«We have to produce meat from stem cells without growing animals»
Jerome C. Glenn, director of the renowned Millennium Project, on the State of the Future, its challenges and keeping an eye on the rise of SIMAD.
Professor Glenn, you're the director of the Millennium Project. What is the Millennium Project (MP)?
It is a global participatory think tank with 32 Nodes around the world (groups of organizations and individuals who connect local and global perspectives) that produces the annual State of the Future report for the past 12 years with input from over 2'500 futurists, business planners, and policy advisors and makers with UN agencies, governments, corporations, universities, and NGOs.
What is its relation to the UN?
It operates under the auspecies of the World Federation of UN Associations (WFUNA) which was established to be the non-governmental peoples part of the UN as distinct to Government representation, and has over 100 national UN Associations as it’s members. It’s headquarters are in the UN in New York and UN in Geneva (www.wfuna.org).
Over 2500 futurists, business planners, policy analysts and scholars participate in the work of the MP. How is this enormous think tank structured?
The Project has a Planning Committee of 50 people from around the world who act like a board of directors. Each of the 32 Nodes are asked to select the most knowledgeable and future-oriented people to respond to questionnairs and policymakers to be interviewed that provides the inputs for the reports. A small staff of five plus interns from around the world handle the day to day work, that is not handled by the Node Chairs.
The flagship release of the MP is the State of the Future (SOF) report. It consists of a 100 page series of executive summaries, accompanied by a CD-ROM of over 6300 pages with complete details. All of this at the astonishing price of US-$ 49.95. How can and why is such an extensive body of work so reasonably priced?
Some think it is too high, not realizing the volume of research in the CD. Most of the studies are funded and these sponors agree that the results can be disseminated in the SOF.
What stands at the center of this year's report? The good things first, please.
Sorry, different people think different chapters are the best. But the executive summary can be dowloaded at no cost at: http://www.millennium-project.org/millennium/new.html in English, Russian, and Spanish. More languages to be added soon.
What about the bad news? What troubles are we looking at in the near and the distant future?
Information warfare, SIMAD (single individual massively distructive) see the 15 Global Challenges at:
Water seems to be a prominent problem. Even in Switzerland, formerly known as the water heart of Europe, the ground water level is sinking. What can be done except to preserve water?
We have to move as much fresh water agriculture to saltware agriculutre; produce meat from stem cells without growing animals; use wind forces pressurization to separate salt from water along the coast lines of the world and move to precision agriculture.
What is so important about meat production without animals?
It saves water, land, cuts transportation, psychically and physically more healthy – that is why the animal rights group has offered US-$ 1 million price to the first commercial sucess.
Where are we at with this kind of production?
It could come out anyday, but I would guess before 2012 the prize deadline.
Next to the State of the Future report 15 global challenges are identified by the MP in the State of the Future Index. What changes have occured in the last 10 years? What is the current look-out?
Depends on decisions, I do not have a crystal ball to see – for example if the EU will pressure the US and China to make a 10 year Apollo-like global goal and R&D strategy to stop GHG emissions (greenhouse gas); or if the EU will join Japan in its annouced goal of providing electricity from space solar power satellites. Answers are there, decisions are not... yet.
The readers of your report are found among the corporate executives doing worldwide business. Has the attitude towards future studies changed in the last decade?
Sure, it's much easier to talk about it now, but they are not always listed as futures courses.
What can we look forward to hearing at the European Futurists Conference Lucerne?
Global overview of prospects for our global future.
Links: The Millennium Project
Jerome C. Glenn co-founded and directs the Millennium Project, which produces the annual State of the Future report for the past 12 years. He invented the "Futures Wheel", Futuristic Curriculum Development, and concepts such as conscious-technology, trans-institutions, tele-nations, management by understanding, definition of environmental security, feminine brain drain, just-in-time knowledge, information warfare, feelysis, and nodes as a management concept for interconnecting global and local views and actions. He has consulted for governments, corporations, UN organizations, and NGOs on both futures concepts and methods. He was instrumental in naming the first Space Shuttle the Enterprise and banning the first space weapon (FOBS) in SALT II. He has published over 100 future-oriented articles, and several books (Future Mind, Linking the Future, and co-author of Space Trek), and editor of Futures Research Methodology versions 1.0 and 2.0, and has just completed the design for a global collective intelligence for energy.
Prof. Jerome Glenn
Keynote Speaker «Global Framework, Future Prospects and Strategies»,
Culture and Convention Centre KKL, Lucerne, Switzerland
October 27, 2008; 09.15 h