David Widgington

The Millennium Book Project is attracting thousands of hits each day on its new website as people find out about it and want to participate. The Project is not interested in the party. Instead, it invites people from around the globe to submit photos which capture the significance of the transition, not simply its celebration. Each photo must answer one of two questions : what elements in history have adversely affected my community and should not continue into the next millennium? And, what elements reflect the legacies I want to bring into the third millennium?? The photos and their written meanings, must be submitted by February 15, 2000.

The two organizers, David Widgington and Soukwan Chan, believe that when they wake up on January 1, 2000, little will have changed but the calendar. There will be people who are happy and sad, wealthy and poor, at war and at peace, homeless and sheltered, lost and inspired. ?The book we publish will show what people around the world are thinking, what they want to change and what they would prefer to remain the same. Basically, what will make our world a better place in the next millennium,? says Widgington.

The project is open to everyone. In fact, Widgington and Chan have mailed thousands of personal invitations to people from rural Nepal, to New York City. They stuffed envelopes from their dining room table, with an international mailing list which includes a who's who of celebrities and dignitaries: Queen Elizabeth II, Fidel Castro, Brad Pitt and the Dalai Lama.

It hasn't been easy for the two organizers to convince people to come on board a project that seems dauntingly challenging. Chan says "people quickly warm up to the idea once they realize that proceeds from book sales will be donated to the scholarship fund at Legacy International, a UN affiliated educational organization whose Global Youth Village Summer Program helps bridge cultural gaps among youth from around the world.?

The two organizers are now networking with press releases, e-mails, faxes, and word-of-mouth to get the The Millennium Book Project invitation to people everywhere. They hope to get as many as 125,000 photographs from every corner of the globe; each one representing an individual?s perspective of the world.

After the deadline, once all of the photographs are in, they will publish a book with a selection of photos and organize an exhibit, as a permanent global record of change, at the crossing of the millennium.