‘Evening everyone, it’s already been six months since our first meeting,’ Dan announced, opening the August gathering. Once again, he read/recited Robert Muller’s Dream 2000.

What have we done so far? Are we on track? What’s next? Are we headed in the right direction? he lay the questions on the table.

Simone was first to summarise, ‘We’ve got letters out to the Dalai Lama, Prince Charles, Jonathon Porritt, Thich Nhat Hanh.’

Daniel regretted not inviting Thich Nhat Hanh the first time around. Back then, he hadn’t heard of him, and it seemed like a dumb name! ‘How ignorant was that!’ He thought.

Simone continued, ‘and there’s the chair of ACS’ (Daniel remembered it was soon to become GreenSpirit, partly at his suggestion). By the way Dan, we’ve had a few enquiries for copies of the Groundswell 2000 Vision Statement, so that’s got to be good!?

‘The core of the evening will be a series of ten minute speeches interspersed with a world premiere of short, ten minute, films on hard-hitting aspects of sustainability.’

Beth interjected, ‘and I’ve got agreement in principle from The Waterboys, and Annie Lennox to share the event’.

There was an enthusiastic and excited response from the room, this was news to most. A cry went up. Whoop! Whoop!

‘We’re also allowing time for people to mingle afterwards, to capture and keep some of the good energy from the night, to network, after time for questions to the panel of speakers.’

‘How about something light like Disco 2000 and Vivaldi Four Seasons or even more rousing like Rodrigo’s guitar concerto?’ Robin suggested.

‘That’s a bit off the wall old boy,’ Chas jested.

‘I like Disco 2000,’ offered Davina, ‘we could have it on a loop during the breaks.’

Dan was thinking of Tara, wondering what she was doing at that precise moment; changing to go out, relaxing in a bath, or most likely working on her MBA thesis, which she was due to finish this month.

Simone reminded everyone that the Millennium Commission was running a Millennium Festival consultation, and added that initial feedback found most people feeling they lacked the soul and spirit of the times.

‘Over to you Dan, the Millennium Commission.’

Dan coughed, and took a sip of his dandelion and burdock coffee (it was all they had). ‘Of course. We met the CEO of the Millennium Commission back in March in Little Smith Street, (they’re now at Stag Place). We’ve just heard that they’ve decided to fund some festival events – note I said ‘events’, not capital expenditure, but events according to specific criteria. That means us!’

‘Any news on the transmission?’ Chas asked quickly, ‘We need more than the 5000 that fill the Hall to experience this’.

‘Still trying to get a reply from Richard Curtis’, Beth responded, ‘any thoughts? We need a name like his as a stamp of approval, as credibility for televising the event.

‘How about Bob Geldof?’

‘Is it really his scene?’

‘Worth a try’

‘Oh and yes, Lyall Watson replied, he’s interested but not sure when he’ll leave his life ‘being chased by hurricanes on the open sea,’ amused glances around the room.

Simone interrupted, ‘we also need to take a view on other millennium initiatives: the Millennium Institute founding a Millennium Alliance, the Real World Coalition and the Evangelical Alliance who ironically have chosen, ‘Groundswell’ as their campaign name.

‘But we’ve got Groundswell 2000!’

Dan reflected for a moment, perhaps his sole motivation was that he simply wanted to be the centre of attention. Just a few minutes to introduce the guests, and five minutes to share his own poetry on stage at the Royal Albert Hall. After all, following Four Weddings and a Funeral, poetry is the new rock and roll…!

Daniel thought to himself, and internally whispered to Dan. The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm was the first world conference to make the environment a major issue. The RIO Earth summit was in 1992. RIO +20 in 2012. There doesn’t seem to be a mechanism to escalate the global climate alarm from probable to inevitable to catastrophe, because so far it doesn’t get any better in the 21st Century.

‘It’s not going to get any better,’ Dan said aloud, ‘Perhaps we should make some links with the UN, maybe through the United Nations Association?’

‘Sounds a bit dull.’

‘But that’s what Robert Muller is all about, he worked for the UN, he even became Assistant Secretary General.’

‘We’re about more than that, we’ve got to engage people’s spirit, their imagination, allow them to believe that positive change really is possible. UN Motions aren’t going to do that.’



Horizon 2040 – Chapter 19 – Progress