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2015-2016 State of the Future Executive Summary

This is the PDF Executive Summary for 2015-2016 State of the Future from The Millennium Project.

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This is the Executive Summary for 2015-2016 State of the Future from The Millennium Project.

The 2015–16 State of the Future brings together an extraordinarily diverse set of data, information, intelligence, and hopefully some wisdom about the future. This is the eighteenth edition of the State of the Future. We believe that each edition is better than the last. We update data, improve insights, and respond to feedback.

The short overviews of the 15 Global Challenges are getting longer and more detailed each year. In addition to giving you possibly the best overview in existence for each challenge, think of these as a reference to keep on your desk to return to as needed. Just as you would not speed read the encyclopedia, this section should also be taken in short doses. Take your time to reflect on what you are reading in each challenge and in the sections on the State of the Future Index and the Future Work/ Technology 2050.

While this report presents the distilled results of recent research by The Millennium Project, GFIS contains the detailed background and data for that research, plus all of The Millennium Project’s research since its founding in 1996. It also contains the largest internationally peerreviewed set of methods to explore future possibilities ever assembled in one source. Readers of this report should subscribe to GFIS to keep up to date and participate in improving insights about future possibilities.

The purpose of futures research is to systematically explore, create, and test both possible and desirable futures in order to improve decisions. Just as the person on top of the mast on old sailing ships used to point out the rocks and safe channels to the captain below for the smooth running of the ship through uncharted waters, so too futurists with foresight systems for the world can point out problems and opportunities to leaders and the public around the world. Since decision-making is increasingly affected by globalization, global futures research is increasingly valuable for decision-making by individuals, groups, and institutions. The quality of democracies emerging around the world is enhanced by better-informed publics; understanding issues and opportunities in this report can contribute to improved democratic decision-making.

This report is for thought leaders, decision-makers, and all those who care about the world and its future. Readers will learn how their interests fit into the global situation and how the global situation may affect them and their interests. The State of the Future and GFIS provide an additional eye on global change. These are information utilities that people can draw from as relevant to their unique needs. They provide an overview of the global strategic landscape. Business executives use the research as input to their strategic planning. University professors, futurists, and other consultants find this information useful in teaching and research.

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