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Minister Žbogar receives the Director of the Millennium Project, Jerome C. Glenn

Ljubljana, 8 October 2010 – Minister of Foreign Affairs Samuel Žbogar received the co-founder and Director of the Millennium Project, Jerome C. Glenn. In their discussion, Minister Žbogar underlined that global trends are essential for understanding local and regional trends. Global challenges are issues that transcend state boundaries, but the response to those issues falls within the competence of individual institutions. They require the joint action of governments, international organisations, corporations, universities, non-governmental organisations and creative individuals.  Minister Žbogar stressed in this regard climate change, water, food security and demographic profile shifts.

There is a prevailing opinion that global environmental issues can only be addressed by lowering living standards and economic growth. However, a number of innovations – from architecture to food production and other policies – herald the possibility of a more climate-friendly development.

Half of the world’s population live in countries in which groundwater is being consumed faster than it is being replenished. Most of the drinking water is used in farming, and particularly for livestock. A change of diet and a transition to salt water farming are potential answers to the challenges of food security and water supply. These changes are also necessary due to the growing world population: according to current trends it will peak at 9 billion in 2050. However, the global demographic profile is changing: high mortality and a high birth rate will be replaced by low mortality and a low birth rate. Changes in the vitality of the elderly and retirement patterns are also needed; otherwise, the younger generation will not be able to support them in 2100.

According to Director Glenn, the synthesis between science and technological breakthroughs is changing living conditions. Collective intelligence centres are needed to monitor progress, create the necessary databases, foresee possible outcomes and compile views from all corners of the globe in order for politicians and the public better to grasp the possible consequences. The Millennium Project established the first collective intelligence centre in South Korea, which addresses climate change.

Established in 1996, the Millennium Project is an independent institute that presents global recommendations for the future in its annual report "State of the Future", based on global developments and trends. The institute has defined 15 global challenges for assessing global forecasts that are interdependent and thus cannot be prioritized.