Mankind 2000 is established under Belgian law as an independent transnational association of cultural, scientific and educational character, without profit motive. Although inactive, it has been formally domiciled since 1983 at the International Association Centre, 40 rue Washington, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. Anthony Judge continues to act as its nominal Executive Secretary.
First initiated by Robert Jungk in 1964 at the inaugural congress of the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace. Subsequently formed as an international committee in London and as an educational trust in the Netherlands in 1966. Mankind 2000 was reformed in November 1972 and registered under Belgian law on 5th April 1973 as an independent transnational association of cultural, scientific and educational character without profit motive.
The first Mankind 2000 international committee was formed in London in November 1965 following promotional efforts undertaken by the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace (ICDP) on the basis of an original proposal received from Robert Jungk at the ICDP inaugural conference in 1964.
In September 1967 Mankind 2000 was responsible for convening the International Futures Research Inaugural Conference in the vicinity of Oslo. In addition to the subsequent publication of a book containing a selection of the papers contributed to the conference (edited by Johan Galtung and Robert Jungk : Mankind 2000. London, Allen and Unwin, 1969).
This meeting proved to be the forerunner of further international futures conferences held in Kyoto (1970), Bucharest (1972), Rome (Frascati 1973) and Dubrovnik (1976). Mankind 2000 continued to play a seminal role in the initiation of both the Kyoto and Rome conferences and with the early development of the international futures research movement, notably the World Futures Studies Federation. The prime instigator of these initiatives was James WeIlesley-Wesley who became the first Executive Director of Mankind 2000..
From 1972, as noted below, it engaged in a strategic initiative, effectively a Union of Intelligible Associations, in partnership with the Union of International Associations. This partnership gave rise to a succession of editions of the Yearbook of World Problems and Human Potential (later titled as the Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential) and its current online variant. From this initiative subsequently emerged the Union of Imaginative Associations and three other complementary bodies. Although effectively dormant, Mankind 2000 holds 50% copyright in the Encyclopedia on the basis of the agreement dating from 1972 and the investment subsequrnly made on its behalf in that initiative.
As stated in its Constitution the aims are : To support and promote ail aspects of human development : in the individual; within and between groups; and in the emerging world community, with special reference to the mental, moral and essential well-being of each person* and of the human community as a whole. Furthermore, it shall encourage such conditions and techniques as may ensure that the future development of mankind becomes centred on the person as a human being. In pursuance of these main objectives Mankind 2000 shall :
These lead to a major preoccupation with the need to express and make evident potential visions of the future which emphasize the underlying interdependence of all forms of life and social process, in particular, deliberate efforts are made to interrelate conceptually extremist and partisan standpoints and the social actions to which they give rise, while aiming to promote an evolving multiplicity of viable life styles and supportive forms of organization.
Thus the efforts of Mankind 2000 are directed toward establishing means for supporting integrative personal, conceptual and societal development; synthesis from a basis of adequate differentiation; and community as a valid and practical alternative to either oppressive unity or fragmented disunity.
The members of Mankind 2000 have overlapping concerns about both the future development of global society (and the possibilities for decentralized interaction) and about the further development of the individual as a unique psycho-social being (for whom personal integration or centralization seems to indicate a required direction of growth). These concerns, and the Association's activities to which they give rise, are primarily exploratory or facilitative, as distinct from purely academic or immediately problem-oriented.
Mankind 2000 represents, first and foremost, an attitude or stance for which useful forms are being sought, it is the nature of this stance which characterizes the Association, for insofar as it has a form and undertakes various activities, it remains essentially experimental, organic, decentralized and non-directive.
Mankind 2000, as an experiment in organization, is its own major project. It is an attempt at formulating and* evolving the minimal degree of organization and group consciousness necessary to maintain an adequately coherent network. It is an experiment in relating individuals with well-developed and essentially different sensitivities, preoccupations and priorities (usually well expressed through other more specialized organizations), for whom the common concern of the Association, although fundamental, may not be entirely represented in any single Mankind 2000 activity. This Sack of consensus is understood to be a reflection of social reality. Consequently, the Association has evolved as a loosely-knit transnational network of individuals for whom the central formal organization is merely an operational convenience.
Functionally, the linkages amongst the individuals at any one time may be considered potential rather than actual, making Mankind 2000 a potential association. The Association is thus committed to experimenting with new forms of decentralized action initiated within the network by temporary and independent constellations of members (together with their contacts) who achieve sufficient action-oriented consensus both to provide a basis for whatever ad hoc organizational form is considered appropiate and to attract the necessary financial support.
The function of the central body of the Association is therefore limited to ensuring the continued development of the network and to responding to requests from temporary constellations of members to associate the name and symbol of Mankind 2000 with proposed activities. The hallmark of a Mankind 2000-approved project is a concern both with mankind as a whole (without undermining the fulfilment of the individual) and with the individual as a psycho-social being (without undermining the development of mankind as a whole).
The Association is not preoccupied with the need to mobilize its members in support of a series of activities leading to a series of products within any given time framework, even if this were possible. Such a response to urgent social problems is the preoccupation of many other viable organizations (through which members of the Association may well work).
Mankind 2000 aims, rather, to explore the possibility of alternative and longer-term modes of operation, in the belief that there is a gap to be filled in the spectrum of organized response to the complexities of the social condition.
The style of the Association, as outlined above, is Intended both as a realisation of its own concerns and as a constructive response to the constraints and complexity of current circumstances.
Funds for Mankind 2000 projects are obtained from private donations or foundations on a project-by-project basis as indicated above. Secretariat operations are financed by member contributions.
This work is licensed by Anthony Judge
under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.