Saturday, December 08, 2007

UNESCO's 21st Century Talks

The 21st-Century Talks are forums for prospective reflection and future oriented debate that gather together leading figures from different regions of the world. Together with the UNESCO's World Reports they form UNESCO’s Foresight and Anticipation Program.

The Talks are used as the basis for books, articles in leading newspapers and academic journals of different regions of the world, and production of radio and television programs.

Over the period 1999-2005, 27 “21st Century Talks and Dialogs” were organised. There were 118 speeches by 95 different speakers in the series. The three “Dialogues” gathered more speakers (particularly in Seoul with 23 speakers) than the “Talks” with only three or four. “Talks” were organised at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Barcelona, Durban and Seoul.

As a result of the program, three books – and a total of 21 translated versions - were published.
There is specific information on many of the talks available from the UNESCO website.

An evaluation of UNESCO's Foresight program was published in 2006.
The evaluation report notes:
The activities of the Foresight and Anticipation Program had major support from UNESCO Member States. The “21st Century Talks and Dialogs” are viewed as having dealt with crucial issues for the future which were debated by a highly competent and diverse set of specialists who contributed highly relevant analyses. Member State representatives appreciated the foresight effort made by UNESCO. There is general agreement that Foresight and Anticipation are major missions of UNESCO.

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