Report presented in July 2002 Planning Committee
Bruce Lloyd, chair of the London Node couldn't attend the meeting, but he sent the report on the latest London Node activities.
The last six months has been dominated by impact, and implications, of the horrific events of September 11th. One initiative undertaken was to contribute a note to consideration of these issues by The World Future Society/The Futurist, as well as to the survey on Terrorism being undertaken by the Millennium Project.
The issues raised by these events are critically important for the future of us all and they are not simply solved solely by military action.
In essence, there are four key areas, which to some extent overlap, where searching questions need to be asked and answered:
1. What are the causes of terrorism?
How do we define terrorism?
What can be done to reduce the chance that anyone will want to indulge in these activities?
2. What additional security measures are necessary and acceptable in order to ensure that any potential terrorist activity is identified and dealt with effectively before it can cause damage? (Covers issues of both intelligence gathering and the management of the balance between rights and responsibilities that are essential to the existence of effective Human Rights.)
3. What long-term issues does society need to address that would help make it less vulnerable to any terrorist activity? (ie: non security related measures; for example: Are we becoming more and more interdependent - whether it is the Internet or Transport systems - rather than independent, and this inevitably increases our overall vulnerability.)
4. What legal processes are necessary, and acceptable, in bringing actual and/or potential terrorists justice?
I currently have a collection of several hundred feature (not news) articles reflecting on events of the past six months, particularly from the more thoughtful sections of the UK media and I would be pleased to make this material available to anyone who wishes to research these vital issues further.
There is a strong case for arguing that events of Sept 11th changed everything, and there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that the issues created by it have dominated priorities over recent months and this is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Other 'Challenges' are given serious attention mainly to the extent that they are seen to be related to those of terrorism. However, one potentially serious risk in the overall reaction to recent events, whether it is in arguing for more military and security expenditure or more money for research, is the apparently overwhelming focus on technology/hardware issues, rather than the more critical "battle" for hearts and minds.
Professor Bruce Lloyd
South Bank University
London, March 2002
Bruce Lloyd, chair of the London Node couldn't attend the meeting, but Susan Clayton, from Future Creation, London, UK, represented the London Node both days of the July 2002 Planning Committee meeting.
Susan Clayton presented mainly the UK futurists' activities, mentioning the futures research organizations that are the most active and their ctivities. The audience was pleased to hear that in the UK there is a growing interest in futures research at high government levels.