21st Century Talks: Might everything disappear?: Species, languages, cultures, values…“Might everything disappear? Species, languages, cultures, values…” is the theme to be debated at the next 21st Century Talks to be held at UNESCO on 9 May 2006 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, (Room II). Chaired by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, and moderated by Jérôme Bindé, Deputy Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences and Director of the Division of Foresight the talks will bring together four personalities of international renown.
Jean Baudrillard teaches sociology at the Universities of Paris IX and X and lectures internationally. His numerous published works include: The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures first published in English in 1997; Symbolic Exchange and Death. Theory (published in English in 1993), The Illusion of the End (published in English in 1995), The Perfect Crime (Eng edition 1996), Impossible Exchange (in English in 2001), La Violence du monde (2003) with Edgar Morin, Les Exilés du dialogue (2005) with Enrique Valiente Noailles.
Hélé Béji, a former professor at the University of Tunis, is an essayist and novelist, who has published numerous articles in the reviews Le Debat and Esprit. She is the founder and president of the International College of Tunis. Her book titles include: Désenchantement national (1982), L’Imposture culturelle (1997) and Une force qui demeure (2006).
The environmentalist scientist Norman Myers, who specializes in development issues, is a Fellow of Green College, Oxford University and Adjunct Professor at Duke University (U.S.A.). His numerous works include The Sinking Ark: A new Look at the Problem of Disappearing Species (1979); Scarcity or Abundance: A Debate on the Environment (1993); Ultimate Security: The Environmental Basis of Political Stability (1996); The New Consumers: The Influence of Affluence on the Environment (2004).
Specializing in African linguistics, Adama Samassekou served as the Director of the National Library of Mali, Minister of Education of Mali (1993-2000), Spokesman for the Government of Mali (1997-2000) and President of the Preparatory Committee of the World Summit on the Information Society. He is the President of the African Language Academy.
Organized by UNESCO’s Division of Foresight, the Talks reflect the international community’s commitment to reinforcing UNESCO’s function of intellectual watch, providing a forum for dialogue and reflection on the major challenges ahead, which cannot be reduced to technological aspects alone.