Saturday, June 9, 2012

State of the future: challenge one; sustainable development and climate change


Darkness visible: we’re driving animals to extinction, burning through resources, and throwing out natural balances, yet consumption still reigns. Flickr/NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

State of the Future 2012, a quick introduction

What is the “state of the future”? How successfully are we tackling global challenges threatening our collective future? These questions are asked annually by the Millennium Project.

The Millennium Project is a non-profit think tank of futurists, scholars, business planners, and policy makers from around the world. Each year, it asks its 40 Nodes to collect judgements on emerging trends and developments. This work is distilled into an annual State of the Future report.

The Millennium Project identifies 15 global challenges facing humanity. They include sustainable development and climate change, democratisation, bridging the rich-poor gap, improving women’s status and tackling transnational organised crime.

The Australian node of the Millennium Project is hosted by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology, Sydney. This year we decided to do something a bit different. In partnership with The Conversation, we have assembled 15 articles by leading academics, each giving an Australian perspective. Together, they provide a fascinating snapshot of Australia grappling with a shifting future.

These articles will be submitted to the Millennium Project’s State of the Future 2012 report. Over coming days, we hope you enjoy these glimpses into Australia’s future...

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