Review: 2011 state of the future
Book: 2011 state of the future
Authors: Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, and Elizabeth Florescu
Publisher: The Millennium Project (August, 2011)
Released last week, the Millennium Project’s 2011 state of the future report contains a sobering warning that:
The world is getting richer, healthier, better educated, more peaceful, and better connected and people are living longer, yet half the world is potentially unstable. Food prices are rising, water tables are falling, corruption and organized crime are increasing, environmental viability for our life support is diminishing, debt and economic insecurity are increasing, climate change continues, and the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen dangerously.
The annual State of the future series taps into an expert panel of 40 “nodes” (groups of futurists or organizations), and engages them in a modified Delphi process to identify trends, challenges, and consequences that impact our planet’s future. This year’s report includes special focus on:
- Egypt 2020
- Future arts, media, and entertainment
- Latin America 2030
- Environmental security
The authors wrap-up with a cautious assessment that the consequences of the tremendous transformations we are experiencing in the 21st century require new leadership:
Ridiculing idealism is shortsighted, but idealism untested by the rigors of pessimism can be misleading. The world needs hardheaded idealists who can look into the worst and best of humanity to create and implement strategies of success. (p. 106)
While the authors produce their own conclusions, they also encourage readers to create and share their own ideas about the future. As in previous editions, the accompanying CD-ROM contains a treasure trove of thousands of pages of outputs from the Millennium Project since it began in 1996. Spread over 8,500+ pages, the digital supplement reflects the spread and depth of the Millennium Project’s ambitions with forecasts and discussions that span from near-term to ultra-long-term futures. This rich resource in itself makes the book’s $49.95 purchase price a bargain, and a necessitates inclusion in any trend watcher, policymaker or futurist’s library.
Note: The authors provided a copy of this book for review. Please read our review policy for more details on how we review products and services.