AC/UNU Millennium Project

1999 Global Lookout Study

Invitation and Overview of the 1999 Lookout Study

Round 3

Round 2 Round 1


On behalf of the American Council for the United Nations University in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, The Futures Group International, and this year’s sponsors, we have the honor to invite you to participate on the 1999 Global Lookout Panel.

This activity is a worldwide effort to collect and synthesize judgments about emerging global challenges that may affect the human condition. The Project provides information to decision-makers and educators to add focus to important issues, clarify choices and improve the quality of decisions. It does this by making future opportunities and dangers more explicit and by identifying a range of views from around the world on actions to address them.

Previous Lookout Panels concentrated on global change and action; in this series of questionnaires the focus will be on specific geographic regions. Past Panels have identified developments that may have important future implications. These panels have involved about 550 people who identified and rated almost 300 developments over the past three years. These developments were distilled into sets of issues and opportunities with a range of views from policy makers about actions to address each. The results, together with other work of the Millennium Project, were published in the  State of the Future reports.

The 1999 edition focus on means to improve decision making and shorten the delay between the discovery of an issue and action. It also further distills the issues and opportunities into a set of 15 Global Challenges which will be reviewed again in this questionnaires from regional perspectives.

While it is not necessary to examine the previous developments, issues, opportunities, and actions to complete the enclosed questionnaire, you may view them at the Project's web site at: http:\\

This year's 2-round Global Lookout Study is designed to build on the Project's previous studies, and add new insights. Participants will be listed in the Millennial edition of the State of the Future, but no attributions will be made. Please answer just those questions in your areas of expertise and greatest interest. It is not expected that you answer all the questions.

In parallel to this questionnaire series, a set of interviews will be conducted among policy makers to identify the regional implications and consequences of selected global challenges and actions.

Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to your views.

Sincerely yours,

Theodore J. Gordon and Jerome C. Glenn
co-directors, AC/UNU Millennium Project


The first round, conducted in  June 1999, asks four questions about each of the 15 Global Challenges:

  1. What unique significance does this challenge have for your region? (What unique perspectives and/or contributions does your region bring to this challenge? Are there unique impacts to be considered?)

  3. What should be the central focus for your region to answer this challenge? (What should be the top priority to answer this challenge in your region? and/or What has to change in your region to answer this challenge?)

  5. What indicators should be used to track progress in the challenge in your region? Ideally list quantitative measures for which data can be obtained, although it is not necessary that the data are currently available or easily collected. For example, in the second challenge below, "How can everyone have sufficient clean water without conflict? " indicators might include per capita water consumption within your region, aquifer reserves, withdrawal rates, agricultural consumption, etc.

  7. How do you rate your own competence and expertise regarding the challenge, using the following scale:
5 = Working in the field; know it well
4 = Have reading knowledge in the field
3 = Generally acquainted with the field; informed layperson
2 = Have some interest in the field
1 = Have heard about this challenge
Please review each challenge and, if appropriate, at the end of the questionnaire suggest rewording to improve and sharpen the statement.

* * *

The second round, conducted in October 1999, is based on the responses to the round one questionnaire. This second round asks for judgments about the potential usefulness of some indicators by which the status of global challenges can be measured and tracked. Most of the indicators presented here were derived from the first round and earlier Millennium Project reports. Since the number of indicators suggested in the first round was large, a subset was selected on the basis of the following criteria (which we also ask you to use in answering this questionnaire):

The complete list of indicators that were suggested in the first round is available on the web page:

The results of the Lookout Study and the interviews will be published in the Millennial edition of the State of the Future.

Those people who respond to this questionnaire will receive results in a complimentary copy of the Millennial edition of the State of the Future and will be listed as participants in the Global Lookout Panel.

Millennium Project Global Lookout Studies page

AC/UNU Millennium Project home page