Ann Florini is Senior Fellow in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings
Institution and director of the World Economic Forum’s Global Governance Initiative.
From 1997 to 2002, she was Senior Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for
International Peace. She received her Ph.D. in political science from UCLA and a
Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University. She has previously been
associated with UCLA, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the United Nations
Association of the USA. She is the author of The Coming Democracy: New Rules for
Running a New World (Island Press, 2003). Her edited volume, The Third Force: The
Rise of Transnational Civil Society, was published in October 2000 by the Japan
Center for International Exchange and the Carnegie Endowment. She is co-author of
the monograph Secrets for Sale: How Commercial Satellite Imagery Will Change the
World. Her articles have appeared in such journals as Foreign Policy, International
Studies Quarterly, WorldLink, and International Security.
We live in an extraordinarily fluid time, when choices made today will have massive consequences for tomorrow.
Imagine living in a wonderful world a few decades from now. The gut-wrenching poverty that left half the world eking out a bare existence at the turn of the millennium has become little more than a distant memory as ever freer and more equitable global markets have ushered in a new era of prosperity for almost everyone. New environmentally sustainable technologies from ‘green’ cars to organic farming are so widely adopted that Mother Nature smiles benignly on her eight billion or so human children. This extraordinary progress in the human condition has become possible thanks to the information revolution and the related spread of education. People around the world have become capable of demanding and getting effective and competent governments which are closely monitored by a global array of citizens groups looking out for the public interest.