Views from the Millennium Project on the Future of Technology 
with Implications for Society and the United Nations System
Jerome C. Glenn and Theodore J. Gordon
On the Threshold: The United Nations and Global Governance in the New Millennium
January 19-21, 2000
United Nations University
Tokyo, Japan

Just ten years ago, the term “Internet” was unknown. Today, it has become possibly the fastest and most pervasive technological influence in history. What technologies could become major forces of social change in the next ten years?Will we use stem cells from cows and fish to produce muscle tissue without growing the complete animal to produce protein foods, thus reducing the need for cattle and fishing industries ?Will we reduce the use of wood pulp-based paper with digital-reusable artificial paper ? And what about future technologies over the next twenty-five or fifty years ?Will nanotechnology reduce pollution and raise the living standards of the poor, by reducing input per unit of production and distribution ?Will solar power satellites supply much of the world’s electricity needs without producing greenhouse gases or nuclear waste ?Will personalized food increase mental performance ? Will we manufacture new forms of life by creating genes and putting them in unique sequences ?Will rural micro-enterprises flourish in developing countries whose primary income is via e-commerce ?


Potential developments such as these have been identified and assessed by the Millennium Project of the American Council for the United Nations University.The Project is a globally decentralized think tank of 550 futurists, business planners, scholars, scientists, policy advisors, and decisionmakers who work for international organizations, governments, corporations, universities, and NGOs in over 50 countries.“Nodes” or groups of individuals and institutions in eleven locations around the world interconnect local and global perspectives via translated questionnaires and interviews.


Over the last three years, the Millennium Project used this network to identify and study issues, opportunities and actions.[1]


These have been further synthesized to 15 Global Challenges humanity faces at the millennium.

1.How can sustainable development be achieved for all ? 

2.How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict ? 

3.How can population growth and resources be brought into balance ? 

4.How can genuine democracy emerge from authoritarian regimes ? 

5.How can policy-making be made more sensitive to global long?term perspectives ? 

6.How can the globalization and convergence of information and communications technologies 

work for everyone ? 

7.How can ethical market economies be encouraged to help reduce the gap between the rich and 

poor ? 

8.How can the threat of new and reemerging diseases, and immune micro organisms be reduced? 

9.How can the capacity to decide be improved while the nature of work and institutions is 


10.How can shared values and new security strategies reduce ethnic conflict, terrorism, and the

use of weapons of mass destruction ? 

11.How can the changing status of woman improve the human condition ? 

12.How can organized crime be stopped from becoming more powerful and sophisticated global 

enterprises ?

13.How can the growing energy demand be safely and efficiently met ? 

14.How can scientific and technological breakthroughs be accelerated to improve the human 

condition ? 

15.How can ethical considerations become more routinely incorporated into global decisions? 


All of these 15 Global Challenges involve social-technological dynamics.Most of the following material in this paper is drawn from the 1999 State of the Future’s[2] discussion of Challenge 14 on science and technology; however, some material is also drawn from the other challenges.


Globalization of Science and Technology

A fundamental trend affecting the world is the accelerating pace of scientific progress and technological applications.This trend shows no signs of slowing down. The synergies among the sciences and confluence of technologies have been accelerated by the global convergence of communications and information technology.This convergence has led to a dramatic increase in cross?disciplinary invention, geographically disbursed research collaboration, and rapid dissemination of information. Boundaries between classic disciplines are disappearing. The Genome Project, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the International Space Station are examples.

During the Cold War, basic research was conducted in parallel in different countries at the same time. Today basic scientific research is becoming more expensive, specialized, and is being conducted in centers with international participation, giving rise to the need for international principles of international specialization and collaboration. What happens when one country within a large scale international project -- such as the super collider or the international space station -- does not meet its responsibilities ?

We need to develop and accept an international convention for the regulation of basic principles of collaboration, and develop principles for international support of unique research centers. Since much basic research has become international, it should be financed internationally.National contributions should be proportional to GDP and should not depend on the research location. The first principle of international collaboration should be that the results of such collaboration are available to all. A second principle should be the selection of unique facilities to prevent unnecessary redundancy, such as particle accelerators and space stations. These facilities should be supported not only by the governments, but also by corporations and patrons of the arts and sciences.

Ultimately, technology comes from basic research, which provides the growing pool of knowledge from which applied science draws its insight. Since basic research (as a percent of the global economy) is falling, the future of technology is threatened. We should collect, discuss, and disseminate all the good arguments for basic research. UNESCO, ICSU, and/or UNU could provide the focus for such collection and distribution. Such a study should focus more attention on the link between application and research. When inventions are proprietary, technology dissemination may be slowed. Companies performing the research deserve to get a return for their efforts.A study might ask better ways to serve both patent rights and dissemination speed.

According to interviews conducted by the Millennium Project, multinational corporations would like to produce technology through more environmentally friendly means, but they want global rules applied equally with internationally and scientifically defined measures of “environmentally friendly means” before they commit to significant changes. UNEP, UNESCO, UNU, ICSU, and possibly, IPCC and WTO should create international scientific boards to define terms, standards, and measurements so that it might be possible to commonly apply environmental policies such as tax incentives, labels, full-cost accounting, trade and other policies to help achieve sustainable development. In parallel, ECOSOC should lead the policy discussion for binding sanctions and enforcement mechanisms for any agreements that flow from this work.

National development banks in poorer regions should increase R & D funding for new competitive local production systems and new technological applications. If the countries are members of WIPO, then they can register for patents with WIPO (useful for countries that lack their own patent systems).The Convention on Biodiversity calls for countries (which cannot develop their own genetic resources) to receive benefit from those who patent such biological sources. 

One suggestion made by participants in the Millennium Project was that UN organizations, with some leadership by governments, should establish an international technology bank, funded by country pledges, that could acquire the rights to “green” technologies and make them available to less ­advantaged countries. Some views on this suggestion were that...The bank should focus first on the most ecologically dangerous regions.... Such a bank should have direct links to corporations.... The first step has been taken with the Global Environmen­tal Facility.... The regional development banks could open sections to address this issue.... Many in developing countries think that the developed countries' objective in these kinds of issues is to suppress the economic success of poorer countries. For this reason, UN organizations are the best mechanisms to implement this.

International cooperation has linked individual labs into collaboratories, which can be thought of as labs “without walls in cyberspace” connected via video, voice, graphics, data bases, and shared software. ICSU and UN organizations like UNU could help connect individual scientists and labs in developing countries and more advanced countries. The cost of transceivers is falling and radio links from these transceivers to local computer terminals with radio modems could create low cost rural access. Developing countries have both a work force and a THINKING FORCE at reasonable prices. Better to hire or contract than to subsidize them. India and China produce good science, but received few subsidies.

Since new technologies will help solve pressing issues and improve the lives of most people, yethave dangers and hidden consequences, technological forecasting and assessment should be considered more seriously.An international organization such as UNU/INTECH should be adequately financed to anticipate and assess, to the extent possible, the consequences of scientific breakthroughs and technological applications.For example, if low?cost methods to determine the sex of a child are available in China and India with 40 percent of the world's population and where male children seem to be preferred, the demographics of humanity would be drastically altered. Although biotechnology could feed the world, it might also eliminate livelihoods for vast numbers of people and create serious environmental problems. Scientists who have determined the minimum number of genes to create life, believe they can create new organisms from only chemical ingredients. Since new life forms could become biological weapons as well as organisms to eat toxic wastes and produce fertilizer, the scientists have called for a public assessment prior to creating new life forms. 


Space Technology

The synergies of advanced research in biology and physics necessary for human space flight have generated an extraordinary number and range of inventions; stimulated thought about the meaning of life, history, and our common future; and created many opportunities for peaceful international cooperation. Space?related inventions have created new industries, tax sources for social programs, improved living standards, expanded access to tools by miniaturization, and produced processes that have lowered the costs of many technologies from satellite communications to medical diagnostic techniques. Some argue that migration from earth is inevitable; it is in the myths of many cultures; it is an exciting goal and could provide alternative habitats as an insurance for the human species should an earthly catastrophe destroy life on earth.For example, if the trajectory of the comet that crashed into Jupiter in 1994 had been slightly different, it would have destroyed life on the earth. 

New space projects could continue to improve our understanding of the nature of the solar system and the universe; develop completely novel technologies that could contribute to alleviation of some of the world's most vexing problems (food, shelter, health, etc.); lower costs and increase efficiencies in production processes; accelerate peaceful international collaboration; provide virtually instant, ubiquitous multi-communications among both fixed and mobile users; and possibly confirm extraterrestrial intelligence or microbial life (a development that could revolutionize our sciences, values, philosophies, and views of the universe). Public interest is high. For example, the coverage of the 1997 July 4th Mars rover landing and surveying was one of the biggest Internet events in history with 700 million hits on NASA's web site over a 2?3 month period.

By the year 2050, the energy demand of a larger and wealthier Third World will require enormous amounts of energy that probably can be delivered from solar power satellites without generating either greenhouse gases or nuclear wastes.A solar power satellite should be tested in orbit. This should be the next major goal after the International Space Station (ISS). A study in the mid-1970s assumed that all materials and components were manufactured on earth and then flown to orbit by a large number of flights by the original space shuttle. The approach preferred by leading advocates of solar satellites are more cost/effective.They suggest the use of nearby asteroids and/or lunar material and manufacture and assemble as much as possible in space.An orbital “robot spider” could spin photovoltaic webs. The US has allocated $25 million to update the previous research on solar power satellites.

The graph from Fig. 1, Consumption of Fossil Fuels over time, by Guy Pignolet, European Space Agency, illustrates that fossil fuel, like the match, has a short life compared to the past and potential future of humanity.

Fig. 1. Consumption of Fossil Fuels over time
Some Millennium Project participants speculated that space tourism, driven by global lottery systems, (in addition to communications and energy from space) could provide profit incentives for private development of space. Would 100,000 people buy a lottery ticket for US$5 to go to space?A flight in a next generation space shuttle might cost $200,000?500,000 per winner.

NASA is leading an international effort, Mission to Planet Earth, now called Earth Science, to use satellites and ground sources to provide data to create an integrated computer model of the earth from cloud tops to inside the oceans within four years. Attention to global warming will help put space on the political agenda by drawing attention to the role of monitoring earth from space.As we realize the fragility of life on earth, the need to have communities off earth as insurance for the future of humanity will become more apparent.

1996 was the first year that private sector revenues from space activities exceeded general government expenses for space activities. The NASA Space Shuttle is semi?private now. As government budgets reduce, privatization will continue, but governments still need to lead with the International Space Station (ISS), though it too will move toward privatization. 17 nations are involved in the construction of ISS. 45 space flights are planned from 4 launch sites that will lift 100 pieces of equipment to assemble the ISS.

Space industrialization should be seen by all nations as a shared project. It was suggested that commercial ventures in orbit, on the moon or on Mars should pay a fee to the UN. The UN should develop international law and administer the collection of these fees. Another participant suggested that if the Moon were made a UN Trusteeship, then earthlings would learn how to work together as a species to manage a planetary body. The reverberations for world peace and security from this experience could be enormous. 

The single most important goal for society to receive more benefits from space programs is to lower the cost of transportation to earth orbit. This has been a priority for the past 30 years, but the political decisions have not matched this goal.It is seen as infrastructure and not politically exciting technology.An exciting spokesman and forum for launch costs research is needed.Maybe the UN Millennium General Assembly is the right forum.



One of the most important trends is the continuing microminiaturization of technology increasingly being referred to as micro- and nanotechnology. Green leaves of plants can be thought of nature’s nanotechnology for food production. As scientists learn more about molecular chemistry, they will be able to create similar nano-scale production processes for manufacturing a vast array of products. Small devices could be produced by using photolithography similar to the processes that produce computer chips today. President Clinton's Science and Technology Advisor Neal Lane stated that nano-scale science and engineering is the "most likely area of science and engineering to produce the breakthroughs of tomorrow." Nano tubes could be used as nanometer?sized probes for imaging in chemistry and biology or cables in miniaturized electronic devices. Self?organizing machines could assemble themselves using forces such as molecular recognition, hydrophobicity and hydrogen bonding.

"The ultimate fantasy," says Jim Von Her, president of Zybex "is to have a machine the size of a sugar cube that has a solar panel that sucks carbon dioxide out of the air, strips the oxygen away and starts building," Bill Spence, editor of NanoTechnology magazine, predicts micro?manufacturing sites in private homes, where people build their own wristwatches and computers as easily as they would print out an article. Spence suggests that one day nanotechnology could prolong life by modifying human genetic and cellular structure. 

Dr. Richard Smalley (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 1996) testified 12 May 1999 before the US Congress that nanotechnology could make cables strong enough to make an elevator to orbital space possible, and thus revolutionize space transportation.



Many have called the next century the “Biological Century.” Gene technology and clone technology can create new biological species, decrease the starvation of the globe, and improve the condition of the developing countries. Between 1987 and 1996 there were 45,085 biotechnology patents registered in the US.Usage of transgenic crops have increased from 7 million acres in 1996 to 75 million in 1998. In addition to making plants more productive on diminishing agricultural land, agricultural genetics will also redefine what land is productive. As new plant strains are developed that allow marginal lands to accommodate agriculture, the land area in the world that is engaged in farming may grow. 

In addition to sources of food, biotechnology in animal husbandry will also provide animals that serve as production factories for human pharmaceuticals. Cows will be seen as bio?reactors, making valuable products. The human gene for insulin or clotting factor, for example, can be inserted into the germ plasma of cattle and sheep at a genetic location that leads to easy harvesting of the desired human chemical in urine, blood or milk. Cloning these animals then makes available large quantities of drugs that today may be more valuable than platinum or gold. To over simplify, feed the cow (bio?reactor) hay and water, and get pharmaceuticals.

Another new approach to drug development called "combinatorial chemistry" uses, say a million combinations of chemicals 1, 2, 3, ...nplaced on a microchip in all permutations: 1 alone, 1+2, 2+3, 3+4, etc. The chip is exposed to a disease marker and the top sets of combinations of molecules that are likely to be effective against the disease are identified. This screening approach speeds the development of more effective medicines.

Unfortunately, biotechnology can have dangerous effects on the environment. Genetically-engineered traits from one crop can move to it’s relative creating “super weeds” more difficult to kill.The EU has proposed that genetically modified (GM) foods receive a special label. Increasingly foods are composed of ingredients which in turn have many sources making it increasingly difficult to know if there are no GM sources in the final food product. There are nine major food sources that have been genetically engineered: soya, corn, canola, cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, papaya, rBGH dairy products. From these come all sorts of processed derivatives, e.g., soy oil, corn starch, corn syrup, canola oil, lecithin, vitamin E, etc.Because none of them are labeled, and because the GM soy and corn crops, for example are not segregated from the non?GM ones, when the processors go to make corn syrup, both the GM and non?GM corn are mixed together and the entire batch is thus affected. The cost implications for segregation and labeling are enormous; consider what a non-GM food manufacturer would have to do to prove the absence of GM sources.

Over 135 nations and public interest groups have supported a biosafety protocol which would tighten regulations on genetically engineered seeds, grains, and foods. So far the US, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile -- the world’s major producers of GM commodities -- do not support it.

Increased funding devoted to the study and discussion of ethical issues in biotechnology including patents, royalties, and advanced informed consent is necessary.These issues have to be debated among biologiests, legal scholars, politicians, and citizens. Such discussion could be facilitated by UNESCO and documented and analyzed by UNU/INTECH.

The mapping of human and plant genomes will provide the means to eliminate diseases that have genetic origins or which result from malfunctioning of genetic material in the body. Genetic medicine concentrates on curing of diseases from the inside, while conventional medicine administers therapies from the outside in.

The process of cloning was demonstrated in 1997 when a sheep, Dolly, was successfully cloned in Scotland. Since then, mice have been cloned in Japan, calves in New Zealand, and other organisms else where.The possibility of human cloning has been seriously discussed, and the production of organs from one's own genetic material seems at least plausible. Although it has be noted that Dolly’s telemeters - the material at the ends of chromosomes which are associated with aging - are shorter than one would expect, leading some scientists to think that the sheep inherited some of its age as well as its genetic make up from its six-year-old mother's cells. 

Nevertheless, it is likely that cloning will be used for growing of spare parts for one's self, and as an alternative procreational technique. There's a technique now coming into use in which a baby's umbilical cord cells are stored so that these cells can be stimulated into development later on if replacement cells are need by the adult, say cells for a bone marrow transplant or brain repair. With this approach one’s umbilical cells, stored years earlier, could be the source of new cells. 

In addition to using stem cells to produce human organ replacements, stem cells from cows and fish could be used to grow muscle tissue in protein factories reducing the need for cattle and fishing industries.


Information Technology

Internet is the greatest growth phenomena in history and has operationalized the term “global.” Cyberspace could become an unprecedented medium for civilization. Information technology (IT) has made new alliances unknown to traditional power and promises to give equal access to rich and poor. The art of estimating how many are online throughout the world is an inexact one at best. Surveys abound, using all sorts of measurement parameters. As per Nua Internet Surveys, at the end of February 2000, there were 275.5 million Internet users: 136.06 in Canada and USA, 71.99 in Europe, 54.90 in Asia/Pacific; 8.79 in Latin America; 2.46 in Africa; and 1.29 in the Middle East.

Total ecommerce market should grow from $2.9 trillion this year, to $9.5 trillion by 2003 according to Computer Economics analysis. Durlachet estimates that EU business-to-business (b2b) ecommerce will grow to $1.27 trillion by 2004, about 13 percent of the EU's GDP. In Asia-Pacific, total online retail revenue was $2.8 billion in 1999, compared with $3.5 billion in Europe and $36.6 billion in the US. Three countries account for 94% of the total Asia-Pacific market: Japan, Korea, and Australia. 

According to a Computer Economics survey, only 6 percent of ecommerce will be transacted in Africa, South America and parts of Asia this year, and to rise by only one percent by 2003. However, they expect China to become the second largest Internet user by 2005, behind the U.S.Forrester Research expects internet advertising to grow to $15 billion by the year 2003. 

According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S., 95 percent of US schools are connected to the Internet.

Information technology is a powerful mechanism of change to accelerate economic development, augment hospital services by tele-medicine, access to the world’s knowledge, increase participation in the world’s economy, and facilitate self-education and employment. Ecommerce is helping to destroy the theory that economic growth is inextricably linked to high energy consumption. One-way media (radio, newspapers, television) held an audience by the drama of conflict, while the new interactive media holds users by connecting needs and resources. Speed, capacity, miniaturization, speech recognition and synthesis continue to improve, leading to the integration of all artifacts augmenting human thought and action.

Increasingly, streaming video, voice and video email, radio mobile access will make us “always on.”We will seek ways to be accessed, as we used to just seek how to access. Manufactured items will become intelligent and connected with humans to eventually form a global “conscious-technology.”

Yet, our increasing dependence creates new vulnerabilities such as, fraud, cyber terrorism, information warfare, cultural threats, widening knowledge gaps, making financial markets vulnerable to fast manipulations ($2 trillion/day moves around the world which increases the likelihood of speculation and money laundering widing the rich-poor gap), jobs moving to the lowest bidders creates jobs in one area but eliminates them in other areas, efficiencies which can lead to employmentless growth, loss of privacy and property rights, and totally new problems with authenticity of information. Previous automation replaced physical strength and labor, now automation is replacing knowledge and judgments - the social consequences of which are not well understood.

Despite the problems, information technology is creating a planetary “nervous system” which canimprove the prospects for humanity. Once we understand that this is truly a revolution - and not merely a more efficient way to do what we did in the past - then even greater progress could be made using this technology.

Some suggestions of the Millennium Project participants to improve the use of these new information technologies is to: make Internet access a right of citizenship, end national telecommunication monopolies find incentives for the private sector to provide education and training, accelerate international development organizations’ efforts in training and applications, create low-cost hand-held computers with direct satellite access for low income regions to access educational software, provide free Internet access and training to the public at public libraries and schools, regulate the content and use of international networks as little as possible while promoting the use of software that blocks reception via Internet of offensive materials, strengthen intellectual property rights, anticipate and expand network capabilities that tend to help avoid communications overload, study virtues and consequences of the cyber cartels, closed-trading, and on-line cooperatives, promote international electronic commerce through organizations such as UN, WTO, and the World Bank, promote tele-citizens who volunteer to help poorer regions via computer communications, create an ongoing forum to freely explore the potentials of emerging world cyberspace, recognize potential impacts and advantages of information technologies on employment, develop computers and software adapted for Third World and non-Western cultures, change medical and education laws to accommodate on-line consultation as legitimate and covered by insurance, support efforts to create software for compact multi-language translator, and develop content-related standards, graphics, and objectives for Internet to make it less confusing for users, the UN should consider cyber cities as a new kind of jurisdiction, support efforts such as the “Open Source” movement of the software development community and encourage policies to nurture them into global efforts, and understand how to prevent "information warfare."

All UN organizations which conduct research should encourage global collaboratories as one of the most important ways to advance science, consider technological applications, and assess impacts on society.Collaboratories can have global, regional, and/or local foci. Internet II provides greater bandwidth making this more attractive. Collaboratories are not simply email exchanges, but allow for the full exchange and interactivity as if one were in a common lab while actually being in different places.They can be augmented by expert systems that could prompt the user to see potential synergies of their work with research in other fields that they might not have otherwise considered. UNU/IIST, UNESCO, and ICSU, for example, might collaborate to get information from national Ministries of Science & Technology to create such research data bases and expert systems. New forms of smart group software could notify users when new items of interest are entered in global discussions.

Memory chips will soon reach above one giga-byte capacity, reducing costs further, making them even more popular, and continuing to change communication patterns. Soon we will see a complete computer on one chip.... Information-communication-decision-organization should be considered as one large-scale complex social system that too can have breakthroughs. Some areas to explore are "autopoiesis" or self-organization, "transducers" between digital technology and social systems, and "mimes" or units of information that can make change. Some speculate that the future interplay of hardware, software, and communications may create cyber consciousness and artificial “lifeforms” within twenty-five to fifty years.


Cognitive Science and Educational Technology

Future applications of cognitive science to enhance the brain's ability for complex reasoning promises to improve education. It took many decades for new knowledge from Newton to percolate through to common understanding, and find application in everyday engineering. Likewise, it will take a long time to use new knowledge about learning and intelligent systems into a variety of domains.

Early attempts at "brain-based" individualized instruction have been criticized as too simplistic; however, in the long term, it is essential that education serves the off-center or those students not in the middle of the bell cure - the students who could learn more and the students who need special help. At a minimum, learning-based software informed by better models of human learning could be useful in many core areas, building on and automating some of the very special successful programs of the best researchers in these areas.Possibly UNESCO could provide a clearinghouse and assessment function for research results. 

Dynamic knowledge-based databases should be identified and connected to collaboratories for virtual education systems. One Millennium Project participant counseled that an Internet web site could be the global entry point where one can find links to good quality data bases that would be identified by 200 or more individuals who monitor Internet sites of their interests and provide digests for the quality links. These individuals would have to be motivated by improving the quality of science not money. UNU could initiate this in collaboration with UNESCO, ICSU, and others. We can now be much more systematic in pulling together data from across the world. 


Seemingly bizarre ideas and controversial technology

In addition to change and accident, the exploration of new and sometimes counter-intuitive ideas are the source of previous breakthroughs. Sailing around the world, machine flight, electricity, germs causing disease, landing on the Moon, and many other important ideas were ridiculed prior to their success. Today ideas like interstellar travel, increasing human capacities by self?control of inherent human healing power; cognition enhancing drugs, beneficial uses of low level radiation, artificial reality, extraterrestrial contact, and new sources of energy face the same skepticism and receive little support. Increasing affluence and global communications systems allow for new ideas to be rapidly assessed via widely different disciplines and epistemologies. 

Common data protocols for unconventional science for an international registry of new and unconventional ideas could be created by UNU/IAS in cooperation with UNESCO and ICSU with international copyright protections via WIPO. Such a registry could be linked via Internet to registries and clearinghouses in every country’s national research councils which could report their success, failure, and inconclusive research and lean the same from others around the world.

One way to generate new ideas is to try to answer how future trends in one area could affect the future of another area.For example, one could take areas discussed in this paper and explore how they might effect each other. In the table below, cell 2 would be filled in by answering how globalization of science and technology might affect the future of space technology; cell 2 would be filled in by answering how globalization of science and technology might affect the future of nanotechnology.


Table 1. Cross-Impact Matrix to Explore Synergies among some areas of this paper

Row’s affect on Columns?
Globalization of Sci.&Tech
Space Technology 
Nano Technology
Bio Technology
Cognitive Sci./EdTech
Globalization of Sci.&Tech 
Space Technology
Nano Technology
Bio Technology
Cognitive Sci & Educ Tech


Although only 6% of the Millennium Project participants work for the UN or related international organizations, the participants concluded that the much of the leadership necessary to address the challenges we face at the millennium should come from multi-lateral institutions.[3]The 15 challenges identified by the Millennium Project cannot be addressed by nation-states acting alone.

Throughout this paper, a range of future technologies were briefly discussed in the context of their capacity to affect society and how the UN and its related international organizations might affect their application. The authors selected several to highlight.

[1] 1996-1997 the Millennium Project participants identified and rated 182 developments that could have major impacts on the next 25 years.These were grouped into 15 Global Issues and 131 actions were judged by policy advisors and decisionmakers.1997-1998 the participants identified 180 positive developments that could improve the human condition over the next 25 years.These were grouped into 15 Global Opportunities with 213 actions, and were judged by policy advisors and decisionmakers.The issues, opportunities, and actions were updated and merged into 15 Global Challenges with 237 Actions with a range of views on each action.
[2]Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, 1999 State of the Future: Challenges We Face at the Millennium, American Council for the United Nations University, Washington, DC, 1999.
[3] Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, 1997 State of the Future: Implications for Actions Today, American Council for the United Nations University, Washington, DC, 1997. Appendix A contains the Millennium Project participants' ratings on who should provide the leadership for every action suggested to address the global issues.Governments received 2830, United Nations 1541, NGOs 1197, Corporations 804. See