II. The Possibility

A new century and a new millennium will soon be upon us, compelling each of us to think more deeply about who we are, what we want and how we intend to implement our visions of the future. The pull of the millennium creates for all of us the opportunity for deep reflection and great undertakings.

Humanity thus stands at a unique moment in the history of civilization. The 20th century has been largely dedicated to war and the preparation for war. The world has stood against and defeated the great totalitarian systems of fascism and communism, and now democracy and the free market are spreading around the world. While we celebrate these triumphs, we must be mindful of their limitations. Democracy is full of promise, but in many nations is plagued with crisis and has been ambiguous in its deliverables. And while the free market has yielded unparalleled prosperity for a substantial minority, it has also generated significant cultural and social dislocation as well as profoundly disturbing ecological impacts on critical biospheric systems. Globalization needs to be more than simply creating specific international institutions and a global marketplace; it must involve the imperative to establish a sustainable global civilization.

The 21st century could be a century of civility and prosperity if designed and managed properly. If not, the new century could simply repeat the turbulence of the last; experience an ever widening gap between rich and poor; and continue the ecological devastation caused by humanity's failure to reconcile itself with the laws of nature. The choice is ours. At this juncture in history, our task is not simply to forecast the future but to share it.

The challenge of shaping the future is not mere rhetoric. In and through all the turbulence of the 20th century, humanity has made remarkable progress in eradicating disease, providing housing and food, reducing poverty and ensuring health care for an ever-increasing percentage of humanity. Although, as recent events have demonstrated, the fragility of human progress should not be under-estimated nor should we under-estimate humanity's capacity for innovation, compassion and co-creative enterprise. For the first time in history, society has become conscious of the need to self-organize, and new institutions and movements have sprung up which have transformed the way people think and act, both privately and publicly. The 20th Century has also seen the emergence of the discipline of psychology which has given rise to a deeper understanding of humanity's inner life. Spiritual growth, as distinct from religious belief, has become a personal priority to millions as people the world over have explored new dimensions of their interiority, even as they have expanded their political awareness and notions of civic responsibility.

Perhaps the most dramatic development has been in the area of science and technology which, aided by the capacity of instantaneous communication and the global dissemination of information, now enables individuals and communities to consciously manipulate the physical world, collaboratively co-create shared priorities and implement common goals. There are few social and political problems confronting the world today which are not soluble, given sufficient awareness, common purpose and political will.

The fundamental question is whether humanity can morally afford the power it is creating. Advances in science and technology must be accompanied by corollary advances in humanity's capacity to make mature judgments. The application of technology to advance the art and science of social conflict and global commerce without ethical balance and moral integrity can be gruesomely destructive and deeply devisive, as the 20th century has amply demonstrated. Thus the future requires a spiritual renaissance commensurate with our technological developments such that moral maturity keeps apace with scientific progress. Indeed, a framework must be developed in which both dimensions can mutually inform and illuminate one another within the context of a more sophisticated view of civic responsibility. This is the essence of Our Common Enterprise: it is the challenge to honor the deeper truths of the human soul, having arrived at a point where the future will be as we choose to write it.

 

III. Current Constraints

Significant work has been done to identify and analyze many of the world's problems. Strategic plans exist; cost and budgets are known in some areas; and myriad pilot projects have been inaugurated. However, the language of these solutions is often highly technical and complex; there is limited knowledge of or appreciation for practical solutions that point the way forward; and there are precious few studies or solutions which are presented in a fully integrated format, taking into consideration the effects of solutions or problems in one area on adjacent and related areas. Linear thinking and specialization abound.

The world is dominated by a multiplicity of power players such as governments, corporations and international institutions which perpetuate old modalities and policies inimical to a more equitable and sustainable world. Civil strife, human rights violations, bureaucratic incompetence, environmental exploitation, concentrations of power and manipulations of the global populace through "infotainment" and mass consumerism are rife around the world.

People feel the world must change and is indeed on the threshold of tremendous possibilities. People often have limited visions, however, and tend to focus their time and energy on personal rather than communitarian or global concerns. In the emerging reality of the global economy, at least over the short run, the gap between the rich and poor is increasing and people everywhere are feeling vulnerable to forces they do not understand and cannot control. There is generally low civic participation and a pervasive feeling of dislocation, fragmentation and helplessness.

Governments tend to engage in social engineering in an attempt to fix specific problems rather than to understand the world as a complex adaptive system and thereby seek integrated, self-organizing solutions. Democratic systems are replete with politicians offering limited solutions to complicated problems and those who use demagogic techniques to manipulate the public into accepting short-term, quick-fixes which invariably perpetuate the very problems they are designed to solve.

Finally, while there are ample social, spiritual, technical and political tools available, they are seldom integrated together intellectually or into the body politic programmatically for reasons having to do with tradition, inertia and sectarianism. Collaboration tends to take place within groups and disciplines but seldom between disparate parties. Information tends to be available but not accessible except to the diligent; and solutions often tend to be 'out there' somewhere but not applicable except by the determined and innovative. The world, with all that is available to it, trundles along with growing problems increasingly global in scope; with a mind-set developed centuries ago; and encumbered by institutions designed in some cases thousands of years in the past. And yet the future beckons.

 

IV. The Project

It is with an acute awareness of both the potential and the peril of undertaking bold ventures in a complicated world that the State of the World Forum proposes to embark on a two-year process of designing an integrated, transcultural framework of human possibilities which at its core involves a new mythopoetic vision of peace, justice and respect for the human family. It does so knowing that during this time of millennial celebrations, the peoples of the world will open themselves in unusual ways to imagining their own and, possibly, a common future. This is the great gift provided by instantaneous global communications. The world is being told in countless ways that it is one. The millennium will be humanity's first common celebration, and thus the time for imagining a shared future, a unifying mythology, a common work.

The challenge must be to articulate a vision that is intensely practical and capable of touching people in directly civic, economic and technical ways. People must see in the proposed framework the direct betterment of their communities and their own lives in ways that are concretely measurable by a variety of indices. The framework must also be expansively spiritual, challenging people to expand the boundaries of consciousness and spirit. The proposed vision must in essence explore how humanity in the future can be more fully integrated than it is today.

It must in the first instance create an integrated framework in which the various dimensions of human life can be empirically expressed and understood relationally. The world view we have inherited from the Enlightenment has emphasized the part as opposed to the whole; the rational as opposed to the intuitive; the secular as opposed to the sacred. Knowledge has been compartmentalized; life has been deconstructed. During the past several centuries, therefore, there have been many declarations of independence.

What is now needed is a Declaration of Integration: the articulation of a framework in which the different aspects of our lives -- the individual and the communal, the scientific and the spiritual, the inner and the outer -- can again cohere in a way that allows for a new sense of community to emerge. Only within the context of new community, and a new sense of integrated wholeness can the problems confronting us be solved. The future thus belongs to those who can see interconnections, who can appreciate the whole as well as the parts, and who can blend one aspect of life with another. To be authentic in the future will be to be integrated.

An integrated framework in which science and spirituality, economics and ecology, civic responsibility and personal development, among others, cohere relationally in an interdependent whole has dramatic implications for political priorities, scientific exploration, business practices, spiritual development and community involvement. Within any integrated framework, it will no longer be sufficient to know what one part wants over the other parts. Each part will now be challenged to discern both its rights and responsibilities within the context of an integrated whole in which all sectors both influence and are influenced by all the other sectors and all are framed by the context of the whole, in the true spirit of partnership.

An integrated framework will not only allow for reprioritization and a new sense of connectedness, it will compel a multitude of new visions and scenarios of the future, depending on the degree to which society in the 21st century embraces integration as its new metaphysical framework. A primary task of OCE will thus be to map possible future scenarios. What would the world look like over the next 50 years if unfettered free market economics dominated the global agenda? What would occur if the notion of 'sustainable abundance' and a 'spiritual renaissance' became the new watch-words? What would society look like in 50 years if science and technology served the common good rather than national security objectives?

Where the world is at the end of the 20th century is the result of several centuries of deconstructing the whole into its constitutive parts: thus the wars, the ideological struggles, the barbarisms, the competitiveness that has characterized much of modern history. The process of globalization allows for a new, integrated, collaborative vision that transcends the serious limits and flawed reasoning of traditional socioeconomic theory and practice. If we began to hold a vision of an integrated world, the next several centuries would take humanity into a completely different future. Our Common Enterprise seeks to encourage this conversation.

The essence of OCE is thus to bring specialists and interdisciplinary practicioners together to think through an integrated framework; to map various future scenarios predicated on the degree to which the notion of integration is made a societal and political priority; to draw into the discussion those who have already demonstrated practical solutions that embody integration in their design; and to provide leadership education, decision-support services and media and educational programming to the interested public, as well as key decision makers. This means that the final product will be specific, cogent and practical, something to be believed in, shared and implemented. It will be a vision already rooted and growing in the present to which people can point with credibility and embrace with enthusiasm.

 

 

V. The Strategy

A rough and preliminary strategy for OCE is as follows:

A. An International Network of United Nations Conferences, Independent Commissions, Think Tanks, Corporations and NGOs

The fundamental thrust for OCE will be the establishment of a global network of organizations capable of beginning to collaboratively frame issues and possibilities for the 21st century. A process will be created for designing a framework within which possible scenarios can be created, as well as for projecting trends if there are no conscious choices made. Invitations will be extended to individuals and organizations known for their expertise in a given field and for their track record in making a real difference in the world. Specific organizations would be asked to take responsibility for leading collaborative efforts to design "social road maps" for the creation of the desired future in partnership with a network of other organizations in their field of specialization. The invitation would be to become actively involved in both shaping the vision and entering the over-all process of deliberation.

The State of the World Forum will coordinate the framework and scenario-building process in conjunction with specialists in collaborative policy design and decision making, strategic planning and complex adaptive systems thinking who will be assembled to guide the process. Professional partners will be retained to provide technical expertise and strategic counsel. Within this framework, specific institutions will be invited to take leadership roles both in envisioning a desired future scenario and in generating discussion among fraternal organizations concerning what could be achieved and what an appropriate timeline would be relative to the objective set forth.

The goal is to establish an unprecedented global policy research alliance - a civic intelligence agency - to be composed of a diverse group of highly esteemed and accomplished institutions and individuals from around the world. The Forum's mission is to serve as an aggregator and synthesizer of interdisciplinary state-of-the-art research that fosters sustainable economic development in a context of multicultural vitality, gender partnership, personal freedom, social justice, inter-generational equity and non-violent approaches to the resolution of human conflicts.

The Forum's research alliance will aggregate, distill and synthesize the world's best thinking in regard to sustainable civilization by utilizing the results derived from eight primary methods/categories of inquiry:

  • Scenario Planning

  • Computer Modeling & Simulations

  • Lookout & Backcasting

  • Public Opinion Research & Appreciative Inquiry

  • Best Practices & Innovation Transfer

  • Scientific Theory & Applied Technology

  • Moral & Spiritual Philosophy

  • The Arts

    By rigorously blending the findings of these diverse inquiry methods, the Forum seeks to illuminate humanity's best thinking in regard to the "world problematique" and the near-term development of human civilization. In addition, the Forum will seek to provide comprehensive decision support services and an integrated set of policy and programmatic recommendations directed at addressing critical human challenges within the context of ten years of UN conferences and agreements addressing major dimensions of the world problematique and transcultural human challenges.

    Presently, the Forum is in the process of forming the primary research partnerships designed to serve as a collegium and collaborative project management team. Proposed partners include:

    The United Nations: The seven major UN conferences of this decade represent the highest consensually reached aspirations of the human community at the end of the twentieth century. They therefore form the bedrock of OCE as they constitute that one point around which governments, NGOs and the public have reached consensus on major issues of concern. These conferences include:

  • The Children's Summit, New York, 1990, which included 159 governments and 45 NGOs, and produced the World Declaration and Plan of Action on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. It also led to the establishment of the National Program of Action within each of the participating governments.

  • The Earth Summit, Rio de Janeiro, 1992, which included 172 governments and 2,400 NGOs and produced Agenda 21; the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; the Statement of Forest Principles, the UN Framework convention on Climate Change; and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. This conference also led to the establishment of a UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

  • World Conference on Human Rights, Vienna, 1993, which included 171 governments and 800 NGOs and produced the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action. This conference lead to the establishment of the UN High Commissioner and Center for Human Rights.

  • The Population Conference, Cairo, 1994, which included 179 governments and 4,200 NGOs and produced the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. It also lead to the establishment of the UN Commission on Population and Development.

  • The Social Summit, Copenhagen, 1995, which included 186 governments and 4,500 NGOs and produced the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action.

  • The Women's Conference, Beijing, 1995, which included 189 governments and 5,000 NGOs and resulted in the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action. The conference led to the establishment of the National Programs for Action within participating governments.

  • The City Summit, Istanbul, 1996, which included 171 governments and 2,400 NGOs. This conference resulted in the Habitat Agenda and the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements.

    While the implementation of the consensus documents generated at each of these conferences has been uneven, sometimes absent, it nevertheless represents an extraordinary accomplishment. These conferences mark the first time in human history where the world came together in a deliberative process and reached consensus at a global level on a series of issues of critical concern. Several of the conferences have had direct and concrete results. For example, the Environmental Summit resulted in the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change; the Children's and Women's Summits resulted in each government worldwide establishing Commissions on Children and Women. Out of all the conferences, the NGO participants came together and numerous initiatives were launched, generating a new level of private public cooperation and sense of civic responsibility.

    The governmental and NGO leaders who designed, led and followed up on these seven conferences have been invited to participate in OCE and to join others invited to the fellowship:

  • Independent Commissions: In addition to the UN conferences, a number of independent commissions have been established, the findings of which also reflected consensus around major issues by a spectrum of groups and individuals. These commissions include the Palme Commission on Disarmament and Security, the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, the Canberra Commission on the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the Commission on Global Governance, among others.

  • The Millennium Project: A joint venture between the American Council for the United Nations University, The Smithsonian Institute and The Futures Group, The Millennium Project undertakes advanced futures research utilizing "scenario planning, lookout and backcasting methodologies." The project maintains research nodes in London, Moscow, Cairo, Sydney, Beijing, Tehran, Madurai (India), and Buenos Aires.

  • The Human Development Centre: Based in Islamabad, Pakistan. The Human Development Centre is recognized as one of the premier policy and programmatic research centers in the developing world. The Centre has NGO status with the United Nations and serves as the secretariat of the North South Roundtable. The Centre has been a leader in developing robust multidimensional indices for the measurement of human development and in identifying groundbreaking model programs in critical socio-economic and technical problem domains.

  • The Millennium Institute and World Bank: Computer modeling of human development within nation states and integrated modeling of the global economy and its interaction with the natural environment are advancing to a new world standard, with the World Bank and Millennium Institute partnership leading the way forward. Based on models initially developed by the Carter administration for its Global 2000: Report to the President, The Millennium Institute has continued to develop and refine these models for nation state clients and is now working in collaboration with the World Bank to establish new reference standards.

  • Public Agenda Foundation: Founded by Daniel Yankelovich and Cyrus Vance, the Public Agenda Foundation specializes in conducting fundamental research in the domains of public opinion and collaborative decision-making. Public Agenda's present research agenda seeks to illuminate the interface between public dialog and the vitality of democratic institutions.

  • Forward Studies Unit, European Commission: The Forward Studies Unit at the European Commission works directly with the President's office to provide mission critical research to support decision-making by the Commission. The Forward Research Unit utilizes multiple modes of inquiry to provide its foresight and decision support services to commission members.

    Organizations in other fields will be similarly invited until the entire range of primary collaborative inquiry and programmatic design work is completed. For example, the Grameen Bank, working in partnership with the World Bank, could be invited to co-create with a number of complimentary organizations a road map and timeline for the elimination of poverty; the Rain Forest Action Network and a major Brazilian forestry corporation could work together with others on the policy and programmatic road map necessary for the resuscitation of rain forests; the Rocky Mountain Institute and a consortium of energy suppliers could be invited to create a similar road map and timeline for a sustainable fuel efficient economy.

    The Forum will serve as a Secretariat to guide and provide context for dialogue as well as synthesize the knowledge emerging from the various partners, all of whom would be treated equally to ensure that the process is not hijacked by a small group of ideologues with a hidden agenda. There must be no preordained outcome to this process. Rather the widest possible panoply of players must be included and challenged to take off their traditional constraints of imagination, and while remaining firmly grounded in practicality, re-imagine the future within a larger, more integrated framework.

    These groups will be invited to bring resources, networks, trained staff and organizational intelligence to OCE. They would be invaluable in both designing the process and in breaking the project down into manageable parts so that there is both specificity and comprehensibility to the scenarios as they are being developed. An essential component of their task would be to interface with other disciplines until the mapping becomes comprehensive, coherent and integrated with scenarios and road maps being created by organizations in other areas.

     

    B. Best Practices

    It is essential that the integrated vision of common highest aspirations be supported by a delineation of those projects and organizations already in existence, which both exemplify the vision being articulated and are already transforming the manner in which people think, relate and behave.

    The Grameen Bank is an ideal example of this. Since its inception, the bank has transformed the way the world thinks about the poor, re-framing them as entrepreneurs rather than as outcasts, who if only given small loans, will work to elevate themselves beyond the cycle of poverty. By giving most of the loans to women, the Bank has further transformed the status of women in relation to their families and to society by reducing birth rates, improving hygiene, encouraging

    education, changing legal norms and regulations and, most importantly, by raising a whole new generation of children for whom prosperity and self-esteem are the new norm.

    Our Common Enterprise will catalogue these kinds of best practices and model innovations worldwide and begin to address the challenge of knowledge transfer and skills acquisition.

    C. Global Leadership Council

    It is essential to the success of the project that OCE not simply be an academic exercise. It must be academically rigorous, but its intent is to achieve substantive results in the domain of social development. It is for this reason that the cornerstone of OCE be a Global Leadership Council, a network of leaders from the fields of politics, business, science, academia, civic society, religion and the arts who actively participate in the envisioning, design and implementation of OCE. A future in which integration and collaboration are the watch-words requires a new definition of leadership, leadership which seeks to empower and integrate rather than subordinate; to engage in social change through partnership rather than accumulate personal power; and which practices the politics of inclusion rather than those of exclusion.

    The leaders to be brought in must not be ordinary but extraordinary, not common but uncommon. In times such as ours of historical transition, as one age gives way to another, there are compelling reasons to honor elders and wise people, as well as mavericks, heretics and innovators. Elders carry with them the wisdom of the past; innovators the seeds of the future, for heresies of a declining order inexorably become the orthodoxy of the order emerging.

    A central part of OCE, therefore, will be the identification and gathering of the creative intelligence from around the world and across the spectrum of disciplines in order to bring them into the Forum process to be heard, debated and honored for their courage. The interaction of those individuals who carry wisdom from the past with those innovators and leaders already engaged in paradigm-shifting programs, will be exciting, inspiring and profoundly illuminating as OCE takes shape.

    Over the two-year period of the project, selected leaders participating in OCE will be asked to join the Global Leadership Council, so that by the time the project reaches its international outreach and educational phase, there will be a self-conscious and committed network in place around the world representing all walks of life which has both fully participated in the creation of OCE and is dedicated to its implementation.

    D. Leadership Training, Media and Public Educational Programs

    Another central component of OCE is inspiring and educating the public. This will be achieved by providing media programming and specific educational projects in which the citizens of the world can become involved as collaborators and co-creators, and through which specific individuals can obtain training and access to other essential resources. The key to creating a global civilization is generating a global renaissance: the articulation of a "new story" redefining human evolution, while redefining what it means to be fully human in a time of immense change and transition.

    OCE will thus seek to develop strategic partnerships in and through which individuals, particularly youth, can participate in training programs for integrated leadership; civic and political institutions can be supported in the deliberative process as they formulate policies and legislative agendas consistent with an integrated world view; and the public can be further educated in a global and integrated framework in which various regions and disciplines play a part.

     

    VI. The Timeline

    An informal proposal on OCE was announced at the 1997 State of the World Forum held in San Francisco on November 4-9, 1997. The formal proposal was approved by the Forum Board of Directors on December 11, 1997.

    1998

    The major initial priorities are to sketch out a preliminary architecture and interdisciplinary inquiry process for OCE; to identify and enlist strategic partners from around the world interested in and qualified to participate; to identify and invite those individuals representing the creative intelligence of humanity; and to assemble a team of specialists in deliberative group process, strategic planning, issue mapping, organizational development and complex adaptive systems to design and facilitate a framework for appreciative inquiry and scenarios-building for the 1998 Forum.

    The team will review all the major existing scenarios pertaining to the future, including Agenda 21, the Copenhagen Declaration, the Beijing Declaration, the Earth Charter, etc. Partnerships will be established with existing future-study groups such as the Millennium Project, Global Business Network, Naisbet Group and similar networks to gain the full benefit of current thinking about the future.

    The 1998 State of the World Forum will be dedicated to an open-ended, broad-ranging discussion regarding different perspectives on humanity's future, from the most positive to the most negative, and from the divergent vantage points of civic society, business, science, culture and religion. Within the context of imagining all manner of future scenarios, the experts and practitioners from all the participating organizations, as well as the leaders, elders and innovators who have been identified would convene in small groups to begin a process of thinking through what is implied by an integrated framework for sustainable civilization and what future scenarios and road maps might look like. An important component of this process will be to identify those innovative programs already breaking old paradigms and present a representative cross-section of this work to the OCE working groups during the 1998 Forum.

    Of equal magnitude is the task of identifying innovative processes which can facilitate communication and community-building. A world that works for everyone is built not only by vision, but by practical programs and shared social process technology which empower and involve all the stakeholders. There are a whole range of innovative processes that can be evaluated and, where appropriate, disseminated. Some examples include: collaborative design and planning techniques, conflict resolution methods, multi-stakeholder decision-making processes, self-organizing leadership models, organizational development and large-scale behavior modification strategies, consciousness-raising methods, visioning and scenario-building mechanisms, brainstorming techniques, facilitation and visual language approaches. Providing a 'tool box' for social innovation comprised of these kinds of processes to the larger interested public, combined with practical models already working, all within the larger context of a transcultural vision that empowers all the stakeholders, would be quite a gift to the world community for the millennium.

    The last major priority for 1998 will be the creation of a state-of-the-art web site to allow for optimal communication amongst initiative participants and maximum public and international participation. Planning will also begin for the global communication strategy necessary for the year 2000.

    1999

    Through 1999, the collaborative, team-oriented work of designing an integrated framework for a sustainable civilization will continue under the guidance and management of the Forum Secretariat, the OCE project management team and its professional advisors. The team will coordinate on-going dialogue, develop social innovation road maps; investigate further possibilities for syntheses; continue mapping interlinkages between areas of focus; and evaluate which practical models and process methodologies are most central to various problem areas.

    A preliminary draft of the integrated developmental framework, social road maps and possible future scenarios would be sent out to interested parties worldwide, and a series of conferences, subgroups and ad hoc meetings would be encouraged, culminating in the Forum of 1999. An expanded group of participating organizations would be invited along with the growing group of elders and innovators, as well as representatives of all those major organizations planning for celebrations at the end of 1999 to mark the new century and the new millennium. The entire 1999 Forum would be dedicated to refining and modifying the framework, the road maps and scenarios. At the end of the 1999 Forum, the framework, road maps and scenarios would be adjusted and refined and would be disseminated as broadly as possible to major institutions and organizations around the world. It would also be distributed to as many of the New Year's Eve celebrants as possible as a challenge to the people of the world to engage in a great common visioning of the future.

    The framework and scenario-building would not be conceived of or interpreted as a final, unchangeable document, but as a challenge to envision a better world, and a call for good people everywhere to work together to create a constructive future. It will be developed in the conviction that as we imagine the world, so it will largely become.

    During 1999, the website would be substantially refined, enhanced, and expanded. The Global Leadership Council will take shape and the strategy for a global, transmedia communications initiative to support OCE will be finalized and production efforts initiated.

     

    2000

    During the year 2000, the participating organizations would generate further discussion and seek to broaden the group of stakeholders in OCE. An integrated communications strategy would be implemented which would comprise a series of global town meetings, presentations to professional societies and conferences, the development of television and radio programs, and the writing of articles and books. Further changes would be made and additional comments welcomed until the framework, road maps and scenario-building was complete, practicable and full of promise.

    It is with all this preparation that the State of the World Forum would convene its annual conference in New York in September, 2000, to coincide with the Millennium General Assembly of the United Nations. It is our intent that after three years of building momentum, the gathering will be comprised of thousands of individuals from around the world representing a panoply of constituencies and networks involved in OCE, at the center of which would be the Global Leadership Council. This gathering, integrated with a highly targeted communications strategy, would give the Forum the credibility and standing it would need to work with the Secretary General to present the findings of the Common Enterprise to the political leaders of the world as they assemble for their deliberations.

    While many things will change between now and the year 2000, the vision of the event includes the following aspects:

  • People from all over the world will be invited to come to New York for a conjoining of the various constituencies represented by the different UN conferences, the various independent commissions, leading grassroots/civic organizations and other groups invited to participate in the OCE process. In this sense the event, envisioned to be seven to ten days long and scheduled to overlap with the convening of the Millennium General Assembly, will constitute a massive global Town Hall Meeting, during which the different issues/constituencies will have the opportunity to interact both with other groups and with selected political leaders also in New York for the General Assembly.

  • Plans are already underway for this global Town Hall Meeting to be linked via satellite and internet to major cities worldwide to allow for maximum public participation.

  • A television and radio series designed to inspire, inform and create a trascultural vision and context for discussion and collaborative action would be broadcast worldwide.

  • The public launch of the fully developed OCE web site providing in-depth support and back-up documentation for the Millennium General Assembly presentation and the global Town Hall Meeting interactive broadcasts, as well as hosted chat rooms, comment list servers, bulletin boards, etc.

    What would follow would be a series of meetings and working sessions with leaders not already involved in the process, to garner support for a series of practical programs world-wide to begin implementing the vision, models and processes which constitute the Common Enterprise.

    VII. Summary

    The instability and deepening dysfunctionality of global markets and governance systems illustrates profoundly the need for rigorous multi-stakeholder dialogue and inquiry into the practical design and management of human systems. Increasingly, with information and communication technologies empowering individuals everywhere, humanity's future rests with the people of the world and the self-organizing networks of affinity they are creating. Although inequalities, misplaced priorities and anachronistic institutions abound, humanity is poised to make inexorable progress toward creating a world that works for an increasing number of people. Indeed, in and through all the vicissitudes of contemporary history, a new cultural matrix is arising, one based on integration of all the dimensions of human life and with a new sense of personal and civic responsibility.

    The intent of Our Common Enterprise is to work with partners world-wide to help galvanize this spiritual, political and cultural renaissance to keep pace with humanity's scientific and technological advances, such that momentum toward a global civilization is established comprised of holistic, self-actualizing individuals and vital, integrated communities. Nothing short of this is worth the potential future to which the 21st century and the third millennium point.

    Our Common Enterprise Resources