About the Millenium Project - Project Update

15 March 1996

Up-date on the... MILLENNIUM PROJECT American Council/United Nations University

After a three-year feasibility study, the Millennium Project formally began with a meeting of the Planning Committee and Sponsors at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. February 14, 1996. A draft of the first year's plan for the Millennium Project had been circulated among the 26 Member AC/UNU/Planning Committee prior to the meeting. The Committee endorsed the first year's plan that follows the core activities as documented in the Millennium Project Feasibility Report (available on Internet at in draft form. Alternatively, a nicely laid-out and edited print version can be ordered at $5 for postage and handling in North America and $10 for postage and handling elsewhere).

Currently, the Global ''Look-Out'' panel of Millennium Project participants (about 300) is being established. They will be asked to provide observations and judgments about developments that suggest future world issues and opportunities. It is a three round activity, similar to a Delphi, except that convergence is not necessary, but the identification of a range is issues, consequences, goals, and strategies is the purpose instead.

The 200 people from 50 countries listed in the feasibility study will be the initial basis for this panel, and additional suggestions are welcome at this time. A second panel, composed of self-selected people who signed-up for the Project's public listserv and or responded to open invitations on the Project's homepage on Internet will also be able to participate.

Secondly, major global scenarios and ''mini'' scenarios are being identified and classified in a unique system that allows for their integration a listing of assumptions. The Project welcomes your suggestions about recently published global scenarios that you think should be considered for inclusion in the Project's data base of important global scenarios.

During the second round of the Look-Out questionnaire will also build some ''mini-scenarios'' or ''vignettes'' as a means of describing changes identified in the first round.

The Project will also scan literature and other sources for emergent trends, questions, issues, and potentially significant potential events. AC/UNU Interns have begun identifying and entering items. The University of Houston/Clearlake Program for the Study of the Future has expressed interest in taking on additional responsibilities in this activity. The Maui High Performance Computer Center is considering the possibility of supporting the Project by developing new kinds of software agents for scanning Internet. Experiments to include public input to the scanning process will also be explored.

There will be a mid-year briefing of the work in progress at the July meeting of the World Future Society. All of the work for the year will be integrated into a ''State of the Future Report'' in print, on-line, possibly on CD-ROM, and other media possibilities will be explored.

Millennium Project Nodes have been established in Moscow (focusing on frontiers of futures research methodology), Cairo (focusing on advanced training in futures research), and Washington, D.C. (Project coordination), then possibly in Montevideo for regional futures in Latin America. Some interest has also be expressed in Beijing, Paris, and Tokyo.

The Millennium Project is under the auspices of the American Council for the United Nations University. In addition to AC/UNU, the Project is being performed with support from the Smithsonian Institution and The Futures Group. Initial financial support for general operations has come from Ford Motor Company and Monsanto and a number of other companies are considering sponsorship. A portion of the Project's methodology work is supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Russian Federation and computer support from the Maui High Performance Computer Center, Hawaii.

Frontiers of Futures Studies: A Handbook of Tools and Methods produced by the Millennium Project with funding from UNDP is expected to be available in April and available for $29.95 from AC/UNU, UNDP, and WFS. The first round of the Look-Out study is expected to be circulated in April.

Millennium Project Home Page