Project’s first year’s work. Copies of the draft report were sent to Committee members who were not able to attend for their comments as well. Publication is scheduled for mid-April with ISBN # 0-9657362-0-2. Mr. Glenn observed that the project is acknowledged as a unique global activity that includes participation of international organizations, governments, corporations, NGOs, universities, and individual futurists and scholars from many disciplines.
He reported that all objectives for the first year have been met. The primary elements of the first year’s work included the four rounds of the 1996 Global Look-Out study, creation of three scenario sketches, exploration of scanning approaches on the Internet, development of the project s Internet homepage, and the formation of six nodes. (Nodes currently exist in the UK, Egypt, Argentina, Australia, Russia, and China; a node is forming in Tunisia under the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies, and nodes are being discussed in the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Japan, France and Italy.) Details of these accomplishments were discussed at the meeting and will not be repeated here since they are described in the State of the Future Report and on the Project’s homepage. Note that a new and shorter homepage address is now in operation:
Dr. Harold Linstone, editor of Technological Forecasting and Social Change offered to publish a special issue on the work of the Project based on the State of the Future report.
Ted Gordon reported the first year’s activities and findings. He announced that the Millennium Project had been selected as one of the seven “best in kind” foresighting programs in existence today by Battelle, the Seattle research firm. This Bettelle benchmarking study performed for the Office of Technology Policy of the US Department of Energy also noted that the Millennium Project was the only one that was global in scope. Representatives of two of the other seven institutions were present: Shell International and AEPI.
Mr. Gordon reviewed the three-round Look-Out study on future developments that promise global consequences and described the make up of the panel, the questions posed and the nature of the responses. The developments suggested by the panel were grouped by perceived likelihood and importance and synthesized into a set of 15 issues that became the focus of the Round 4 interviews. These interviews were conducted with executives and policy makers worldwide, to explore actions pertinent to the issues and responsibilities for accomplishing the actions. Many of these interviews were conducted by the nodes.
Mr. Gordon commented on the problem that was faced by the staff in standardizing the techniques of multiple interviewers in Round 4. How could interviews be coordinated in a way that helped assure comparability even though many different interviewers using different languages and cultures were involved? To help solve this problem, a video tape of a sample interview (of Ambassador James Leonard) was sent to all interviewers. The interview tape was an excellent addition to the Look-Out process and should be used again this year.
The analysis of the questionnaire and interview responses included construction of a qualitative cross impact matrix among the issues. Mr. Gordon reported that the interactions among issues abound; improving one tends to improve many others, and visa versa. Members of the Planning Committee commented about some of the relationships that were displayed and agreed that a cross impact analysis of this sort could be helpful in building mental maps. This activity presages the use in 1997 of models that will contain similar linkages.
Mr. Gordon also noted that people seemed to judge actions that were deemed unimportant to also be less likely, and that less effective polices were also seen as less practical. If this proves to be typical, this propensity should be kept in mind in preparing and analyzing future questionnaires and interviews.
The method used in constructing the Project’s scenarios (in conjunction with The Futures Group) was also reviewed. One new aspect was the integration of the most highly rated developments from Round 2 into the body of the scenarios. Other methodological work included an examination of the emerging frontier of decision making in uncertainty, the possible use of agent adaptive modeling in exploring global issues, and the possibility of using artificial on-line meta-worlds as a new research environment.
After lunch Chairs of the Project's Nodes gave reports of their activities. The following is a distillation of their reports. Plans for 1997 are listed later in the minutes in day 2.
by Dr. Nadezhda V. Gaponenko
Moscow Node of the Millennium Project was set up in 1995 and is partly supported by the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Association Forecast and Cycles and other institutions. It works with individuals, Russian government, corporations, non-governmental organizations.
Concept and Objectives:
The Moscow node was designed to provide an on-going capacity for early warning and analysis of global long-range issues, to organize an interdisciplinary and independent exploration of these issues and the potential for a global and national agenda directed to their solution.
The globalization processes in different aspects of economic and social development are constantly increasing the interdependence of countries and regions in the world. This forces us to: 1) seek new approaches to the early warning and analysis of global issues and their application to different regions, as well as influence of national issues on the global sustainability; 2) identify national policy and actions in coordination with evolving global regulations and policy; and 3) increase understanding of common agenda of the whole world by scientists, policy makers and public at large. In response to these new conditions, the efforts and experience of futurists and scholars around the world should be unified for exploration of our common future. This activity should be advanced from country to country, and from scientists to policy-makers, corporations, and public at large.
Primary Activities of the Moscow Node:
1. advance methodology of future- oriented studies;
2. connect individuals and institutions in Russia, East and Central European countries and connect them around the world to collaborate on research;
3. improve global thinking about the future and make that thinking available for futurists, scholars, corporations, policy-makers in Russia and around the world;
4. organize training courses as well as advance Millennium Project reports to public education and advanced training
5. provide translation and publication of Millennium Project reports (or sections) in Russian;
6. organize briefings about Millennium Project activities and results at local and international conferences, seminars, symposiums, and meetings.
1996 Operations of the Moscow Node
1. Some methods and tools from the Millennium Project's first book “Frontiers of Future Studies: A Handbook of Tools and Methods” were translated into Russian with funding from the Moscow Node. They were Scenarios, Delphi, Trend Impact Analysis, Systems Perspectives, Normative Forecasting, Integration and Frontiers of Futures Research.
2. The joint study entitled “Methodology of R&D Systems of Forecasting in Transition to a New Order” conducted in collaboration with the Millennium Project Feasibility Study was initiated and supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology Policy Russian Federation in 1995. It was presented and discussed in 1996 at conference in Moscow, which was organized by International Kondratjeff foundation. Some outputs of this project were also presented at the 1996 mid-year meeting of the Millennium Project Planning Committee in Washington. Funds to translate this 100 page study into English was provided by the Moscow Node. The main positions of this study, plus the first year’s operations of Millennium Project (project design, Look-Out Panel and interviews) were presented at the meeting of department of Forecasting of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences in Moscow on 14th December 1996.
3. The concept paper “Forecasting & Policy Applications of Research in Complexity, Chaos, and Self-organization for Social Transformation: A Case Study of Russia” was sent to and comments received from Prof. Pentti Malaska, President, WFSF; Dr. George Cowan, Founder of Santa Fe Institute; Dr. Paul Werbos, NSF, John O'Conner (then with the World Bank); and Scott Moss, Director Center for Policy Modeling Manchester University. The US National Science Foundation expressed interest in receiving a full proposal. A proposal is now in preparation for NSF and others currently entitled: “Complexity applied to Socio-Political Stability with application to Russia” for NSF and others.
4. The Moscow Node participated in the four rounds of 1996 Global Look- Out Study: about 20 scholars from Russian Federation, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Hungary, Germany, Portugal, Netherlands were invited to take part in Round 3; Round 4 interviews were conducted with nine key individuals from the Russian government, corporations, and NGOs.
Dr. Nadezhda Gaponenko, Director
Center for Science and Industrial Policy
8A pereulok Obukha
Moscow 103064 Russia
SOUTH AMERICAN NODE
by Dr. Horacio Godoy
The Node is located at the Latin American Center for Globalization and Futures Research - Global Latino. The center was created as the result of a special interactive seminar on learning for higher education authorities of Colombia in September 1996 about the “Globalization and Futures Research”. This is the Millennium Project Node for Spanish and Portuguese speaking community of the world.
Concept and Objectives
This node’s unique contribution to the Millennium Project is the exploration of globalization from the relationships of the: 1) local to the regional and global; 2) regional to the local and the global; and 3) global to the regional and the local activities. A purpose of the South American Node of the Project is to protect local value and interest in the process of globalization and to transmit to the global the local views. Its general tasks are to: 1) obtain “global information” to serve “local needs”, and project “local values and interest” to the “global scenario”; 2) promote and organize advanced training seminars that are interactive and computer-based related to Globalization and Futures Research for executives of the private and public sector; 3) design research projects for government and private companies in areas related to globalization and futures research; and 4) offer advisory services related to these three tasks.
1996 Operation of the South American Node:
1. Created of the Center as a Millennium Project Node which connected individuals and institutions in the MERCOSUR area first, and then to other countries in South America. Selection of the members of the South American Node’s Planning Committee (see list below).
2. Established a working and research relationship with the Evolution Foundation, an active member of I'earn - International Education and Resources Network - specialized in the area of primary and secondary education around the globe. The Foundation has created the network of over 1000 schools called TELAR “todos en la red” (in English: everybody in the net). 250 of these schools are actively working in tele-education. More than 800 are expecting to obtain telecommunication support. The Millennium Project issues were given to TELAR and the Center has received responses from many of the 250 schools. The Node is ready to join special educational project of the Millennium Project.
3. Introduced the Millennium Project to the First Encounter of Iberoamerican Futures Research Studies organized for 1996 but held in March 1997.
The Latin American Center for Globalization and Futures Research is a private organization created by INFODEC Associated Consultants with the participation of academic, business and NGOs from Latin America, Spain and Portugal to act as a node of the Millennium Project. Its focus is on the inter dynamics of local, region, and global issues and relations, while looking for the best ways to cooperate in the search for a “global community of human dignity”. The executive committee of the South American Node in Buenos Aires, Argentina as of 3 February 1997 included:
Horacio H. Godoy, chairman
Mateo Magarinos de Mello, chairman for Environmental Affairs
Claudia Barelli, Applications Development in CD-Rom
Gerardo Biritos, International Science and Development
Horacio Bosch, Science and Technology, Productivity and Education
Miguel Angel Gutierrez, Globalization and International Relations
Argemiro Enciso, Higher Education
Carlos Mari, Free Trade Zones, International Trade
Francisco Jose Mojica, Futures Research
Josefina Orzabal, Legal Aspects of Elecronic Documents and Transactions
Nelson Pilosof, World Trade
Daniel Reyes, Tele-education
Eduardo Sicaro, Management and Energy
Carlos Tomassino, Computer Science and Technology, Education
Patricia Vasquez, International Trade and Environment
Dr. Horacio Godoy, President
Esmeralda 1075 5 - 41
1007 Buenos Aires
Internet homepage: http://www.global-latino.com and http://allub.com/infodec
by Dr. Rusong Wang
Dramatic changes have taken place in the world in the last two decades of this century. Conspicuous among these is the rapid development of East and South-East Asia, a region with one third of the world population, transforming from agricultural society to industrial society, from planned economy to market economy, from a homogeneous and unitary society into a heterogeneous and diversified society. The pace, depth, and magnitude of this transition, while bringing about benefits to local people, have exerted severe human ecological stresses on both local and cultural conditions and regional life support ecosystems. The sustainability can only be assured with a human-ecological understanding of the complex interaction among environmental, economic and social/cultural factors and with comprehensive planning and management grounded in ecological principles.
Concept and Objectives:
East Asia has become a hot point of the global change and key area for the Millennium Project initiated by the American Council for the United Nations University. In order to provide a global capacity for early warning and analysis of long-term and scale development issues and strategies based on the situation in East Asia, a regional node for the project was set up in Beijing in 1996, partly supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Society of China.
1. Encourage and organize researches on early warning of the long term and large scale impacts of the rapid industrialization and urbanization in the densely populated areas of East Asia, with its emphasis on the society’s dynamics, cybernetics and technological instruments towards sustainable development.
2. Promote communication between policy makers, NGOs, futurists and scholars through workshops, information exchanges and establishing Internet connections.
3. Edit and publish newsletters, books and annual reports on the regional urgent issues and development.
4. Hold training courses and social activities in raising peoples’ eco-awareness of their future and promoting an environmentally sound, economically productive, systematically responsible and behaviorally feasible development.
1996 Operations of the Beijing Node
1. Prof. Rusong WANG, the coordinator of the Beijing Node, had twice met and discussed with Mr. Jerome Glenn, the project co-director, in Washington, D.C., when he was attending the World Bank’s advisory meeting there in 1996. They made out a detail plan of establishing the Beijing Node and working arrangement of the Round 3 and Round 4 of the 1996 Global Look-Out Study.
2. Invited 18 scholars from Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Changsha, Guangzhou, etc. to participate in the Round 3 of the Global Look-Out Study.
3. Prepared interviews for Round 4 through translation of all 15 issues and 135 actions into Chinese, and interviewed 17 political leaders, business leaders and NGO leaders from Beijing, Tianjin, Guangdong, Hebei, Ningxia, Inner Mongolia, and Central Government. All responses were translated back into English and sent to Washington through Internet.
The node is attached to the Department of Systems and Ecology (DSE), a key open lab in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, open to domestic and foreign scholars, with a focus on interdisciplinary ecological and economical studies on development issues of densely populated urban and rural areas. A series of early warning studies on population, economy and environment in state and regional levels had been done in DSE during the past fifteen years including the prediction of China’s Environment towards 2000; the survival and development: An Evaluation of the State of China’s Population, Resource, Food and Environment: An Early Warning of China’s Ecology and Environment.
Several national NGOs have their secretariats in DSE: Ecological Society of China, Ecotech Network China, Urban Ecology China, Sustainable Development Committee in the China’s Society for Social Development, and the Ecological Economics Group of SCOPE China. They formulated a joint China’s Network for Promoting of Sustainable Development and Interdisciplinary Studies on Economy, Ecology, and Ecopolis, with a newsletter in both Chinese and English.
DSE has been participated in the all phases of the Millennium Project Feasibility Study (since 1992) through to the operational project today. The members of the node currently involved in the Millennium Project include those from local research institutes, universities and NGOs in Beijing, and those in other cities and provinces.
Prof. Rusong WANG is the principal coordinator of the node, Mr. Quingwen MIN and Ms. Yuanli XUE are the secretaries responsible for the Internet and domestic networking respectively. Prof. Wenhua LI, the former general secretary of MAB/UNESCO, and Prof. Bo LI, Academician, Chinese Academy of Sciences are the two advisors of the Beijing Node.
Dr. Rusong WANG
Department of Systems Ecology
19 Zhongguancun Road
Peoples Republic of China
Tel.: (10) 6256 1872
Fax.: (10) 625 2775
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Or: email@example.com
A general discussion of the nodes' work on the round 4 interviews of policy makers followed, plus thoughts about follow-up to the first year's work. Nadezhda Gaponenko will be producing three journal articles in Russia based on the interviews and the Millennium Project in general. Rusong Wang is conducting monthly meetings in Beijing on the first year's results. Horacio Godoy expects to conduct briefings for senior policy makers in South America. Khaled Sellami, of the Tunis Node, at Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies is the newest node and is just exploring potential activities, but did offer Arabic and French translation of project documents.
Current status of project sponsorship:
Alan F. Kay and Hazel Henderson Foundation for Social Innovation (1996 & 1997)
Ford Motor Company (1996 & 1997)
Hughes Electronics Company (1997)
Monsanto Company (1996 and decision pending 1997)
Pioneer Hi-Bred International (1997)
UNESCO (1995 decision pending 1997)
US Army Environmental Policy Institute (1996-)
US Environmental Protection Agency (1996-)
The US EPA and AEPI sponsorship began late in 1996 and continues into the present year, hence, request for 1997 has not yet been made. Shell International was represented at the meeting and is currently considering sponsorship. In kind support of the Futures Group and the Smithsonian Institution continues.
Project sponsors were positive about the amount accomplished. Comments included: the project is a tremendous network; it is not static - takes continuous snapshots in time; and has great room for diversity...it has created a unique perceptual space for global thought...it needs some kind of communications department...but most of all the sponsors emphasized the importance of the nodes to the project, and suggested more attention to their development. While agreeing that more attention to the development of current nodes should be done, Mr. Glenn cautioned about increasing the number of nodes too quickly. He explained that all nodes have been self-selected. Attempts to organize from "outside" may not be as effective. Two attempts to do that have not yet succeed: Paris and Tokyo. Self-selection and self-organizing are important, and it might be unwise "go out and recruit."
Two node chairs expressed the need for “seed funds” and also explored the possibility of direct funding from the sponsors. The nodes were encouraged to develop indigenous funding if possible and that the Millennium Project would provide some level of funding to existing nodes, to the extent practical. It was further agreed that a revised generic memorandum between the nodes and coordinating office will be written and circulated for comments to address these issues. The existing agreement with the South Pacific (Lismore, Australian) node will serve as a model.
Rusong Wang said the project was unique in China. Policy makers are used to discussions of policy only going up or down their organization, not horizontally among different kinds of policy makers around the world on the same issues and actions. Francisco Dallmeier asked how the Project achieves cooperation from people across organizational lines. The answers were: charm, the compelling nature of the project's mission and timing, and selecting people not only due to their contributions to futures research and being leaders in their field - but also by their good will toward humanity as-a-whole. Most participants perceive that global issues and solutions usually cross institutional, disciplinary, and national lines.
Some Suggestions And Questions Were Posed to Be Kept in Mind For The 1997 Operations:
We need to think about the growing collaboration and need for additional collaboration between the UN and other international organizations and multinational corporations...
We need to start answering some of the questions about normative scenarios this year...
We need to forge relationships with the US Senate Committees on Foreign Relations and Foreign Operatives and the US House Committees on International Affairs and Foreign Operations...
We need to think about the challenge of putting this good work to use... How do we get the "product" to decision makers, to educators? How do we provide access and mechanisms to leaders? How do we put the most important actions in front of decision makers?...
We need to look seriously at the field of decision science...
We need to scan the various global forums such as the State of the World Forum (Gorbachev is Chair), the Harvard University Conference on Internet and Society, and others...
On the summary page, we need a Statement of Purpose...look into having an internal search engine on the MP homepage...(Peter Rzeszotarski noted that AEPI is in the process of setting up a scanning system that is Internet based and would like to collaborate with the project in this.)...
Henry Cole offered The Futures Group International's resources (RAPID, a demographically-based computer generated presentation) for use in forming concise Project presentations.
DAY 2, FEBRUARY 13, 1997
The second day focused on further discussion of the nodes, next year's programs, relation to their regular work, administrative procedures, and general plans for 1997 operations.
Mr. Khaled Sellami arrived the second day to represent the director of the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES). The meeting began with introductions of attendees to Mr. Sellami, followed by his briefing on the work of ITES and proposed Tunis Node of the Project. ITES conducted Round 4 interviews of leaders in Tunisia. The Institute offered to do the project's Arabic and French translations. His diskette of Round 4 interview guide in French and project overview in Arabic will be loaded on the project's homepage. ITES was welcomed as the seventh and newest node of the Millennium Project.
Plans for next year’s operations were discussed with special attention to the role of the nodes. The following are their plans and suggestions for 1997:
1997 PLANS AND SUGGESTIONS
1. Government Policy. State of the Future report will be delivered to the State Duma, Council of Security, Ministry of Labor of Russian Federation, which has already expressed interest in the report and possibly to Council of Federation and Ministry of Economic Affairs, which we hope will use it in decision making. Possibly our node will help decision makers in application of the report.
2. Government Training. State of the Future Report will be delivered to the Academy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (This Academy provides the advanced training of top officials), Economic and Juridical Institute of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (this institute prepares a middle level officials) and to the Russian Academy for the Public Service under President of Russian Federation (this Academy provides advanced training of top officials for the federal executive powers and regional authorities), which has already expressed interest in the study and would like to include some output of report into their training programs. Possibly the Moscow Node will help these institutions in integrating the report into educational and training courses and materials, delivering lectures, and in translation.
3. Discuss outputs of the report at the local interdisciplinary seminar organized for the scientists and policy-makers by the Association Forecasting and Cycles in collaboration with Moscow Node of Millennium Project in June 1997.
4. Present the main outputs of the Report at the meetings of the Forecasting section of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and the International Kondratjev Foundation.
5. Publish articles in Russia based on the Round 4 interviews and state of the future report in general.
6. Search for domestic and foreign support for the publication of translated methods and tools from the “Frontiers of Future Studies: A Handbook of Tools and Methods” as well as the report “Methodology of R&D System of Forecasting in Transition to a New Order" in Russia.
7. Prepare the proposal of the project “Complexity applied to Socio- Political Stability with application to Russia” and to search for domestic and foreign support for this project.
8. Extend the network of the Node in Moscow, to other regions in Russia, and in the Ukraine, Byelorussia, and some East European countries.
9. Find futurists, scholars and policy-makers who are expert in positive developments for the 1997 Global Look-Out study
10. Find macro-historians to participate in the Lessons of History Applications for Futures study.
11. Conduct a four-round 1997 Global Look- Out Study.
SOUTH AMERICAN NODE
1997 PLANS AND SUGGESTIONS:
1. Consolidate the Center as a Millennium Project South American Node and establish local sub-nodes all over Latin America and Spain and Portugal.
2. Seek financial support from local institutions in Latin American countries to alleviate the financial burden of supported by the Millennium Project headquarters. The Node’s Planning Committee will meet in Buenos Aires to prepare a financial plan during the third week of April 97.
3. Develop the educational project with Evolution Foundation and I'earn group with temporary base in Buenos Aires until 1999. This project begin with Argentina (1000 or 1200 schools) but will extend to all Latin American countries within 1997.
4. The Center is planning a Conference on line about Internet and Society, following the format of the Harvard Conference on the same subject and format (May 1996). The purpose of this event is to analyze the topics of the Harvard conference by Latin American specialists and scholars and then compare the results of the discussions and recommendations.
1997 PLANS AND SUGGESTIONS
1. Establish a network in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and other main cities and provinces in the mainland of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Korea through Internet as well as mail communication.
2. Hold workshops in Beijing on the futures’ methodology and strategies for a better future and/or better Asia.
3. Search for domestic and foreign support to initiate a research project on sustainable future of East China with an annual report of China’s Ecology towards 2010.
4. Hold a training course for local communities on future sustainable technology.
Once these minutes are circulated, the plans for the other nodes will be requested on posted on the project’s home page.
The 1997 draft plan was presented to the group by Mr. Glenn, as follows
1. STATE OF THE FUTURE REPORT
The will publish the initial version of the 1997 State of the Future Report: Implications for Actions Today.
1.1 It will be distributed at no cost to participants in the project; sold through and World Future Society Book Service; published (major sections) in a special edition of Technological Forecasting and Social Change; and made available on the Project’s homepage.
1.2 Nodes and others can produce and sell their own edition, write journal articles, and conduct briefings for decision makers based on the report. A diskette of the report will be available for those wishing to print local editions.
1.3 Keep track of feedback on the report and use it to improve next year's report and begin accumulating the project's information and learning.
2. 1997 GLOBAL LOOK-OUT STUDY.
2.1 Conduct a four-round 1997 Global Look-Out Study designed similar to 1996, but this time focus on positive developments
2.2 Find and add futurists, scholars, and policy makers who are expert in positive developments to last year's Global Look-Out Panel.
2.3 If possible, include in later rounds the gap between issues and actions from 1996 to the positive developments and opportunities identified in early 1997 rounds of the Look-Out study as a basis for interviews with policy makers about strategy.
3.1 Use various scenario and modeling software to extend and give quantitative detail to scenarios from 1996. We have been allowed the use of PoleStar, developed by Stockholm Environmental Institute, WRI, Santa Fe, and Tellus Inc., and the International Futures model by Barry Hughes of the University of Denver. We are reviewing the HyperForum approach to scenario refinement of Tellus and WRI. How models fit a range of scenarios remains to be seen. The Project may also include adaptive agent modeling and look for other models that can help build robust scenarios.
3.2 Poll participants to nominate normative scenarios. Develop criteria for creating, judging, and using normative scenarios.
3.3 Review the scenario bibliography, add some, delete others for improved listings in next year's report.
3.4 Further develop future of Africa scenarios sketched in preparation for the African Futures 2025 session at the UN.
4.1 Set-up scanning system to track issues, and actions from 1996 Global Look-Out study to produce an up-date for next State of the Future report. Create indicators for each. (Peter Bishop had previously expressed interest in taking on this responsibility with his graduate program in future studies at the University of Houston.)
4.2 Explore applications for homepage
5. SPECIAL STUDIES AND RESEARCH PANELS
5.1 Applications to Education and Training
5.1.2 Discuss potential collaboration with those in primary, secondary and higher education, corporate training, and software companies about educational applications of the projects' products such as the future of Africa and futures research methodology series, as well as the State of the Future report. Select and implement at least one collaboration. This activity might begin with a memo to project participants in education.
5.1.3 Design and conduct an advance training program for policy and decision makers.
5.2 Lessons of History and Questions Applied to Futures Research Identify macro-historians who will participate in a several round study to identify, rate, and analyze lessons from history that are applicable to the construction and testing of scenarios and other futures work.
5.3 Pending funding:
5.3.1 Environmental Security
5.3.2 Pending funding: Complexity applied to Socio-Political Stability with Application to Russia
5.3.3 Pending funding: Identification of Rules of Economic Development for a Rules-Based model.
Discussion among members of the Planning Committee followed presentation of this plan. Some of the points made were:
There was much discussion about how nodes and others can use the 1997 State of the Future report. Each node has the opportunity and is encouraged to publish a local version of the 1997 State of the Future Report and use as a basis for briefing regional leaders.
The Project should explore establishing a scanning system on the Millennium Project homepage. Initially, the 15 issues can be listed under the "information we are collecting" grid and seek feedback. A scanning data template in Professional File software with scanning entries by previous interns exists in the office. But since most interns have English as a second language, some editing is needed prior to making it available and seeking feedback on items.
With respect to the education component, some options were discussed:
1. Horacio Godoy (Argentina node) has initiated some work in South American and Eleonora Masini, Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and member of the Planning Committee says that primary and secondary schools group called Macro Problems or Eta Verde is ready to correspond with Horacio about applications.
2. Some universities have already been using the Millennium Project materials (both content and methods) in future-oriented courses. We should find out who is using what and build on that experience...Lets also find schools where policy makers go such as the leading accounting firms, UN training programs, Federal executive courses, and executive training programs such as at Harvard and Wharton.
3. We could also seek collaboration with software companies like Microsoft to create educational software - especially games that use the Millennium Project material.
4. The project also has extensive video tape on discussions about the future of Africa from the strategy meeting at the UN which was based on MP future of Africa series. These materials could be developed into a video documentary.
There was also extensive discussion on the proposed “Lessons from History for Future Studies.” After identifying macro historians around the world willing to participate, two questions would be asked:
First, briefly list the most important lessons of history that futurists should consider when writing scenarios and performing other futures work. An example might be: “When one group migrates into territory of another group, there will be conflict.” What kind of conflict is not clear, but scenarios that have migrations without conflict would be considered less plausible. The study would generate a set of 30 or so lessons, each a paragraph or so in length. Second, the questionnaire might ask the participants to list the most fundamental questions regarding historic change. An example might be: One should always ask “who are the winners and the losers when any important political initiative is launched?”
Finally, there was discussion about the special studies that will be undertaken if funding can be developed:
1. Application of non-linear processes to policy for social stability as applied to Russia. Two panels would be assembled: one composed of experts in non-linear dynamics as applied to social systems and the other on Russian affairs. There is much discussion of chaos and related theories use in forecasting and policy to address social disorder, but no applications to our knowledge have been successfully accomplished. The Russian Federation has asked the Project to consider using the Russian transition as a case study to see what can be applied. An application is being prepared for the National Science Foundation.
2. Rules of economic development. Much learning about development has occurred, but has not been pulled together into a rules-based adaptive agent model. As development assistance is shrinking, the knowledge should be captured for improved efficiency in development policy. Development professionals can be polled to identify rules of development. A rules of development model would have to be instructive and capable of testing the sensitivity of alternative policies. USAID expressed an interest in this work.
3. Environmental Security is an increasing concern but ill defined and not well understood around the world. The project would pull together international thought on the issue and feedback to a special panel to generate a pool of strategies, and promote understanding of the range of favorable and threatening possibilities involved.
ADDITIONAL THOUGHTS FOR THIS YEAR, FROM DISCUSSIONS AMONG THE PLANNING COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Achieve a balance between positive and negative issues.
Make the Project reports useful. Put the actions into practice where ever possible.
The conclusions of the MP are too general. Much of this is common sense. The strategies are valuable because they are a step in the direction of "how to act" in the future. We need more strategy. What is extremely important, is how to link this project to sustainable development.
NGOs have coordinating committees in most developing countries. International organizations also have development committees usually chaired by UNDP. It might be interesting to contact those committees to provide both futures prospectives as well as involve them in the project.
If you want to influence policy makers, you need another process. There are a lot of parallel projects and there is the issue of how to connect with them. We need to connect, lest policy makers get confused otherwise.
We certainly don't want to turn into lobbyists.
The nodes should find ways to translate global issues and actions into local issues and actions. The regions should decide priorities for themselves. The UK may stress energy, population, and HIV studies. Tunisia is more concerned with availability of water.
Each node needs to look at the scope of projects that have potential, then gather support.
Nodes can cooperate with each other in terms of information exchange.
We need a sub-Saharan African node. Siddig Salih is a member of the Planning Committee and works with the UN's Economic Committee for Africa in Addis Ababa and has expressed some interest in organizing a node. Also Jacob Adesida with UNDP African Futures in Abidjan. We can talk with them, but should not recruit them.
If possible rotate the location of the Planning Committee meetings. Maybe Buenos Aires, then Washington, then Beijing, then Washington, then Moscow, and so forth.
A lot of the best material is in the interviews. Of course the material has to be synthesized in the report but the original comments have an important flavor. How can the interviews be put on the MP homepage, anonymously? Even if we took the names off the interview texts, it will still be obvious who made the comments. The interviews were distilled into notes before further distilling into the final version in the report. The first distillation (this middle step) should go on homepage.
Group discussions or focus groups were a good addition to the interview process.
The meeting adjourned with much good will, enthusiasm, and encouragement to move forward.
DAY 3: FEBRUARY 14
The Project conducted a public briefing at the National Press Club on the 1996 results and 1997 plans. The audience was composed of about 50 persons and questioning was brisk and well informed.
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