Let's Talk 2000
"The heartbeat of 2000 A.D. from cyberspace"
November 1, 1997, Volume 3, Issue 12, a bi-weekly bulletin
Topics covered in this issue:
The Millennium Doctor Speaks
News from the Field:
Talk from the Forum:
New Millennial Sites:
The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
the pulse of 2000 A.D."
Our lead feature below reports on how Canada is building its house to mark
the arrival of its great millennium. Not only are municipalities taking
the lead, but the government is now throwing its hat in the millennium race
to forge a country-wide partnership.
In our "Talk from the Forum" section, we post an address first
given in 1986 by a Canadian visionary. Don Toppin, songwriter and founder
of Toronto/2000 shares how ideas about the future from the mid-60s onward
which shaped their approach to the "Great Millennium."
News from the Field:
"Here is the
latest news on year 2000 efforts."
CANADA SEEKS MILLENNIUM FRAMEWORK
In a bid to enhance its young citizen's "knowledge and creativity,"
the Canadian government announced it's intention "to help build a partnership
among [its] governments, communities and citizens to mark the new Millennium."
The announcement came on September 23rd by Prime Minister Jean Chretien
in his opening speech to the 36th Parliament of Canada http://pm.gc.ca/cgi-win/pmo_view.exe/ENGLISH?643+0+normal.
In the conclusion of an address which laid out Canada's priorities for the
next four years, Chretien stated:
"For Canadians, the start of the new millennium represents an historic
opportunity to celebrate our achievements as a nation and our hopes for
the future. It will be an unequalled opportunity to show ourselves and the
world the richness of our diversity, the strength of Canadian values, and
the great promise of our future in the 21st century."
The following day, the Prime Minister announced the government's intention
to establish a Millennium Scholarship Fund - as one of the country's major
According to Chretien, the Millennium Fund will act as a modern-day GI Bill,
with its purpose "to help young Canadians prepare for the knowledge-based
society of the next century." The income from the fund will reward
academic excellence and begin in the year 2000 to award university and college
scholarships to low and moderate-income students.
Deputy Prime Minister Herb Gray has assumed responsibility to draft plans
for how Canada will mark the new millennium. Gray will consult with Cabinet
colleagues, various levels of government, the private sector, and non-governmental
organizations to establish a framework for Canada's millennium activities.
Since the Cabinet Committee began its quest for a national framework, a
working interdepartmental "Millennium Task Force," headed by Mr.
Larry Dickenson, ex-ambassador to Saudi Arabia, has begun to function.
In this fast-changing context, the Millennium Council of Canada (MCC) gathered
representatives from 25 independent Canadian millennium initiatives for
a "Fall Assembly," October 15 and 16th. The Toronto assembly featured
presentations of programs underway including Calgary 2000, the Millennium
Community Building Association and the Millennium Eve Vigil, just to name
"The atmosphere was upbeat, ethusiastic, and optimistic," stated
Peter Aykroyd, MCC Advisory board member and Expo '67 planner. "There
is an unmistabkable groundsweel of millennial activity in Canada."
The Assembly was followed by a MCC Members Meeting at which an expanded
national Board and Advisory Council was elected.
According to MCC's executive director, David Woolfson firstname.lastname@example.org,
the umbrella group is vying through negotiations to become the "the
significant partner of the federal government to represent community and
municipally-based millennium initiatives across Canada." Formed in
1996, the MCC is the outgrowth of some 10-20 years of futures-thinking by
"great Canadians" such as Don Toppin and Eric McLuhan.
Long envisioned, the dream of Canadian leaders to usher in a "Great
Millennium" has now been passed off to general contractors. Most grass-roots
activists applaud these developments--but they are waiting to see if the
year 2000 house will be framed true to its foundational vision. Source:
Talk 2000 email@example.com
LIFE MAGAZINE RELEASES MILLENNIUM ISSUE
The picture magazine of the world released a special double issue this past
month on "The Millennium" where its editors attempted to rank
the top 100 events, plus the 100 most important people of the past 1,000
Using a medium less than two centuries old, LIFE magazine photographers
illustrated 1,000 years of history on their cover by inviting some of this
millennium's greatest figures to pose for a shot in France, where the first
photograph was taken some 171 years ago. The cover photo features models
portraying Joan of Arc, William Shakespeare, Christopher Columbus, Napolean
Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Ghandi and a Moonwalker.
To rank their top 100 lists, LIFE consulted educational and government leaders
in the U.S. In the top 10 of the Top 100 most cataclysmic events, LIFE listed:
10--the navigational compass, 9--the rise of Hitler, 8--the American Declaration
of Independence, 7--Chinese gunpowder, 6--the germ theory of disease, 5--Galileo's
proof the earth moves, 4--the Machine Age, 3--Luther's 95 Theses, 2--Columbus
route to a global civilization, 1--Gutenbuerg prints the Bible.
In LIFE's ranking of the Top 100 Person's, all but 17 were of European extraction
and only 10 were women. In response to this, LIFE editors wrote: "This
reflects not the biases of LIFE's editors and expert advisers but the sociopolitical
realities of the past thousand years." LIFE promises the "next
millennium's list of planet-rattlers promises to look strikingly different"
come 3000 A.D.
In a timely and intuitive fashion, the Talk 2000 forum conducted its own
"Persons of the Millennium" poll in September. After initial nominations,
John Morse noted we overlooked Thomas Edison, whom LIFE magazine ranked
as the most important person of the last 1,000 years.
LIFE magazine's "millennium" issue is not available to view via
the Internet, but is on the newstands until November 3rd. Source: Talk 2000
Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap
of recent conversations"
2000: TOWARD THE-GREAT MILLENNIUM
In this issue, we devote this section to one of Canada's imminent millennial
citizens, Mr. Don Toppin. Songwriter, educator and author of _This Cybernetic
Age_, Toppin lives in active retirement in Toronto (Toronto/2000), Suite
2000, 390 Bay Street Toronto, Canada M5H 2Y2 * (416) 214-2000).
Toppin is the founder of Toronto/2000 and is known for bringing the World
Future Society Assembly to Toronto in 1980 which attracted 6,000 participants.
Here is an address, given by Toppin on January 20, 1986, to launch Toronto/2000:
The concept of The Great Millennium (although hitherto unnamed) has been
incubating for a long time. But it seems to have developed a specific focus
in the mid sixties - Toward The Year 2000.
I am thinking, for example, of the First Educational Technology Conference
in New York City when Herman Kahn and Tony Weiner gave a visual preview
of their new Hudson Institute book "The Year 2000." Daniel Bell
of the Commission On The Year 2000 prophesied that the psychological magic
of the approaching millennium could create universal awareness which would
change attitudes and behaviours in adjusting to (what he called) The Post
I was sitting with Dr. Robert Jackson who had just been appointed as the
first Director of the Ontario Institute For Studies in Education. Since
I was deeply involved in leading the ATLL '67 Manpower Development Project
at Humber College (Automated Training and Learning Laboratory), we spent
considerable time exchanging ideas about the necessity of futurizing education
and, indeed, the entire culture. Anticipatory thinking became important.
Think Tanks, Futures Institutes and Year/2000 Groups began to proliferate
around the globe. It was a fun time and some exciting projects were conceived,
such as Hawaii 2000 and Goals For Dallas (Remember TV). Some of the projects
were sponsored by governments with million dollar grants. A new profession
was born some called it Futurism.
In Berlin, Robert Jungk wrote "The Millennium Man", and in the
Netherlands, Fred Polak organized Mankind 2000. In Paris, Bertrand deJouvenel
created Futuribles international. In Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau recruited
Ron Ritchie to become the founding Chairman of the Institute For Research
On Public Policy.
Aurelio Peccei brought together "The Club Of Rome" whose "Limits
To Growth" (1972) was widely translated and sold in paperback on every
continent with timely warnings. In the United States, the Rand Corporation
became more influential, Alvin Toffler's "Future Shock" became
a best seller and Sally and Ed Cornish created the World Future Society.
Expo '67 in Montreal featured a futuristic dome created by Buckminster Fuller
who inspired the Montmorency Conferences on Leisure and "Confederation
At the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, I had completed a project
on ' Communication and Cybernation' which was published as "This Cybernetic
Age" and, surprisingly, introduced through a full page announcement
in the New York Times. A rare event!
This lead to a renewed relationship with Senator Donald Cameron and his
colleagues, who, in turn, inspired the "First Canadian Conferences
On The Future" (Muskoka Institute), which reached their peak in 1975
coincidental with silicon microchips and global satellite communication.
As I stated in my book, "machines - especially computers and satellites
- are changing your world . Every human on earth-including you-will he changed
by 'This Cybernetic Age".
Alvin Toffler had written about social futurism in the back pages of his
very popular book and, after talking with him in 1972, we had a few discussions
about Toronto 2000, No one offered financial encouragement, and I was in
Muskoka. In 1977 I had a "near death experience" and returned
to Toronto. The Toronto Futurists Group started to meet at the Toronto Public
Library and The Ontario Institute For Studies In Education. Then, after
a historic dinner with Aurelio Peccei, Mayor David Crombie suggested that
I meet with Toronto Planning Commissioner Stephen McLaughlin.
Consequently the Committee on Toronto/2000 was born on December 11, 1980
and almost immediately became a project of OISE with Dr. James Draper as
senior co-ordinator. We also obtained a charter for the Global Foundation
for Understanding. A central steering committee was created on my 70th birthday
April 11, 1984. Life members have given leadership over a long period, mostly
without recognition or remuneration. Most of the two thousand /2000 groups
which were based on money have ceased to exist. Toronto/2000, by contrast,
has depended on people and ideas.
This is why we are together today for the launching of The Great Millennium
Campaign. With a strong positive approach by everyone everywhere, this Third
Millennium has the potential to be truly great.
THE PUBLIC AND THE Y2k COMPUTER DATE CRISIS
John Locher firstname.lastname@example.org,
the designer of the premier web site, Everything2000 http://www.everything2000.com
notes how the Millennium Computer Bug is affecting the public. On October
31st he submitted:
The top millennium issue for October that I see has been the Y2k computer
date crisis. This issue has really multiplied in the media this fall. It
must be budget time for many companies, and their IT managers are speaking
more loudly about the coming problems. The non-technical computer user and
general public still have little comprehension of the depth of this problem,
and are only beginning to understand the tip of the digital iceberg. The
information technology industry and many mainstream business publications
however are starting to saturate us with stories about the issue.
As the media continues to build up awareness on the problem, a more common
theme overheard in conversation is "how will it really affect me?"
Every week we see more seminars, trade publication articles and even novelty
merchandise surrounding the date bug. Solution companies are aggressively
recruiting programmers to help with the heavy demand. Let's hope that steady
technical solutions rather than negative Y2k issues dominating the media,
will allow us to appreciate greater acknowledgement of the Year 2000 and
the coming millennium.
More evidence: The highest trafficked section of Everything2000 has
grown into a tie between the Computer Date Crisis section and the Events
section, after the Date Crisis pages originally received only moderate traffic
since the initial launch of the E2000 web site last December.
New Millennial Sites:
new sites in cyberspace"
DESTINATION 2000 Celebrate your life around the world.
Destinations 2000 offers resource for travel and event information for world-wide
celebrations for New Year's Eve 1999. Their web site features interesting
locations for Millennium celebrations.
"Your link to
the third millennium"
Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://www.talk2000.org
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Jay Gary, aka The Millennium Doctor
Publication keywords: groups, millennium, society, future
author, The Star of 2000
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This issue of "Let's Talk 2000" is copyright © 1997 by Bimillennial
All rights reserved. LET'S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press.