Dr James Martin -- The Meaning of the 21st Century
London, UK - 15 May 2007, 06:40 GMT
- We are grateful
to the world renowned philanthropist, pioneering information technologist
and distinguished ATCA member, Dr James Martin, for his welcome submission
in response to the think-piece, The Hamburg Call to Action -- World Future
Council Appeals to G8: Listen to the Voice of Future Generations
by Jakob von Uexkull.
Response: Dr James Martin -- The Meaning of the 21st Century
With the largest ever alumni philanthropic donation ever made to a UK
university, Dr Martin gave USD 100 million in 2005 to help establish
The James Martin 21st Century School at the University of Oxford; its
stated goal is to "formulate new concepts, policies and technologies
that will make the future a better place to be." His book The
Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint for Ensuring our Future
was published in 2006.
Dr James Martin is a consultant and author, has been called the "guru
of the information age," and was nominated for a Pulitzer prize
for his book, The Wired Society: A Challenge for Tomorrow. A
former Student of Keble College, University of Oxford, he has written
over a hundred books many of which have been best sellers in the information
technology industry. He has written extensively on his computer systems
design methodology, information engineering and also on computer-aided
software engineering, of which some say he is the father. He was an
early promoter of fourth-generation programming languages. He was also
the primary author of the Rapid Application Development methodology.
With Dixon Doll, Martin established the information technology consultancy
firm DMW (Doll Martin Worldwide) in 1981. This was later renamed James
Martin Associates (JMA), and its clients have included the United States
and United Kingdom governments. In the late 1980s, JMA was divided into
two halves: one half was sold to Texas Instruments Software in 1991,
while the other part remains independent and is now known as Headstrong.
Dr Martin also co-founded software company KnowledgeWare with Fran Tarkenton.
Dr Martin also founded Data Base Design (DDI) Inc, which competed with
KnowledgeWare in areas such as data base design tools. He writes:
Dear DK and Colleagues
Congratulations to the ATCA on your swift response to "The Hamburg
Call to Action -- World Future Council Appeals to G8: Listen to the
Voice of Future Generations" submitted by Jakob von Uexkull.
A 2-hour film, made by myself, addresses this subject in detail. It
is called "The Meaning of the 21st Century" and is
based on my book "The Meaning of the 21st Century: A Vital Blueprint
for Ensuring our Future" published by TransWorld in England.
The film is in the last stages of post-edit, and it will be available
in June. What follows is a description of it. It has been described
as "light years ahead of Al Gore's most influential film."
Some of the most brilliant people on the planet are in the film, all
of whom participated in long depth interviews.
I established the James Martin 21st Century School at the University
of Oxford. This School has 10 Institutes. Its Mission is to identify
the most serious problems on the planet and find solutions to them.
It also identifies the largest new opportunities. The School is growing
rapidly and fits the subjects discussed by the ATCA remarkably. The
Director of the School is Ian Goldin who was senior vice president at
the World Bank.
The opening words of The Hamburg Call to Action, resonate strongly with
the book and film, "Today we truly stand at the crossroads of
human history. Our actions - and our failure to act - will decide the
future of life on earth for thousands of years, if not forever."
I look forward to further dialogue via the ATCA.
THE MEANING OF THE 21ST CENTURY -- A FILM BY JAMES MARTIN -- BASED ON
THE BOOK OF THE SAME TITLE
This is a very critical century - unique in all history. We are faced
with a massive challenge. Can we make the planet workable for the growing
population and its increasing demands? If so, extraordinary technology
can give us a magnificent future. If not, we could be in a new Dark
In the decades ahead, humanity will face nightmare problems, and immense
opportunities. One problem that is now well known is global warming
and climate change. Some of the other problems are more dangerous.
The good news is that there are solutions.
Innovative thinking, cooperation around the world and exciting technologies
are providing answers, and a bleak future can be turned into one of
unimaginable opportunity and progress. As we learn to understand this
century and play its complex game, we can chart extraordinary futures.
Today's young people must be given the confidence and vision to transform
lifestyles, the environment and Homo sapiens itself.
It's a make-or-break century. To create civilizations more magnificent
than anything yet conceived is achievable, but widespread education
is needed to make it happen. Technology can wreck our world, or enable
us create the greatest era of human history.
Our kids need charts of the worldscape ahead. They, collectively, will
be responsible for the great transition we describe - the most urgent
subject of their time, the subject of THE MEANING OF THE 21st CENTURY.
Read the previous article here: WFC to G8: Listen
to Voice of Future Generations
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views.
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency
Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001
to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic
dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global
economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses
asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate
chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics
and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies
-- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource
shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as
well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is
by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from
over 100 countries: including several from the House of Lords,
House of Commons, EU Parliament, US Congress & Senate, G10's
Senior Government officials and over 1,500 CEOs from financial
institutions, scientific corporates and voluntary organisations
as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres of excellence
The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily
representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please
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