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Author Archive

Three Global Sustainability Leaders: Pope Francis, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nicholas Stern

Global temperatures are rising, along with droughts, floods, storms, wildfires, and melting of glaciers and tundra. Concern about climate change and sustainable development is necessarily growing. Three of the most important recent books and reports are reviewed here, as an introduction to major thinking about what must be done. Read More

Book review: Two Cheers for the Millennium Project

Two Cheers for the Millennium Project
2013-14 State of the Future (17th Edition)

Jerome C. Glenn* (Director, Millennium Project), Theodore J. Gordon (Senior Fellow, Millennium Project), and Elizabeth Florescu (Director of Research, Millennium Project).

Washington: The Millennium Project, April 2014, 247p (6×9”), $39.95pb. PDF in English or Spanish, $29.95. www.themp.org [Note: Various comments by the reviewer are set off within brackets.] Read More

BOOK REVIEW: Humanity-Craft for New Epoch Leaders

Humanity-Craft for New Epoch Leaders

Avant-Garde Politician: Leaders for a New Epoch

Yehezkel Dror (Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Washington: Westphalia Press (Policy Studies Organization), April 2014, 350p, $17.50pb.
[With Comparative Comment on Henry Kissinger World Order (Penguin, Sept 2014) and Ross Jackson, Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and  Political Reform (Chelsea Green, March 2012).]

Hundreds of books have been written about leadership, mostly about business leaders. Read More

The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies

Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee (both MIT Center for Digital Business).

NY: W. W. Norton, Jan 2014, 306p, $26.95. (www.secondmachineage.com)

On the surface, this is a very important book about present and future technologies, jobs, and growing inequality. It is clearly written, plausible, and well-documented. Although oriented to American audiences, it has global import in our globalizing age. It is not directly about security and sustainability (neither term is in the index), although the book could illuminate both concerns, as technology continues its inexorable advance, for better and worse. Read More

Security and Sustainability

We can have no security without sustainability. And we can have no sustainability without security. Both security and sustainability are broad and expanding areas of policy concern.

Increasingly, they are overlapping, and it is valuable that they should be seen as such.  Many recent books suggest the expansion and overlap of these concerns.  Some of the more noteworthy are highlighted below.  Read More

Now for the Long Term: The Report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations

Oxford Martin Commission. Oxford UK: University of Oxford, Oxford Martin School, Oct 2013, 85p. (download for free at www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk).

1. Background
James Martin (1933-2013) was the respected author or co-author of more than a hundred books, including The Computerized Society(Prentice-Hall, 1970), The Wired Society (Prentice-Hall, 1977), and The Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint for Ensuring Our Future(Riverhead/Penguin, 2006). In 2005, he founded the James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford, re-named in 2010 as the Oxford Martin School, which currently supports over 30 research teams and over 300 scholars across the University, addressing “some of the biggest questions that concern our future.” Martin was elected as a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science in 2007. Read More

Sixteen Worldviews: A Summation of Recent Reviews

Where is humanity headed? What are the major problems that must be addressed, and what should be done?

Recent Book of the Month (BOM) selections for Global Foresight Books, especially for 2013, have focused on these important questions. Now is the time for a brief summary and preliminary analysis—a rough mapping-of their similarities and differences. Reviews of virtually all of the books summarized here have appeared in recent issues of CADMUS, Eruditio,and Op-Ed.However, to readily see them all together, it is best to go to www.GlobalForesightBooks.org and click on Book of the Month. Better still, open up the GFB UpdateNewsletter (3:5/6, 2013), which repeats this essay, along with linkages to all books cited. Read More

Book Review – The Climate Bonus: Co-benefits of Climate Policy by Alison Smith

For several decades, we have heard, over and over, that climate change is a very bad development, and that addressing climate change and evolving to a sustainable or low-carbon society are a necessary response—seemingly painful in the short term, desirable in the long-term however. But how desirable?
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BOOK-REVIEWS

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds

National Intelligence Council Washington: NIC, Dec 2012, 137p, $9.99pb; $1.99

Kindle (download free at www.dni.gov/nic/globaltrends).

The fifth quadrennial installment of the NIC series “aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future…by identifying critical trends and potential discontinuities,” described as “megatrends” (factors that will likely occur under any scenario) and “game-changers” (critical variables whose trajectories are far less certain). As appreciation of diversity and complexity grows, “we have increased attention to scenarios or alternative worlds we might face.” Alternatively stated, “We are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures.”The world of 2030 “will be radically transformed.” Read More

Book Review — Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing

Report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability
NY: United Nations, 30 Jan 2012, 94p (download full report or 22p Overview at www.un.org/gsp)

This report is the latest UN vision of what must be done for a sustainable planet—essentially an update of the 1987 Brundtland report—featuring 56 proposals to empower people, to promote a sustainable economy, and to strengthen governance.
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