International Futures Conference in South Africa

International Futures Conference in South Africa

Major International Conference on "Potential Opportunities of the Future Studies" ( was held from November 5 - 8, 2007 in South Africa (South African Republic), at the University of Stellenbosh bythe initiative and with close involvement of the Millennium Project ( Millennium Project is a transinstitutional, international non-governmental organization dedicated to the research of the future research within 15 Global Challenges facing humanity. The annual report on "The State of the Future" is the main outcome of the Millennium Project research. 

Conference: "Potential Opportunities of theFutures Research" focused on the practical side of the research of thefuture to realize the idea of building the institutional capacity for sustainable development at both public and private levels. 

The main purpose of the conference was to identify important link between research and the future of different problems (challenges), faced by humanity. Conference sought to answer the question: How, in practice, discipline of research of the future affects the growth, development and improvement of the human condition? Are the "Opportunities for the research of the future", as of an organized system of collecting and processing the information on the future for timely adoption of measures inresponse to an unwanted future, would be important to Knowledge Society and for" the future embodied in the present day". The topic of the Conference intended three aspects of the debate - Adjustment tools and skills of thefuture research for: 
• "abilities to prospect future" 
• achieve sustainable development 
• By linking the issues of improving the humancondition with the structures and processes of decision-making and policy-making. 

The conference, organized by the South African Millennium Project Office, was attended by about 125 experts, professors,researchers and practitioners from different areas of the public and privatesectors, representing various countries around the world. Among the delegates and speakers were Professor Jerome Glenn from the United States, director ofthe Millennium Project and co-author of "The State of the Future", annual report, Professor Jose Cordeiro – head of Venezuelan Millennium Project Office, Professor Bruce Lloyd - head of the British Office of the Millennium Project, Professor Pavel Novacek, head of Czech Millennium Project Office,Professor David Harris, head of the Canadian Millennium Project Office,Professor Mohan Tikku - head of Indian Millennium Project Office, Professor Nick Segal from South Africa, as well as many other researchers and practices.The conference was partly sponsored by the Embassy of Finland in South Africa, where future research is put to a very serious base with relevant government structures at the level of ministries working closely with the private sectoron the range of the issues. In this regard, special guest and speaker at theconference was the Ambassador of Finland to South Africa, Mr. Heikki Tunanen, who stressed the "vital necessity of the futures research for sustainable development of humanity in all areas of life and environmental security."In addition, the ambassador said that it was necessary for the Finnish embassies accredited in all countries to establish a close relationship withthe Millennium Project Offices for further cooperation. 

Azerbaijan at the Conference was represented by two delegates: professor Reyhan Huseynova, the head of the Azerbaijani Millennium Project Office (Future Studies Society), who delivered a report on the impact of gender and the changing status of women on the future social trends and Samir Gasimov, from the Azerbaijan Millennium Project Office, withthe report on the international legal mechanisms for building institutional structure of futures research for sustainable development. 

3-days conference "Potential Opportunities ofthe Future Research" has completed its work with specific proposals ofvarious mechanisms and tools of the research of the future and institution building to provide sustainable development and desired future.