Environmental security is increasingly dominating national and international agendas, shifting defense and geopolitical paradigms. Climate change and unconventional security issues—impervious to national sovereignty, ideology, and military power—are now recognized as top threats to peace, political stability, and prosperity. The role of environmental diplomacy is growing and environmental security–related concerns are becoming defining factors in international political and military negotiations.
The dynamics of security strategies are changed by the new circumstances and forecasts, demanding cooperation on non-traditional threats such as natural disasters; potential biological, nuclear, or chemical terror; water, food, and energy security; and increasing environmental and social problems, as well as the deepening gap between those who could cope with the effects of climate change and those who could not. These challenges are so complex and changing so fast that it is increasingly difficult to design realistic longterm strategies and impossible for any single nation to address them alone.
The Millennium Project conducted several studies on environmnetal security:
- Emerging Environmental Security Issues - Monthly Reports
- Environmental Security: Emerging International Definitions, Perceptions, and Policy Considerations
(shorter version: "Defining Environmental Security: Implications for the U.S. Army")
- Environmental Crimes in Military Actions and the International Criminal Court (ICC) - UN Perspectives
- Future International Environmental Security Issues and Potential Military Requirements over the period of 2010 to 2025
The studies are available at: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/env-sec1.html
by Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon, in 1998-1999
Examples and case studies when Futures Studies influenced decision
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.
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
- 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://millennium-project.org/millennium/study05.html
Please click here to get the final report (as MsWord file).
Although the share of people in the world who are hungry has fallen from over 30% in 1970 (when world population was 3.7 billion) to 15% today (with world population at 7 billion) — the vast majority of whom are in Africa and Asia — concerns are increasing over the variety and nutritional quality of food. FAO estimates that 30% (2 billion people) suffer from “hidden hunger.” This is a situation in which the intake of calories is sufficient but the amount of vitamins and minerals is not. Some researchers argue that industrial agriculture reduces the nutrient content of crops, thus escalating the risk of hidden hunger. The International Food Policy Research Institute’s Global Hunger Index report notes that many of the unhealthy food conditions in the developing world are related to poor government social policies, income inequalities, inefficient farming, post-traumatic stress following civil wars, and the low status and educational level of women.
The Millennium Project conducted a study on the issues and prospects for unhealthy food markets in the developing world, with special attention to Asia and Africa. A Real-Time Delphi was designed to collect judgments about developments that could affect the future of food and nutrition in developing countries, their seriousness, potential time frames, and innovative solutions and strategies for addressing those possibilities by encouraging the positive and countering the negative. It also asked questions about the potential effectiveness of funding by foundations of different actions for improving the state of food nutrition. An analysis of the results is available at: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/HiddenHunger.html
The natural infrastructure along the urban coastal zones around the world is deteriorating. This deterioration diminishes nature’s ability to reduce the impacts of hurricanes, tsunamis, and pollution, as it also negatively affects ecosystem services essential to livelihood. Over half the people in the world live within 120 miles off a coastline. Hence, without appropriate mitigation, prevention, and management of the natural infrastructure within urban coastal zones, billions of people will be increasingly vulnerable to a range of disasters.
The Millennium Project conducted an initial two-month study for the Rockefeller Foundation on the issues and prospects for vulnerable natural infrastructures in urban coastal zones, with special attention to Asia and Africa. An Real-Time Delphi was used for an international panel to rate options, make suggestions, and add comments. A summary of the results is available at: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/Coastal.html
The lone wolf problem is global and multifaceted: On the one hand, there is the possibility of escalation of weaponry, including genetic coding and essentially undetectable computer viruses. On the other hand, there may be new means for early detection of potentially aberrant behavior. Some scientists argue that fMRI and other imaging tools could help to identify potential terrorist inclinations. However, the social implications of searching for potential lone wolves, as well as what to do about them if they are found, can compromise civil liberties and present ethical dilemmas.
In order to explore some of these threats and dilemmas, the Israel Node of The Millennium Project initiated a Real-Time Delphi study with some 50 people from around the world who had expertise in an appropriate domain.
The study’s objectives were to:
- Reach a broader understanding of the potential future nature, likelihood, and time frame of lone wolf threats.
- Identify technology domains that have the potential to increase or change the nature of these threats.
- Explore policies and approaches concerning the access to information about potentially harmful technologies, as well as to curb their potential impact if they were to be deployed.
- Identify possible early warning techniques.
- Identify plausible means for identifying potentially threatening individuals.
- Assess humane and socially acceptable means for dealing with such individuals.
- Collect further ideas and concerns related to these threats.
A short analysis of the results is available at: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/SIMAD.html
Leading futurists, future-oriented economists, and future-oriented financial experts were invited to participate in this study, thinking 20 years ahead for imagining alternative futures for the world economy.
The study was conducted in 2009, intending to collect fresh thinking, new ideas along with results of futures research about what’s next after the global financial crisis and what elements may become part of the next economic system.
The study used a Real-Time Delphi questionnaire. The results of the study are being published in the 2009 State of the Future and the other following editions. A summary of the study is avalable here: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/RTD-Econ.html
The Millennium Project has conducted the study Education and Learning Possibilities by the Year 2030 in 2006-2007. The inputs were collected using the Real-Time Delphi technique.
The purpose of the study was to provide a global picture of potential futures of education and learning, which were to be used as an input to the new Vision of Korea for 2030 report to the Ministry of Education. However, our study addressed education in a global sense, not specific Korean issues as such. The results of the study were published in the State of the Future. and are also available on the Global Futures Intelligence System website (under "Research", select 'Education and Learning 2030'. A short overview and summary of the results is available at: http://millennium-project.org/millennium/Education-2030.html
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://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 --
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).
Prepared by the Centro Latinoamericano de Globalizacon y Prospectiva, the Latin American node of the Millennium Project, this CD-ROM includes the Spanish version of the 1997 and 1998 State of the Future reports, and papers on Corruption, Globalization, Organized Crime, Political Systems, Roadmaps, Reflections on the Future, and a lot more.
Price: $49.50 US dollars
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 <email@example.com> in the Czech Republic or firstname.lastname@example.org, in other parts of the world.
by Theodore J. Gordon
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.
Available in electronic version
African Futures 2025 is a six parts scenario series on long-range issues that concern the future of Africa.
The Millennium Project Feasibility Study produced the series in 1994 under the umbrella of African Futures Project by the United Nations Development Program. The objective of the project was to assist African countries to conduct long-term prospective studies at the national level. It also intended to assist in building an endogenous capacity in the continent for strategic long-term reflection, futures studies, and strategic planning and management.
The series includes:
1) Technological Capacity
2) International Economic Policy and International Trade
3) Agriculture and Food Security
4) Life Support and Sustainable Development
5) Population, Education and Human Welfare
6) Peace, Governance and Culture
This report presents the
future-oriented visions and ideas on Africa while outlining the process
of applying the National Long-Term Perspective Studies (NLTPS) to the national
development strategy in Africa.
To order or for further information, please send email: email@example.com
by Dr. Nadezhda Gaponenko, Head of Department, Centre of Science Development Study, Russian Node co-Chair
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