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: Contact Information

The Millennium Doctor Speaks:
"Taking 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."

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 millennium commitments.

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 a few.

"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 grtmill@idirect.com, 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 talk2000@rmii.com

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 years.

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 talk2000@rmii.com

Talk from the Forum:
"Here is a recap of recent conversations"

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 Industrial Society.

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 for Tomorrow".

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.

John Locher johnl@everything2000.com, 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:
"Here are 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.

Contact Information:
"Your link to the third millennium"

Talk 2000 Forum Home Page: http://www.talk2000.org
Talk 2000 Newsgroup: bit.listserv.2000ad-l

Subscribe to daily Talk 2000 E-mail Forum: listproc@usc.edu
Include this command as the body of your message:
subscribe 2000ad-l <Your first & last name>

Subscribe to this "Let's Talk 2000" bi-monthly letter: talk2000@rmii.com
Include this command as the body of your message:
subscribe letstalk-l<Your first & last name>

Submissions of newsworthy items: 2000ad-l@usc.edu
Editor: talk2000@rmii.com
Jay Gary, aka The Millennium Doctor
author, The Star of 2000
(719) 636-2000 Phone
Publication keywords: groups, millennium, society, future
This issue of "Let's Talk 2000" is copyright © 1997 by Bimillennial Press, Inc.
All rights reserved. LET'S TALK 2000 is a trademark of Bimillennial Press.