with support from
ABOUT THE PROJECT
e inhabit an increasingly interconnected world, yet today’s policymakers and advisors view each issue in a vacuum, focusing primarily on the near-term impacts of their decisions. Efforts to improve this system and broaden the field of vision of our policymakers are critical today, and will be into the 21st century. The Bertelsmann Foundation, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation, is currently conducting the Megatrends Meta-Analysis (MeMA), an innovative project exploring the intersections of large-scale trends in society from 2020 to 2100. The central goal of this project is to help policymakers, communities, and citizens understand how some of today’s most significant issues are likely to interact over the next century, and to encourage them to act on this information. MeMA will include a rich, detailed on-line platform for research and discussion, integrating content from the Bertelsmann Foundation’s Megatrends Meta-Analysis with trend-scouting “Searchlights” conducted by the Rockefeller Foundation.
fter postponement due to record-setting snows that prevented participants from traveling, a meeting of the participating organizations in the Megatrends Meta-Analysis project (MeMA) took place in late January at the New York headquarters of the Rockefeller Foundation. Staff from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Bertelsmann Foundation / Bertelsmann Stiftung hashed out key aspects of the developing collaboration, including target groups and major goals. Futurechallenges.org, which will publish
the results of the Megatrends MetaAnalysis, will serve primarily to stimulate discussion and action in the communities of interest to both foundations. This means targeting interested and influential individuals from the public, private and notfor-profit sectors in selected developed and emerging countries. The re-designed futurechallenges.org will feature research from MeMA and from the Rockefeller Foundation’s collection of Searchlight newsletters, allowing for broader distribution for both. It will give the foundations the opportunity to explore Web 2.0 tools and
Update 1 \ January-March 2011
new techniques for the dissemination and acquisition of innovative thinking. Futurechallenges.org already plays host to a global community of bloggers, but a handshake remains a better way to form a lasting connection. For that reason, “Future Days” - events around the globe that connecting individuals face-to-face - were also discussed at the meeting, as was the development of a Future Challenges Bar Camp. The foundations are looking forward to selecting the locations and partner organizations for these events.
Bertelsmann Foundation Megatrend Meta-Analysis
fter an intensive bid process for the redesign of futurechallenges.org that involved several noteworthy design firms from Denmark, Germany and the UK, the MeMA team is pleased to announce the selection of the London office of Headshift (http://www.headshift.com/), an international firm that focuses intensely on social media.
Searchlights The Rockefeller Foundation’s Searchlight grantees - a network of organizations worldwide - produce frequent trend-scouting reports on developing ideas and current issues in diverse locations such as Nigeria and Singapore. As futurechallenges.org prepares for re-launch with its new Headshift design, the Future Challenges team is combing the Searchlight newsletters for data, narratives and ideas to add richness and new perspectives to futurechallenges.org. In February and March, an initial set of Searchlight newsletters was distributed to the futurechallenges.org blogger community for commentary and feedback. The Searchlight materials and their integration into fu
The Searchlight Grantees GHANA African Center for Economic Transformation INDIA Intellecap, Inc. Strategic Foresight Group
Headshift’s extensive experience includes work with other think tanks on developing collaborative networks to engage audiences and employees. The company has also worked with leading museums on lightweight platforms that permit easy publishing and collaboration through simple tools. With other projects focused on messaging within the third sector, Headshift is the ideal partner for the MeMA project.
NIGERIA Center for Democracy and Development
Staff from the Bertelsmann Foundation / Bertelsmann Stiftung attended the first group working session with Headshift in Germany in March. The outcome of this meeting included plans for process management, content development and the “look and feel” of the new futurechallenges. org.
TANZANIA / KENYA Society for International Development
PERU Foro Nacional / Internacional SINGAPORE Lee Kuan Yew School SOUTH AFRICA Millenium Project (South Africa node)
THAILAND Noviscape USA RAND Pardee Center VIETNAM NISTPASS
turechallenges.org were also on the agenda at the March meeting with Headshift. The Future Challenges team is now developing the first content for online publication. Based on existing work from the authors of the six central Megatrends papers, new research from the Future Challenges team and material from the Searchlights, futurechallenges.org content will include in-depth lead articles with relevant images, narratives, hyperlinks, video links, audio content and open-source datasets.
ne of the MeMA’s most critical tasks is to translate complex ideas and theories for a broader audience. Time is scarce for all of us, and to amplify the impact of our work we must make ideas and information accessible and attractive to people worldwide. To reach this goal, the MeMA / Future Challenges team is exploring partnership with organizations such as the California-based Institute for the Future that have expertise in converting ideas to graphics. To see a sample of the Institute for the Future’s work, go to the Future Forces Map available here: http://www.iftf.org/NOVAFutureForces As the Megatrends papers are refined and the team moves towards publishing their complete contents on futurechallenges.org, we will be working more closely with our chosen visualizers.
Upcoming activities In Q2 of 2011, members of the MeMA / Future Challenges team will travel to Mumbai for their first meeting with the Rockefeller Foundation’s Searchlight grantees. This event will be the first opportunity for the teams to demonstrate to the grantees our capabilities, innovations, resources and drive, and to begin building relationships with this global network of thought leaders. It will also be an opportunity for the team to offer an overview of the concept and progress of the MeMA / Future Challenges project.
The Megatrends Authors GLOBAL GOVERNANCE Bruce Jones Director and Senior Fellow, New York University Center on International Cooperation GLOBAL SECURITY Benjamin Wittes Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, The Brookings Institution ENERGY and NATURAL RESOURCES Joel Darmstadter Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future Stephen P. A. Brown Nonresident Fellow, Resources for the Future DEMOGRAPHIC CHANGE Jack Goldstone Director, Center for Global Policy, George Mason University BIODIVERSITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE Wolfgang Cramer Co-Chair, Earth System Analysis, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Katrin Vohland Guest Scientist, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research ECONOMIC GLOBALIZATION Scott Barrett Professor of Natural Resource Economics, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Mumbai at night. Photo credit: via flickr.com, user vis-a-vis’.
Update 1 \ January-March 2011
Usage Statistics: futurechallenges.org March 2010 - February 2011
Unique Visitors 4000 3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 Mar-10
Unique Visits 9000 8000 7000
Bertelsmann Foundation Megatrend Meta-Analysis
6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 1000 0 Mar-10
For further information on the Megatrends project, contact: Jonathan Stevens | Director, Global Futures Project | +1 202 384 1994 | email@example.com Tom Fries | Senior Project Manager, International Relations | +1 202 621 1720 | firstname.lastname@example.org