NEWS: My essay from _The Economist_ / Shell writing competition now available online

From: Bill Douglass (
Date: Mon Oct 22 2001 - 19:43:59 MDT

My essay which won the first prize in the writing competition from _The
Economist_ and Shell, "The World In 2050" is now available at the link
below. It won't be there for long, though -- I'm sure this site will
soon be replaced by a new one for The Economist's next annual issue,
The World In 2002. The bio overshoots my age by one year (I was 28 at
the time) because we Yanks write our dates differently from the rest
of the world.

For anyone who's interested, I'll post the press release on the competition
below. My piece already got pretty good distribution: The Economist's
issue, "The World In 2001" was distributed in 95 countries and translated
into seventeen languages, and it was re-printed in _Whole Earth_ magazine,
but anyway I'm glad to see it's finally been put online, at least for
a while.

Best wishes to all,


William R Douglass
688 Union St #3R
Brooklyn, NY 11215
tel 718-622-8008
mobile 917-379-6928

For immediate release

Prize-winning thinking.

Winners announced for 'The World in 2050' writing competition run by
Shell and The Economist.

The Economist and Shell are pleased to announce the winner of this international
writing competition, which was launched in April 2000.

The aim of the competition was to encourage debate and thought about
the social, political, environmental, technological and economic issues
that countries, companies and individuals will face in the middle of
the 21st century.

William Douglass, age 28, from Houston, Texas beat more than 3000 entrants
from 75 countries with his essay 'Dear Nestor'. The essay takes the
form of a letter written by a young Bangladeshi boy to a friend in the
USA in a world governed by 'The Network' where oil rigs are obsolete,
and special genes and limited duration marriages are the norm.

The judges chose Mr Douglass's entry because of the connection made between
advances in technology and the unchanging importance of human relationships.

Bill Emmott said: 'We liked this essay not only because it was compellingly
written in an accessible form, but also because it artfully included
ideas both about how life and people might change, and about things which
might endure.'

The competition was judged by a panel of experts chaired by Richard O'Brien,
Partner of Outsights (the international consultancy in external change
and strategy). The panel included Esther Dyson, an e-guru and investor;
Peter Warshall, a biologist and environmentalist; Matt Ridley, a science
writer, most recently of 'Genome', a much-acclaimed book; Wolfgang Michalski,
a futurist at the OECD; Jusuf Wanandi, an Indonesian academic specialising
in strategic studies;
Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist; and Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman
of the Committee of Managing Directors of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group.

William Douglass will receive a prize of US$20,000 and his essay will
appear in The Economist's annual publication, 'The World in 2001', published
in November 2000. Two second prizes of $10,000 are
awarded to Paul Gordon and Robert Carlson, and five third prizes of $5,000
go to Peter Baker, Alain Boxhammer, Paul Copeland, Peter John and Martin

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart said: 'What has been impressive about this competition
is the range and scope of entries. From space exploration through to
environmental sustainability, it is clear that there are common themes
of concern and debate that are shared across the world. As well as offering
congratulations to the prizewinners, I'd like to say a big thank-you
to everyone who made the effort to share with us their vision of what
the world will be like in 2050.'


For further information contact:
Shell International Press Office

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