The past few months has seen an enormous and unprecedented interest in the future, thanks to the obsession with the forthcoming new Millennium, which was given added tension by all the Y2K hype. Now we have actually reached the year 2000 and are into the second month, there is time for reflection. Some have just sighed with relief that there were no Y2K, or other, disasters. Others just indulged themselves in the incredible celebrations over New Year, which are now just rapidly becoming a faded memory. Others had lived in the hope that somehow this year things would be different and better. But nothing seems to have changed. The battle is now to overcome post millennium depression that is reaction to the fact that most of us thrive on the hope that the future will be better ... we had a unique opportunity and now it is gone. Where is the next focus. Now we have to forget the dreams and revisit our realities, where all the evidence suggests that we all need to work extremely hard just to prevent the situation from getting so much worse. Of course, no-one said it would be easy. The world is still as full of conflicts as ever. We are back to the same old political bickering. The same brinkmanship in Northern Island. Continual criticism of the DOME, the Britain's symbol of hope for the future.
Most of the large number of organizations concerned with Futures related issues in the UK are continuing their activities albeit after recovering from post millennium exhaustion that partly reflects a general intellectual vacuum that is summed up in the statement: "What more is there to say?" ("Millennium Messages project" is available on the World Future Society web site.)
Concerning the Millennium Project, there will be more efforts to involve more Western European scholars and decision makers in the Project, most of all in getting contacts with the European Commission and Parliament. Existing links are with key people with those concerned with Futures Projects in OECD and The Commission.
Liaisons of the London Node of the Millennium Project with other Futures Studies organizations from the UK: UK Futures Group, Royal Society of Arts, and Manufacturers (that conducted a study on Redefining Work), The Royal Institute of International Affairs that has undertaken a number of Scenario Developments, and Henley Management College that has a Future of Work Project.
In UK it is a big concern by the Northern Ireland: nature of democracy in a changing world, causing regional fragmentation; how to encourage democracy without willing separation. The process of redefining boundaries in a more democratic world will be a serious and painful issue in some regions.
Another debate issue is the genetically modified food. There is less confidence that science is reliable. This may be a result of Chernobyl, side effects of drugs, etc.
All good wishes