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    Global Futures: The Transnational World of 2030

A Collaborative Project of the Orfalea Center
and the United Nations University

The 2030 Project on Global Prospects is jointly sponsored by the Orfalea Center and the United Nations University, Tokyo. The four-year project, chaired by Orfalea Center Distinguished Fellow Richard Falk, will consider future challenges given current trends and tries to reflect on alternative scenarios projected to the year 2030. The project will produce a publishable series of multi-disciplinary interpretations from different cultural perspectives, policy priorities, and empirical assessments.

This collaborative project enlists outstanding scholars and thinkers who are representative of the world’s civilizations, including those of indigenous peoples, to offer diverse interpretations of what it is reasonable to expect and to hope for by 2030. The year 2030 is selected to strike a balance between being too preoccupied with immediate realities and looking so far into the future as to become detached from present realities.

In February 2009 a project planning meeting was held in New Delhi. Vesselin Popovski, project leader from the Peace and Governance program at the Tokyo headquarters of UN University, joined Falk and Orfalea Center director Mark Juergensmeyer at the two-day meeting, which focused on global issues that would be confronting the world in the next 20 years and for which transnational solutions would be sought. Research was presented by a dozen leading Indian intellectuals exploring future concerns over such issues as global climate change, the eroding confidence in the nation state, the rise of religious nationalism and transnationalism, and the capacity of international organizations such as the UN to deal with these and other new crises. The meetings were held in tandem with a conference co-sponsored by the Orfalea Center on "Social Development and the Human Civilization in the 21st Century."

A follow up workshop in Delhi is planned for September 2010, and a new phase of the “2030 Project” commences with a meeting in Santa Barbara in the summer.



Orfalea Center