On the threshold of the upcoming G20 summit in Germany, experts from all over the world are going to speak up again. The members of the Think 20 (T20) network are currently building a shared sense of purpose as they contribute their insights prior to the Think 20 Summit 2017, where policy proposals for G20 leaders will be shaped and delivered.
The T20 network is composed of leading think tanks and research institutes from G20 countries. Working closely with G20 policy makers through its Task Forces initiative, T20 aims to provide research-based recommendations and policy advice to the G20 leaders, smoothing cooperation within the G20, and making it more productive.
The Think 20 Summit 2016 in Beijing, themed ‘Building new global relationships: New dynamics, new vitality, new prospects’, which was coordinated by three major Chinese think tanks – the Institute of World Economics and Politics at CASS, the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, and the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China – was an unparalleled success. It provided an opportunity for more than 500 high-level experts from 25 countries to contribute their wisdom to the G20 Hangzhou Summit and to work together towards bringing global relationships to a new level.
In 2017, the Chinese think thanks will be succeeded by the German Development Institute (Deutsches Institut fur Entwicklungspolitik) and the Kiel Institute for World Economy, which were chosen to coordinate the T20 during Germany’s G20 presidency.
Inspired by the success of the gathering in China last year, this year T20 is going to cover a wider range of issues that the global community is facing today. With ‘Global Solutions’ as its title, the Think 20 Summit 2017 has the following themes on its agenda: The 2030 Agenda; Climate Policy and Finance; Global Inequality and Social Cohesion; Forced Migration; Global Tax Cooperation; Towards Ending Hunger and Sustainable Agriculture; Trade and Investment; Financial Resilience; and The Digital Economy.
However, this year the standards for T20 have been set higher; at the T20 launch event, Lars-Hendrik Roller – Germany’s G20 sherpa – emphasised that the G20 today are looking for practical, actionable suggestions that are feasible to implement.
The Think 20 Summit will be held in Berlin in five months (May 29–31, 2017), but preliminary work has already begun: The T20 Germany Kick-Off Conference ‘Cohesion in Diversity: Accompanying the German G20 Presidency’ took place from December 1 to 2, 2016. The upcoming T20 Conference in Africa, titled ‘Africa and The G20: Building Alliances for Sustainable Development’ (February 1–3, 2017), will be the next milestone for the T20.
However, attention is now focused on the T20’s ‘G20 Insights’ web-based platform that was created for T20 experts to share their recommendations and vision with the public, prior to the summit in Berlin. It is also expected that the G20 Insights initiative will lay a foundation for the establishment of a permanent online platform that will provide analytical insights to support G20 policy making. For now, The German Development Institute and the Kiel Institute for the World Economy are encouraging all concerned to speak up and make their contribution.