The Global Century - Vancouver (1998)


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"The Global Century"
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 1998

The theme of the conference was the proposition that, whereas publisher Henry Luce had once pronounced the 20th century to be “The American Century,” the 21st would be the century of globalization. This theme was explored in several plenary sessions, and in workshops organized around five sub-themes: (1) Development and Economics; (2) Science and Technology; (3) Cultures, Religions, and Civilizations; (4) Politics, Security, and Governance; and (5) Environment and Population. A special conference event, open to the public and moderated by a local TV personality, was a debate about the pros and cons of globalization, with Margarita Marina de Botero of Colombia, Mahdi Elmandjra of Morocco, Ziauddin Sardar of the UK, and Ana Maria Sandi of Romania.

Other conference participants included Elizabeth Mann Borghese, a global authority on ocean law and policy; Noel Brown, former director of the United Nations Environmental Programme; Gloria Feldt, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Hector Gurgulino de Souza, rector of the United Nations University; Jingjai Hanchanlash, senior v-p of the Loxley Co., Thailand; Ivan Head, director of the Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia; Francisco Sagasti, director of Foro National/International, Peru; and Stephen Toulmin, philosopher and historian of science.

Most conference sessions were held in the downtown conference center of Simon Fraser University. Participants were housed in the Delta Hotel, directly across the street from the conference center. The gala awards dinner was held at another hotel nearby. There was also an optional evening cruise of Vancouver Harbor.

Subject matter and findings of the conference were made public in numerous articles written by participants, as well as in a special issue of the journal Futures, entitled “2000 —The Global Century.”

Conference themes also were reflected in several subsequent books written by participants. Among them:

Distant Proximities: The World After Globalization, by James Rosenau. (2003)
Altered States: Globalization, Sovereignty, and Governance, by Gordon Smith and Moises Naim. (2000)
Nobody in Charge: Essays in the Future of Leadership , by Harlan Cleveland. (2002)
All Connected Now: Life in the First Global Civilization , by Walter Truett Anderson. (2001; paperback edition, 2003)