As the first light of the new millennium breaks “globalisation” is defining the shape and structure of future society. In this crucial period for humanity it is essential to re-evaluate priorities and perspectives and to face the new era with a vision of hope and harmony. Without this vision globalisation will not only fail, but will also pose serious threats to the world. With environmental deterioration becoming a compelling issue of unprecedented importance international co-operation in the preservation of the gift of bios – life – on our planet can provide the necessary unifying dimensions for a successful course towards globalisation.

One of the major B.I.O. goals since its inception in 1985 has been the furtherance of bio-education as a vehicle for peace. The International University for the Bio-Environment (I.U.B.E.) – established by B.I.O. in 1990 – seeks to infuse society with biocentric thinking and action and to inspire international co-operation for a global appreciation of bios. It acts as a catalyst urging scholars, decision-makers, diplomats, business leaders, teachers and students to actively contribute to the development of a biocentric society and to the promotion of the environment in every human endeavour.

In 1997, thanks to Academician Laszlo Kapolyi, the I.U.B.E. acquired legal status as an accredited educational institution in Budapest. Within the framework of I.U.B.E. activities in Budapest an international meeting took place at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in September 1998. The purpose of this meeting was to convene leaders in policy, diplomacy, academia and business to address the political, technological and cultural challenges and opportunities of our times.

This volume of proceedings features the viewpoints presented by these international experts in areas such as diplomacy, economics, legislation, ethics and policy, and ties these issues together under the broader concept of environmental preservation. The aim of this initiative is to stress that globalisation which respects bios and proceeds based on a vision of environmental harmony and peace can provide the answer for a harmonious future.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my greatest appreciation to Helen Papadimitriou for her organisational and editorial assistance, and for her contribution to the preparation of this publication. I would also like to thank John Hadoulis and Christos Efthymiopoulos.

The legalisation of the B.I.O. branch in Budapest and the meeting at the Academy of Sciences would never have been made possible without the unwavering support of Academician Laszlo Kapolyi and the sponsorship of System International Foundation. I am also very grateful to the following sponsors for their contribution to the realisation of B.I.O. activities in 1999: Nicos J. Vardinoyannis Foundation, Kitty P. Kyriacopoulos, Commercial Bank of Greece, Prefecture of Ileia, Action Synergy S.A., A.G. Leventis Foundation, Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs – General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad, Aldemar Hotels, OPAP, Zeneca Hellas S.A., Lonza Ltd., Capocci Logistic Services, Maramenos & Pateras, Hellas-on-Line, Gerassimos Vassilopoulos, Rank Xerox Hellas S.A.

Prof. Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis
B.I.O. President and Founder