State of the Future

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State of the Future  
Discipline Futurology
Language English, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Arabic, Russian, French, Azuri, German, Japanese
Edited by Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, Elizabeth Florescu
Publication details
Publisher The Millennium Project
Publication history 1997–present
Frequency Annually

The State of the Future is an annual book-length report with forecasts of global issues, produced by the Millennium Project since 1996. It grows each year; in 2012 it included a 150-page summary and 1500 pages of background data, along with a searchable database of historical data. The background data are from work done by the Millennium Project's 49 regional nodes around the world, and from commissioned submissions from individual experts.[1] These reports are widely referenced by other global forecasting efforts, such as the World Future Society's Future Survey.[2][3]

Publication history[edit]

The Millennium Project has worked with many publishers in different countries to edit and publish the report. The English language version of State of the Future was published by the American Council of the United Nations University from 1997 to 2006; and by the World Federation of United Nations Associations in 2007-08. Since 2009 it is published directly by The Millennium Project, now an independent organization.

It has been published in Chinese by the Chinese Finance and Economic Publishing House and currently by China's Ministry of Science and Technology. It has also been published in Spanish, Arabic, French, Korean, Russia, Persian, Czech, and Azeri. Its editors-in-chief are Jerome C. Glenn, Theodore J. Gordon, and Elizabeth Florescu.

Report features[edit]

A number of regular features of the report are widely used on their own as benchmarks or references in related work. These include the State of the Future Index (global and regional), and a set of Global Challenges. Unlike the UN's Millennium Development Goals, these challenges do not have a fixed target or end date; the report focuses on tracking current status.

State of the Future Index[edit]

As part of the report, the Millennium institute maintains a State of the Future Index, a rough measure of whether society is improving, globally and regionally, based on 28 data-streams. As of 2012, there are regional Indices for Azerbaijan, China, East Timor, Kuwait, South Africa, Turkey, and parts of the Americas.[4]

Global Challenges[edit]

15 global challenges have been defined and tracked since 1997 in the reports.[5] The challenges were defined by the Project's Global Outlook Panel through modified Delphi method questionnaires and are updated annually. The material exists in several languages and the inputs have come from the project's nodes around the world. The descriptions of each challenge include a review of the current state of affairs, approaches to address the challenge, and regional perspectives.


  1. ^ Interview with director Jerome Glenn on Coast-to-Coast radio.
  2. ^ Noted in the 2007 State of the Future report, pg. ii.
  3. ^ Future Survey Super Seventy - 70 of the best books on the future from 1996-2000.
  4. ^ State of the Future Index,
  5. ^ "15 Global Challenges". The Millennium Project. Retrieved 2010-12-29. 

External links[edit]