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Michael Marien

Marien, Michael

Marien, Michael

Senior Principal, The Security & Sustainability Guide; Fellow, World Academy of Art & Science

Job Title

Senior Principal, The Security & Sustainability Guide; Fellow, World Academy of Art & Science

Michael Marien founded and edited Future Survey, a 24-page monthly guide to futures-relevant books, reports, and articles, published by the World Future Society (Bethesda MD) in the 1979-2008 period.  During its successful 30-year run, more than 21,000 abstracts were published in FS.

Marien earned a Ph.D. in social science and national planning studies from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.  He is a Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science, and has published some 100 articles in futures-relevant journals and magazines.  He lectures and consults occasionally.


Putin’s Folly and Rethinking the SDGs
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract The invasion of Ukraine is widely seen as Putin’s war, because he has a retrograde obsession to make Russia great again by reclaiming parts of the former Soviet Union. But Russia’s autocrat made several huge miscalculations regarding his military efficacy, resistance by Ukraine, military support and strong economic sanctions by the US and other nations, and many corporations withdrawing from Russia. Putin may still “win” at a huge cost, or clearly lose; he may...
Our Common Agenda: Review of Five UN75 Sustainability Reports   ( Sustainable Development ), ( Global Governance & Law )
Get Full Text in PDF Our Common Agenda: Report of the Secretary-General (UN, Sept 2021, 84p) Our Future Agenda: A Vision and Plan for Next and Future Generations (UN, Sept 2021, 54p) Shaping Our Future Together: Listening to People’s Priorities for the Future and Their Ideas for Action (UN, Jan 2021, 92p) The Future We Want, The United Nations We Need (UN, Sept 2020, 94p) Declaration on the Commemoration of the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary of the United Nations (UN, Sept 2020, 4p) Abstract...
Report on Global Reports, 2020-2021: The Whale and the Minnows   ( Peace and Security ), ( Global Governance & Law )
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract The first survey of 25 recent online reports on the global environmental emergency was published in CADMUS (4:1, 2019), with emphasis in the title on “Scientists Reporting.” This second survey also covers 25 recent reports on sustainability issues, but it is juxtaposed with a relatively long review of the March 2021 global trends report of America’s National Intelligence Council, which received a lot of publicity, and is thus described as “...
Can 66 COVID-19 Reports Make a Difference?   ( International Organizations ), ( Peace and Security )
Get Full Text in PDF The COVID-19 pandemic has already changed our world. And it is still underway, expected to continue over several years—or longer. Despite some 165 vaccines currently in accelerated development or in early trials, a quick tech fix is unlikely, especially for all nations. Some countries have been cautiously re-opening after lockdown, but still finding hotspots. Other countries are facing a sharp upswing in infections, e.g. Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Pakistan, and especially...
COVID-19, Human Security, and Global Leadership   ( International Organizations ), ( Peace and Security )
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract The need for coordination and integration of human benefit knowledge, as well as application in policy, continues to grow. Numerous warnings of a serious global pandemic have gone unheeded, and COVID-19 has spread across the world, mishandled by many political leaders. But the coronavirus may provide a possible pathway to effectively addressing the broader problems of human security and sustainability. Many isolated reports on COVID-19 have been published, but...
Civil Society and Youth Leadership for Transformation   ( International Organizations ), ( New Paradigm )
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract This discussion paper looks at the current historical momentum and potential future development of civil society and youth leadership for a systemic transformation to a sustainable new civilization. It identifies emerging challenges, obstacles, and some of the innovative new leadership strategies that have been developed to overcome them. Civil society is central in the process of transformation in a dual sense: As the target of transformation— it is civil society...
Scientists Reporting: Top 25 Recent Online Reports on the Global Environmental Emergency   ( Sustainable Development )
 Get Full Text in PDF Abstract Earth scientists and biologists have much to say about the changing state of nature. Many of them join together in important collective reports, available free online, but too often ignored. It may well be even more powerful to assemble brief information on an array of these scientists’ reports. To illustrate, abstracts of some two dozen reports, nearly all published in 2018 or 2019, are arranged in six categories: 1) Climate, Health, and Energy (IPCC,...
Ten Essential Ideas for Sustainability Leaders in the 2020s
 Get Full Text in PDF Abstract This Discussion Outline was prepared for the WAAS-organized March 17, 2019, Special Meeting on Global Leadership for the 21st Century—Ideas That Can Lead to Action, which followed the VII Global Baku Forum, March 14-16. Its statements are derived from or supported by the contents of The Security & Sustainability Guide (; in development) and include current and emerging ideas deserving more attention from leaders: 1) we cannot have...
Book Review of Come On!: A Report to the Club of Rome: New Frontiers   ( Books ), ( Law & Human Rights ), ( Sustainable Development ), ( Global Governance & Law )
 Get Full Text in PDF Come On! Capitalism, Short-termism, Population and the Destruction of the Planet. A Report to the Club of Rome. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker and Anders Wijkman (CoR Co-Presidents), with 34 more CoR Members. New York: Springer Science, Jan 2018, 220 pp, $29.99. The Club of Rome is an unusual organization with an unusual history. The initial 1972 report to CoR on the predicament of mankind warned of “exponential” population growth, and potential collapse around 2100,...
Book Reviews - Global Systems Change: Six Linked Perspectives   ( Books ), ( Climate Management ), ( Knowledge, Science & Values ), ( Peace and Security ), ( Sustainable Development ), ( Global Governance & Law )
 Get Full Text in PDF Reviewed by Michael Marien A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic. Peter Wadhams (Prof. of Ocean Physics, Cambridge University). New York: Oxford University Press, Sept 2017, 240p, $21.95pb. (First published in UK by Allen Lane, Feb 2017.) Global Green Shift: When Ceres Meets Gaia. John A. Mathews (Prof. of Management, Macquarie University). London and New York: Anthem Press, 2017, 236p, $26.95pb. Global System Change (Summary). Frank Dixon (former...
Greening Capitalism, Quietly: Seven Types of Organizations Driving the “Necessary Revolution”   ( Climate Management ), ( International Organizations ), ( Sustainable Development )
 Get Full Text in PDF Executive Summary In 2008, MIT’s Peter Senge et al. wrote that the Industrial Age bubble was ending and that, especially due to climate change, a “Necessary Revolution” was needed to create a sustainable flourishing world in the decades ahead. Since then, many business organizations have moved toward sustainability to some degree, and many other organizations have emerged, mostly non-profits, to help business and/or prod them to pursue ethical strategies. This...
Three Global Sustainability Leaders: Pope Francis, Jeffrey Sachs, and Nicholas Stern   ( Climate Management ), ( Sustainable Development )
 Get Full Text in PDFGlobal temperatures are rising, along with droughts, floods, storms, wildfires, and melting of glaciers and tundra. Concern about climate change and sustainable development is necessarily growing. Three of the most important recent books and reports are reviewed here, as an introduction to major thinking about what must be done. I. Pope Francis on Integral Ecology and a New Dialogue The most widely-known of the recent documents on environmental issues and the human...
Book Review   ( Books ), ( Global Governance & Democracy )
 Get Full Text in PDF Two Cheers for the Millennium Project2013-14 State of the Future (17th Edition) Jerome C. Glenn* (Director, Millennium Project), Theodore J. Gordon (Senior Fellow, Millennium Project), and Elizabeth Florescu (Director of Research, Millennium Project). Washington: The Millennium Project, April 2014, 247p (6x9”), $39.95pb. PDF in English or Spanish, $29.95. [Note: Various comments by the reviewer are set off within brackets.] For better and for worse,...
BOOK REVIEW Humanity-Craft for New Epoch Leaders   ( Books ), ( New Paradigm )
 Get Full Text in PDF Humanity-Craft for New Epoch LeadersAvant-Garde Politician: Leaders for a New Epoch Yehezkel Dror (Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Hebrew University of Jerusalem). Washington: Westphalia Press (Policy Studies Organization), April 2014, 350p, $17.50pb. [With Comparative Comment on Henry Kissinger World Order (Penguin, Sept 2014) and Ross Jackson, Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform (Chelsea Green, March 2012...
Book Reviews   ( Books )
Sixteen Worldviews: A Summation of Recent Reviews Now for the Long Term: The Report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations Security and Sustainability The Second Machine Age: Work, Progress, and Prosperity in a Time of Brilliant Technologies Get Full Text in PDF Sixteen Worldviews:A Summation of Recent Reviews Where is humanity headed? What are the major problems that must be addressed, and what should be done? Recent Book of the Month (BOM) selections for Global Foresight...
Book Review - The Climate Bonus: Co-benefits of Climate Policy by Alison Smith   ( Books ), ( Sustainable Development )
Alison Smith(UK). London & NY: Earthscan/Routledge, Jan 2013, 408p, $59.95pb. Review by Michael Marien  Get Full Text in PDF For several decades, we have heard, over and over, that climate change is a very bad development, and that addressing climate change and evolving to a sustainable or low-carbon society are a necessary response—seemingly painful in the short term, desirable in the long-term however. But how desirable? Smith, an environmental policy consultant to the UK government...
BOOK-REVIEWS   ( Books )
Get Full Text in PDF Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds Climate Change and National Security: A Country-Level Analysis World Energy Outlook 2012 Global Trends 2030: Alternative WorldsNational Intelligence Council Washington: NIC, Dec 2012, 137p, $9.99pb; $1.99Kindle (download free at* The fifth quadrennial installment of the NIC series “aimed at providing a framework for thinking about the future…by identifying critical trends and potential discontinuities...
New and Appropriate Economics for the 21st Century: A Survey of Critical Books, 1978-2013   ( Books )
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract Economics is an important construct explaining human wealth and well-being. Many economic ideas of the industrial era, however, are not appropriate to 21st century economies, where human and natural capital are increasingly valued, and simplistic assessments of wealth, national product, growth, and human happiness are increasingly questioned due to bad economic ideas in high places. To cope with growing complexity, uncertainty, and concern for sustainability,...
Book Review — Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing   ( Books )
Get Full Text in PDF Report of the United Nations Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability NY: United Nations, 30 Jan 2012, 94p (download full report or 22p Overview at This report is the latest UN vision of what must be done for a sustainable planet—essentially an update of the 1987 Brundtland report—featuring 56 proposals to empower people, to promote a sustainable economy, and to strengthen governance. 1. Prologue: The Panel’s Vision "It is time for “...
Book Review - 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years   ( Books )
Get Full Text in PDF 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years is a report to the CoR commemorating the 40th anniversary of The Limits to Growth, written by one of the four original authors. This broad forecast is “an informed guess tracing the big lines in what I see as the probable global evolution toward 2052…the most likely global roadmap to 2052 so that I would know what I am in for.” Since publication of The Limits to Growth in 1972, “humanity remains in solid overshoot…and we can...
Law in Transition Biblioessay: Globalization, Human Rights, Environment, Technology   ( Books ), ( Law & Human Rights ), ( Global Governance & Law )
Get Full Text in PDF Abstract As globalization continues, many transformations in international and domestic laws are underway or called for.  There are too many laws and too few, too much law that is inadequate or obsolete, and too much law-breaking.  This biblioessay covers some 100 recent books, nearly all recently published, arranged in four categories.  1) International Law includes six overviews/textbooks on comparative law, laws related to warfare and security, pushback...


OECD, Future Global Shocks: Improving Risk Governance   ( Books )

Future Global Shocks: Improving Risk Governance. OECD International Futures Programme.  Foreword by Michael W. Oborne (Chair and retired Director, IFP).  Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn - Book Review   ( Books )

No One’s World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn. Charles A. Kupchan (Prof of Int’l Affairs, Georgetown U; Senior Fellow, CFR).  A Council on Foreign Relations Book.  NY: Oxford U Press, March 2012, 258p, $27.95. 

Dow and Downing, The Atlas of Climate Change   ( Books )

This review  maps a valuable map: a compact overview that is arguably the best recent introduction to climate change, described as a “wicked environmental problem” that “touches everything, and everyone.”  Dow is a Lead Author in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change fifth assessment, due in 2013-2014, and Downing has been involved in all five of the IPCC global climate assessments.

Book Notes   ( Books )

Don’t Bank on the Bomb: A Global Report on the Financing of Nuclear Weapons Producers. Jan Willem van Gelder, Petra Spaargaren, and Tim Wright. Foreword by Desmond Tutu. International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, March 2012, 178p.

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Taming Global Governance Idea Chaos: A “Frontier Frame” for Recent Books   ( Books ), ( Global Governance & Democracy ), ( Global Governance & Law )

How important is global governance?  Is there a growing need?  If so, as many argue, is progress being made relative to the need?  Who is saying what?  Are there important trends in thinking?  And patterns of similarity in ideas, or wide divergence?

Towards a Green Growth   ( Books )

This important report is not well-known, unfortunately, and not for summer reading on the beach.  But as a sensible, well-documented, and broad-ranging way forward for all nations, addressing many critical problems in one package, there is nothing like it!