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By: Peter Ellyard

The Future Knowledge Compendium

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Thriving in the 21st Century

Humans have a unique capability to both understand their situation in the world and to envision and act to realise their aspirations in the emerging world. And most of us would welcome knowing how we can become ever more skilful at both understanding, and shaping the future of, our emerging world, so that we can thrive in it. The 21st century is very different from the 20th century. Globalisation, the greatest economic prosperity uplifting machine humanity has ever invented, and mass education, are combining to sweep humanity into an emerging interdependent global village. It is creating a global educated middle class that will number 5 billion in 2030.

In this emerging world, a world where our future prosperity will be increasingly based on metaphysical wealth, on what we know, 20th century nation-first, competitive, win/lose, mindsets and agendas can no longer work. These now yesteryear mindsets will instead undermine our best endeavours, including making our future ever more climate and pandemic safe.

Humanity is now beginning to learn that it now has no option but to adopt planet-first, collaborative, win/win values and mindsets, if it wishes to shape our emerging global village so that it can become liveable for all: ever more prosperous, harmonious, inclusive, sustainable, healthy, and secure. Meeting these challenges successfully will require that humanity innovates for itself a new future knowledge curriculum so that it can economically thrive in a sustainable and humane manner.

Peter Ellyard has asked the question: what would be the contents of such a curriculum? In The Future Knowledge Compendium: A Curriculum for Thriving in the 21st Century, he has sought to answer this question.

Peter Ellyard is an Australian futurist, strategist, speaker, and author who lives
in Melbourne. Originally a biochemist, and a soil and plant scientist, he is a
graduate of Sydney University and Cornell University (Ph.D). He formally
became a futurist upon his appointment as CEO of the Australian Commission
for the Future in 1988. Peter’s work seeks to assist nations, organisations,
communities, and individuals to construct their own pathways to achieve future
success. Before working as a futurist, Peter held CEO positions in several public
sector organisations over eighteen years. These included two associated with
environment and planning and one with industry and technology. He was also
Senior Adviser in the office of three environment ministers in the Australian
Government in Canberra. Peter is a fellow of the Australian College of
Educators, the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and the
Australian Institute of Management.
He has advised the United Nations system and has acted as a senior
adviser/consultant to the UNEP, UNDP, and UNESCO. Peter has worked in
several developing and transitional countries in South-East and East Asia and the
Pacific. He was a special adviser to the 1992 Earth Summit in the fields of
biodiversity and climate change. He contributed to the preparation of the
Framework Conventions in both these areas.
He is the father of two grown-up daughters and has one grandson. This is his
fourth book on futures.
He has more complete biographies on Wikipedia and at

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