Special Studies

The Millennium Project provides a context for global thinking and potential for improved understanding of how humanity could work together to improve the human condition. In addition to the annual State of the Future reports, the Project conducts different special studies.

Environmental Security

State of the Future Index

Global Scenarios


Real Time Delphi

Other Studies


Environmental Security Studies

State of the Future Index

The Millennium Project has began the work on a Global State of the Future Index in 2000. The study has been initiated and is conducted by Theodore J. Gordon.
The first years work, published in 2001, was designed to explore the concept and applications of such an Index. Since then, each year the work extended the methodology and explored new approaches by which future developments as well as time series variables could be included in the Index. Since 2004, national SOFIs were explored and developed.
The Silicon Valley Node of the Millennium Project is currently developing a greatly advanced version of the SOFI as a software.

Global Energy Network and Information System (GENIS)

A concept and design of a system of collective intelligence that could be used by the policymakers, energy experts, and the general public around the world.

The options to create and update national, global, and corporate energy strategies are so complex and rapidly changing that it is almost impossible for decisionmakers to gather and understand the information required to make and implement coherent policy. Yet the environmental and social consequences of incoherent policies are so serious that a new global system for the identification, analysis, assessment of possible consequences, and synthesis of energy options for decisionmaking is urgent.

With support from the Foundation for the Future (FFF), the Millennium Project explored the concept and design of such a system of collective intelligence that could be used by the policymakers, energy experts, and the general public around the world. Concepts such as knowledge management and the emerging field of collective intelligence for just in time knowledge have been considered. Sources such as OECD's International Energy Agency, DOE's Energy Information Administration, Encyclopedia of Earth, and IEEE's data banksi have been reviewed, as well as the use of software applications such as knowledge visualization, dashboards, decision support systems, Google, Citizendium, Wikipedia, and Second Life to understand current and foreseeable future capabilities. This review helped to generate questions for energy and information systems expert interviews and solicited feedback from attendees of the FFF energy conference and the 32 Millennium Project Nodes around the world.

The results of these interviews and searches of previous literature, Internet, and institutional reviews have been integrated into this report. Participants from the FFF energy conference along with information system experts have been added to a listserv <global-energy@mp.cim3.net> to review and discuss the initial drafts of this report. In addition to improving the quality of the report, the members of the listserv would constitute an initial Global Energy Network that could become the basis of an organization to bring the new system into being.

This report proposes to create initial prototypes and conduct tests by the Millennium Project and collaborating organizations such as SRI International, MIT's Center for Collective Intelligence, and the Cyber Node of the Millennium Project.

Download the pdf of the GENIS report.(2.8 Meg) Excerpt from the 2008 State of the Future.

Real-Time Delphi

The Real-Time Delphi is a relatively new and efficient method for collecting and synthesizing expert opinions. The original Delphi technique was developed by the RAND Corporation in the late 1950s. Although it has produced many valuable insights for many around the world, it requires multiple rounds of questionnaires that can take months to complete. The big advantage of the RTD is that it is a "roundless" Delphi. There is no need for an explicit second round. The respondents participate by filling out an online questionnaire, and the results--both numerical and qualitative--are updated as responses are recorded in "real time." Respondents can--and are encouraged to--revisit the questionnaire as many times as they want. Each time, they are shown their own responses as well as the updated answers of the others, and they can revise and change their own inputs based on this feedback.

The real-Time Delphi was developed and is continuously improved by Ted Gordon.

- a description of the method (excerpt from the Futures Research Methodology Version 3.0 )
- a tutorial for the Real Time Delphi (RTD) narated by Ted Gordon, at http://www.mpcollab.org/learning/course/view.php?id=3
- a description of some RTD studies conducted by the Millennium Project in 2008-2009 (Chapter 4 of the 2009 State of the Future)

Other Studies

Factors Required for Successful Implementation of Futures Research in Decisionmaking
by Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon, in 1998-1999

      Examples and case studies when Futures Studies influenced decision making.
      This study was made for the Army Environmental Policy Institute. The full report is included in the State of       the Future reports.
      Free copies of the edited version of the report can be obtained from the Army Environmental Policy Institute,       e-mail: John Fittipaldi <John.Fittipaldi@hqda.army.mil>

Future Global Ethical Issues

  • In the period from August 2004 to July 2005, the Millennium Project conducted a study of emerging global ethical issues and principles by which such issues might be resolved in the future. The scope was global and the time horizon stretched to 2050. More specifically, the purposes of this study were to:
  • Identify important, novel ethical issues of global scale that might come on the scene within the next 50 years
  • Assess the relative importance of these issues and the likelihood of their resolution
  • Articulate the key principles that might be used in the solution of such ethical issues.

For all of these, we hoped to identify the similarities and differences in perceptions among the subgroups participating in the study, for example, people from various regions and men and women.

The questionnaires are available at http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/study05.html

Please click here to get the final report (as MsWord file).

Millennium 3000

by Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon, 1999

Very long-range scenarios and foreseeable factors that might significantly affect the next 1000 years. The Scenarios are included in the State of the Future reports and also available at http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/scenarios/index.html.

Nanotechnology: Future Military Environmental Health Considerations

A Brief Overview of Potential Environmental Pollution and Health Hazards Resulting from Possible Military Uses of Nanotechnology with Implications for Research Priorities Helpful to Prevent and/or Reduce Such Pollution and Hazards
-- Study conducted in 2004-05 --

World Leaders on Global Challenges

by Jerome C. Glenn, Elizabeth Florescu, and Theodore J. Gordon

Analysis of the statements delivered by heads of State or Governmentat at the UN Millennium Summit, September 6-8, 2000.  The full report is included in the State of the Future reports (2001 and after).


Futures Studies Reports and Papers - in Spanish

Views from the Millennium Project on the Future of Technology with Implications for Society and the United Nations System

Paper prepared by Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon for the conference: On the Threshold: The United Nations and Global Governance in the New Millennium, Jnuary 19-21, 2000, United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan

For the MsWord version of this paper please e-mail: acunu@igc.org

The World Perceived by the Heart of Europe

Published by the Society for Sustainable Living and Palacky University Olomouk, this book is is a collections of papers on the future prepared by participants of the Central European Node of the Millennium Project. To get a free copy e-mail: Pavel Novacek <nov@rupnw.upol.cz> in the Czech Republic or  acunu@igc.org, in other parts of the world.

Proposal for an International Global Warming Breakthrough Initiative

by Jerome C. Glenn

Present trends in technology and in CO2 accumulation suggest that  we will probably be in deep trouble in a few decades, if we do not take more aggressive action now to address the problem.

"Building Balanced and Adoptive Sectoral Innovation System in Nanotechnology to Accelerate Scientific & Technological Breakthroughs and Improve Human Conditions"

by Dr. Nadezhda Gaponenko, Head of Department, Centre of Science Development Study, Russian Node co-Chair

Evaluation and Organization of Futures Research Methodology -V3.0

by Mika Aaltonen, Adjunct Professor (Foresight & Complexity), and Head and Chairman of the Board of StraX (the research unit for strategic intelligence and exploration of futures) at Helsinki University of Technology