I was asked to attend the Berlin launch of the State of the Future Report 2010 on 7 July 2010: It contains 7.000 pages of global data. Here comes a summary of 1 page. Useful?
It is hard to predict the future. Prehistoric men probably tried to read in the wind and in the water what the next days were bringing, the Greeks went to see the oracle of Delphi, we collect data. Globally. For years and years and years. There are the World Bank Report, the Millennium Goals Reports of the UN or the outlooks on financial stability of the International Monetary Fund. We have global reports on climate change, on migration, on cultural diversity. On the one hand, it is absolutely great, that we possess all this data, that scientists work hand in hand with politicians, with activists, with civil society. On the other hand, who will read all this stuff – besides the experts? And what impact will it have, if at all, because it really is loads and loads of data? How can it be used practically?
Yesterday, I attended the German launch of yet another report, The State of the Future Report 2010. It is published every year by the think tank Millennium Project, a cooperation between 3.000 experts, futurists, governmental officials, NGOs and enterprises in 35 so called nodes (centres) all around the world. For 14 years now, they assemble data and analyse it, trying to grasp the future development of 15 topics, for example infant mortality, population growth, women in parliament or corruption. This years’ report is so big, that its 7.000 pages are only available on CD-Rom. And I now stand there, stunned, how to summarize this amount of information. (weiterlesen …)